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109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     109-592

======================================================================



 
        VETERANS SMALL BUSINESS AND MEMORIAL AFFAIRS ACT OF 2006

                                _______
                                

 July 24, 2006.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Buyer, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3082]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 3082) to amend title 38, United States Code, to 
require that 9 percent of procurement contracts entered into by 
the Department of Veterans Affairs be awarded to small business 
concerns owned by veterans, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with amendments 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
    The amendments are as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Veterans Small 
Business and Memorial Affairs Act of 2006''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

                        TITLE I--SMALL BUSINESS

Sec. 101. Department of Veterans Affairs goals for participation by 
small businesses owned and controlled by veterans in procurement 
contracts.
Sec. 102. Department of Veterans Affairs contracting priority for 
veteran-owned small businesses.
Sec. 103. Effective date.

                       TITLE II--MEMORIAL AFFAIRS

Sec. 201. Eligibility of Indian tribal organizations for grants for the 
establishment of veterans cemeteries on trust lands.
Sec. 202. Repeal of expiration and expanded application of Department 
of Veterans Affairs benefit for Government markers or headstones for 
marked graves of veterans buried in private cemeteries.
Sec. 203. Provision of Government memorial headstones or markers and 
memorial inscriptions for deceased dependent children of veterans whose 
remains are unavailable for burial.

              TITLE III--VETERANS' EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING

Sec. 301. Professional qualifications for disabled veterans' outreach 
program specialists and local veterans' employment representatives.
Sec. 302. Rules for part-time employment for disabled veterans' 
outreach program specialists and local veterans' employment 
representatives.
Sec. 303. State licensing and certification programs for veterans.
Sec. 304. Training of new disabled veterans' outreach program 
specialists and local veterans' employment representatives by NVTI 
required.
Sec. 305. Matters for inclusion in annual report on VETS program.
Sec. 306. Demonstration project on contracting for placement of certain 
disabled veterans.
Sec. 307. Performance incentive awards for employment service offices.
Sec. 308. Department of Labor implementation of priority of service for 
veterans requirement.
Sec. 309. Demonstration project on credentialing and licensure of 
veterans.

                          TITLE IV--EDUCATION

Sec. 401. Exception for institutions offering Government-sponsored 
nonaccredited courses to requirement of refunding unused tuition.
Sec. 402. Extension of work-study allowance.
Sec. 403. Report on improvement in administration of educational 
assistance benefits.
Sec. 404. Restoration of lost entitlement for individuals who had to 
discontinue a course of education because of being ordered to full-time 
National Guard duty.
Sec. 405. Technical amendments.

                        TITLE I--SMALL BUSINESS

SEC. 101. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS GOALS FOR PARTICIPATION BY 
                    SMALL BUSINESSES OWNED AND CONTROLLED BY VETERANS 
                    IN PROCUREMENT CONTRACTS.

  (a) In General.--Subchapter II of chapter 81 of title 38, United 
States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

``Sec. 8127. Small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans; 
                    Department contracting goals and preferences

  ``(a) Contracting Goals.--(1) In order to increase contracting 
opportunities for small business concerns owned and controlled by 
veterans and small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans 
with service-connected disabilities, the Secretary shall--
          ``(A) establish a goal for each fiscal year for participation 
        in Department contracts (including subcontracts) by small 
        business concerns owned and controlled by veterans who are not 
        veterans with service-connected disabilities in accordance with 
        paragraph (2); and
          ``(B) establish a goal for each fiscal year for participation 
        in Department contracts (including subcontracts) by small 
        business concerns owned and controlled by veterans with 
        service-connected disabilities in accordance with paragraph 
        (3).
  ``(2) The goal for a fiscal year for participation under paragraph 
(1)(A) shall be determined by the Secretary.
  ``(3) The goal for a fiscal year for participation under paragraph 
(1)(B) shall be not less than the Government-wide goal for that fiscal 
year for participation by small business concerns owned and controlled 
by veterans with service-connected disabilities under section 15(g)(1) 
of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 644(g)(1)).
  ``(4) The annual performance review of the senior official of each 
Administration of the Department and each Assistant Secretary of the 
Department with procurement authority shall include an assessment of 
whether or not that official or Assistant Secretary met the contracting 
goals established pursuant to this subsection during the year for which 
the performance review is conducted with respect to contracts awarded 
during that year for which that official or Assistant Secretary had 
responsibility. If the official or Assistant Secretary is found not to 
have met such contracting goals, the official or Assistant Secretary 
shall not receive an award known as a performance award or an award 
known as a presidential rank award for that year.
  ``(5) In the case of a subcontract of a Department contract that is 
counted for purposes of meeting a goal established pursuant to this 
section, the Secretary shall conduct a review of the contract and 
subcontract to verify that the subcontract was actually awarded to a 
business concern that may be counted for purposes of meeting that goal.
  ``(6) The Secretary shall maintain a list based on the reviews 
conducted under paragraph (5) that contains the name of the contractor 
associated with each contract reviewed under that paragraph and whether 
each subcontract awarded by the contractor that is counted for purposes 
of meeting a goal established pursuant to this section was actually 
awarded to and performed by a business concern that may be counted for 
purposes of meeting that goal. The Secretary shall make such list 
publicly available.
  ``(b) Use of Noncompetitive Procedures for Certain Small Contracts.--
For purposes of meeting the goals under subsection (a), and in 
accordance with this section, in entering into a contract with a small 
business concern owned and controlled by veterans for an amount less 
than the simplified acquisition threshold (as defined in section 4 of 
the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 403)), a 
contracting officer of the Department may use procedures other than 
competitive procedures.
  ``(c) Sole Source Contracts for Contracts Above Simplified 
Acquisition Threshold.--For purposes of meeting the goals under 
subsection (a), and in accordance with this section, a contracting 
officer of the Department may award a contract to a small business 
concern owned and controlled by veterans using procedures other than 
competitive procedures if--
          ``(1) such concern is determined to be a responsible source 
        with respect to performance of such contract opportunity;
          ``(2) the anticipated award price of the contract (including 
        options) will exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (as 
        defined in section 4 of the Office of Federal Procurement 
        Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 403)) but will not exceed $5,000,000; and
          ``(3) in the estimation of the contracting officer, the 
        contract award can be made at a fair and reasonable price that 
        offers best value to the United States.
  ``(d) Use of Restricted Competition.--Except as provided in 
subsections (b) and (c), for purposes of meeting the goals under 
subsection (a), and in accordance with this section, a contracting 
officer of the Department shall award contracts on the basis of 
competition restricted to small business concerns owned and controlled 
by veterans if the contracting officer has a reasonable expectation 
that two or more small business concerns owned and controlled by 
veterans will submit offers and that the award can be made at a fair 
and reasonable price that offers best value to the United States.
  ``(e) Eligibility of Small Business Concerns.--A small business 
concern may be awarded a contract under this section only if the small 
business concern and the veteran owner of the small business concern 
are listed in the database of veteran-owned businesses maintained by 
the Secretary under subsection (f).
  ``(f) Database of Veteran-Owned Businesses.--(1) Subject to 
paragraphs (2) through (6), the Secretary shall maintain a database of 
small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans and the 
veteran owners of such business concerns.
  ``(2) To be eligible for inclusion in the database, such a veteran 
shall submit to the Secretary such information as the Secretary may 
require with respect to the small business concern or the veteran.
  ``(3) Information maintained in the database shall be submitted on a 
voluntary basis by such veterans.
  ``(4) In maintaining the database, the Secretary shall carry out at 
least the following two verification functions:
          ``(A) Verification that each small business concern listed in 
        the database is owned and controlled by veterans.
          ``(B) In the case of a veteran who indicates a service-
        connected disability, verification of the service-disabled 
        status of such veteran.
  ``(5) The Secretary shall make the database available to all Federal 
departments and agencies and notify each such department and agency of 
the availability of the database.
  ``(6) If the Secretary determines that the public dissemination of 
certain types of information maintained in the database is 
inappropriate, the Secretary shall take such steps as are necessary to 
maintain such types of information in a secure and confidential manner.
  ``(g) Enforcement Penalties for Misrepresentation.--Any small 
business concern that is determined by the Secretary to have 
misrepresented the status of that concern as a small business concern 
owned and controlled by veterans or as a small business concern owned 
and controlled by service-disabled veterans for purposes of this 
subsection shall be debarred from contracting with the Department for a 
period of five years.
  ``(h) Treatment of Businesses After Death of Veteran-Owner.--(1) If 
the death of a veteran causes a small business concern to be less than 
51 percent owned by one or more veterans, the surviving spouse of such 
veteran who acquires ownership rights in such small business concern 
shall, for the period described in paragraph (2), be treated as if the 
surviving spouse were that veteran for the purpose of maintaining the 
status of the small business concern as a small business concern owned 
and controlled by veterans.
  ``(2) The period referred to in paragraph (1) is the period beginning 
on the date on which the veteran dies and ending on the earliest of the 
following dates:
          ``(A) The date on which the surviving spouse remarries.
          ``(B) The date on which the surviving spouse relinquishes an 
        ownership interest in the small business concern.
          ``(C) The date that is ten years after the date of the 
        veteran's death.
  ``(3) The death of a veteran-owner of a small business concern or a 
surviving spouse of such a veteran-owner who acquires ownership rights 
in such concern shall not be cause for termination of a contract 
awarded under this section that is in effect at the time of death of 
such owner or surviving spouse.
  ``(i) Change in Ownership or Control.--(1) Except as provided in 
subsection (h), if a small business concern that is awarded a contract 
under this section undergoes a change in management or control during 
the period for which the contract is in effect such that it is no 
longer a small business concern owned and controlled by veterans, the 
Secretary shall end the contract on the date on which the performance 
of the term of the contract is complete.
  ``(2) Such a contract that contains an option or options to extend 
the contract may be extended for a total of not more than 1 year 
pursuant to any such option.
  ``(j) Priority for Contracting Preferences.--Preferences for awarding 
contracts to small business concerns shall be applied in the following 
order of priority:
          ``(1) Contracts awarded pursuant to subsection (b), (c), or 
        (d) to small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans 
        with service-connected disabilities.
          ``(2) Contracts awarded pursuant to subsection (b), (c), or 
        (d) to small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans 
        that are not covered by subparagraph (A).
          ``(3) Contracts awarded pursuant to--
                  ``(A) section 8(a) of the Small Business Act (15 
                U.S.C. 637(a)); or
                  ``(B) section 31 of such Act (15 U.S.C. 657a).
          ``(4) Contracts awarded pursuant to any other small business 
        contracting preference.
  ``(k) Quarterly Reports.--Not later than 60 days after the last day 
of a fiscal quarter, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on 
small business contracting during that fiscal quarter, which shall 
include the following:
          ``(1) The percentage of the total amount of all contracts 
        awarded by the Department during that fiscal quarter that were 
        awarded to small business concerns owned and controlled by 
        veterans.
          ``(2) The percentage of the total amount of all such 
        contracts awarded to small business concerns owned and 
        controlled by veterans with service-connected disabilities.
          ``(3) The percentage of the total amount of all contracts 
        awarded by each Administration of the Department during that 
        fiscal quarter that were awarded to small business concerns 
        owned and controlled by veterans.
          ``(4) The percentage of the total amount of all contracts 
        awarded by each such Administration during that fiscal quarter 
        that were awarded to small business concerns owned and 
        controlled by veterans.
  ``(l) Definitions.--In this section:
          ``(1) The term `small business concern' has the meaning given 
        that term under section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 
        632).
          ``(2) The term `small business concern owned and controlled 
        by veterans' means a small business concern--
                  ``(A)(i) not less than 51 percent of which is owned 
                by one or more veterans or, in the case of a publicly 
                owned business, not less than 51 percent of the stock 
                of which is owned by one or more veterans; and
                  ``(ii) the management and daily business operations 
                of which are controlled by one or more veterans; or
                  ``(B) not less than 51 percent of which is owned by 
                one or more veterans with service-connected 
                disabilities that are permanent and total who are 
                unable to manage the daily business operations of such 
                concern or, in the case of a publicly owned business, 
                not less than 51 percent of the stock of which is owned 
                by one or more such veterans.''.
  (b) Transition Rule.--A small business concern that is listed in any 
small business database maintained by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
on the date of the enactment of this Act shall be presumed to be 
eligible for inclusion in the database under subsection (f) of section 
8127 of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), 
during the period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act 
and ending one year after the date of the enactment of this Act. Such a 
small business concern may be removed from the database during that 
period if it is found not to be a small business concern owned and 
controlled by veterans (as defined in subsection (l) of such section).
  (c) Comptroller General Report and Study.--(1) During the first three 
fiscal years for which this section is in effect, the Comptroller 
General shall conduct a study on the efforts made by the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs to meet the contracting goals established pursuant to 
section 8127 of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection 
(a).
  (2) On January 31 of each year during which the Comptroller General 
conducts the study under paragraph (1), the Comptroller General shall 
submit to Congress an interim report on such study, placing special 
emphasis on any structural or organizational issues within the 
Department of Veterans Affairs that might act as an impediment to 
reaching such contracting goals.
  (3) Not later than 90 days after the end of the three-year period 
during which the Comptroller General conducts the study under paragraph 
(1), the Comptroller General shall submit to Congress a report on the 
findings of such study.
  (d) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 
8126 the following new item:

``8127. Small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans; 
Department contracting goals and preferences.''.

SEC. 102. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS CONTRACTING PRIORITY FOR 
                    VETERAN-OWNED SMALL BUSINESSES.

  (a) Priority for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses.--Subchapter II of 
chapter 81 of title 38, United States Code, as amended by section 
101(a), is further amended by adding at the end the following new 
section:

``Sec. 8128. Contracting priority for small business concerns owned and 
                    controlled by veterans

  ``(a) In General.--In procuring goods and services pursuant to a 
contracting preference under this title or any other provision of law, 
the Secretary shall give priority to a small business concern owned and 
controlled by veterans, if such business concern also meets the 
requirements of that contracting preference.
  ``(b) Definition.--The term `small business concern owned and 
controlled by veterans' means a small business concern that is on the 
list maintained by the Secretary under section 8127(f) of this 
title.''.
  (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter, as amended by section 101, is further amended by 
inserting after the item relating to section 8127 the following new 
item:

``8128. Contracting priority for small business concerns owned and 
controlled by veterans.''.

SEC. 103. EFFECTIVE DATE.

  This title and the amendments made by this title shall take effect on 
the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

                       TITLE II--MEMORIAL AFFAIRS

SEC. 201. ELIGIBILITY OF INDIAN TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS FOR GRANTS FOR THE 
                    ESTABLISHMENT OF VETERANS CEMETERIES ON TRUST 
                    LANDS.

  Section 2408 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at 
the end the following new subsection:
  ``(f)(1) The Secretary may make grants under this subsection to any 
tribal organization to assist the tribal organization in establishing, 
expanding, or improving veterans' cemeteries on trust land owned by, or 
held in trust for, the tribal organization.
  ``(2) Grants under this subsection shall be made in the same manner, 
and under the same conditions, as grants to States are made under the 
preceding provisions of this section.
  ``(3) In this subsection:
          ``(A) The term `tribal organization' has the meaning given 
        that term in section 3765(4) of this title.
          ``(B) The term `trust land' has the meaning given that term 
        in section 3765(1) of this title.''.

SEC. 202. REPEAL OF EXPIRATION AND EXPANDED APPLICATION OF DEPARTMENT 
                    OF VETERANS AFFAIRS BENEFIT FOR GOVERNMENT MARKERS 
                    OR HEADSTONES FOR MARKED GRAVES OF VETERANS BURIED 
                    IN PRIVATE CEMETERIES.

  (a) Repeal of Expiration of Government Marker Benefit and Obsolete 
Provision.--Section 2306(d) of title 38, United States Code, is amended 
by striking paragraphs (3) and (4).
  (b) Application of Government Marker Benefit to Veterans Dying on or 
After November 1, 1990.--Subsection (d) of section 502 of the Veterans 
Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-103; 38 
U.S.C. 2306 note) is amended by striking ``September 11, 2001'' and 
inserting ``November 1, 1990''.
  (c) Provision of Government Headstones.--
          (1) Provision of headstones.--Subsection (d) of section 2306 
        of title 38, United States Code, is amended--
                  (A) in paragraph (1)--
                          (i) in the first sentence, by inserting 
                        ``headstone or'' after ``Government''; and
                          (ii) in the second sentence, by inserting 
                        ``headstone or'' before ``marker'' each place 
                        it appears; and
                  (B) in paragraph (2), by inserting ``headstone or'' 
                before ``marker''.
          (2) Conforming amendment.--Subsection (g)(3) of such section 
        is amended by inserting ``headstone or'' before ``marker''.
  (d) Placement of Government Headstones or Markers.--Subsection (d)(1) 
of such section, as amended by subsection (c), is further amended by 
adding at the end the following new sentence: ``If placing the 
Government headstone or marker on the grave for which it is requested 
is impossible or impracticable, a headstone or marker may be furnished 
if the individual making the request for the headstone or marker 
certifies to the Secretary that the headstone or marker will be placed 
within the grounds of the cemetery in which the grave for which the 
headstone or marker is requested and as close as possible or 
practicable to that grave.''.
  (e) Delivery of Government Headstones or Markers.--Subsection (d)(2) 
of such section, as amended by subsection (c), is further amended by 
inserting before the period at the end the following: ``or to a 
receiving agent of that cemetery''.
  (f) Selection of Government Headstones and Markers.--Subsection (d) 
of such section, as amended by subsections (a), (c), (d), and (e), is 
further amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph (3):
  ``(3) The headstone or marker furnished under this subsection shall 
be the headstone or marker selected by the individual making the 
request for the headstone or marker from among all the headstones and 
markers made available by the Government and certified as acceptable 
for placement.''.
  (g) Retroactive Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section 
shall apply as if enacted in section 502 of the Veterans Education and 
Benefits Expansion Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-103; 38 U.S.C. 2306 
note).

SEC. 203. PROVISION OF GOVERNMENT MEMORIAL HEADSTONES OR MARKERS AND 
                    MEMORIAL INSCRIPTIONS FOR DECEASED DEPENDENT 
                    CHILDREN OF VETERANS WHOSE REMAINS ARE UNAVAILABLE 
                    FOR BURIAL.

