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113th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    113-207

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



 
               VETERANS ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ACT OF 2013

                                _______
                                

 September 11, 2013.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Miller of Florida, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2481]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 2481) to amend title 38, United States Code, to 
codify and improve the election requirements for the receipt of 
educational assistance under the Post-9/11 Educational 
Assistance program of the Department of Veterans Affairs, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon with 
amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Amendment........................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................    10
Background and Need for Legislation..............................    11
Hearings.........................................................    17
Subcommittee Consideration.......................................    18
Committee Consideration..........................................    18
Committee Votes..................................................    18
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................    19
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............    19
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures    19
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits.............................    19
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................    19
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................    19
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................    27
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................    27
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................    28
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................    28
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................    28
Disclosure of Directed Rule Making...............................    28
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................    28
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............    32

                               Amendment

    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 Economic 
Opportunity Act of 2013''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. References to title 38, United States Code.
Sec. 3. Scoring of budgetary effects.
Sec. 4. Establishment of Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration 
of Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 5. Under Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity.
Sec. 6. Five-year extension of homeless veterans reintegration 
programs.
Sec. 7. Entitlement of children of certain deceased veterans to 
educational assistance under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance 
Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 8. Recodification and improvement of election process for Post-9/
11 Educational Assistance Program.
Sec. 9. Centralized reporting of veteran enrollment by certain groups, 
districts, and consortiums of educational institutions.
Sec. 10. Extension of loan guaranty fee for certain subsequent loans.
Sec. 11. Mortgage protection for members of the Armed Forces, surviving 
spouses, and certain veterans.
Sec. 12. Treatment of relocation for active duty for purposes of 
mortgage refinancing.
Sec. 13. Requirements for lending institutions that are creditors for 
obligations and liabilities covered by the Servicemembers Civil Relief 
Act.
Sec. 14. Protection of child custody arrangements for parents who are 
members of the Armed Forces.

SEC. 2. REFERENCES TO TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE.

  Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this Act an 
amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to , or 
repeal of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be 
considered to be made to a section or other provision of title 38 , 
United States Code.

SEC. 3. SCORING OF BUDGETARY EFFECTS.

  The budgetary effects of this Act, for the purpose of complying with 
the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, shall be determined by 
reference to the latest statement titled ``Budgetary Effects of PAYGO 
Legislation'' for this Act, submitted for printing in the Congressional 
Record by the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, provided that 
such statement has been submitted prior to the vote on passage.

SEC. 4. ESTABLISHMENT OF VETERANS ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ADMINISTRATION 
                    OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

  (a) Economic Opportunity Administration.--
          (1) In general.--Part V is amended by adding at the end the 
        following new chapter:

       ``CHAPTER 80--VETERANS ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ADMINISTRATION

``8001. Organization of Administration.
``8002. Functions of Administration.

``Sec. 8001. Organization of Administration

  ``(a) Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration.--There is in the 
Department of Veterans Affairs a Veterans Economic Opportunity 
Administration. The primary function of the Veterans Economic 
Opportunity Administration is the administration of the programs of the 
Department which provide assistance related to economic opportunity to 
veterans and their dependents and survivors.
  ``(b) Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity.--The Veterans 
Economic Opportunity Administration is under the Under Secretary for 
Veterans Economic Opportunity, who is directly responsible to the 
Secretary for the operations of the Administration.

``Sec. 8002. Functions of Administration

  ``The Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration is responsible for 
the administration of the following programs of the Department:
          ``(1) Vocational rehabilitation and employment programs.
          ``(2) Educational assistance programs.
          ``(3) Veterans' housing loan and related programs.
          ``(4) The veterans small business program under section 8127 
        of this title.''.
          (2) Clerical amendments.--The tables of chapters at the 
        beginning of title 38, United States Code, and of part V of 
        title 38, United States Code, are each amended by inserting 
        after the item relating to chapter 79 the following new item:

``80. Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration..........    8001''.

  (b) Effective Date.--Chapter 80 of title 38, United States Code, as 
added by subsection (a) shall take effect on October 1, 2014.

SEC. 5. UNDER SECRETARY FOR VETERANS ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY.