  (a) Provision of Memorial Headstones or Markers.--Subsection (b) of 
section 2306 of title 38, United States Code, is amended--
          (1) by adding at the end of paragraph (2) the following new 
        subparagraph:
          ``(C) An eligible dependent child of a veteran.''; and
          (2) by adding at the end of paragraph (4) the following new 
        subparagraph:
          ``(C) For purposes of this section, the term `eligible 
        dependent child' means a child--
                  ``(i) who is under 21 years of age, or under 23 years 
                of age if pursuing a course of instruction at an 
                approved educational institution; or
                  ``(ii) who is unmarried and became permanently 
                physically or mentally disabled and incapable of self-
                support before reaching 21 years of age, or before 
                reaching 23 years of age if pursuing a course of 
                instruction at an approved educational institution.''.
  (b) Addition of Memorial Inscription to Headstone or Marker of 
Veteran.--Subsection (f) of such section is amended by inserting ``or 
eligible dependent child'' after ``surviving spouse'' both places it 
appears.
  (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsections (a) and (b) 
shall apply with respect to individuals dying after the date of the 
enactment of this Act.

              TITLE III--VETERANS' EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING

SEC. 301. PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS FOR DISABLED VETERANS' OUTREACH 
                    PROGRAM SPECIALISTS AND LOCAL VETERANS' EMPLOYMENT 
                    REPRESENTATIVES.

  (a) Establishment of Guidelines by Secretary.--Section 4107 of title 
38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following 
new subsection:
  ``(d) The Secretary shall maintain guidelines for use by States in 
establishing the professional qualifications required under subclause 
(IV) of section 4102A(c)(2)(A)(i) of this title for determining the 
eligibility for employment, and eligibility for the continued 
employment, of State employees who are designated as disabled veterans' 
outreach program specialists and local veterans' employment 
representatives under this chapter.''.
  (b) Submission of Annual Professional Qualifications as a Condition 
of State Receipt of Funds Under VETS Program.--Clause (i) of section 
4102A(c)(2)(A) of such title is amended--
          (1) in subclause (II), by striking ``and'' at the end;
          (2) in subclause (III), by striking the period at the end and 
        inserting a semicolon; and
          (3) by adding at the end the following new subclauses:
                  ``(IV) the professional qualifications used by the 
                State for determining the eligibility for employment, 
                and eligibility for continued employment, of State 
                employees who are designated as disabled veterans' 
                outreach program specialists and local veterans' 
                employment representatives under this chapter; and
                  ``(V) the training required or provided by the State 
                for State employees who are designated as disabled 
                veterans' outreach program specialists and local 
                veterans' employment representatives under this 
                chapter.''.
  (c) Deadline for Establishment of Qualifications.--The Secretary of 
Labor shall establish the guidelines for professional qualifications 
required by sections 4107(d) of title 38, United States Code, as added 
by subsection (a), not later than the date that is 180 days after the 
date of the enactment of this Act.
  (d) Technical Amendments.--
          (1) Amendments.--Section 4102A of such title, as amended by 
        subsection (b), is further amended--
                  (A) in subsection (c)--
                          (i) by striking clause (ii) of paragraph 
                        (2)(B) and redesignating clause (iii) as clause 
                        (ii); and
                          (ii) in paragraph (6)--
                                  (I) by inserting ``(29 U.S.C. 2801 et 
                                seq.)'' after ``the Workforce 
                                Investment Act of 1998''; and
                                  (II) by inserting ``(29 U.S.C. 49 et 
                                seq.)'' after ``the Wagner-Peyser 
                                Act''; and
                  (B) in subsection (f)--
                          (i) in paragraph (1), by striking ``establish 
                        and''; and
                          (ii) by striking the heading and inserting 
                        the following: ``Performance Standards and 
                        Outcomes Measures.--''.
          (2) Effective date.--The amendment made by clause (i) of 
        paragraph (1)(A) shall take effect on October 1, 2006.

SEC. 302. RULES FOR PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT FOR DISABLED VETERANS' 
                    OUTREACH PROGRAM SPECIALISTS AND LOCAL VETERANS' 
                    EMPLOYMENT REPRESENTATIVES.

  (a) Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program Specialists.--Section 4103A 
of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
following new subsection:
  ``(c) Part-Time Employees.--A part-time disabled veterans' outreach 
program specialist shall perform the functions of a disabled veterans' 
outreach program specialist under this section on a half-time basis.''.
  (b) Local Veterans' Employment Representatives.--Section 4104 of such 
title is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
  ``(e) Part-Time Employees.--A part-time local veterans' employment 
representative shall perform the functions of a local veterans' 
employment representative under this section on a half-time basis.''.
  (c) Effective Date.--Sections 4103A(c) and 4104(e) of title 38, 
United States Code, as added by subsections (a) and (b), shall apply 
with respect to pay periods beginning after the date that is 180 days 
after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 303. STATE LICENSING AND CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS FOR VETERANS.

  (a) Requirement as a Condition of VETS Funding.--Section 4102A(c) of 
title 38, United States Code, as amended by section 301, is further 
amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
  ``(8) As a condition of a grant or contract under which funds are 
made available to a State in order to carry out section 4103A or 4104 
of this title, the Secretary shall require the State to provide a 
licensing and certification program under which a veteran may receive 
credit toward a license or certification based on training or 
experience the veteran acquired while serving in the Armed Forces.''.
  (b) Effective Date.--Section 4102A(c)(8) of title 38, United States 
Code, as added by subsection (a), shall apply to a grant or contract 
under which funds are made available to a State in order to carry out 
section 4103A or 4104 of such title beginning with the second program 
year beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 304. TRAINING OF NEW DISABLED VETERANS' OUTREACH PROGRAM 
                    SPECIALISTS AND LOCAL VETERANS' EMPLOYMENT 
                    REPRESENTATIVES BY NVTI REQUIRED.

  (a) Training Required.--Section 4102A(c) of title 38, United States 
Code, is further amended by adding after paragraph (8), as added by 
section 303, the following new paragraph:
  ``(9)(A) As a condition of a grant or contract under which funds are 
made available to a State in order to carry out section 4103A or 4104 
of this title, the Secretary shall require the State to require each 
employee hired by the State who is designated as disabled veterans' 
outreach program specialist or a local veterans' employment 
representative under this chapter to satisfactorily complete training 
provided by the National Veterans' Employment and Training Services 
Institute during the three-year period that begins on the date on which 
the employee is so designated.
  ``(B) For any employee described in subparagraph (A) who does not 
complete such training during such period, the Secretary may reduce by 
an appropriate amount the amount made available to the State employing 
that employee.''.
  (b) Submission of Employee Training Information Required.--Section 
4102A(c)(2)(A) of such title is amended--
          (1) by redesignating clause (iii) as clause (iv); and
          (2) by inserting after clause (ii) the following new clause 
        (iii):
          ``(iii) For each employee of the State who is designated as 
        disabled veterans' outreach program specialist or a local 
        veterans' employment representative under this chapter--
                  ``(I) the date on which the employee is so 
                designated; and
                  ``(II) whether the employee has satisfactorily 
                completed training provided by the National Veterans' 
                Employment and Training Services Institute.''.
  (c) Applicability.--
          (1) Applicability to new employees.--Paragraph (9) of section 
        4102A(c) of such title, as added by subsection (a), and clause 
        (iii) of section 4102A(c)(2)(A) of such title, as added by 
        subsection (b), shall apply with respect to a State employee 
        designated as a disabled veterans' outreach program specialist 
        or a local veterans' employment representative under chapter 41 
        of such title who is so designated after the date of the 
        enactment of this Act.
          (2) Applicability to certain employees hired before date of 
        enactment.--The Secretary of Labor shall apply such paragraph 
        to a State employee designated as a disabled veterans' outreach 
        program specialist or a local veterans' employment 
        representative under chapter 41 of such title who was so 
        designated during the five-year period before the date of the 
        enactment of this Act by substituting ``during the period 
        beginning on the date on which the employee is so designated 
        and ending on the date that is five years after the date of the 
        enactment of the Veterans Small Business and Memorial Affairs 
        Act of 2006'' for ``during the three-year period that begins on 
        the date on which the employee is so designated''.

SEC. 305. MATTERS FOR INCLUSION IN ANNUAL REPORT ON VETS PROGRAM.

  Section 4107(c) of title 38, United States Code, is amended--
          (1) by redesignating paragraphs (3) through (6) as paragraphs 
        (10) through (13), respectively; and
          (2) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following new 
        paragraphs:
          ``(3) the number of veterans, disabled veterans, and special 
        disabled veterans who requested training from the public 
        employment service system;
          ``(4) the total number of eligible veterans participating in 
        each program for the provision of employment and training 
        services designed to meet the needs of eligible veterans and 
        eligible persons and the number of such veterans as a 
        percentage of the total number of participants in each such 
        program;
          ``(5) for each State, the percentage of persons seeking 
        employment in the State who are veterans;
          ``(6) for each State, the number of veterans referred to a 
        small business development center in that State and the number 
        of veterans referred to the National Veterans Business 
        Development Corporation established under section 33 of the 
        Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 657c);
          ``(7) the total number of such veterans and disabled veterans 
        who remain employed for at least 90 days in such jobs;
          ``(8) the number of such veterans and disabled veterans who 
        remain employed for at least 180 days in such jobs;
          ``(9) the average starting wage or salary paid to such 
        veterans and disabled veterans and, if applicable, the average 
        wage or salary paid to such veterans and disabled veterans as 
        of the 180th day of employment;''.

SEC. 306. DEMONSTRATION PROJECT ON CONTRACTING FOR PLACEMENT OF CERTAIN 
                    DISABLED VETERANS.

  (a) Demonstration Project.--Section 4102A of title 38, United States 
Code, as amended by sections 301, 303, and 304, is further amended by 
adding at the end the following new subsection:
  ``(h) Demonstration Project on Contracting for Placement of Veterans 
in High-Unemployment Areas.--(1) From unobligated funds made available 
for a fiscal year to carry out sections 4103A and 4104 of this title, 
the Secretary of Labor, acting through the Assistant Secretary of Labor 
for Veterans' Employment and Training, may enter into a contract with a 
nongovernmental entity to carry out job placement services for veterans 
during that fiscal year in a locality where the unemployment rate for 
veterans exceeds the national average unemployment rate.
  ``(2) In entering into a contract under paragraph (1), the Secretary 
of Labor may use procedures other than competitive procedures.
  ``(3) In entering into a contract under paragraph (1), the Secretary 
of Labor shall give priority to a small business concern owned and 
controlled by veterans that is listed in any small business database 
maintained by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
  ``(4) The total amount obligated under contracts entered into under 
paragraph (1) for any fiscal year may not exceed $3,000,000.
  ``(5) The authority to enter into a contract under this subsection 
shall terminate on the date that is five years after the date of the 
enactment of the Veterans Small Business and Memorial Affairs Act of 
2006.''.
  (b) GAO Report.--Not later than four years after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of 
Representatives a report on the demonstration project under subsection 
(h) of section 4102A of title 38, United States Code, as added by 
subsection (a).

SEC. 307. PERFORMANCE INCENTIVE AWARDS FOR EMPLOYMENT SERVICE OFFICES.

  (a) Provision of Incentives to Employment Service Offices.--Section 
4112 of title 38, United States Code, is amended--
          (1) in subsection (a)(1)(B), by inserting ``and employment 
        service offices'' after ``recognize eligible employees'';
          (2) in subsection (c)--
                  (A) in paragraph (1), by striking ``and'' at the end;
                  (B) in paragraph (2)--
                          (i) by striking ``is'' and inserting ``in the 
                        case of such an award made to an eligible 
                        employee, shall be''; and
                          (ii) by striking the period at the end and 
                        inserting the following: ``; and''; and
                  (C) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
          ``(3) in the case of such an award made to an employment 
        service office, may be used by that employment service office 
        for any purpose.''.
  (b) Conforming Amendment.--The heading for subsection (c) of such 
section is amended to read as follows: ``Administration and Use of 
Awards.--''.

SEC. 308. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR IMPLEMENTATION OF PRIORITY OF SERVICE FOR 
                    VETERANS REQUIREMENT.

  Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
the Secretary of Labor shall prescribe regulations to implement section 
4215 of title 38, United States Code.

SEC. 309. DEMONSTRATION PROJECT ON CREDENTIALING AND LICENSURE OF 
                    VETERANS.

  (a) Establishment of Demonstration Project.--Chapter 41 of title 38, 
United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new 
section:

``Sec. 4114. Demonstration project on credentialing and licensure of 
                    veterans

  ``(a) Establishment and Purpose of Demonstration Project.--The 
Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training shall carry 
out a demonstration project on credentialing in accordance with this 
section for the purpose of facilitating the seamless transition of 
members of the Armed Forces from service on active duty to civilian 
employment.
  ``(b) Credentialing and Licensure of Veterans.--(1) The Assistant 
Secretary shall select not less than ten military occupational 
specialties for purposes of the demonstration project. Each such 
speciality selected by the Assistant Secretary shall require a skill or 
set of skills that is required for civilian employment in an industry 
with high growth or high worker demand.
  ``(2) The Assistant Secretary shall consult with appropriate Federal, 
State, and industry officials to identify requirements for credentials, 
certifications, and licenses that require a skill or set of skills 
required by a military occupational specialty identified under 
paragraph (1).
  ``(3) The Assistant Secretary shall analyze the requirements 
identified under paragraph (2) to determine which requirements may be 
satisfied by the skills, training, or experience acquired by members of 
the Armed Forces with the military occupational specialties selected 
under paragraph (1).
  ``(c) Elimination of Barriers to Credentialing and Licensure.--The 
Assistant Secretary shall cooperate with appropriate Federal, State, 
and industry officials to reduce or eliminate any barriers to providing 
a credential, certification, or license to a veteran who acquired any 
skill, training, or experience while serving as a member of the Armed 
Forces with a military occupational specialty selected under subsection 
(b)(1) that satisfies the Federal and State requirements for the 
credential, certification, or license.
  ``(d) Task Force.--The Assistant Secretary may establish a task force 
of individuals with appropriate expertise to provide assistance to the 
Assistant Secretary in carrying out this section.
  ``(e) Consultation.--In carrying out this section, the Assistant 
Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs, appropriate Federal and State officials, private-
sector employers, labor organizations, and industry trade associations.
  ``(f) Contract Authority.--For purposes of carrying out any part of 
the demonstration project under this section, the Assistant Secretary 
may enter into a contract with a public or private entity with 
appropriate expertise.
  ``(g) Period of Project.--The Assistant Secretary shall carry out the 
demonstration project under this section during the period beginning on 
the date that is 60 days after the date of the enactment of this 
section and ending on September 30, 2009.
  ``(h) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to the Assistant Secretary to carry out this section 
$1,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2007 through 2009.''.
  (b) Membership of Advisory Committee on Veterans Employment, 
Training, and Employer Outreach.--Section 4110(c)(1)(A) of such title 
is amended----
          (1) by striking ``Six'' and inserting ``Seven''; and
          (2) by adding at the end the following new clause:
                  ``(vii) The National Governors Association.''.
  (c) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
chapter 41 of such title is amended by adding at the end the following 
new item:

``4114. Demonstration project on credentialing and licensure of 
veterans.''.

                          TITLE IV--EDUCATION

SEC. 401. EXCEPTION FOR INSTITUTIONS OFFERING GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED 
                    NONACCREDITED COURSES TO REQUIREMENT OF REFUNDING 
                    UNUSED TUITION.

  Section 3676(c)(13) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by 
striking ``prior to completion'' and all that follows and inserting the 
following: ``before completion and----
                  ``(A) in the case of an institution other than (i) a 
                Federal, State, or local Government institution or (ii) 
                an institution described in subparagraph (B), such 
                policy provides that the amount charged to the eligible 
                person for tuition, fees, and other charges for a 
                portion of the course shall not exceed the approximate 
                pro rata portion of the total charges for tuition, 
                fees, and other charges that the length of the 
                completed portion of the course bears to its total 
                length; and
                  ``(B) in the case of an institution that is a 
                nonaccredited public educational institution, the 
                institution has and maintains a refund policy regarding 
                the unused portion of tuition, fees, and other charges 
                that is substantially the same as the refund policy 
                followed by accredited public educational institutions 
                located within the same State as such institution.''.

SEC. 402. EXTENSION OF WORK-STUDY ALLOWANCE.

  Section 3485(a)(4) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by 
striking ``December 27, 2006'' each place it appears and inserting 
``June 30, 2007''.

SEC. 403. REPORT ON IMPROVEMENT IN ADMINISTRATION OF EDUCATIONAL 
                    ASSISTANCE BENEFITS.

  Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to Congress a report on 
the administration of education benefits under chapters 30, 31, 32, 34, 
35, and 36 of title 38, United States Code, and chapters 1606 and 1607 
of title 10, United States Code, that proposes methods to streamline 
the processes and procedures of administering such benefits.

SEC. 404. RESTORATION OF LOST ENTITLEMENT FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO HAD TO 
                    DISCONTINUE A COURSE OF EDUCATION BECAUSE OF BEING 
                    ORDERED TO FULL-TIME NATIONAL GUARD DUTY.

  (a) Restoration of Entitlement.--Section 3511(a)(2)(B)(i) of title 
38, United States Code, is amended by inserting after ``title 10'' the 
following: ``or of being involuntarily ordered to full-time National 
Guard duty under section 502(f) of title 32''.
  (b) Effective Date.--The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply 
with respect to a payment of educational assistance allowance made 
after September 11, 2001.

SEC. 405. TECHNICAL AMENDMENTS.

  Section 3485 of title 38, United States Code, is amended----
          (1) in subsection (a)(4)(E), by inserting ``or 1607'' after 
        ``chapter 1606'';
          (2) in subsection (b), by striking ``chapter 106'' and 
        inserting ``chapter 1606 or 1607''; and
          (3) in subsection (e)(1)----
                  (A) by striking ``services of the kind described in 
                clauses (A) through (E) of subsection (a)(1) of this 
                section'' and inserting ``a qualifying work-study 
                activity described in subsection (a)(4)''; and
                  (B) by striking ``chapter 106'' and inserting 
                ``chapter 1606 or 1607''.

  Amend the title so as to read:

      A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to make 
improvements to small business, memorial affairs, education, 
and employment programs for veterans, and for other purposes.

                              Introduction

    The reported bill reflects the Committee's consideration of 
H.R. 601; H.R. 3082, as amended; H.R. 5038, as amended; and 
H.R. 5220, as amended.
    On February 2, 2005, Honorable Tom Udall introduced H.R. 
601, the Native American Veterans Cemetery Act of 2005, which 
would authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to make 
grants to tribal organizations to assist them in establishing, 
expanding, or improving veterans' cemeteries on trust lands.
    On June 28, 2005, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the 
Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, Honorable John Boozman 
and Honorable Stephanie Herseth, respectively, Honorable 
Michael Bilirakis, Honorable Terry Everett, and Honorable Dan 
Burton introduced H.R. 3082, the Veteran-Owned Small Business 
Promotion Act of 2005, which would improve the competitive 
status of small businesses owned by veterans and service-
disabled veterans when competing for VA small business set-
aside contracts.
    On March 29, 2006, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the 
Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, 
Honorable Jeff Miller and Honorable Shelley Berkley, 
respectively, introduced H.R. 5038, the Veterans' Memorial 
Marker Act of 2006, which would extend, through December 31, 
2007, the authority of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to 
provide government markers for veterans interred in a marked 
grave at a private cemetery. The bill would also extend the 
program to veterans interred in a private cemetery and who died 
between November 1, 1990 and September 10, 2001. The bill would 
also authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide a 
memorial marker in a national cemetery for dependent children 
who would be eligible for burial but whose remains are 
unavailable.
    On April 6, 2006, the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance 
and Memorial Affairs held a hearing on seven bills, including 
H.R. 601 and H.R. 5038.
    On April 27, 2006, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
held a hearing on five bills, including H.R. 3082, and draft 
legislation that would improve the competitive status of small 
businesses owned by veterans and service-disabled veterans when 
competing for VA contracts. The draft bill included provisions 
which would set procurement goals, establish incentive 
provisions, and continue veteran or service-disabled veteran 
status in cases where the veteran or service-disabled veteran-
owner dies.
    On April 27, 2006, Honorable Ginny Brown-Waite introduced 
H.R. 5220, the Veterans Licensing and Credentialing Act of 
2006. H.R. 5220 would establish a program to promote licensing 
and certification of veterans pursuing occupations related to 
their military training and experience.
    On May 10, 2006, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
met and ordered H.R. 3082, as amended, and H.R. 5220, as 
amended, reported favorably to the full Committee by unanimous 
voice vote.
    On June 8, 2006, the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance 
and Memorial Affairs met and ordered H.R. 601 reported 
favorably to the full Committee by unanimous voice vote.
    On July 12, 2006, the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance 
and Memorial Affairs met and ordered H.R. 5038, as amended, 
reported favorably to the full Committee by unanimous voice 
vote.
    On July 13, 2006, the full Committee met and ordered H.R. 
3082, as amended, reported favorably to the House by unanimous 
voice vote.

                      Summary of the Reported Bill

    H.R. 3082, as amended, would:

                        TITLE I--SMALL BUSINESS

    1. Require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (the 
Secretary) to establish annual contracting goals for the 
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to enter into with small 
businesses owned and controlled by veterans and service-
disabled veterans. The goal for service-disabled, veteran-owned 
small businesses would not be less than three percent.
    2. Require VA to maintain a database of small businesses 
owned by veterans and service-disabled veterans and require 
listing in this database as a condition of participation in VA 
procurement program.
    3. Require VA to validate the veteran's disability status 
and ownership interest in any business listed in the database.
    4. Provide veteran and service-disabled, veteran-owned 
small businesses priority in VA contracting as well as priority 
among other ``set-aside'' groups eligible for preferential 
treatment under the Small Business Act.
    5. Clarify veteran small business competition rules for 
contracts worth less than $5 million.
    6. Authorize continued status as a veteran or service-
disabled veteran-owned small business by a surviving spouse for 
a period of 10 years following the death of the veteran or 
service-disabled veteran owner.
    7. Require annual performance reviews of senior VA 
procurement officials to include assessment of efforts to meet 
veteran contracting goals and prohibit award of performance 
bonuses to those senior officials whose organizations within VA 
do not meet veteran or service-disabled veteran-owned business 
contracting goals.
    8. Require VA to provide quarterly reports on small 
business contracting.
    9. Require the Comptroller General to study, during the 
first 3 fiscal years, the efforts made by the Secretary to meet 
contracting goals.

                       TITLE II--MEMORIAL AFFAIRS

    1. Authorize the Secretary to make grants to tribal 
governments under the State Cemetery Grants Program to assist 
them in establishing, expanding, or improving veterans' 
cemeteries on trust lands.
    2. Make permanent the Secretary's authority to furnish a 
government headstone or marker for veterans interred in a 
marked grave at a private cemetery. The current authorization 
expires on December 31, 2006.
    3. Expand the Secretary's authority to furnish a government 
headstone or marker for veterans who died between November 1, 
1990, and September 10, 2001, and who are interred in a marked 
grave at a private cemetery.
    4. Authorize the placement of a memorial marker in a 
national cemetery for dependent children who would be eligible 
for burial but whose remains are unavailable.

              TITLE III--VETERANS' EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING

    1. Require the U.S. Department of Labor's Veterans' 
Employment and Training Service (VETS) to establish non-
mandatory professional qualification guidelines for Disabled 
Veterans Outreach Program Specialists (DVOPS) and Local 
Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs).
    2. Require states to describe the qualifications and 
training for DVOPS and LVERs as part of the application for a 
state grant.
    3. Clarify that part-time employment of DVOPS and LVERs is 
half-time employment.
    4. Require states to develop a licensing and certification 
program within 2 years after date of enactment for veterans as 
a condition of receiving a grant from VETS.
    5. Require that all DVOPS/LVERs hired after date of 
enactment successfully complete training by the National 
Veterans' Training Institute within three years of appointment.
    6. Modify VETS' annual report to include additional and 
more specific data concerning veterans' employment.
    7. Authorize a 5-year demonstration project to allow the 
Assistant Secretary of Labor for VETS to enter into contracts 
with non-governmental entities to carry out placement services 
in high unemployment areas using unobligated funds, and require 
the Government Accountability Office to report on this 
demonstration project.
    8. Modify the incentive award program to recognize high-
performing employment service offices in addition to high 
performing employees.
    9. Require DOL to prescribe regulations with regard to 
priority of service established under the Jobs for Veterans 
Act, Public Law 107-288, no later than 1 year after date of 
enactment.
    10. Establish a demonstration project that would:
    a. authorize the Secretary of Labor to identify not fewer 
than 10 military occupational specialties that would lead to 
civilian credentialing within an industry that has a critical 
shortage of employees or that is a high-growth industry;
    b. require the Secretary of Labor to work with states and 
industries to identify the civilian credentialing requirements 
within each state and industry to reduce the barriers for 
servicemembers seeking civilian employment;
    c. require an annual report to Congress describing the 
efforts and results of the previous year toward credentialing 
services;
    d. terminate authorization of the demonstration project on 
September 30, 2009; and
    e. authorize appropriations of $1,000,000 for each of the 
fiscal years 2007 through 2009.
    11. Include a representative from the National Governors 
Association on the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Veterans 
Employment, Training, and Employer Outreach of the Department 
of Labor.

                          TITLE IV--EDUCATION

    1. Clarify that the pro-rata refund policy for non-
accredited educational institutions does not apply to Federal, 
state or local government courses.
    2. Extend authorization for work-study positions located at 
VA cemeteries, state veterans homes, and State Approving 
Agencies through June 30, 2007.
    3. Require VA to report on methods to improve and 
streamline the administrative processes and procedures of 
education programs in chapters 30 through 36 of title 38, 
United States Code.
    4. Restore lost entitlement for certain chapter 35 
education beneficiaries who are survivors and dependents of 
veterans who are forced to discontinue a course of education 
due to being called to full-time National Guard duty.

                       Background and Discussion


                        TITLE I--SMALL BUSINESS

    Department of Veterans Affairs goals for participation by 
small businesses owned and controlled by veterans in 
procurement contracts.--Section 101 of the bill would improve 
the competitive status of small businesses owned by veterans 
and service-disabled veterans when competing for VA contracts. 
The Committee believes that qualified small businesses owned 
and operated by veterans and service-disabled veterans have 
earned the opportunity to compete for VA contracts, including 
small business set-aside contracts. Indeed, the Committee 
believes that small businesses owned and controlled by veterans 
and service-disabled veterans should routinely be granted the 
primary opportunity to enter into VA procurement contracts, and 
would encourage other federal agencies to provide such 
preferences to veteran and service-disabled veteran owned small 
businesses. The Committee expects that VA will implement 
section 101 in an effective and expeditious manner, and 
accordingly, demonstrate improvement in meeting the contracting 
goals established by Public Law 106-50.
    Public Law 106-50 established a federal contracting goal of 
three percent for service-disabled veteran-owned small business 
concerns and improved access to capital and government 
procurement information for veterans and service-disabled 
veterans. To date, most federal agencies, including VA, have 
not met the three-percent contracting goal. While VA has 
demonstrated improvement in contracting with service-disabled 
veteran owned small businesses, the Committee believes the 
provisions of H.R. 3082 will provide the VA with the necessary 
procurement tools to meet, if not exceed, its contracting 
goals. Of course, strong leadership will also be needed from 
senior VA officials to effectively implement the provisions and 
continue to improve on VA's contracting efforts.
    During a hearing held by the Committee on Veterans' Affairs 
on February 5, 2003, witnesses provided testimony concerning 
the federal government's failure to meet contracting goals. The 
reasons stated by the witnesses included the lack of emphasis 
on the goal by federal contracting officers and top managers; 
the discretionary, not mandatory, nature of the goals; the lack 
of real enforcement authority on the part of the Small Business 
Administration (SBA) and the lack of real contracting tools 
(such as set-asides or restricted contracts) to use in meeting 
the three-percent goal for service-disabled veteran-owned small 
businesses.
    As a result of the hearing, Congress ultimately enacted 
certain provisions of H.R. 2297, the Veterans Benefits Act of 
2003, which became Public Law 108-183, this enhanced the 
ability of federal agencies to contract with veterans and 
service-disabled veterans. Among other provisions, the law 
established contract set-aside ``tools'' for use by contracting 
officers to reach the three-percent goal. These tools included:
    1. furnishing federal agencies discretionary authority to 
create sole-source contracts for service-disabled, veteran-
owned small businesses--up to $5 million for manufacturing 
contract awards and up to $3 million for non-manufacturing 
contract awards; and
    2. furnishing federal agencies discretionary authority to 
restrict certain contracts to service-disabled, veteran-owned 
small businesses if at least two such concerns are qualified to 
bid on the contract.
    Following the enactment of Public Law 108-183, the 
Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity held several hearings, 
both on its own, and jointly with the Committee on Small 
Business, to review service-disabled veteran-owned small 
business procurement policies within the federal government. 
The Committee, while noticing improvement by certain federal 
agencies, remains frustrated with respect to the efforts of the 
majority of federal agencies to enter into contracts with 
service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. Moreover, the 
Committee has received testimony from numerous witnesses 
describing what they perceive as a culture of indifference or 
ignorance by many procurement officials with respect to the 
service-disabled veteran-owned small business provisions of 
Public Law 108-183. For example, total federal agency 
contracting with service-disabled small businesses amounted to 
only 0.605 percent in 2005.
    The Committee expects VA to set the example among 
government agencies for procurement with veteran and service-
disabled veteran-owned small businesses. The bill would provide 
new tools and procedures for VA contracting officers to enable 
them to do more business with veteran and service-disabled 
veteran entrepreneurs. Given this new set of acquisition tools, 
there should be no reason for VA not to meet the veteran and 
service-disabled veteran small business contracting goals. The 
Committee also expects the Department to make a significant 
effort to ensure that its contracting officers understand the 
new tools and utilize these tools effectively. Should the 
Department continue to fall short despite these additional 
tools, the Committee will consider further steps in order to 
achieve improvement in this area. The Committee believes that 
credit for subcontracts awarded by prime contractors to veteran 
and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses should qualify 
for meeting the goals established by the Secretary. However, 
contracts awarded to service-disabled veteran-owned businesses 
may not be counted towards meeting the goal set by the 
Secretary for non-service disabled veteran-owned businesses.
    The Committee expects senior VA management to take a strong 
leadership role in the implementation and administration of the 
provision within H.R. 3082, as amended. The Committee believes 
that failure to meet current contracting goals is a failure of 
senior VA management. Therefore, this section includes 
provisions prohibiting the award of bonuses to senior 
Administration officials such as the several Under Secretaries 
and Assistant Secretaries whose Administration or organization 
fails to meet the goals established by the Secretary. The 
Committee believes that there is sufficient opportunity within 
all Administrations and organizations with procurement 
authority to meet the goals and expects the Secretary to 
aggressively monitor the Department's performance.
    The Committee believes that the long-term interests of 
veteran and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses are 
best served by maintaining competition whenever possible. This 
section provides contracting officers with the authority to 
issue sole-source contracts when appropriate under the limits 
set by the legislation. While the Committee encourages VA to 
use the sole-source option to the advantage of the Department, 
the Committee also believes that excessive use of sole-source 
contracts as a convenience to the contracting officer is not 
conducive to expanding the number of veteran-owned small 
businesses receiving contracts, may stifle competition, and may 
result in questionable awards. The Committee believes that 
veteran and service-disabled small business owners would have 
greater opportunities to obtain VA contracts in an environment 
that promotes, rather than stifles, competition while 
maintaining the integrity of the process.
    The Center for Veterans Enterprise at VA currently 
maintains a database exclusively for veteran and service-
disabled veteran-owned small businesses. However, at the 
present time, the veteran status of those businesses' owners 
and their ownership is not verified. The Committee strongly 
encourages the Department to maintain such a database and to 
ensure that businesses listed within the database are verified 
veteran-owned small businesses. The bill would require VA to 
validate veteran and ownership status; however, the Committee 
is concerned that the process not create another backlog and 
directs the VA to use the most efficient and cost-effective 
method to accomplish the validations including contracting with 
an appropriate entity.
    Department of Veterans Affairs contracting priority for 
veteran-owned small businesses.--Section 102 of the bill would 
establish priority of veteran and service-disabled veteran 
small businesses relative to other set-aside groups. In 
addition to providing veteran and service-disabled veteran-
owned small businesses priority over all other set-aside groups 
such as, section 8(a), HUBZONE, and Women-owned small 
businesses as defined by the Small Business Act, the Committee 
intends that any veteran or service-disabled veteran-owned 
small business that also qualifies under another category be 
given priority within that category in VA procurement.

                       TITLE II--MEMORIAL AFFAIRS

    Eligibility of Indian tribal organizations for grants for 
the establishment of veterans cemeteries on trust lands.--
Section 201 of the bill would authorize the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs to make grants to tribal organizations to 
assist them in establishing, expanding, or improving veterans' 
cemeteries on trust lands.
    The Department of Veterans Affairs' State Cemetery Grants 
Program (SCGP) was established in 1978 to complement VA's 
National Cemetery Administration. The program assists states 
with building or improving state veterans cemeteries. VA will 
pay for the construction costs; states are responsible for 
providing the land and ongoing operating and maintenance 
expenses of the cemeteries. There are currently 60 state 
cemeteries and two under construction; states are planning to 
open 18 new state veterans' cemeteries between 2007 and 2010. 
Due to the success of the State Cemetery Grants Program, 
Congress made the program permanent in Public Law 108-183. 
However, tribal governments are not considered eligible for 
state cemetery grants. Section 201 would provide Native 
American veterans the opportunity to be buried in a veterans 
cemetery located on trust land. As a condition of being awarded 
a grant under the SCGP, the tribal organization would be 
required to submit the necessary grant application and meet 
related requirements similar to any other state jurisdiction.
    Repeal of expiration and expanded application of Department 
of Veterans Affairs benefit for government markers or 
headstones for marked graves of veterans buried in private 
cemeteries.--Section 202 of the bill would make permanent the 
authority of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to furnish a 
marker or headstone for already-marked graves of veterans 
interred in private cemeteries. The current authorization 
expires on December 31, 2006. This section would also extend 
the program to include veterans who died between November 1, 
1990 and September 10, 2001, and who are interred in a marked 
grave at a private cemetery.
    Between November 1, 1990 and September 10, 2001, the 
authority to provide a headstone or marker at a private 
cemetery was limited to the unmarked graves of veterans, or to 
commemorate the grave of an eligible veteran whose remains were 
unavailable. If a veteran's family had purchased a private 
marker, VA did not have the authority to furnish one from the 
government. Public Law 107-103 established a 5-year program 
requiring the Secretary to furnish a marker to those families 
who request a government marker for the marked grave of a 
veteran at a private cemetery who died on or after the date of 
the law's enactment, December 27, 2001. With Public Law 107-
330, Congress made the provision retroactive to September 11, 
2001. Based upon VA's review there was no significant increase 
in requests for additional grave markers with the passage of 
Public Law 107-330. VA supports extending the authority in 
order to contribute to its ability to provide veterans and 
their families with symbolic expressions of remembrance.
    Provision of government memorial headstones or markers for 
deceased dependent children of veterans whose remains are 
unavailable for burial.--Section 203 of the bill would 
authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to permit the 
placement of a memorial headstone or marker in a national 
cemetery when a child's remains are unavailable for burial. If 
feasible, VA would beauthorized to add a memorial inscription 
to a veteran's headstone rather than providing a separate marker for 
the minor child.
    Currently, VA may provide a memorial headstone or marker 
for a veteran, spouse, or surviving spouse when remains are 
unavailable. However, if a spouse and child die at the same 
time and in the same manner, and the remains for neither are 
available, a veteran cannot receive a memorial headstone 
honoring the child. This section would correct an inequity in 
current law. Since 2002, VA has received three such requests.