  (a) Under Secretary.--
          (1) In general.--Chapter 3 is amended by inserting after 
        section 306 the following new section:

``Sec. 306A. Under Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity

  ``(a) Under Secretary.--There is in the Department an Under Secretary 
for Veterans Economic Opportunity, who is appointed by the President, 
by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Under Secretary 
for Veterans Economic Opportunity shall be appointed without regard to 
political affiliation or activity and solely on the basis of 
demonstrated ability in--
          ``(1) information technology; and
          ``(2) the administration of programs within the Veterans 
        Economic Opportunity Administration or programs of similar 
        content and scope.
  ``(b) Responsibilities.--The Under Secretary for Veterans Economic 
Opportunity is the head of, and is directly responsible to the 
Secretary for the operations of, the Veterans Economic Opportunity 
Administration.
  ``(c) Vacancies.--(1) Whenever a vacancy in the position of Under 
Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity occurs or is anticipated, 
the Secretary shall establish a commission to recommend individuals to 
the President for appointment to the position.
  ``(2) A commission established under this subsection shall be 
composed of the following members appointed by the Secretary:
          ``(A) Three persons representing education and training, 
        vocational rehabilitation, employment, real estate, mortgage 
        finance and related industries, and survivor benefits 
        activities affected by the Veterans Economic Opportunity 
        Administration.
          ``(B) Two persons representing veterans served by the 
        Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration.
          ``(C) Two persons who have experience in the management of 
        private sector benefits programs of similar content and scope 
        to the economic opportunity programs of the Department.
          ``(D) The Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
          ``(E) The chairman of the Veterans' Advisory Committee on 
        Education formed under section 3692 of this title.
          ``(F) One person who has held the position of Under Secretary 
        for Veterans Economic Opportunity, if the Secretary determines 
        that it is desirable for such person to be a member of the 
        commission.
  ``(3) A commission established under this subsection shall recommend 
at least three individuals for appointment to the position of Under 
Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity. The commission shall 
submit all recommendations to the Secretary. The Secretary shall 
forward the recommendations to the President and the Committees on 
Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives with any 
comments the Secretary considers appropriate. Thereafter, the President 
may request the commission to recommend additional individuals for 
appointment.
  ``(4) The Assistant Secretary or Deputy Assistant Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs who performs personnel management and labor relations 
functions shall serve as the executive secretary of a commission 
established under this subsection.
  ``(d) Qualifications of Recommended Individuals.--Each individual 
recommended to the President by the commission for appointment to the 
position of Under Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity shall be 
an individual who has held a senior level position in the private 
sector with responsibilities relating to at least one of the following:
          ``(1) Education policy.
          ``(2) Vocational rehabilitation.
          ``(3) Employment.
          ``(4) Home loan finance.
          ``(5) Small business development.''.
          (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the 
        item relating to section 306 the following new item:

``306A. Under Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity.''.

  (b) Conforming Amendments.--Title 38, United States Code, is further 
amended--
          (1) in section 306(c)(2), by striking subparagraphs (A) and 
        (E) and redesignating subparagraphs (B), (C), (D), and (F), as 
        subparagraphs (A) through (D), respectively;
          (2) in section 317(d), by inserting after ``Under Secretary 
        for Benefits,'' the following: ``the Under Secretary for 
        Veterans Economic Opportunity,'';
          (3) in section 318(d)(2), by inserting after ``Under 
        Secretary for Benefits,'' the following: ``the Under Secretary 
        for Veterans Economic Opportunity,'';
          (4) in section 516(e)(2)(C), by striking ``Health and the 
        Under Secretary for Benefits'' and inserting ``Health, the 
        Under Secretary for Benefits, and the Under Secretary for 
        Veterans Economic Opportunity'';
          (5) in section 541(a)(2)(B), by striking ``Health and the 
        Under Secretary for Benefits'' and inserting ``Health, the 
        Under Secretary for Benefits, and the Under Secretary for 
        Veterans Economic Opportunity'';
          (6) in section 542(a)(2)(B)(iii), by striking ``Health and 
        the Under Secretary for Benefits'' and inserting ``Health, the 
        Under Secretary for Benefits, and the Under Secretary for 
        Veterans Economic Opportunity'';
          (7) in section 544(a)(2)(B)(vi), by striking ``Health and the 
        Under Secretary for Benefits'' and inserting ``Health, the 
        Under Secretary for Benefits, and the Under Secretary for 
        Veterans Economic Opportunity'';
          (8) in section 709(c)(2)(A), by inserting after ``Under 
        Secretary for Benefits,'' the following: ``the Under Secretary 
        for Veterans Economic Opportunity,''.
          (9) in section 7701(a), by inserting after ``assistance'' the 
        following: ``, other than assistance related to economic 
        opportunity,''; and
          (10) in section 7703, by striking paragraphs (2) and (3) and 
        redesignating paragraphs (4) and (5) as paragraphs (2) and (3), 
        respectively.
  (c) Full-Time Employees.--For fiscal years 2014 and 2015, the 
aggregate number of full-time equivalent employees authorized for the 
Veterans Benefit Administration and the Veterans Economic Opportunity 
Administration, as established under chapter 80 of title 38, United 
States Code, as added by section 2, may not exceed 20,851.
  (d) Effective Date.--Section 306A of title 38, United States Code, as 
added by subsection (a), and the amendments made by this section, shall 
take effect on October 1, 2014.