              TITLE III--VETERANS' EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING

    Professional qualifications for Service-Disabled Veterans' 
Outreach Program Specialists and Local Veterans' Employment 
Representatives.--Section 301 of the bill would set non-
mandatory standards for hiring of Disabled Veterans Outreach 
Program Specialists (DVOPS) and Local Veterans Employment 
Representatives (LVERs), as well as training requirement and 
related veterans employment issues. The Department of Labor's 
Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) annually 
provides over $160 million in staffing grants to states to 
furnish employment services to veterans, usually through state 
workforce centers. These federal grants provided to states fund 
DVOPS and LVERs.
    DVOPS and LVERs are usually employees of the state 
employment services and have qualifications and pay scales that 
can vary significantly. While data indicates no obvious 
correlation between salaries and performance in placing 
veterans in jobs, the Committee believes that as part of the 
overall goal of improving DVOPS and LVER performance 
nationally, it is time for VETS to provide states with 
recommended qualifications for employees who hold those 
positions.
    Public Law 107-288 created greater flexibility for states 
in administering employment services to veterans. The 
Committee, however, is concerned with some states' performance 
and slow progress with respect to fully implementing the 
provisions of Public Law 107-288. Moreover, through site 
visits, Government Accountability Office reports, and oversight 
hearings the Committee has received compelling testimony 
describing numerous challenges to the veterans' state grant 
program, including lack of data gathering and reporting 
systems, inability to provide incentive awards in certain 
states and high staff turnover with declining resources to 
provide training.
    The Committee intends that this section will improve the 
state grant program for DVOPS and LVERs by setting suggested 
hiring and retention guidelines as requirements for grants, 
implementing a demonstration contract program in areas of high 
veteran unemployment, and revising the current incentive award 
program.
    This section would require the Department of Labor, through 
VETS, to set guidelines for states for standards of initial 
hires as well as training requirements for those currently on 
the job. While the Committee considered requiring VETS to set 
mandatory qualifications, the Committee determined that doing 
so might be counter-productive at this time. However, the 
Committee expects VETS to strongly encourage and if needed 
assist the states to implement such workforce development 
modifications and upgrade their respective staff training and 
qualification standards.
    Rules for part-time employment for Disabled Veterans' 
Outreach Program Specialists and Local Veterans' Employment 
Representatives.--Section 302 of the bill would clarify the 
hiring of part-time DVOPS and LVERs. Certain provisions of 
Public Law 107-288 allowed states to create part-time positions 
for DVOPS and LVERs. The intent of this provision was to create 
half-time employees to provide greater geographic distribution 
throughout states. However, some states have created positions 
that are less than half-time. The Committee believes that half-
time employees are needed to effectively fulfill the objectives 
of the programs.
    State licensing and certification programs for veterans.--
Section 303 of the bill would require states to establish 
licensing and certification programs for veterans as a 
condition of receiving a grant under the VETS program. Many 
veterans receive extensive training and experience during their 
military service. The Committee believes that veterans who have 
received such training should be able to receive credit for 
such training when applying for a state license or 
certification after leaving military service.
    Training of new Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program 
Specialists and Local Veterans' Employment Representatives by 
National Veterans' Training Institute required.--Section 304 of 
the bill would require states to ensure DVOPS and LVERs are 
properly trained to provide job placement services. The 
Committee believes that initial and refresher training is 
critical to providing quality job training services, especially 
for those performing as DVOPS. While it is less challenging to 
place job seekers, including veterans, in low skill/low wage 
jobs, understanding veterans' unique experiences and 
qualifications obtained during military service and matching 
veterans with training and job opportunities that provide 
upward mobility is more demanding. Such service requires a more 
sophisticated approach that can be facilitated by appropriate 
training at the National Veterans' Training Institute (NVTI). 
The Committee realizes that the provisions of this section will 
likely increase the training services provided by NVTI and the 
Committee expects the Department of Labor to request additional 
funding for NVTI in the Administration's budget. Section 304 
would also allow VETS to withhold funding to states for any 
employee who has not completed training at NVTI. The Committee 
expects that any funding withheld would be withheld in future 
grants, not recaptured from current year funding.
    Matters for inclusion in annual report on VETS program.--
Section 305 of the bill would add several detailed reporting 
requirements to measure the effectiveness of the DVOP and LVER 
program. This section requires VETS to provide additional data 
in its annual reports. Such data shall include information 
concerning employment status in 90 and 180 day increments, the 
percentage of veterans who are seeking employment in each 
state, and the number of veterans referred to small business 
assistance. This will enable VETS and Congress to measure the 
success of the DVOPS and LVER programs in meeting employment 
goals.
    Demonstration project on contracting for placement of 
certain service-disabled veterans.--Section 306 of the bill 
would authorize VETS to contract with private entities for 
placement services using unobligated funds. One persistent 
complaint regarding the inconsistent performance of the DVOP 
and LVER programs is that the lack of competition does not 
encourage high quality performance. Authorizing VETS to 
contract with nongovernmental entities will create not only 
additional placement resources, but also incentives for state 
employment services to improve their operations.
    Performance incentive awards for employment service 
offices.--Section 307 of the bill would expand the types of 
performance incentive awards available to state employment 
services. The Jobs for Veterans Act passed in 2002 (Public Law 
107-288 enacted in 2002) authorized states to use up to one 
percent of the state grant to reward high-performing employees. 
The Committee has become aware that some state constitutions 
and collective bargaining agreements prohibit such awards. The 
Committee has long held that providing incentives awards are 
appropriate techniques to promote improved performance. 
Therefore, this section would authorize states to use the 
incentive money to reward not just individuals, but also 
offices whose performance exceeds the norm. In the case of 
awards to offices, the funds are not restricted in the type of 
use, but the Committee believes such use should reflect the 
performance of the entire office, not benefit one specific 
individual.
    Department of Labor implementation of priority of service 
for veterans requirement.--Section 308 of the bill would 
require the Department of Labor to establish regulations 
governing the Jobs for Veterans Act (Public Law 107-288). Since 
its enactment in 2002, the Secretary of Labor has not 
promulgated regulations concerning priority of service for 
veterans within Department of Labor training programs. The 
Committee expects the Department of Labor to promulgate 
regulations no later than 1 year after the date of enactment to 
ensure veterans priority in all applicable Department of Labor 
programs.
    Demonstration project on credentialing and licensure of 
veterans.--Section 309 of the bill would require the VETS to 
begin a program to promote credentialing and licensing of 
veterans in occupations related to their military training and 
experience. VETS would be required to identify a minimum of 10 
military occupational specialties (MOS) to begin the program. 
Over 400 MOS have civilian counterparts; however, often former 
servicemembers are not able to obtain licenses or certification 
for the civilian equivalents based on their military experience 
and training. This lack of recognition and credit for military 
service is not only frustrating and expensive for veterans 
seeking civilian employment, but it costs the nation in terms 
of duplicative training and lost time on-the-job. For example, 
the Army spends several thousand dollars to train the 
equivalent of a long-haul truck driver. The Navy spends over 
$50,000 to train a medical corpsman roughly equivalent to an 
emergency medical technician. To require these individuals to 
repeat training already completed and ignore several years of 
experience is simply unwise. While states may require training 
and education beyond what is gained in military service to 
qualify for state licenses, servicemembers should be given 
appropriate credit for education, training, and experience 
gained in military service.
    The Committee has found that many servicemembers who 
separate from the military and enter civilian life would prefer 
to seek employment in the civilian workforce that reflects 
generally the skills and experience they gained during their 
military service rather than seek a degree at a traditional 
post-secondary institution. To assist with the transition 
process toward civilian employment, this section would 
authorize VETS to conduct a pilot project to identify MOS-
equivalent industries facing a critical shortage and high-
growth industries. Once VETS identifies the MOS's, it must work 
with states and private industries to credit former 
servicemembers in certain MOS's for education, training, and 
experience to receive licensing and credentialing in those 
industries. At the conclusion of this study the Committee 
expects that states would have programs established that assist 
veterans in their efforts to receive proper civilian licenses 
and certifications based on their military service.

                          TITLE IV--EDUCATION

    Exception for institutions offering Government-sponsored 
nonaccredited courses to requirement of refunding unused 
tuition.--Section 401 of the bill would clarify the rules 
regarding refunds by educational institutions. The Committee is 
concerned about the complex and time-consuming claims process 
that has developed within the VA's Education Service due in 
part to legislation, certain administrative decisions, and 
outdated regulations. One issue in particular brought to the 
Committee's attention by the National Association of State 
Approving Agencies, is that valid education programs offered by 
government or quasi-government entities are denied approval 
based on the requirement that the institution have a pro-rata 
refund policy. A change in this policy would allow greater 
flexibility in approving programs that a veteran may obtain the 
skills and knowledge to enter into a profession or occupation.
    Extension of work-study allowance.--Section 402 of the bill 
would extend several existing work-study options that expire on 
December 27, 2006. VA hires veteran-students under the work-
study program in certain VA programs. Under Public Law 107-103, 
the Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 2001, 
opportunities for veteran-students to use their work-study 
funding were expanded to include positions at State Approving 
Agencies, state and national cemeteries, and state veterans 
homes. These options expire on December 27, 2006. Although the 
program has been successful, the Committee does not have 
funding available to continue this program on a permanent 
basis. So as not to cut off a work-study program for these 
veterans during a school year, section 402 would extend work-
study options through June 30, 2007.
    Report on improvement in administration of educational 
assistance benefits.--Section 403 of the bill would require VA 
to submit a report to Congress on ways to streamline the 
administration of VA education benefits. The Committee has 
concerns with regard to how VA administers its education 
programs. In testimony at a field hearing held in Rogers, 
Arkansas, Dr. Steve Kime, Vice President (retired) of the 
American Association of State Colleges and Universities, noted 
that VA regulations often treat veterans and education 
institutions as potential criminals. He also noted that these 
regulations reflected VA's experience following World War II 
when large numbers of veterans were thrust into an education 
system that had little oversight. Dr. Kime testified that 
today's education system is much more regulated and policed in 
terms of accreditation and accountability and it is time to 
revise VA regulations and processes to reflect that change. 
Therefore, section 403 would require the VA to review all 
administrative and policy procedures within the education 
programs to streamline the process and offer veterans more 
opportunities.
    Restoration of lost entitlement for individuals who had to 
discontinue a course of education because of being ordered to 
full-time National Guard duty.--Section 404 of the bill would 
authorize VA to restore Chapter 35 education entitlements lost 
by surviving spouses and dependents due to being called to 
active duty. Reservists and National Guardsmen who are 
attending courses of study and using Chapter 30 benefits are 
able to have their entitlement restored if the course was 
involuntarily interrupted due to activation. Currently, 
reservists arenot eligible to have their entitlement restored 
if they are receiving education benefits under Chapter 35 of title 38, 
United States Code, as the survivors or dependents of veterans. This 
section would extend restoration of entitlement to these National Guard 
and Reserve members as well.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    Section 1 of the bill would provide that this Act may be 
cited as the ``Veterans Small Business and Employment Promotion 
Act of 2006.''
    Section 101(a) of the bill would add a new subchapter 8127, 
``Small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans; 
Department contracting goals and preferences,'' to title 38, 
United States Code. The following sections would be added to 
chapter 81 of title 38, United States Code:
    New subsection 8127(a) would require the Secretary to 
establish contracting and subcontracting goals for each fiscal 
year for small business contracts with small businesses owned 
and controlled by veterans and service-disabled veterans. This 
subsection would also require the performance appraisal of 
senior officials and Assistant Secretaries with procurement 
authority to include whether the annual contracting goals of 
their Administrations or organizations were met. Finally, this 
subsection would require VA to conduct reviews of contracts and 
subcontracts to verify that contracts and subcontracts were 
actually awarded to veterans' businesses as outlined in their 
contract or subcontract. This information would be maintained 
in a list that the Secretary would make publicly available.
    New subsection 8127(b) would allow VA to award non-
competitive contracts to small businesses owned and controlled 
by veterans when the amount of the contract is below the 
simplified acquisition threshold as defined in section 4 of the 
Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. Sec. 403).
    New subsection 8127(c) would allow contracting officers to 
award sole source contracts to small businesses owned and 
controlled by veterans to meet the annual goal set by the 
Secretary for contracts above the simplified acquisition 
threshold but below $5,000,000.
    New subsection 8127(d) would allow contracting officers to 
restrict competition to small businesses owned and controlled 
by veterans if the contracting officer has an expectation that 
two or more businesses owned by veterans will submit offers for 
the contract.
    New subsection 8127(e) would require small businesses owned 
and controlled by veterans to be listed in the database 
maintained by the Secretary in order to be awarded a contract 
under this new section.
    New subsection 8127(f) would require the Secretary to 
maintain a database of small businesses owned and controlled by 
veterans. The Secretary would verify that each small business 
is owned and controlled by a veteran and in the case of a 
service-disabled veteran; the Secretary would verify the 
veteran's service-disabled status. The database would be made 
available to all Federal departments and agencies and certain 
types of information would also be available to the public.
    New subsection 8127(g) would bar any small business that 
misrepresented itself to the Department as a small business 
owned and controlled by a veteran from contracting with the 
Department for a period of 5 years.
    New subsection 8127(h) would continue to recognize a small 
business owned and controlled by a veteran as such after the 
death of the veteran if the surviving spouse of the veteran 
acquires ownership. This small business would be recognized as 
a veteran-owned or service-disabled veteran-owned small 
business until the earliest of the following: (a) the date on 
which the surviving spouse remarries; (b) the date the 
surviving spouse relinquishes ownership; or (c) 10 years after 
the date of the veteran's death.
    New subsection 8127(i) would require the Secretary to end 
any contract on the date on which the performance of the term 
of the contract is complete if the ownership or control of the 
veteran-owned small business changes during the period of the 
contract. If the contract contains an option or options to 
extend the contract, such contract may not be extended for more 
than 1 year.
    New subsection 8127(j) would give preference to small 
businesses owned and controlled by veterans relative to other 
set aside groups and within other set aside groups when another 
contracting preference category is being used.
    New subsection 8127(k) would require the Secretary to 
provide quarterly reports to the Committees on Veterans Affairs 
that would include percentage of contracts awarded by the whole 
Department and each Administration of the Department to small 
businesses owned and controlled by veterans and service-
disabled veterans.
    New subsection 8127(l) would provide definitions for 
``small business concern'' and ``small business owned and 
controlled by veterans.''
    Section 101(b) of the bill would provide a transition rule 
that would allow one year after date of enactment for the small 
businesses currently listed on the current database to be 
removed if found not to be a small business owned and 
controlled by a veteran.
    Section 101(c) of the bill would require the Comptroller 
General to conduct a study on the efforts of the Secretary to 
meet the goals established in section 8127 for the first 3 
fiscal years after date of enactment and report to Congress on 
January 31 of each of such year. Not later than 90 days after 
the end of the study the Comptroller General shall submit a 
report to Congress on the findings of the study.
    Section 101(d) of the bill would amend the chapter heading 
to include the new section 8127.
    Section 102 of the bill would create a new section 8128, 
``Contracting priority for small business concerns owned and 
controlled by veterans,'' in title 38, United States Code. The 
new Subchapter would give priority to small businesses owned 
and controlled by veterans.
    Section 103 of the bill would make sections 101 and 102 
effective 180 days after the date of enactment of this act.
    Section 201 of the bill would amend section 2408 of title 
38, United States Code, by adding a new subsection (f), which 
would authorize the Secretary to make grants to any tribal 
organization to assist the tribal organization in establishing, 
expanding, or improving under the same manner and under the 
same conditions as grants to states are made.
    Section 202(a) of the bill would amend section 2306(d) of 
title 38, United States Code, by striking paragraphs (3) and 
(4).
    Section 202(b) of the bill would amend subsection (d) of 
section 502 of the Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion 
Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-103; 38 U.S.C. 2306 note) by 
striking ``September 11, 2001'' and inserting ``November 1, 
1990''.
    Section 202(c) of the bill would amend section 2306(d) of 
title 38, United States Code, by permitting a headstone or a 
marker on the veteran's grave.
    Section 202(d) of the bill would require that a headstone 
or marker provided under subsection 2306(c) of title 38, United 
States Code, be placed as close as possible or practicable to 
the grave.
    Section 202(e) of the bill would permit delivery of 
headstones or markers to a receiving agent for the cemetery.
    Section 202(f) of the bill would require that the headstone 
or marker furnished would be selected by the individual making 
the request.
    Section 202(g) of the bill would make the effective date of 
these provisions as if enacted in section 502 of the Veterans 
Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-
103; 38 U.S.C. 2306 note).
    Section 203(a)(1) of the bill would amend subsection (b) of 
section 2306 of title 38, United States Code, by adding a new 
subparagraph (C) to paragraph (2), ``eligible dependent child 
of a veteran.''
    Section 203(a)(2) of the bill would add at the end of 
paragraph (4) a new subparagraph (C) defining `eligible 
dependent child' as a child who (1) is under 21 years of age, 
or under 23 years of age if pursuing a course of instruction at 
an approved educational institution; or (2) became permanently 
physically or mentally disabled and incapable of self-support 
before reaching 21 years of age, or before reaching 23 years of 
age if pursuing a full-time course of instruction at an 
approved educational institution''.
    Section 203(b) of the bill would amend subsection (f) of 
such section by adding ``or eligible dependent child'' after 
``surviving spouse'' both places it appears.
    Section 203(c) of the bill would provide that subsections 
(a) and (b) apply with respect to individuals dying after the 
date of enactment of this Act.
    Section 301(a) of the bill would require the Secretary of 
Labor to establish suggested guidelines for the professional 
qualifications of Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program 
Specialists (DVOPS) and Local Veterans' Employment 
Representatives (LVERs) in the States.
    Section 301(b) of the bill would require states to submit 
the professional qualifications and training for DVOPS and 
LVERs as a condition for receipt of a grant or contract from 
the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS).
    Section 301(c) of the bill would require the Secretary of 
Labor to establish the guidelines for qualifications for DVOPS 
and LVERs 180 days after the enactment of this act.
    Section 302 of the bill would clarify that part-time 
employment of DVOPS and LVERs is half-time.
    Section 303 of the bill would require states to provide 
licensing and certification programs for veterans as a 
condition of a grant or contract from VETS not later than the 
second program year after the enactment of this Act.
    Section 304(a) of the bill, as a condition of a grant or 
contract from VETS, would require all new DVOPS or LVERs hired 
after enactment to complete training provided by the National 
Veterans Training Institute (NVTI). New hires would have three 
years to complete training. If the Secretary of Labor did not 
provide an exception to a state, the Secretary may reduce the 
amount of the grant or contract for the state for non-
compliance.
    Section 304(b) of the bill would require the states to 
submit information of employee training at NVTI to VETS.
    Section 304(c) of the bill would require all DVOPS and 
LVERs who are hired or designated after enactment of this Act 
to receive NVTI training. DVOPS and LVERs with 5 years of 
service would be exempt from the requirement and those with 
less than 5 years would be required to complete training within 
5 years of enactment.
    Section 305 of the bill would make additions to the annual 
VETS program report which would include: the number of veterans 
and service-disabled veterans who have requestedtraining; the 
number and percentage of veterans participating in services; the 
percentage of people and veterans seeking employment in each state; the 
number of veterans referred to small business services; the number of 
veterans and service-disabled veterans who remained employed after 90 
and 180 days; and the average starting wages of veterans and service-
disabled veterans and the wage after 180 days.
    Section 306(a) of the bill would authorize a 3-year 
demonstration project to allow the Assistant Secretary of VETS 
to enter into contracts with non-governmental entities to carry 
out placement services in high-unemployment areas. The 
Secretary would be able to use procedures other than 
competitive to enter into such contracts. The bill would give 
priority to veteran-owned small businesses in the small 
business data base maintained by the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs. The Secretary would be authorized to use up to 
$3,000,000 annually of unobligated funds appropriated for the 
State grant program.
    Section 306(b) of the bill would direct the Comptroller 
General to report on the demonstration project not later than 
four years after the date of enactment of this Act.
    Section 307 of the bill would allow the Assistant Secretary 
of VETS to give incentive awards to employment service offices 
instead of only to eligible employees.
    Section 308 of the bill would require the Secretary of 
Labor to promulgate regulations on the implementation of 
priority of service for veterans in Department of Labor 
programs.
    Section 309(a) of the bill would establish a new section 
4114, ``Demonstration project on credentialing and licensure of 
veterans,'' in title 38, United States Code. The following 
section would be added to chapter 41 of title 38, United States 
Code:
    New subsection 4114(a) would require the Assistant 
Secretary for VETS to establish and carry out a demonstration 
project on credentialing to facilitate the seamless transition 
of servicemembers into civilian employment.
    New subsection 4114(b) would require the Assistant 
Secretary for VETS to select not fewer than ten military 
occupations that require a skill or set of skills that would 
lead to civilian employment with a high growth or high worker 
demand industry for the demonstration project. The Assistant 
Secretary would be required to consult with Federal, State and 
industry officials to identify requirements for credentials, 
certifications and licenses that would be required in both the 
civilian and military occupation when identifying occupations 
for the demonstration project.
    New subsection 4114(c) would require the Assistant 
Secretary for VETS to cooperate with Federal, State and 
industry officials to reduce or eliminate barriers veterans may 
face when seeking to obtain a credential, certification or 
license within an occupation that the veteran gained experience 
and training in while serving in the Armed Forces.
    New subsection 4114(d) would allow the Assistant Secretary 
for VETS to establish a task force to assist with the 
demonstration project.
    New subsection 4114(e) would require the Assistant 
Secretary for VETS to consult with appropriate Federal 
departments and agencies, State officials, private-sector 
employers, labor organizations and industry trade associations.
    New subsection 4114(f) would allow the Assistant Secretary 
for VETS to enter into a contract to carry out the 
demonstration project.
    New subsection 4114(g) would require the demonstration 
project to begin 60 days after date of enactment and end on 
September 30, 2009.
    New subsection 4114(h) would authorize $1,000,000 for each 
of the fiscal years 2007 through 2009 of appropriated funds for 
the demonstration project.
    Section 309(b) of the bill would add a representative of 
the National Governors Association to the Advisory Committee on 
Veterans Employment, Training, and Employer Outreach of the 
Department of Labor.
    Section 309(c) of the bill would add ``4114. Demonstration 
project of credentialing and licensure of veterans.'' to the 
table of contents at the beginning of chapter 41 of title 38, 
United States Code.
    Section 401 of the bill would exempt Federal, state or 
local government institutions or institutions primarily 
supported by funding from a Federal, state of local government 
entity from the rule that requires a non-accredited education 
program to have a pro-rata refund policy.
    Section 402 of the bill would extend workstudy benefits for 
jobs at VA cemeteries, state veterans homes, and State 
Approving Agencies until June 30, 2007.
    Section 403 of the bill would require the Secretary to 
report to Congress 180 days after enactment of this Act on ways 
to streamline the administrative processes and procedures of 
the veterans' education benefits.
    Section 404 of the bill would restore lost entitlement to 
individuals receiving education benefits under chapter 35 of 
title 38, United States Code who were called to active duty 
under title 32, United States Code, after September 11, 2001.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    The reported bill would authorize benefits and program 
enhancements under laws administered by the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Labor. The Department of 
Veterans Affairs' performance goals and objectives are 
established in annual performance plans and are subject to the 
Committee's regular oversight and evaluation by the U.S. 
Government Accountability Office. VA also publishes a 
performance and accountability report for each fiscal year. The 
Committee conducts regular oversight and evaluation of the 
Department of Veterans Affairs and the Veterans' Employment and 
Training Service under the Department of Labor.

             Statements of the Views of the Administration

                              ----------                              


 Statement of William F. Tuerk, Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs, 
                     Department of Veterans Affairs


                                h.r. 601


    H.R. 601, the ``Native American Veterans Cemetery Act of 
2005,'' would authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to 
make grants to Native American tribal organizations to assist 
them in establishing, expanding, or improving veterans' 
cemeteries on trust lands in the same manner and under the same 
conditions as grants to states are made under 38 U.S.C. 
Sec. 2408. We strongly support enactment of this bill.
    The cemetery grants program has proven to be an effective 
way of making the option of veterans cemetery burial available 
in locations not conveniently served by our national 
cemeteries. H.R. 601 would create another means of 
accommodating the burial needs of Native American veterans who 
wish to be buried in tribal lands.
    While we are unsure of the number of grant applications 
that may be prompted by the bill's enactment, we do not assume 
its passage would result in the appropriation of additional 
funds for the cemetery grants program. Hence, we estimate its 
enactment would be budget neutral.


                               h.r. 5038


    Section 2(b) of H.R. 5038, the ``Veterans' Memorial Marker 
Act of 2006,'' would change the applicability date of VA's 
current authority to provide a Government headstone or marker 
for the private cemetery grave of a veteran regardless of 
whether the grave has been marked at private expense. Under 
current law, this authority extends only to veterans whose 
deaths occurred on or after September 11, 2001. This provision 
of the bill would authorize VA to furnish such markers for the 
graves of veterans who died on or after November 1, 1990. We 
support enactment of this provision of the bill.
    Under current law, if a veteran died before September 11, 
2001, VA is authorized to furnish a Government headstone or 
marker only if the veteran's grave is unmarked. Although this 
law has allowed VA to begin to meet the needs of families who 
view the Government-furnished marker as a means of honoring and 
publicly recognizing a veteran's military service, VA is now in 
the difficult position of having to deny a benefit based solely 
on when a veteran died.
    Moreover, the law has never precluded the addition of a 
privately purchased headstone to a grave after placement of a 
Government-furnished marker, resulting in double marking. 
However, when a private marker had been placed in the first 
instance, a Government marker may not be provided if the 
veteran died before September 11, 2001. We believe this creates 
an arbitrary distinction disadvantaging families who promptly 
obtain a private marker.
    From October 18, 1979, until November 1, 1990, with the 
enactment of the Omnibus Budget and Reconciliation Act of 1990, 
VA paid a headstone or marker allowance to those families who 
purchased a private headstone or marker in lieu of a Government 
headstone or marker. Those families all had the opportunity to 
benefit from the VA-marker program. This provision of the bill 
would benefit families of those veterans who died between 
November 1, 1990, and September 11, 2001. The extension of the 
authority to cover deaths since November 1, 1990, will assist 
VA in providing uniform benefits to veterans, regardless of the 
date of their death, and will meet public expectations for 
honoring veterans and their service to the Nation.
    We estimate that enactment of this provision of the bill 
would cost $113,000 during FY 2007, $286,000 over the 5-year 
period FY 2007 through FY 2011, and $286,000 over the 10-year 
period FY 2007 through 2016. VA pays for headstones and markers 
with funds from the Compensation and Pension appropriation 
account.
    VA's authority to provide a Government headstone or marker 
for the graves of eligible veterans buried in private 
cemeteries, regardless of whether the grave is already marked 
with a privately purchased marker, will expire on December 31, 
2006. Section 2(a) of this bill would extend VA's authority to 
furnish the second marker benefit by one year. We support 
enactment of this provision of the bill. We would also 
recommend that VA be provided permanent authority to furnish 
the second marker benefit.
    Although the headstone and marker benefit was originally 
intended to ensure that no veteran's grave remains unmarked, it 
has evolved into one that recognizes in death the service and 
sacrifices of those who served our Nation. Since the headstone 
and marker program's transfer to VA from the Department of the 
Army in 1973, VA has furnished more than 8.7 million headstones 
and markers.
    The expanded second headstone or marker benefit has not 
resulted in a significant increase in demand for headstones and 
markers or appreciable costs for the headstone and marker 
program. Based on actual data from FY 2005, it is estimated 
that about 5,000 headstones or markers would be provided in 
2007 at an average cost of $100 per marker as a result of the 
one-year reauthorization. The fiscal and administrative costs 
to provide this benefit to families are nominal. The percentage 
of eligible veterans receiving a Government-furnished marker at 
private cemeteries has remained fairly constant in the years 
prior to and during the expanded authority for this benefit.
    We would also like to suggest a revision to the statutory 
language in 38 U.S.C. Sec. 2306, to accommodate the practical 
needs of a veteran's family in obtaining a Government-furnished 
marker. VA promulgated 38 CFR Sec. 38.631 to notify the public 
of the second-marker-benefit authority and to advise how VA 
would administer the benefit. The regulation states that VA 
will furnish its full product line of Government markers, which 
includes all available types of headstones and markers, in 
fulfilling requests for a ``marker'' as described in section 
2306(d)(1). This clarification ensures that no otherwise 
eligible veteran is denied a second headstone or marker due to 
limitations of the size and type of headstone or marker that 
the grave can accommodate and that families are able to select 
the headstone or marker type preferred for the previously-
marked grave of their loved one in the same manner as for an 
unmarked grave. Furthermore, the VA regulation clarified that, 
in cases where it was not feasible to place the marker ``on the 
grave'' as stated in section 2306(d)(1), a Government-furnished 
marker would be provided for those graves without adequate 
space for a second marker if the individual making the request 
certified on the application that the marker will be placed 
``as close to the grave as possible within the grounds of the 
private cemetery.'' Additionally, the regulation notified the 
public that VA would deliver a marker to the cemetery where the 
grave is located or, if necessary, ``to a receiving agent for 
delivery to the cemetery'' to accommodate the needs of the 
veteran's family. We recommend that Congress ratify VA's 
authority in this regard by incorporating into the statute the 
regulatory language in section 38.631 that discusses delivery, 
placement, and types of Government markers.
    Moreover, in order to eliminate ambiguity regarding the 
reference to ``marker'' in the statute, we recommend that 
Congress revise section 2306 to clarify that the Government is 
authorized to furnish a ``headstone or marker,'' as opposed to 
only a Government ``marker,'' for privately-marked graves of 
eligible veterans interred in private cemeteries.
    Section 3 of this bill would authorize VA to provide an 
appropriate memorial headstone or marker to honor the memory of 
a deceased eligible dependent child of a veteran, when the 
child's remains are unavailable for burial. This authority 
would permit the placement of a memorial headstone or marker 
for such an individual in a national or state veterans' 
cemetery. The bill would define the term ``eligible dependent 
child'' as a child under 21 years of age, or under 23 years of 
age if pursuing a course of instruction at an approved 
educational institution, or a child who became permanently 
physically or mentally disabled and incapable of self-support 
before reaching 21 years of age, or before reaching 23 years of 
age if pursuing a course of instruction at an approved 
educational institution.
    VA currently may provide a memorial headstone or marker for 
the purpose of commemorating a veteran whose remains are 
unavailable for burial, for placement in a national, state, 
local, or private cemetery. Section 401 of Public Law 105-368, 
the ``Veterans Programs Enhancement Act of 1998,'' expanded 
eligibility for memorial headstones or markers to include the 
spouse or surviving spouse of a veteran, where the memorial 
headstone or marker is to be placed in a national or state 
veterans' cemetery.
    Under current law, VA may not honor the request for a 
memorial headstone or marker from a veteran who wishes to 
memorialize his or her dependent child in a VA national 
cemetery or state veterans' cemetery, when the child's remains 
are unavailable for burial. Such a child would be eligible for 
burial in a national or state veterans' cemetery were his or 
her remains available. If the spouse and a child of a veteran 
die at the same time and in the same manner, and the remains of 
neither is available, it would, in our view, be inequitable to 
provide a memorial headstone or marker to commemorate the 
spouse, but not the child. Section 3 of the draft bill would 
make eligibility for memorial headstones and markers for 
dependent children parallel to eligibility of such persons for 
burial in a national cemetery under 38 U.S.C. Sec. 2402(5). We 
also note that, although the remarried spouse of a veteran is 
eligible to be buried in a national cemetery, this bill would 
not authorize VA to furnish a memorial marker for the remarried 
spouse of a veteran when the remains are unavailable. In order 
to provide consistency in eligibility requirements for burial 
and headstone and marker benefits, we recommend that Congress 
authorize VA to furnish a memorial marker for the remarried 
spouse of a veteran when the remains are unavailable.
    Also, section 3 of the bill would authorize VA to add a 
memorial inscription to a veteran's headstone or marker or 
memorial headstone or marker, if feasible, rather than 
furnishing a separate headstone or marker for the veteran's 
dependent child. Such authorization is already provided with 
respect to a veteran's surviving spouse.
    The cost for these additional benefits would be nominal. We 
do not anticipate receiving many requests for memorial 
headstones or markers for children. In 2002, VA received two 
requests for memorial headstones or markers from veterans who 
wanted to memorialize their children in a VA national cemetery. 
In 2003, VA received one request. The average cost of a 
memorial headstone or marker, including transportation, is 
currently $92. Memorial headstones or markers are paid for out 
of the Compensation and Pension appropriation account.
                              ----------                              


Statement of Gordon H. Mansfield, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 
                     Department of Veterans Affairs

    Good afternoon Mr. Chairman and Members of the 
Subcommittee: Thank you for inviting me here today to present 
the Administration's views on (1) H.R. 4791, (2) a draft 
education benefits bill, and (3) a proposed amendment to H.R. 
3082, each of which would affect Department of Veterans Affairs 
(VA) programs of benefits and services. I understand two other 
draft bills pertaining to programs administered by the 
Department of Labor (DOL) also are the subject of today's 
hearing. VA defers to DOL as to those draft bills.
    Before I discuss the bills the Subcommittee is considering 
today, I would like to note that, as you know, these measures 
would affect direct spending and receipts. Accordingly, the 
support VA expresses here for particular bill provisions is 
contingent on accommodating the provisions within the 
President's Budget request if the costs are discretionary, and 
would require acceptable offsetting legislation if the costs 
are mandatory.


     exception for government-supported institutions administering 
    nonaccredited courses to requirement of refunding unused tuition


    Section 3 of the draft bill would exempt Federal, State, or 
local government institutions, as well as those primarily 
supported by Federal. State, or local government funds, from 
the requirement that public or private, profit or nonprofit, 
educational institutions refund the unused portion of tuition, 
fees, and other charges for nonaccredited courses to an 
individual if that individual fails to enter the course or 
withdraws or is discontinued therefrom any time prior to 
completion of the course.
    Under current law, such institutions must comply with the 
refund policy requirements for nonaccredited courses pursuant 
to chapter 36, United States Code.
    VA cannot support this section since we are aware of no 
reason why veterans should be disadvantaged by not receiving 
refunds in appropriate circumstances merely because the 
institution involved is a governmental entity or supported with 
government funds.


extension and provision of additional qualifying work-study activities 
                              for veterans


    Section 5 of the draft bill would extend through December 
26, 2011, work-study opportunities for veteran-students and 
eligible dependents to include: outreach services furnished by 
State approving agencies to servicemembers and veterans; 
activities for veteran-students and/or dependents (who have 
declared an academic major) within the department of an 
academic discipline that complements and reinforces the program 
of education pursued by the student; services in connection 
with provision of domiciliary care and nursing home and 
hospital care to veterans (including state veterans' homes) 
under chapter 17 of title 38, United States Code; for those 
receiving educational assistance under chapter 1606 of title 
10, activities relating to the administration of that chapter 
at Department of Defense (DoD), Coast Guard, or National Guard 
facilities; and activities relating to the administration of 
national and state veterans' cemeteries. With regard to this 
provision, VA has data showing that that these work-study 
activities have been consistently performed and, therefore, 
believe that rather than extending the ending date for these 
work-study opportunities, they should be made permanent.
    Under current law, VA makes additional educational 
assistance allowance payments (so-called work-study allowances) 
to eligible individuals who agree to perform certain specified 
services, such as assisting in outreach to service members and 
veterans regarding available benefits. To participate, the 
individual must be pursuing a program of rehabilitation, 
education, or training under chapter 30, 31, 32, 34, or 35 of 
title 38 or chapter 1606 or 1607 of title 10 United States 
Code.
    Section 5 of the draft bill also would expand the term 
``work-study activity'' for qualifying individuals to include 
(a) the provision of assistance in identifying employment and 
training opportunities, as well as related information and 
services under the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and the 
Disabled Transition Assistance Program (DTAP) to members of the 
Armed Forces being separated from active duty and their spouses 
(under the supervision of a Disabled Veterans Outreach Program 
(DVOP) specialist or Local Veterans Employment Representative); 
and (b) any activity approved by VA in support of a Senior 
Reserve Officers' Training Corps program at an educational 
institution or military installation (under the supervision of 
an administrator or instructor referred to in section 2111 of 
title 10).
    With regard to work-study students assisting with the TAP 
and DTAP programs, we agree with the intent of the provision. 
However, we are concerned, on the one hand, with some of the 
functions the student would be permitted to perform and, on the 
other hand, with certain restrictions imposed on their 
performance of other functions. We don't believe, for example, 
that work-study students, in most cases, could provide the 
employment assistance in identifying employment and training 
opportunities provided for in this section because such 
assistance requires specialized training. Accordingly, we would 
suggest deleting reference to such functions. Further, this 
section would unnecessarily restrict use of work-study students 
in support of the TAP and DTAP programs to activities under the 
supervision of DOL employees. In many cases, however, VA, DoD, 
or contractor personnel would be appropriate supervisors, as 
well. Therefore, we would suggest including language that would 
permit work-study students to assist with the TAP and DTAP 
programs in ways consistent with their abilities.
    Finally, with regard to using work-study students to 
support Senior ROTC programs at educational institutions and 
military installations, VA has no objection to this portion of 
section 5.
    If enacted, VA estimates section 5 of this draft bill would 
cost $1.6 million during FY 2007 and $8.3 million over the 
period FYs 2007-2016.