SEC. 6. FIVE-YEAR EXTENSION OF HOMELESS VETERANS REINTEGRATION 
                    PROGRAMS.

  Section 2021(e)(F) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by 
striking ``2013'' and inserting ``2018''.

SEC. 7. ENTITLEMENT OF CHILDREN OF CERTAIN DECEASED VETERANS TO 
                    EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE UNDER THE POST-9/11 
                    EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM OF THE DEPARTMENT OF 
                    VETERANS AFFAIRS.

  (a) In General.--Section 3311(b)(9) is amended--
          (1) by striking ``2001, dies in line of duty while serving on 
        active duty as a member of the Armed Forces.'' and inserting 
        ``2001--''; and
          (2) by adding at the end the following new subparagraphs:
                  ``(A) dies in line of duty while serving on active 
                duty as a member of the Armed Forces; or
                  ``(B) is awarded the Purple Heart for an injury and 
                dies as a result of that injury during the 31-day 
                period beginning on the date of the person's discharge 
                or release from active duty service in the Armed 
                Forces.''.
  (b) Applicability.--The amendments made by subsection (a) shall apply 
with respect to a person who dies on or after September 11, 2001.
  (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsection (a) shall take 
effect on October 1, 2014, and apply to payments of educational 
assistance for programs of education pursued after that date.

SEC. 8. RECODIFICATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF ELECTION PROCESS FOR POST-9/
                    11 EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

  (a) In General.--Subchapter III of chapter 33 is amended by adding at 
the end the following new section:

``Sec. 3326. Election to receive educational assistance

  ``(a) Individuals Eligible To Elect Participation in Post-9/11 
Educational Assistance.--An individual may elect to receive educational 
assistance under this chapter if such individual--
          ``(1) as of August 1, 2009--
                  ``(A) is entitled to basic educational assistance 
                under chapter 30 of the title and has used, but retains 
                unused, entitlement under that chapter;
                  ``(B) is entitled to educational assistance under 
                chapter 107, 1606, or 1607 of title 10 and has used, 
                but retains unused, entitlement under the applicable 
                chapter;
                  ``(C) is entitled to basic educational assistance 
                under chapter 30 of this title but has not used any 
                entitlement under that chapter;
                  ``(D) is entitled to educational assistance under 
                chapter 107, 1606, or 1607 of title 10 but has not used 
                any entitlement under such chapter;
                  ``(E) is a member of the Armed Forces who is eligible 
                for receipt of basic educational assistance under 
                chapter 30 this title and is making contributions 
                toward such assistance under section 3011(b) or 3012(c) 
                of this title; or
                  ``(F) is a member of the Armed Forces who is not 
                entitled to basic educational assistance under chapter 
                30 of this title by reason of an election under section 
                3011(c)(1) or 3012(d)(1) of this title; and
          ``(2) as of the date of the individual's election under this 
        paragraph, meets the requirements for entitlement to 
        educational assistance under this chapter.
  ``(b) Cessation of Contributions Toward GI Bill.--Effective as of the 
first month beginning on or after the date of an election under 
subsection (a) of an individual described by paragraph (1)(E) of that 
subsection, the obligation of the individual to make contributions 
under section 3011(b) or 3012(c) of this title, as applicable, shall 
cease, and the requirements of such section shall be deemed to be no 
longer applicable to the individual.
  ``(c) Revocation of Remaining Transferred Entitlement.--
          ``(1) Election to revoke.--If, on the date an individual 
        described in paragraph (1)(A) or (1)(C) of subsection (a) makes 
        an election under that subsection, a transfer of the 
        entitlement of the individual to basic educational assistance 
        under section 3020 of this title is in effect and a number of 
        months of the entitlement so transferred remain unutilized, the 
        individual may elect to revoke all or a portion of the 
        entitlement so transferred that remains unutilized.
          ``(2) Availability of revoked entitlement.--Any entitlement 
        revoked by an individual under this paragraph shall no longer 
        be available to the dependent to whom transferred, but shall be 
        available to the individual instead for educational assistance 
        under chapter 33 of this title in accordance with the 
        provisions of this section.
          ``(3) Availability of unrevoked entitlement.--Any entitlement 
        described in paragraph (1) that is not revoked by an individual 
        in accordance with that paragraph shall remain available to the 
        dependent or dependents concerned in accordance with the 
        current transfer of such entitlement under section 3020 of this 
        title.
  ``(d) Post-9/11 Educational Assistance.--
          ``(1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2) and except as 
        provided in subsection (e), an individual making an election 
        under subsection (a) shall be entitled to educational 
        assistance under this chapter in accordance with the provisions 
        of this chapter, instead of basic educational assistance under 
        chapter 30 this title, or educational assistance under chapter 
        107, 1606, or 1607 of title 10, as applicable.
          ``(2) Limitation on entitlement for certain individuals.--In 
        the case of an individual making an election under subsection 
        (a) who is described by paragraph (1)(A) of that subsection, 
        the number of months of entitlement of the individual to 
        educational assistance under this chapter 33 shall be the 
        number of months equal to--
                  ``(A) the number of months of unused entitlement of 
                the individual under chapter 30 of this title, as of 
                the date of the election, plus
                  ``(B) the number of months, if any, of entitlement 
                revoked by the individual under subsection (c)(1).
  ``(e) Continuing Entitlement to Educational Assistance Not Available 
Under 9/11 Assistance Program.--
          ``(1) In general.--In the event educational assistance to 
        which an individual making an election under subsection (a) 
        would be entitled under chapter 30 of this title, or chapter 
        107, 1606, or 1607 of title 10, as applicable, is not 
        authorized to be available to the individual under the 
        provisions of this chapter the individual shall remain entitled 
        to such educational assistance in accordance with the 
        provisions of the applicable chapter.
          ``(2) Charge for use of entitlement.--The utilization by an 
        individual of entitlement under paragraph (1) shall be 
        chargeable against the entitlement of the individual to 
        educational assistance under this chapter at the rate of one 
        month of entitlement under this chapter for each month of 
        entitlement utilized by the individual under paragraph (1) (as 
        determined as if such entitlement were utilized under the 
        provisions of chapter 30 of this title, or chapter 107, 1606, 
        or 1607 of title 10, as applicable).
  ``(f) Additional Post-9/11 Assistance for Members Having Made 
Contributions Toward GI Bill.--
          ``(1) Additional assistance.--In the case of an individual 
        making an election under subsection (a) who is described by 
        subparagraph (A), (C), or (E) of paragraph (1) of that 
        subsection, the amount of educational assistance payable to the 
        individual under this chapter 33 as a monthly stipend payable 
        under paragraph (1)(B) of section 3313(c) of this title, or 
        under paragraphs (2) through (7) of that section (as 
        applicable), shall be the amount otherwise payable as a monthly 
        stipend under the applicable paragraph increased by the amount 
        equal to--
                  ``(A) the total amount of contributions toward basic 
                educational assistance made by the individual under 
                section 3011(b) or 3012(c) of this title, as of the 
                date of the election, multiplied by
                  ``(B) the fraction--
                          ``(i) the numerator of which is--
                                  ``(I) the number of months of 
                                entitlement to basic educational 
                                assistance under chapter 30 of this 
                                title remaining to the individual at 
                                the time of the election; plus
                                  ``(II) the number of months, if any, 
                                of entitlement under such chapter 30 
                                revoked by the individual under 
                                subsection (c)(1); and
                          ``(ii) the denominator of which is 36 months.
          ``(2) Months of remaining entitlement for certain 
        individuals.--In the case of an individual covered by paragraph 
        (1) who is described by subsection (a)(1)(E), the number of 
        months of entitlement to basic educational assistance remaining 
        to the individual for purposes of paragraph (1)(B)(i)(II) shall 
        be 36 months.
          ``(3) Timing of payment.--The amount payable with respect to 
        an individual under paragraph (1) shall be paid to the 
        individual together with the last payment of the monthly 
        stipend payable to the individual under paragraph (1)(B) of 
        section 3313(c) of this title, or under subsections (b) through 
        (g) of that section (as applicable), before the exhaustion of 
        the individual's entitlement to educational assistance under 
        this chapter.
  ``(g) Continuing Entitlement to Additional Assistance for Critical 
Skills or Speciality and Additional Service.--An individual making an 
election under subsection (a)(1) who, at the time of the election, is 
entitled to increased educational assistance under section 3015(d) of 
this title, or section 16131(i) of title 10, or supplemental 
educational assistance under subchapter III of chapter 30 of this 
title, shall remain entitled to such increased educational assistance 
or supplemental educational assistance in the utilization of 
entitlement to educational assistance under this chapter, in an amount 
equal to the quarter, semester, or term, as applicable, equivalent of 
the monthly amount of such increased educational assistance or 
supplemental educational assistance payable with respect to the 
individual at the time of the election.
  ``(h) Alternative Election by Secretary.--
          ``(1) In general.--In the case of an individual who, on or 
        after October 1, 2014, submits to the Secretary an election 
        under this section that the Secretary determines is clearly 
        against the interests of the individual, the Secretary may make 
        an alternative election on behalf of the individual that the 
        Secretary determines is in the best interests of the 
        individual.
          ``(2) Notice.--If the Secretary makes an election on behalf 
        of an individual under this subsection, the Secretary shall 
        notify the individual by not later than seven days after making 
        such election and shall provide the individual with a 30-day 
        period, beginning on the date of the individual's receipt of 
        such notice, during which the individual may modify or revoke 
        the election made by the Secretary on the individual's behalf. 
        The Secretary shall include, as part of such notice, a clear 
        statement of why the alternative election made by the Secretary 
        is in the best interests of the individual as compared to the 
        election submitted by the individual. The Secretary shall 
        provide the notice required under this paragraph by electronic 
        means whenever possible.
  ``(i) Irrevocability of Elections.--An election under subsection (a) 
or (c)(1) is irrevocable.''.
  (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