   report on improvement in administration of educational assistance 
                                benefits


    Section 6 would require VA, within 90 days from the date of 
enactment of the draft bill, to submit a report to Congress 
that proposes methods to streamline the processes and 
procedures of administering education benefits under chapters 
30, 31, 32, 34, 35, and 36 of title 38 and chapters 1606 and 
1607 of title 10, United States Code.
    Given the breadth of the request and the complexity of the 
programs in chapters 30, 31, 32, 34, 35 and 36 of title 38 and 
chapters 1606 and 1607, of title 10, United States Code, it is, 
we believe, unrealistic to expect such a report to be written 
in 90 days. We would have no objection to this section if VA 
were given 6 months in which to submit the required the report.


restoration of lost entitlement for individuals who had to discontinue 
 a course of education because of being ordered to full-time national 
                               guard duty


    Section 7 would make a technical amendment to restore 
entitlement under the chapter 35 education benefits program 
that eligible persons lost as a result of being involuntarily 
ordered to full-time National Guard duty after September 11, 
2001, pursuant to 32 U.S.C. Sec. 502(f).
    In enacting Public Law 107-103, Congress restored education 
benefits to National Guard personnel called to active duty 
under specific sections of title 10, United States Code, and 
extended their delimiting period for using those benefits. 
Public Law 108-183 likewise extended the delimiting date for 
National Guard personnel entitled to chapter 35 benefits who 
had to discontinue course pursuit as a result of being called 
to full time National Guard duty under section 502(f) of title 
32, United States Code, but inadvertently omitted provisions 
restoring entitlement for those persons as it had for similarly 
circumstanced individuals called to active duty under title 10. 
Section 7 would remedy this oversight. We note that the 
effective date provision is clear as to the enrollment periods 
to which this section applies. It is unclear, however, as to 
whether there is any limit as to how far back in time the title 
32 service could occur. VA recommends the effective date be 
September 11, 2001, to accommodate those ordered to full-time 
National Guard duty under section 512(f) of title 32 on or 
after that date.
    VA supports section 7 and suggests this provision be 
extended to MGIB participants under section 3013(f)(2)(A), as 
well.
    If enacted, VA estimates section 7 of this draft bill would 
cost $3 thousand during FY 2007 and $96 thousand over the 
period FYs 2007-2016.


                          technical amendments


    Section 8 contains technical corrections to the work-study 
program provisions. VA has no objection to this section.


    department of veterans affairs goals for participation by small 
  businesses owned and controlled by veterans in procurement contracts


    Section 2 of H.R. 3082 would amend subchapter II of chapter 
81 of title 38, United States Code, to add a new section 8127 
governing VA contracting goals and preferences for 
participation by small business concerns owned and controlled 
by veterans and small business concerns owned and controlled by 
veterans with service-connected disabilities. Section 3 would, 
in addition, add a new section 8128 to such subchapter 
mandating contracting priority for certain small business 
concerns owned and controlled by veterans when goods and 
services are being procured pursuant to contracting preferences 
under title 38 or other law. Current law establishes a 3% 
government-wide prime and subcontracting goal for small 
business concerns owned and controlled by veterans with 
service-connected disabilities.
    VA supports the Amendment to H.R. 3082. However, we request 
that the following changes be made before the bill moves 
forward:
          In Sole Source Contracts, section 8127(c), we 
        recommend revising the language to read that 
        Contracting Officers may award a contract using other 
        than competitive procedures. The amendment reads 
        ``shall'' which is inconsistent with subparagraphs (b) 
        and (d) of this section.
          In Database of Veteran-owned Businesses, section 
        8127(f), we recommend that subparagraph (4)(A) be 
        revised to read that the Secretary shall verify that 
        veterans own at least 51% of the business. The current 
        language reads ``verification that each person listed 
        in the database is a veteran.'' The database does not 
        list all persons who own the business.
          In Change In Ownership or Control, section 8127(i), 
        we suggest replacing word ``terminate'' with ``end.'' 
        For Federal procurement purposes, the word 
        ``terminate'' has a very specific meaning. When an 
        existing term is completed, the contract ends and is 
        then closed out. We would further recommend revising 
        the section to remove the parenthetical phrase. 
        Currently, it leads the reader to believe that options 
        may be executed after the change of ownership, which we 
        believe is not the intent of the section. The following 
        paragraph establishes that after a change in ownership, 
        one option may be exercised. We understand this may be 
        necessary to accomplish re-procurement.
          In Quarterly Reports, section 8127(k), we recommend 
        revising subparagraphs (1) through (3) to read 
        ``percentage of contract dollars awarded.'' This has 
        very different meaning than ``percentage of contracts 
        awarded'' and is consistent with reporting of all small 
        business program accomplishments.
    We do have some concern about the Quarterly Reports. This 
amendment will establish a single, consolidated goal which will 
collect information from both prime and subcontract actions 
with veterans and a separate consolidated goal for 
accomplishments with service-disabled veterans. Currently, most 
prime contractors report their subcontracting actions annually 
or semi-annually. To obtain quarterly reports from VA's prime 
contractors will require contract modifications which will cost 
the Department as this quarterly reporting will be unique in 
Federal government. These same contractors will continue to 
report accomplishments with other small business programs 
annually or semi-annually. We believe this will be both costly 
and confusing for prime contractor personnel. Therefore, we 
request that the amendment be revised to require annual 
reporting on these contracting accomplishments, which should 
not add additional reporting burdens on our prime contractors.
    In section 8127(l), Definitions, we have concern with the 
language where it attempts to define `small business concern 
owned and controlled by veterans.' In subparagraph (2)(B, it 
addresses ``the management and daily business operations of 
which are controlled by one or more veterans or, in the case of 
a veteran with a service-connected disability that is permanent 
and severe, the spouse of such veteran.'' This implies that 
when a veteran has such a disability, his/her spouse must 
control daily business operations to be considered. We do not 
believe that was the intent of the committee. Public Law 106-
50, ``The Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business 
Development Act of 1999,'' and implementing regulations define 
small businesses owned and controlled by service-disabled 
veterans to include situations where there is a spouse or 
permanent caregiver who is legally designated in writing to 
undertake responsibility for managing the well-being of the 
service disabled veteran. We request the language be amended to 
reflect that situation.
    VA has been a leader in use of the service-disabled 
veteran-owned small business set-aside tool. However, for many 
reasons, VA has not recently achieved the Secretary's veteran-
owned small business goal. We believe the flexibility in the 
proposed amendment will give contracting officers the 
opportunity to ``Choose Veterans First.'' This legislation will 
offset the negative impression that some veterans have about 
being left out of the Federal procurement process. The VA-
specific set-aside tool will deliver an important message of 
support to these veteran-owned small businesses.
                              ----------                              


  Testimony of Charles Ciccolella, Assistant Secretary for Veterans' 
           Employment and Training, U.S. Department of Labor


      the veterans state employment grant improvement act of 2006


    Section 2: Requires the Secretary of Labor to ``maintain 
guidelines for use by States in establishing the professional 
qualifications required * * * for determining the eligibility 
for employment, and eligibility for the continued employment'' 
for Disabled Veteran Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists and 
Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVER).
    We agree with the idea that our Nation's veterans deserve 
the highest quality of service provided from DVOPs and LVERs 
that are highly trained and motivated. Federal guidelines would 
assist the states in establishing professional qualifications 
for veterans' employment representatives and still allow the 
states to retain the overall flexibility to accommodate their 
unique personnel rules and guidelines. However, there are 
potential problems that may limit the implementation of these 
guidelines. They include but are not limited to state personnel 
and merit staffing requirements and union bargaining 
agreements.
    The states will be required to submit their professional 
qualifications as a condition of the state grant. We would 
offer our assistance to the states to assure compliance with 
this provision and further ensure their qualifications meet the 
guidelines.
    Past experience leads us to believe that guidelines issued 
at the federal level will vary widely in their implementation 
with each individual state entity. State incentive awards, as 
established in the Jobs for Veterans Act (P.L. 107-288), are a 
recent example of the difficulties inherent in enforcing 
federally-mandated guidelines within a disparate and 
decentralized system. Key proponents of the legislative mandate 
in 2002 assumed that this provision would be embraced by the 
states and implemented with relative ease. In practice, 
implementation has proven very difficult. States were forced to 
contend with legislative, regulatory, policy or union 
agreements that prohibited or limited the types of incentives 
that could be provided, thus placing them at odds with federal 
and state mandates.
    A second expected consequence is likely to be an increased 
workload burden on state staff. Most state personnel systems 
have similar qualification standards for both DVOP/LVER and 
comparable positions. Our concern is that federal mandates that 
add qualifications for DVOP/LVERs might result in higher 
salaries that cannot be absorbed in the existing budget 
structure, leading to fewer positions. While the staff hired 
may well be higher quality with more experience, fewer veterans 
may receive services. It is our opinion that federally mandated 
qualifications established outside of the grant-negotiation 
process, while potentially leading to better-qualified DVOP/
LVERs, will decrease the staff to veteran ratio nationwide.
    Section 3: This section defines DVOP/LVER part-time work 
provision as meaning, ``not less than a half-time basis.'' The 
Jobs for Veterans Act provided valuable flexibility as it 
allowed DVOPs and LVERs to be employed part-time, but it did 
not define part-time. To reduce uncertainty by the States about 
the definition, DOL's current grant language defines part-time 
as half-time. In spite of our guidance, there remains confusion 
in some states over what ``half-time'' means, which makes it 
more difficult to monitor state compliance with the grant 
provisions. Our concern is that the language in the draft bill 
would add to the States' confusion. Consequently, DOL 
recommends that this provision be changed to state that part-
time means ``half-time,'' which DOL believes provides adequate 
flexibility to the States.
    Section 4: This section will require the states to 
establish a ``local performance information system'' within 
three years following enactment. The states have undergone 
several reporting system changes in recent years. On July 1, 
2005, states again were required to adapt their reporting to 
the set of common outcome measures used by other training and 
employment programs in DOL, as well as other agencies. To 
improve the accuracy and reduce the costs associated with 
collecting the new measures, DOL is formulating a new reporting 
system. While DOL agrees with the intent of the provision, to 
improve services at the local level and aid in the 
determination of resource allocation, we request that the 
Committee tie the timeline to the roll-out of the new reporting 
system rather than to a legislative timeline. In so doing, DOL 
will keep the Committee apprised of ongoing progress. In the 
interim, we are exploring ways for states to provide the 
requested information within their existing reporting systems.
    Section 5: Establishes ``State Licensing and Certification 
Programs for Veterans.'' We believe this provision would have 
additional budgetary implications and may also have other 
unanticipated consequences since certification, credentialing, 
and licensing go well beyond a single state's jurisdiction. 
Moreover, not all military training and experiences need formal 
licensing or certification for veterans to find civilian jobs. 
The Veterans Certification and Licensure Act of 2006, that we 
comment on below, establishes the Veterans Advisory Committee 
on Certification, Credentialing, and Licensing. If established, 
such an advisory committee could review this issue and make 
recommendations on the best approach to addressing this at the 
state and sub-state levels.
    Section 6: This section requires that newly hired DVOPs and 
LVERs be trained at the National Veterans Training Institute 
(NVTI) within three years following the date of their hiring, 
and extends training requirements to additional existing 
employees. Currently, NVTI provides such training, funded by 
DOL, to all DVOPs and LVERS. NVTI was originally established to 
provide consistent training for these staff. However, not all 
staff have been able to attend.
    This section has additional budgetary implications that we 
are currently reviewing. We suggest amending this language to 
allow NVTI to provide training at a site located in the state 
or through an online distance training arrangement.
    Section 7: This section establishes a ``Demonstration 
Project on Contracting for Placement of Veterans in High Un-
Employment Areas.'' This demonstration has additional budgetary 
implications.
    We believe such legislation is unnecessary. One of the 
underlying principles of the Jobs for Veterans Act was for 
states to have the flexibility to determine where best to 
deploy their DVOPs and LVERs. We believe enough flexibility 
exists for states to focus on their high unemployment areas and 
areas in greatest need.
    The draft also discusses ``a locality where the 
unemployment rate for veterans exceeds the national average 
unemployment rate.'' Veteran's unemployment data are not 
available for specific localities.
    Section 8: This section modifies the incentive awards that 
were established in the Jobs for Veterans Act. The Department 
supports this measure as written with the exception that the 
Assistant Secretary makes the final decision on the incentive 
awards.
    Section 9: Requires DOL to publish regulations implementing 
priority of service. We do not believe regulations are needed. 
After enactment of the Jobs for Veterans Act, a DOL work group 
assessed the impact of establishing such regulations and 
determined that policy guidance is the method that could be 
adopted most quickly and still have the same impact as a 
regulatory approach. Policy guidance was subsequently published 
in September 2003. Nineteen DOL programs are subject to the 
priority service provisions and these programs change from time 
to time. As the regulatory process is time consuming, it would 
be difficult to respond quickly to changes in these programs. 
With policy guidance, adjustments can be made in a relative 
short period of time as opposed to the more time-consuming 
process of establishing or changing regulations.


          the veterans certification and licensure act of 2006


    We would like to bring to the Committee's attention the 
existence of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) 
Professional Certification and License Advisory Committee 
(PCLAC). DOL believes that creating the proposed advisory 
committee in DOL is duplicative of efforts already underway at 
the VA. We recommend that just one committee address the issue 
of certification and licensure for veterans.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    The following letter was received from the Congressional 
Budget Office concerning the cost of the reported bill:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 19, 2006.
Hon. Steve Buyer,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: As you requested, the Congressional 
Budget Office has prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 
3082, the Veterans Small Business and Memorial Affairs Act of 
2006.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Dwayne M. 
Wright.
            Sincerely,
                                          Donald B. Marron,
                                                   Acting Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 3082--Veterans Small Business and Memorial Affairs Act of 2006

    Summary: H.R. 3082 would make changes to several programs 
for veterans, primarily for veterans' employment and training 
benefits and veterans' burial benefits. CBO estimates that 
implementing this bill would cost $1 million in 2007 and $22 
million over the 2007-2011 period, assuming appropriation of 
the necessary amounts. In addition, CBO estimates that enacting 
this legislation would increase direct spending for veterans 
programs by less than $500,000 in 2007 and by $2 million over 
the 2007-2016 period.
    H.R. 3082 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 3082 is summarized in the following 
table. The costs of this legislation fall within budget 
function 700 (veterans benefits and services).

                                TABLE 1.--ESTIMATED BUDGETARY IMPACT OF H.R. 3082
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--

                                                               -------------------------------------------------
                                                                  2007      2008      2009      2010      2011
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated authorization level.................................         4        11         4         3         3
Estimated outlays.............................................         1         6         8         4         3

                                           CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING

Estimated budget authority....................................         *         *         *         *         *
Estimated outlays.............................................         *         *         *         *         *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: * = less than $500,000.

Basis of estimate

    For this estimate, CBO assumes that the bill will be 
enacted near the start of fiscal year 2007 and that the 
necessary amounts will be appropriated for each year.
            Spending subject to appropriation
    H.R. 3082 contains provisions that would affect several 
programs for veterans. CBO estimates that implementing this 
bill would cost $1 million in 2007 and almost $22 million over 
the 2007-2011 period, assuring appropriation of the necessary 
amounts (see Table 2).
    Veterans' Employment and Training. Title III would 
establish two demonstration projects for veterans' employment 
and training. Under section 306, which would be authorized at 
$3 million annually for fiscal years 2007 through 2011, a 
private contractor would be used for job placement services for 
disabled veterans. Section 309, which would be authorized at $1 
million for each of fiscal years 2007 through 2009, would focus 
on providing credentials in high growth or high demand 
occupations to veterans. Assuming appropriation of the 
authorized amounts for the demonstration projects, CBO 
estimates that those provisions would cost $12 million over the 
2007-2011 period.