``3326. Election to receive educational assistance.''.

  (c) Conforming Repeal.--Subsection (c) of section 5003 of the Post-9/
11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-252; 38 
U.S.C. 3301 note) is hereby repealed.

SEC. 9. CENTRALIZED REPORTING OF VETERAN ENROLLMENT BY CERTAIN GROUPS, 
                    DISTRICTS, AND CONSORTIUMS OF EDUCATIONAL 
                    INSTITUTIONS.

  (a) In General.--Section 3684(a) is amended--
          (1) in paragraph (1), by inserting ``32, 33,'' after ``31,''; 
        and
          (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
  ``(4) For purposes of this subsection, the term `educational 
institution' may include a group, district, or consortium of separately 
accredited educational institutions located in the same State that are 
organized in a manner that facilitates the centralized reporting of the 
enrollments in such group, district, or consortium of institutions.''.
  (b) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsection (a) shall 
apply with respect to reports submitted on or after the date of the 
enactment of this Act.

SEC. 10. EXTENSION OF LOAN GUARANTY FEE FOR CERTAIN SUBSEQUENT LOANS.

  (a) Extension.--Section 3729(b)(2)(B) is amended--
          (1) in clause (i), by striking ``October 1, 2017'' and 
        inserting ``October 1, 2018''; and
          (2) in clause (ii), by striking ``October 1, 2017'' and 
        inserting ``October 1, 2018''.

SEC. 11. MORTGAGE PROTECTION FOR MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES, SURVIVING 
                    SPOUSES, AND CERTAIN VETERANS.

  (a) Members of the Armed Forces, Surviving Spouses, and Certain 
Disabled Veterans.--
          (1) In general.--Title III of the Servicemembers Civil Relief 
        Act (50 U.S.C. App. 501 et seq.) is amended by inserting after 
        section 303 the following new section:

``SEC. 303A. MORTGAGES AND TRUST DEEDS OF CERTAIN SERVICEMEMBERS, 
                    SURVIVING SPOUSES, AND DISABLED VETERANS.