                     TABLE 2.--CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION UNDER H.R. 3082
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--

                                                               -------------------------------------------------
                                                                  2007      2008      2009      2010      2011
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Veterans' employment and training:
    Authorization level.......................................         4         4         4         3         3
    Estimated outlays.........................................         1         3         4         4         3
Cemetery grants to tribal organizations:
    Estimated authorization level.............................         0         7         0         0         0
    Estimated outlays.........................................         0         3         4         0         0
Total changes in spending subject to appropriation under H.R.
 3082:
    Estimated authorization level.............................         4        11         4         3         3
    Estimated outlays.........................................         1         6         8         4         3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, Title III would require the Comptroller 
General to submit a report on the project dealing with private 
contracting of job placement services. CBO estimates that 
report would cost less than $500,000.
    Cemetery Grants to Tribal Organizations. Section 201 would 
allow the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide grants 
to tribal organizations to establish, expand, or improve 
veterans' cemeteries on trust lands owned by the tribal 
organizations. Under current law, VA can only provide grant 
money to States for the purposes of establishing, expanding, or 
improving a veterans' cemetery. VA reports that state cemetery 
grants range from $4 million to $7 million, depending on the 
size of the project, and that the average time to establish a 
cemetery from design to opening is 24 months. CBO expects that 
one such request for a cemetery would be made over the 2007-
2011 period, and estimates that implementing section 201 would 
cost $7 million over that period, subject to appropriation of 
the necessary amounts.
    Small Business Preferences. Section 101 would require VA to 
establish certain annual goals for contracting with small 
businesses owned and controlled by veterans, with preference 
going to those businesses which are owned by veterans with a 
service-connected disability. The bill also would allow VA to 
use noncompetitive procedures for awarding contracts to ensure 
that such annual goals are met.
    Section 101 also would require VA to maintain a database of 
small businesses that are owned and controlled by veterans and 
to verify the businesses' veteran-owned status. In addition, VA 
would be required to verify the disability status of those 
veterans who are listed as having service-connected 
disabilities. According to VA, it already maintains a database 
of small businesses owned and controlled by veterans. VA plans 
to obtain the verifications required under this section by 
requiring veterans who wish to be included on the list to 
submit affidavits of both their service-connected status as 
well as their veteran-owned status. CBO estimates that this 
provision would have an insignificant effect on federal 
spending.
            Direct spending
    H.R. 3082 contains provisions that would increase direct 
spending for veterans burial and readjustment benefits 
programs. CBO estimates that enacting this bill would increase 
direct spending for veterans programs by less than $500,000 in 
2007, by $1 million over the 2007-2011 period, and by $2 
million over the 2007-2016 period.
    Grave Markers. Section 202 would allow VA to provide a 
marker or headstone to be placed on a marked grave or other 
appropriate location in a private cemetery to commemorate a 
veteran's military service for those veterans who were buried 
after November 11, 1990. Under current law, veterans buried in 
a private cemetery are eligible for a second marker or 
headstone only if they were buried after September 11, 2001.
    Section 202 also would indefinitely extend the period 
during which a marker or headstone could be requested. The 
authority for VA to provide government headstones or markers to 
veterans buried in private cemeteries currently expires on 
December 31, 2006.
    Based on VA projections regarding veterans' death rates and 
the number of veterans who will be buried in private 
cemeteries, CBO estimates that about 20,000 requests for 
headstones or markers would be made over the 2007-2016 period. 
The estimate also reflects information from a VA study that 
showed that only 27 percent of private cemeteries allow second 
markers and that less than 5 percent of those eligible would 
participate in this program. According to VA, a marker or 
headstone costs about $92 on average. CBO estimates that this 
provision would result in an increase in spending for burial 
benefits of $1 million over the 2007-2011 period and $2 million 
over the 2007-2016 period.
    Other provisions. The following provisions would have an 
insignificant impact on direct spending:
           Section 203 would provide a VA marker or 
        headstone to memorialize deceased, dependent children 
        of veterans whose remains are unavailable for burial. 
        Veterans and their spouses whose remains are 
        unavailable for burial are eligible for memorialization 
        with a VA marker or headstone under current law. CBO 
        estimates that under this section about 30 requests 
        would be made over the 10-year period. With an average 
        cost of about $92 for each marker, CBO estimates that 
        direct spending for burial benefits would increase by 
        less than $500,000 over the 2007-2016 period.
           Under current law, the VA can compensate 
        certain individuals for specific work-study programs 
        associated with the department, although the 
        authorization for several of the specified programs to 
        hire work-study students would expire in December of 
        2006. Section 402 would extend the authorization for 
        those expiring programs for another six months, through 
        June 2007. Based on information from VA regarding the 
        numbers of participants in the expiring programs, CBO 
        estimates that this provision would increase direct 
        spending by less than $500,000 in 2007.
           Section 404 would extend the period of 
        eligibility for survivors' and dependents' education 
        benefits for those dependents who are members of the 
        National Guard and who are involuntarily ordered to 
        full-time duty under section 502(f) of title 32 of the 
        U.S. Code. (This expanded eligibility would be 
        retroactive to September 11, 2001.) Based on 
        information from VA concerning the number of dependents 
        using education benefits who have been called to active 
        duty with the National Guard, CBO estimates that this 
        provision would increase direct spending by less than 
        $500,000 over the 2007-2016 period.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 3082 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates, as 
defined in UMRA, and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments. The bill would add several new requirements 
for states participating in an employment program for veterans 
and would make tribal governments eligible for a current 
program to establish, expand, or improve veteran cemeteries. 
Any costs to those governments would be incurred as a condition 
of participating in a voluntary federal program.
    Previous CBO estimate: On July 19, 2006, CBO transmitted a 
cost estimate for S. 2694, the Veterans Small Business and 
Memorial Affairs Act of 2006, as ordered reported by the Senate 
Committee on Veterans Affairs on June 22, 2006. Sections 201 
and 203 of S. 2694 are similar to sections 201 and 202 of H.R. 
3038, and the estimated costs are identical.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Burial Benefits: 
Dwayne M. Wright; Readjustment Benefits: Mike Waters; Veterans' 
Employment and Training: Christina Hawley Anthony.
    Impact on State, local, and tribal governments: Melissa 
Merrell; Impact on the private sector: Allison Percy.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                     Statement of Federal Mandates

    The preceding Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost 
estimate states that H.R. 3082, as amended, does not contain 
any intergovernmental and private-sector mandates as defined in 
the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA), Public Law 104-4.

                 Statement of Constitutional Authority

    Pursuant to Article I, section 8 of the United States 
Constitution, the reported bill is authorized by Congress' 
power to ``provide for the common Defense and general Welfare 
of the United States.''

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART II--GENERAL BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 23--BURIAL BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 2306. Headstones, markers, and burial receptacles

  (a) * * *
  (b)(1) * * *
  (2) For purposes of paragraph (1), an eligible individual is 
any of the following:
          (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (C) An eligible dependent child of a veteran.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (4) For purposes of this subsection:
          (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (C) For purposes of this section, the term ``eligible 
        dependent child'' means a child--
                  (i) who is under 21 years of age, or under 23 
                years of age if pursuing a course of 
                instruction at an approved educational 
                institution; or
                  (ii) who is unmarried and became permanently 
                physically or mentally disabled and incapable 
                of self-support before reaching 21 years of 
                age, or before reaching 23 years of age if 
                pursuing a course of instruction at an approved 
                educational institution.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d)(1) The Secretary shall furnish, when requested, an 
appropriate Government headstone or marker at the expense of 
the United States for the grave of an individual described in 
paragraph (2) or (5) of subsection (a) who is buried in a 
private cemetery, notwithstanding that the grave is marked by a 
headstone or marker furnished at private expense. Such a 
headstone or marker may be furnished only if the individual 
making the request for the Government headstone or marker 
certifies to the Secretary that the headstone or marker will be 
placed on the grave for which the headstone or marker is 
requested. If placing the Government headstone or marker on the 
grave for which it is requested is impossible or impracticable, 
a headstone or marker may be furnished if the individual making 
the request for the headstone or marker certifies to the 
Secretary that the headstone or marker will be placed within 
the grounds of the cemetery in which the grave for which the 
headstone or marker is requested and as close as possible or 
practicable to that grave.
  (2) Any headstone or marker furnished under this subsection 
shall be delivered by the Secretary directly to the cemetery 
where the grave is located or to a receiving agent of that 
cemetery.
  [(3) The authority to furnish a marker under this subsection 
expires on December 31, 2006.
  [(4) Not later than February 1, 2006, the Secretary shall 
submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and 
House of Representatives a report on the use of the authority 
under this subsection. The report shall include the following:
          [(A) The rate of use of the benefit under this 
        subsection, shown by fiscal year.
          [(B) An assessment as to the extent to which markers 
        furnished under this subsection are being delivered to 
        cemeteries and placed on grave sites consistent with 
        the provisions of this subsection.
          [(C) The Secretary's recommendation for extension or 
        repeal of the expiration date specified in paragraph 
        (3).]
  (3) The headstone or marker furnished under this subsection 
shall be the headstone or marker selected by the individual 
making the request for the headstone or marker from among all 
the headstones and markers made available by the Government and 
certified as acceptable for placement.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (f)(1) When the Secretary has furnished a headstone or marker 
under subsection (a) for the unmarked grave of an individual, 
the Secretary shall, if feasible, add a memorial inscription to 
that headstone or marker rather than furnishing a separate 
headstone or marker under that subsection for the surviving 
spouse or eligible dependent child of such individual.
  (2) When the Secretary has furnished a memorial headstone or 
marker under subsection (b) for purposes of commemorating a 
veteran or an individual who died in the active military, 
naval, or air service, the Secretary shall, if feasible, add a 
memorial inscription to that headstone or marker rather than 
furnishing a separate memorial headstone or marker under that 
subsection for the surviving spouse or eligible dependent child 
of such individual.
  (g)(1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (3) A headstone or marker may not be furnished under 
subsection (d) for the grave of a person described in section 
2411(b) of this title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 24--NATIONAL CEMETERIES AND MEMORIALS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 2408. Aid to States for establishment, expansion, and improvement 
                    of veterans' cemeteries

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (f)(1) The Secretary may make grants under this subsection to 
any tribal organization to assist the tribal organization in 
establishing, expanding, or improving veterans' cemeteries on 
trust land owned by, or held in trust for, the tribal 
organization.
  (2) Grants under this subsection shall be made in the same 
manner, and under the same conditions, as grants to States are 
made under the preceding provisions of this section.
  (3) In this subsection:
          (A) The term ``tribal organization'' has the meaning 
        given that term in section 3765(4) of this title.
          (B) The term ``trust land'' has the meaning given 
        that term in section 3765(1) of this title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART III--READJUSTMENT AND RELATED BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 34--VETERANS' EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER IV--PAYMENTS TO ELIGIBLE VETERANS; VETERAN-STUDENT SERVICES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3485. Work-study allowance

  (a)(1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (4) For the purposes of this section, the term ``qualifying 
work-study activity'' means any of the following:
          (A) The outreach services program under chapter 63 of 
        this title as carried out under the supervision of a 
        Department employee or, during the period preceding 
        [December 27, 2006] June 30, 2007, outreach services to 
        servicemembers and veterans furnished by employees of a 
        State approving agency.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (C) The provision of hospital and domiciliary care 
        and medical treatment under chapter 17 of this title, 
        including, during the period preceding [December 27, 
        2006] June 30, 2007, the provision of such care to 
        veterans in a State home for which payment is made 
        under section 1741 of this title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (E) In the case of an individual who is receiving 
        educational assistance under chapter 1606 or 1607 of 
        title 10, an activity relating to the administration of 
        that chapter at Department of Defense, Coast Guard, or 
        National Guard facilities.
          (F) During the period preceding [December 27, 2006] 
        June 30, 2007, an activity relating to the 
        administration of a national cemetery or a State 
        veterans' cemetery.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary 
shall, subject to the provisions of subsection (e) of this 
section, utilize, in connection with the activities specified 
in subsection (a)(1) of this section, the service of 
individuals who are pursuing programs of rehabilitation, 
education, or training under chapter 30, 31, 32, or 34 of this 
title or [chapter 106] chapter 1606 or 1607 of title 10, at a 
rate equal to at least three-quarters of that required of a 
full-time student. In carrying out this section, the Secretary, 
wherever feasible, shall give priority to veterans with 
disabilities rated at 30 percent or more for purposes of 
chapter 11 of this title. In the event an individual ceases to 
be at least a three-quarter-time student before completing such 
agreement, the individual may, with the approval of the 
Secretary, be permitted to complete such agreement.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e)(1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, the 
Secretary may, notwithstanding any other provision of law, 
enter into an agreement with an individual under this section, 
or a modification of such an agreement, whereby the individual 
agrees to perform [services of the kind described in clauses 
(A) through (E) of subsection (a)(1) of this section] a 
qualifying work-study activity described in subsection (a)(4) 
and agrees that the Secretary shall, in lieu of paying the 
work-study allowance payable for such services, as provided in 
subsection (a) of this section, deduct the amount of the 
allowance from the amount which the individual has been 
determined to be indebted to the United States by virtue of 
such individual's participation in a benefits program under 
this chapter, chapter 30, 31, 32, 35, or 36 of this title, or 
[chapter 106] chapter 1606 or 1607 of title 10 (other than an 
indebtedness arising from a refund penalty imposed under 
section 2135 of such title).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 35--SURVIVORS' AND DEPENDENTS' EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER II--ELIGIBILITY AND ENTITLEMENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3511. Duration of educational assistance

  (a)(1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (2)(A) * * *
  (B) The payment of the educational assistance allowance 
referred to in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph is the 
payment of such an allowance to an individual for pursuit of a 
course or courses under this chapter if the Secretary finds 
that the individual--
          (i) had to discontinue such course pursuit as a 
        result of being ordered to serve on active duty under 
        section 688, 12301(a), 12301(d), 12301(g), 12302, or 
        12304 of title 10 or of being involuntarily ordered to 
        full-time National Guard duty under section 502(f) of 
        title 32; and

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 36--ADMINISTRATION OF EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER I--STATE APPROVING AGENCIES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3676. Approval of nonaccredited courses

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) The appropriate State approving agency may approve the 
application of such institution when the institution and its 
non-accredited courses are found upon investigation to have met 
the following criteria:
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (13) The institution has and maintains a policy for 
        the refund of the unused portion of tuition, fees, and 
        other charges in the event the eligible person fails to 
        enter the course or withdraws or is discontinued 
        therefrom at any time [prior to completion and such 
        policy must provide that the amount charged to the 
        eligible person for tuition, fees, and other charges 
        for a portion of the course shall not exceed the 
        approximate pro rata portion of the total charges for 
        tuition, fees, and other charges that the length of the 
        completed portion of the course bears to its total 
        length.] before completion and--
                  (A) in the case of an institution other than 
                (i) a Federal, State, or local Government 
                institution or (ii) an institution described in 
                subparagraph (B), such policy provides that the 
                amount charged to the eligible person for 
                tuition, fees, and other charges for a portion 
                of the course shall not exceed the approximate 
                pro rata portion of the total charges for 
                tuition, fees, and other charges that the 
                length of the completed portion of the course 
                bears to its total length; and
                  (B) in the case of an institution that is a 
                nonaccredited public educational institution, 
                the institution has and maintains a refund 
                policy regarding the unused portion of tuition, 
                fees, and other charges that is substantially 
                the same as the refund policy followed by 
                accredited public educational institutions 
                located within the same State as such 
                institution.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    CHAPTER 41--JOB COUNSELING, TRAINING, AND PLACEMENT SERVICE FOR 
                                VETERANS

Sec.
4100.  Findings.
     * * * * * * *
4114.  Demonstration project on credentialing and licensure of veterans.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 4102A. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and 
                    Training; program functions; Regional 
                    Administrators

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) Conditions for Receipt of Funds.--(1) * * *
  (2)(A) A State shall submit to the Secretary an application 
for a grant or contract under subsection (b)(5). The 
application shall contain the following information:
          (i) A plan that describes the manner in which the 
        State shall furnish employment, training, and placement 
        services required under this chapter for the program 
        year, including a description of--
                  (I) duties assigned by the State to disabled 
                veterans' outreach program specialists and 
                local veterans' employment representatives 
                consistent with the requirements of sections 
                4103A and 4104 of this title;
                  (II) the manner in which such specialists and 
                representatives are integrated in the 
                employment service delivery systems in the 
                State; [and]
                  (III) the program of performance incentive 
                awards described in section 4112 of this title 
                in the State for the program year[.];
                  (IV) the professional qualifications used by 
                the State for determining the eligibility for 
                employment, and eligibility for continued 
                employment, of State employees who are 
                designated as disabled veterans' outreach 
                program specialists and local veterans' 
                employment representatives under this chapter; 
                and
                  (V) the training required or provided by the 
                State for State employees who are designated as 
                disabled veterans' outreach program specialists 
                and local veterans' employment representatives 
                under this chapter.
          (ii) The veteran population to be served.
          (iii) For each employee of the State who is 
        designated as disabled veterans' outreach program 
        specialist or a local veterans' employment 
        representative under this chapter--
                  (I) the date on which the employee is so 
                designated; and
                  (II) whether the employee has satisfactorily 
                completed training provided by the National 
                Veterans' Employment and Training Services 
                Institute.
          [(iii)] (iv) Such additional information as the 
        Secretary may require to make a determination with 
        respect to awarding a grant or contract to the State.
  (B)(i) * * *
  [(ii) The Secretary shall phase in over the three fiscal-year 
period that begins on October 1, 2003, the manner in which 
amounts are made available to States under subsection (b)(5) 
and this subsection, as amended by the Jobs for Veterans Act.]
  [(iii)] (ii) In carrying out this paragraph, the Secretary 
may establish minimum funding levels and hold-harmless criteria 
for States.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (6) Each State shall coordinate employment, training, and 
placement services furnished to veterans and eligible persons 
under this chapter with such services furnished with respect to 
such veterans and persons under the Workforce Investment Act of 
1998 (29 U.S.C. 2801 et seq.) and the Wagner-Peyser Act (29 
U.S.C. 49 et seq.).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (8) As a condition of a grant or contract under which funds 
are made available to a State in order to carry out section 
4103A or 4104 of this title, the Secretary shall require the 
State to provide a licensing and certification program under 
which a veteran may receive credit toward a license or 
certification based on training or experience the veteran 
acquired while serving in the Armed Forces.
  (9)(A) As a condition of a grant or contract under which 
funds are made available to a State in order to carry out 
section 4103A or 4104 of this title, the Secretary shall 
require the State to require each employee hired by the State 
who is designated as disabled veterans' outreach program 
specialist or a local veterans' employment representative under 
this chapter to satisfactorily complete training provided by 
the National Veterans' Employment and Training Services 
Institute during the three-year period that begins on the date 
on which the employee is so designated.
  (B) For any employee described in subparagraph (A) who does 
not complete such training during such period, the Secretary 
may reduce by an appropriate amount the amount made available 
to the State employing that employee.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (f) [Establishment of Performance Standards and Outcomes 
Measures.--] Performance Standards and Outcomes Measures._(1) 
The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and 
Training shall [establish and] implement a comprehensive 
performance accountability system to measure the performance of 
employment service delivery systems, including disabled 
veterans' outreach program specialists and local veterans' 
employment representatives providing employment, training, and 
placement services under this chapter in a State to provide 
accountability of that State to the Secretary for purposes of 
subsection (c).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (h) Demonstration Project on Contracting for Placement of 
Veterans in High-Unemployment Areas.--(1) From unobligated 
funds made available for a fiscal year to carry out sections 
4103A and 4104 of this title, the Secretary of Labor, acting 
through the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' 
Employment and Training, may enter into a contract with a 
nongovernmental entity to carry out job placement services for 
veterans during that fiscal year in a locality where the 
unemployment rate for veterans exceeds the national average 
unemployment rate.
  (2) In entering into a contract under paragraph (1), the 
Secretary of Labor may use procedures other than competitive 
procedures.
  (3) In entering into a contract under paragraph (1), the 
Secretary of Labor shall give priority to a small business 
concern owned and controlled by veterans that is listed in any 
small business database maintained by the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs.
  (4) The total amount obligated under contracts entered into 
under paragraph (1) for any fiscal year may not exceed 
$3,000,000.
  (5) The authority to enter into a contract under this 
subsection shall terminate on the date that is five years after 
the date of the enactment of the Veterans Small Business and 
Memorial Affairs Act of 2006.