  ``(a) Mortgage as Security.--This section applies only to an 
obligation on real or personal property owned by a covered individual 
that--
          ``(1) originated at any time and for which the covered 
        individual is still obligated; and
          ``(2) is secured by a mortgage, trust deed, or other security 
        in the nature of a mortgage.
  ``(b) Stay of Proceedings.--
          ``(1) In general.--In accordance with subsection (d)(1), in a 
        judicial action pending or in a nonjudicial action commenced 
        during a covered time period to enforce an obligation described 
        in subsection (a), a court--
                  ``(A) may, after a hearing and on its own motion, 
                stay the proceedings until the end of the covered time 
                period; and
                  ``(B) shall, upon application by a covered 
                individual, stay the proceedings until the end of the 
                covered time period.
          ``(2) Obligation to stop proceedings.--Upon receipt of notice 
        provided under subsection (d)(1), a mortgagee, trustee, or 
        other creditor seeking to foreclose on real property secured by 
        an obligation covered by this section using any judicial or 
        nonjudicial proceedings shall immediately stop any such 
        proceeding until the end of the covered time period.
  ``(c) Sale or Foreclosure.--A sale, judicial or nonjudicial 
foreclosure, or seizure of property for a breach of an obligation 
described in subsection (a) that is not stayed under subsection (b) 
shall not be valid during a covered time period except--
          ``(1) upon a court order granted before such sale, judicial 
        or nonjudicial foreclosure, or seizure with a return made and 
        approved by the court; or
          ``(2) if made pursuant to an agreement as provided in section 
        107.
  ``(d) Notice Required.--
          ``(1) In general.--To be covered under this section, a 
        covered individual shall provide to the mortgagee, trustee, or 
        other creditor written notice that such individual is so 
        covered.
          ``(2) Manner.--Written notice under paragraph (1) may be 
        provided electronically.
          ``(3) Time.--Notice provided under paragraph (1) shall be 
        provided during the covered time period.
          ``(4) Contents.--With respect to a servicemember described in 
        subsection (g)(1)(A), notice shall include--
                  ``(A) a copy of the servicemember's official military 
                orders, or any notification, certification, or 
                verification from a servicemember's commanding officer 
                that provides evidence of servicemember's eligibility 
                for special pay as described in subsection (g)(1)(A); 
                or
                  ``(B) an official notice using a form designed under 
                paragraph (5).
          ``(5) Official forms.--
                  ``(A) In general.--The Secretary of Defense shall 
                design and distribute an official Department of Defense 
                form that can be used by an individual to give notice 
                under paragraph (1).
                  ``(B) Use of official form not required.--Failure by 
                any individual to use a form designed or distributed 
                under subparagraph (A) to provide notice shall not make 
                such provision of notice invalid.
  ``(e) Aggregate Duration.--The aggregate duration for which a covered 
individual (except a servicemember described in subsection (g)(1)(A)) 
may be covered under this section is one year.
  ``(f) Misdemeanor.--A person who knowingly makes or causes to be made 
a sale, foreclosure, or seizure of property that is prohibited by 
subsection (c), or who knowingly attempts to do so, shall be fined as 
provided in title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more 
than one year, or both.
  ``(g) Definitions.--In this section:
          ``(1) Covered individual.--The term `covered individual' 
        means the following individuals:
                  ``(A) A servicemember who is or was eligible for 
                hostile fire or imminent danger special pay under 
                section 310 of title 37, United States Code, during a 
                period of military service.
                  ``(B) A servicemember placed on convalescent status, 
                including a servicemember transferred to the temporary 
                disability retired list under section 1202 or 1205 of 
                title 10, United States Code.
                  ``(C) A veteran who was medically discharged and 
                retired under chapter 61 of title 10, United States 
                Code, except for a veteran described in section 1207 of 
                such title.
                  ``(D) A surviving spouse (as defined in section 
                101(3) of title 38, United States Code, and in 
                accordance with section 103 of such title) of a 
                servicemember who died while in military service if 
                such spouse is the successor in interest to property 
                covered under subsection (a).
          ``(2) Covered time period.--The term `covered time period' 
        means the following time periods:
                  ``(A) With respect to a servicemember who is or was 
                eligible for hostile fire or imminent danger special 
                pay under section 310 of title 37, United States Code, 
                during a period of military service, during the period 
                beginning on the first day on which the servicemember 
                is or was eligible for such special pay during such 
                period of military service and ending on the date that 
                is one year after the last day of such period of 
                military service.
                  ``(B) With respect to a servicemember described in 
                paragraph (1)(B), during the one-year period beginning 
                on the date on which the servicemember is placed on 
                convalescent status or transferred to the temporary 
                disability retired list under section 1202 or 1205 of 
                title 10, United States Code.
                  ``(C) With respect to a veteran described in 
                paragraph (1)(C), during the one-year period beginning 
                on the date of the retirement of such veteran.
                  ``(D) With respect to a surviving spouse of a 
                servicemember as described in paragraph (1)(D), during 
                the one-year period beginning on the date on which the 
                spouse receives notice of the death of the 
                servicemember.''.
          (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of contents in section 
        1(b) of such Act is amended by inserting after the item 
        relating to section 303 the following new item:

``Sec. 303A. Mortgages and trust deeds of certain servicemembers, 
surviving spouses, and disabled veterans.''.

          (3) Conforming amendment.--Section 107 of the Servicemembers 
        Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. App. 517) is amended by adding at 
        the end the following:
  ``(e) Other Individuals.--For purposes of this section, the term 
`servicemember' includes any covered individual under section 303A.''.
  (b) Increased Civil Penalties for Mortgage Violations.--Paragraph (3) 
of section 801(b) of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. 
App. 597(b)(3)) is amended to read as follows:
          ``(3) to vindicate the public interest, assess a civil 
        penalty--
                  ``(A) with respect to a violation of section 207, 
                303, or 303A regarding real property--
                          ``(i) in an amount not exceeding $110,000 for 
                        a first violation; and
                          ``(ii) in an amount not exceeding $220,000 
                        for any subsequent violation; and
                  ``(B) with respect to any other violation of this 
                Act--
                          ``(i) in an amount not exceeding $55,000 for 
                        a first violation; and
                          ``(ii) in an amount not exceeding $110,000 
                        for any subsequent violation.''.
  (c) Credit Discrimination.--Section 108 of such Act (50 U.S.C. App. 
518) is amended--
          (1) by striking ``Application by'' and inserting ``(a) 
        Application or Receipt.--Application by''; and
          (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:
  ``(b) Eligibility.--In addition to the protections under subsection 
(a), an individual who is entitled to any right or protection provided 
under this Act may not be denied or refused credit or be subject to any 
other action described under paragraphs (1) through (6) of subsection 
(a) solely by reason of such entitlement.''.
  (d) Effective Date.--Section 303A of the Servicemembers Civil Relief 
Act, as added by subsection (a), and the amendments made by this 
section, shall take effect on October 1, 2014.

SEC. 12. TREATMENT OF RELOCATION FOR ACTIVE DUTY FOR PURPOSES OF 
                    MORTGAGE REFINANCING.

  (a) In General.--Title III of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 
U.S.C. App. 531 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 303A, as 
added by section 11(a)(1), the following new section:

``SEC. 303B. TREATMENT OF RELOCATION FOR ACTIVE DUTY FOR PURPOSES OF 
                    MORTGAGE REFINANCING.

  ``(a) Treatment of Absence From Residence Due to Active Duty.--
          ``(1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), if, at any time 
        that a servicemember who is the mortgagor under an existing 
        mortgage does not reside in the residence that secures the 
        existing mortgage because of relocation described in subsection 
        (c)(1)(B), such servicemember inquires about or applies for a 
        covered refinancing mortgage, such servicemember shall be, for 
        all purposes relating to the covered refinancing mortgage, 
        including such inquiry or application and eligibility for and 
        compliance with any underwriting criteria and standards 
        regarding such covered refinancing mortgage, considered to 
        occupy the residence that secures the existing mortgage to be 
        paid or prepaid by such covered refinancing mortgage as the 
        principal residence of the servicemember during the period of 
        any such relocation.
          ``(2) Limitation.--Paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect 
        to a servicemember at any time if, during the five-year period 
        preceding such time, the servicemember entered into a covered 
        refinancing mortgage pursuant to this section.
  ``(b) Mortgages Originated Before Period Military Service.--If a 
covered refinancing mortgage is entered into pursuant to this section 
with respect to an existing mortgage that originated before the period 
of the servicemember's military service, such covered refinancing 
mortgage shall be deemed to be an obligation that originated before the 
period of the servicemember's military service and for which the 
servicemember is still obligated for purposes of section 303(a)(1).
  ``(c) Definitions.--In this section:
          ``(1) Existing mortgage.--The term `existing mortgage' means 
        a mortgage that is secured by a 1- to 4-family residence, 
        including a condominium or a share in a cooperative ownership 
        housing association, that was the principal residence of a 
        servicemember for a period that--
                  ``(A) had a duration of 13 consecutive months or 
                longer; and
                  ``(B) ended upon the relocation of the servicemember 
                caused by the servicemember receiving military orders 
                for a permanent change of station or to deploy with a 
                military unit, or as an individual in support of a 
                military operation, for a period of not less than 90 
                days that did not allow the servicemember to continue 
                to occupy such residence as a principal residence.
          ``(2) Covered refinancing mortgage.--The term `covered 
        refinancing mortgage' means any mortgage--
                  ``(A) that is made for the purpose of paying or 
                prepaying, and extinguishing, the outstanding 
                obligations under an existing mortgage or mortgages; 
                and
                  ``(B) that is secured by the same residence that 
                secured such existing mortgage or mortgages.''.
  (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents for such Act is 
amended by inserting after the item relating to section 303A the 
following new item:

``Sec. 303B. Treatment of relocation for active duty for purposes of 
mortgage refinancing.''.

  (c) Effective Date.--Section 303B of the Servicemembers Civil Relief 
Act, as added by subsection (a), and the amendments made by this 
section, shall take effect on October 1, 2014.

SEC. 13. REQUIREMENTS FOR LENDING INSTITUTIONS THAT ARE CREDITORS FOR 
                    OBLIGATIONS AND LIABILITIES COVERED BY THE 
                    SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT.

  Section 207 of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. App. 
527) is amended--
          (1) by redesignating subsections (d) and (e) as subsections 
        (e) and (f), respectively; and
          (2) by inserting after subsection (c) the following new 
        subsection (d):
  ``(d) Lending Institution Requirements.--
          ``(1) Compliance officers.--Each lending institution subject 
        to the requirements of this section shall designate an employee 
        of the institution as a compliance officer who is responsible 
        for ensuring the institution's compliance with this section and 
        for distributing information to servicemembers whose 
        obligations and liabilities are covered by this section.
          ``(2) Toll-free telephone number.--During any fiscal year, a 
        lending institution subject to the requirements of this section 
        that had annual assets for the preceding fiscal year of 
        $10,000,000,000 or more shall maintain a toll-free telephone 
        number and shall make such telephone number available on the 
        primary Internet website of the institution.''.

SECTION 14. PROTECTION OF CHILD CUSTODY ARRANGEMENTS FOR PARENTS WHO 
                    ARE MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES.