Sec. 4103A. Disabled veterans' outreach program

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) Part-Time Employees.--A part-time disabled veterans' 
outreach program specialist shall perform the functions of a 
disabled veterans' outreach program specialist under this 
section on a half-time basis.

Sec. 4104. Local veterans' employment representatives

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e) Part-Time Employees.--A part-time local veterans' 
employment representative shall perform the functions of a 
local veterans' employment representative under this section on 
a half-time basis.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 4107. Administrative controls; annual report

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) Not later than February 1 of each year, the Secretary 
shall report to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the 
Senate and the House of Representatives on the success during 
the preceding program year of the Department of Labor and its 
affiliated State employment service agencies in carrying out 
the provisions of this chapter and programs for the provision 
of employment and training services to meet the needs of 
eligible veterans and eligible persons. The report shall 
include--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (3) the number of veterans, disabled veterans, and 
        special disabled veterans who requested training from 
        the public employment service system;
          (4) the total number of eligible veterans 
        participating in each program for the provision of 
        employment and training services designed to meet the 
        needs of eligible veterans and eligible persons and the 
        number of such veterans as a percentage of the total 
        number of participants in each such program;
          (5) for each State, the percentage of persons seeking 
        employment in the State who are veterans;
          (6) for each State, the number of veterans referred 
        to a small business development center in that State 
        and the number of veterans referred to the National 
        Veterans Business Development Corporation established 
        under section 33 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 
        657c);
          (7) the total number of such veterans and disabled 
        veterans who remain employed for at least 90 days in 
        such jobs;
          (8) the number of such veterans and disabled veterans 
        who remain employed for at least 180 days in such jobs;
          (9) the average starting wage or salary paid to such 
        veterans and disabled veterans and, if applicable, the 
        average wage or salary paid to such veterans and 
        disabled veterans as of the 180th day of employment;
          [(3)] (10) any determination made by the Secretary 
        during the preceding fiscal year under section 4106 of 
        this title or subsection (a)(2) of this section and a 
        statement of the reasons for such determination;
          [(4)] (11) a report on activities carried out during 
        the preceding program year under section 4212(d) of 
        this title;
          [(5)] (12) a report on the operation during the 
        preceding program year of programs for the provision of 
        employment and training services designed to meet the 
        needs of eligible veterans and eligible persons, 
        including an evaluation of the effectiveness of such 
        programs during such program year in meeting the 
        requirements of section 4102A(b) of this title, the 
        efficiency with which services were provided through 
        such programs during such year, and such 
        recommendations for further legislative action relating 
        to veterans' employment and training as the Secretary 
        considers appropriate; and
          [(6)] (13) a report on the operation during the 
        preceding program year of the program of performance 
        incentive awards for quality employment services under 
        section 4112 of this title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) The Secretary shall maintain guidelines for use by States 
in establishing the professional qualifications required under 
subclause (IV) of section 4102A(c)(2)(A)(i) of this title for 
determining the eligibility for employment, and eligibility for 
the continued employment, of State employees who are designated 
as disabled veterans' outreach program specialists and local 
veterans' employment representatives under this chapter.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 4110. Advisory Committee on Veterans Employment, Training, and 
                    Employer Outreach

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c)(1) The Secretary of Labor shall appoint at least 12, but 
no more than 15, individuals to serve as members of the 
advisory committee as follows:
          (A) [Six] Seven individuals, one each from among 
        representatives nominated by each of the following 
        organizations:
                  (i) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  (vii) The National Governors Association.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 4112. Performance incentive awards for quality employment, 
                    training, and placement services

  (a) Criteria for Performance Incentive Awards.--(1) For 
purposes of carrying out a program of performance incentive 
awards under section 4102A(c)(2)(A)(i)(III) of this title, the 
Secretary, acting through the Assistant Secretary of Labor for 
Veterans' Employment and Training, shall establish criteria for 
performance incentive awards programs to be administered by 
States to--
          (A) * * *
          (B) recognize eligible employees and employment 
        service offices for excellence in the provision of such 
        services or for having made demonstrable improvements 
        in the provision of such services.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) [Relationship of Award to Grant Program and Employee 
Compensation.--] Administration and Use of Awards._Performance 
incentive cash awards under this section--
          (1) shall be made from amounts allocated from the 
        grant or contract amount for a State for a program year 
        under section 4102A(c)(7) of this title; [and]
          (2) [is] in the case of such an award made to an 
        eligible employee, shall be in addition to the regular 
        pay of the recipient[.]; and
          (3) in the case of such an award made to an 
        employment service office, may be used by that 
        employment service office for any purpose.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 4114. Demonstration project on credentialing and licensure of 
                    veterans

  (a) Establishment and Purpose of Demonstration Project.--The 
Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training shall 
carry out a demonstration project on credentialing in 
accordance with this section for the purpose of facilitating 
the seamless transition of members of the Armed Forces from 
service on active duty to civilian employment.
  (b) Credentialing and Licensure of Veterans.--(1) The 
Assistant Secretary shall select not less than ten military 
occupational specialties for purposes of the demonstration 
project. Each such specialty selected by the Assistant 
Secretary shall require a skill or set of skills that is 
required for civilian employment in an industry with high 
growth or high worker demand.
  (2) The Assistant Secretary shall consult with appropriate 
Federal, State, and industry officials to identify requirements 
for credentials, certifications, and licenses that require a 
skill or set of skills required by a military occupational 
specialty identified under paragraph (1).
  (3) The Assistant Secretary shall analyze the requirements 
identified under paragraph (2) to determine which requirements 
may be satisfied by the skills, training, or experience 
acquired by members of the Armed Forces with the military 
occupational specialties selected under paragraph (1).
  (c) Elimination of Barriers to Credentialing and Licensure.--
The Assistant Secretary shall cooperate with appropriate 
Federal, State, and industry officials to reduce or eliminate 
any barriers to providing a credential, certification, or 
license to a veteran who acquired any skill, training, or 
experience while serving as a member of the Armed Forces with a 
military occupational specialty selected under subsection 
(b)(1) that satisfies the Federal and State requirements for 
the credential, certification, or license.
  (d) Task Force.--The Assistant Secretary may establish a task 
force of individuals with appropriate expertise to provide 
assistance to the Assistant Secretary in carrying out this 
section.
  (e) Consultation.--In carrying out this section, the 
Assistant Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of 
Defense, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, appropriate Federal 
and State officials, private-sector employers, labor 
organizations, and industry trade associations.
  (f) Contract Authority.--For purposes of carrying out any 
part of the demonstration project under this section, the 
Assistant Secretary may enter into a contract with a public or 
private entity with appropriate expertise.
  (g) Period of Project.--The Assistant Secretary shall carry 
out the demonstration project under this section during the 
period beginning on the date that is 60 days after the date of 
the enactment of this section and ending on September 30, 2009.
  (h) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to 
be appropriated to the Assistant Secretary to carry out this 
section $1,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2007 through 2009.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART VI--ACQUISITION AND DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


   CHAPTER 81--ACQUISITION AND OPERATION OF HOSPITAL AND DOMICILIARY 
    FACILITIES; PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY; ENHANCED-USE LEASES OF REAL 
                                PROPERTY


      SUBCHAPTER I--ACQUISITION AND OPERATION OF MEDICAL FACILITIES

Sec.
8101.    Definitions.
     * * * * * * *

                  SUBCHAPTER II--PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY

8121.    Revolving supply fund.
     * * * * * * *
8127.    Small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans; 
          Department contracting goals and preferences.
8128.    Contracting priority for small business concerns owned and 
          controlled by veterans.
     * * * * * * *

                  SUBCHAPTER II--PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY

     * * * * * * *

Sec. 8127. Small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans; 
                    Department contracting goals and preferences

  (a) Contracting Goals.--(1) In order to increase contracting 
opportunities for small business concerns owned and controlled 
by veterans and small business concerns owned and controlled by 
veterans with service-connected disabilities, the Secretary 
shall--
          (A) establish a goal for each fiscal year for 
        participation in Department contracts (including 
        subcontracts) by small business concerns owned and 
        controlled by veterans who are not veterans with 
        service-connected disabilities in accordance with 
        paragraph (2); and
          (B) establish a goal for each fiscal year for 
        participation in Department contracts (including 
        subcontracts) by small business concerns owned and 
        controlled by veterans with service-connected 
        disabilities in accordance with paragraph (3).
  (2) The goal for a fiscal year for participation under 
paragraph (1)(A) shall be determined by the Secretary.
  (3) The goal for a fiscal year for participation under 
paragraph (1)(B) shall be not less than the Government-wide 
goal for that fiscal year for participation by small business 
concerns owned and controlled by veterans with service-
connected disabilities under section 15(g)(1) of the Small 
Business Act (15 U.S.C. 644(g)(1)).
  (4) The annual performance review of the senior official of 
each Administration of the Department and each Assistant 
Secretary of the Department with procurement authority shall 
include an assessment of whether or not that official or 
Assistant Secretary met the contracting goals established 
pursuant to this subsection during the year for which the 
performance review is conducted with respect to contracts 
awarded during that year for which that official or Assistant 
Secretary had responsibility. If the official or Assistant 
Secretary is found not to have met such contracting goals, the 
official or Assistant Secretary shall not receive an award 
known as a performance award or an award known as a 
presidential rank award for that year.
  (5) In the case of a subcontract of a Department contract 
that is counted for purposes of meeting a goal established 
pursuant to this section, the Secretary shall conduct a review 
of the contract and subcontract to verify that the subcontract 
was actually awarded to a business concern that may be counted 
for purposes of meeting that goal.
  (6) The Secretary shall maintain a list based on the reviews 
conducted under paragraph (5) that contains the name of the 
contractor associated with each contract reviewed under that 
paragraph and whether each subcontract awarded by the 
contractor that is counted for purposes of meeting a goal 
established pursuant to this section was actually awarded to 
and performed by a business concern that may be counted for 
purposes of meeting that goal. The Secretary shall make such 
list publicly available.
  (b) Use of Noncompetitive Procedures for Certain Small 
Contracts.--For purposes of meeting the goals under subsection 
(a), and in accordance with this section, in entering into a 
contract with a small business concern owned and controlled by 
veterans for an amount less than the simplified acquisition 
threshold (as defined in section 4 of the Office of Federal 
Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 403)), a contracting officer 
of the Department may use procedures other than competitive 
procedures.
  (c) Sole Source Contracts for Contracts Above Simplified 
Acquisition Threshold.--For purposes of meeting the goals under 
subsection (a), and in accordance with this section, a 
contracting officer of the Department may award a contract to a 
small business concern owned and controlled by veterans using 
procedures other than competitive procedures if--
          (1) such concern is determined to be a responsible 
        source with respect to performance of such contract 
        opportunity;
          (2) the anticipated award price of the contract 
        (including options) will exceed the simplified 
        acquisition threshold (as defined in section 4 of the 
        Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 
        403)) but will not exceed $5,000,000; and
          (3) in the estimation of the contracting officer, the 
        contract award can be made at a fair and reasonable 
        price that offers best value to the United States.
  (d) Use of Restricted Competition.--Except as provided in 
subsections (b) and (c), for purposes of meeting the goals 
under subsection (a), and in accordance with this section, a 
contracting officer of the Department shall award contracts on 
the basis of competition restricted to small business concerns 
owned and controlled by veterans if the contracting officer has 
a reasonable expectation that two or more small business 
concerns owned and controlled by veterans will submit offers 
and that the award can be made at a fair and reasonable price 
that offers best value to the United States.
  (e) Eligibility of Small Business Concerns.--A small business 
concern may be awarded a contract under this section only if 
the small business concern and the veteran owner of the small 
business concern are listed in the database of veteran-owned 
businesses maintained by the Secretary under subsection (f).
  (f) Database of Veteran-Owned Businesses.--(1) Subject to 
paragraphs (2) through (6), the Secretary shall maintain a 
database of small business concerns owned and controlled by 
veterans and the veteran owners of such business concerns.
  (2) To be eligible for inclusion in the database, such a 
veteran shall submit to the Secretary such information as the 
Secretary may require with respect to the small business 
concern or the veteran.
  (3) Information maintained in the database shall be submitted 
on a voluntary basis by such veterans.
  (4) In maintaining the database, the Secretary shall carry 
out at least the following two verification functions:
          (A) Verification that each small business concern 
        listed in the database is owned and controlled by 
        veterans.
          (B) In the case of a veteran who indicates a service-
        connected disability, verification of the service-
        disabled status of such veteran.
  (5) The Secretary shall make the database available to all 
Federal departments and agencies and notify each such 
department and agency of the availability of the database.
  (6) If the Secretary determines that the public dissemination 
of certain types of information maintained in the database is 
inappropriate, the Secretary shall take such steps as are 
necessary to maintain such types of information in a secure and 
confidential manner.
  (g) Enforcement Penalties for Misrepresentation.--Any small 
business concern that is determined by the Secretary to have 
misrepresented the status of that concern as a small business 
concern owned and controlled by veterans or as a small business 
concern owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans for 
purposes of this subsection shall be debarred from contracting 
with the Department for a period of five years.
  (h) Treatment of Businesses After Death of Veteran-Owner.--
(1) If the death of a veteran causes a small business concern 
to be less than 51 percent owned by one or more veterans, the 
surviving spouse of such veteran who acquires ownership rights 
in such small business concern shall, for the period described 
in paragraph (2), be treated as if the surviving spouse were 
that veteran for the purpose of maintaining the status of the 
small business concern as a small business concern owned and 
controlled by veterans.
  (2) The period referred to in paragraph (1) is the period 
beginning on the date on which the veteran dies and ending on 
the earliest of the following dates:
          (A) The date on which the surviving spouse remarries.
          (B) The date on which the surviving spouse 
        relinquishes an ownership interest in the small 
        business concern.
          (C) The date that is ten years after the date of the 
        veteran's death.
  (3) The death of a veteran-owner of a small business concern 
or a surviving spouse of such a veteran-owner who acquires 
ownership rights in such concern shall not be cause for 
termination of a contract awarded under this section that is in 
effect at the time of death of such owner or surviving spouse.
  (i) Change in Ownership or Control.--(1) Except as provided 
in subsection (h), if a small business concern that is awarded 
a contract under this section undergoes a change in management 
or control during the period for which the contract is in 
effect such that it is no longer a small business concern owned 
and controlled by veterans, the Secretary shall end the 
contract on the date on which the performance of the term of 
the contract is complete.
  (2) Such a contract that contains an option or options to 
extend the contract may be extended for a total of not more 
than 1 year pursuant to any such option.
  (j) Priority for Contracting Preferences.--Preferences for 
awarding contracts to small business concerns shall be applied 
in the following order of priority:
          (1) Contracts awarded pursuant to subsection (b), 
        (c), or (d) to small business concerns owned and 
        controlled by veterans with service-connected 
        disabilities.
          (2) Contracts awarded pursuant to subsection (b), 
        (c), or (d) to small business concerns owned and 
        controlled by veterans that are not covered by 
        subparagraph (A).
          (3) Contracts awarded pursuant to--
                  (A) section 8(a) of the Small Business Act 
                (15 U.S.C. 637(a)); or
                  (B) section 31 of such Act (15 U.S.C. 657a).
  (4) Contracts awarded pursuant to any other small business 
contracting preference.
  (k) Quarterly Reports.--Not later than 60 days after the last 
day of a fiscal quarter, the Secretary shall submit to Congress 
a report on small business contracting during that fiscal 
quarter, which shall include the following:
          (1) The percentage of the total amount of all 
        contracts awarded by the Department during that fiscal 
        quarter that were awarded to small business concerns 
        owned and controlled by veterans.
          (2) The percentage of the total amount of all such 
        contracts awarded to small business concerns owned and 
        controlled by veterans with service-connected 
        disabilities.
          (3) The percentage of the total amount of all 
        contracts awarded by each Administration of the 
        Department during that fiscal quarter that were awarded 
        to small business concerns owned and controlled by 
        veterans.
          (4) The percentage of the total amount of all 
        contracts awarded by each such Administration during 
        that fiscal quarter that were awarded to small business 
        concerns owned and controlled by veterans.
  (l) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) The term ``small business concern'' has the 
        meaning given that term under section 3 of the Small 
        Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632).
          (2) The term ``small business concern owned and 
        controlled by veterans'' means a small business 
        concern--
                  (A)(i) not less than 51 percent of which is 
                owned by one or more veterans or, in the case 
                of a publicly owned business, not less than 51 
                percent of the stock of which is owned by one 
                or more veterans; and
                  (ii) the management and daily business 
                operations of which are controlled by one or 
                more veterans; or
                  (B) not less than 51 percent of which is 
                owned by one or more veterans with service-
                connected disabilities that are permanent and 
                total who are unable to manage the daily 
                business operations of such concern or, in the 
                case of a publicly owned business, not less 
                than 51 percent of the stock of which is owned 
                by one or more such veterans.

Sec. 8128. Contracting priority for small business concerns owned and 
                    controlled by veterans

  (a) In General.--In procuring goods and services pursuant to 
a contracting preference under this title or any other 
provision of law, the Secretary shall give priority to a small 
business concern owned and controlled by veterans, if such 
business concern also meets the requirements of that 
contracting preference.
  (b) Definition.--The term ``small business concern owned and 
controlled by veterans'' means a small business concern that is 
on the list maintained by the Secretary under section 8127(f) 
of this title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


  SECTION 502 OF THE VETERANS EDUCATION AND BENEFITS EXPANSION ACT OF 
                                  2001

SEC. 502. GOVERNMENT MARKERS FOR MARKED GRAVES AT PRIVATE CEMETERIES.

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsections (a) 
and (b) shall apply with respect to markers for the graves of 
individuals dying on or after [September 11, 2001] November 1, 
1990.