  (a) Child Custody Protection.--Title II of the Servicemembers Civil 
Relief Act (50 U.S.C. App. 521 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end 
the following new section:

``SEC. 208. CHILD CUSTODY PROTECTION.

  ``(a) Restriction on Temporary Custody Order.--If a court renders a 
temporary order for custodial responsibility for a child based solely 
on a deployment or anticipated deployment of a parent who is a 
servicemember, then the court shall require that, upon the return of 
the servicemember from deployment, the custody order that was in effect 
immediately preceding the temporary order shall be reinstated, unless 
the court finds that such a reinstatement is not in the best interest 
of the child, except that any such finding shall be subject to 
subsection (b).
  ``(b) Limitation on Consideration of Member's Deployment in 
Determination of Child's Best Interest.--If a motion or a petition is 
filed seeking a permanent order to modify the custody of the child of a 
servicemember, no court may consider the absence of the servicemember 
by reason of deployment, or the possibility of deployment, as the sole 
factor in determining the best interest of the child.
  ``(c) No Federal Jurisdiction or Right of Action or Removal.--Nothing 
in this section shall create a Federal right of action or otherwise 
give rise to Federal jurisdiction or create a right of removal.
  ``(d) Preemption.--In any case where State law applicable to a child 
custody proceeding involving a temporary order as contemplated in this 
section provides a higher standard of protection to the rights of the 
parent who is a deploying servicemember than the rights provided under 
this section with respect to such temporary order, the appropriate 
court shall apply the higher State standard.
  ``(e) Deployment Defined.--In this section, the term `deployment' 
means the movement or mobilization of a servicemember to a location for 
a period of longer than 60 days and not longer than 540 days pursuant 
to temporary or permanent official orders--
          ``(1) that are designated as unaccompanied;
          ``(2) for which dependent travel is not authorized; or
          ``(3) that otherwise do not permit the movement of family 
        members to that location.''.
  (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents in section 1(b) of 
such Act is amended by adding at the end of the items relating to title 
II the following new item:

``208. Child custody protection.''.

    Amend the title so as to read:
    A bill make certain improvements in the laws administered 
by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs relating to benefits, and 
for other purposes.

                                Purpose

    H.R. 2481, Veterans G.I. Bill Enrollment Clarification Act 
of 2013, was introduced on June 15, 2013, by Representative 
Bill Flores of Texas. H.R. 2481, as amended, the Veterans 
Economic Opportunity Act of 2013, incorporates provisions from 
H.R. 2327, as amended, introduced by Representative Jeff Miller 
of Florida; H.R. 2150, introduced by Representative Paul Cook 
of California; H.R. 2210, as amended, introduced by 
Representative C.W. Bill Young of Florida; H.R. 331, introduced 
by Representative Ken Calvert of California; H.R. 1842, 
introduced by Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland; and 
H.R. 1898, introduced by Representative Michael Turner of Ohio. 
Additionally, the bill, as amended, includes a free-standing 
provision that would extend for an additional period the 
existing level of funding fees associated with the subsequent 
use home loan guarantees.

                  Background and Need for Legislation


Section 1--Short Title

    The Veterans Economic Opportunity Act of 2013.

Section 2--References to Title 38, United States Code

    This section states that all references to changes that 
would be made by this bill shall be to title 38, United States 
Code.

Section 3--Scoring of Budgetary Effects

    In accordance with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, 
this section states that the budgetary effects of the bill 
shall be determined by reference to a statement submitted in 
the Congressional Record by the Chairman of the House Budget 
Committee prior to passage of the bill.

Section 4--Establishment of Veteran Economic Opportunity Administration 
        of Department of Veterans Affairs

    Chapter Three of title 38, United States Code (U.S.C.) 
establishes three separate Administrations at the U.S. 
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Section 305 of title 38, 
U.S.C. establishes the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) 
which manages all VA healthcare-related facilities and 
programs. Section 306 of title 38, U.S.C. establishes the 
Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), which is responsible 
for the administration of all benefit programs, including 
compensation, pension, insurance, educational assistance and 
training programs, and loan guaranty programs. Section 307 of 
title 38, U.S.C. establishes the National Cemetery 
Administration (NCA) which manages over 131 National Cemeteries 
and other burial-related facilities and programs.
    VA's disability compensation program is a highly complex 
program designed to provide monthly payments for disabilities 
incurred or aggravated in military service. With the wars in 
the Middle East and the aging of the veterans population in 
general, the inventory of compensation claims has continued to 
increase. In recent months, the total inventory of pending 
disability compensation claims has approached nearly a million 
and as of August, 2013 the processing times now average about 
325 days to complete a claim. This has drawn considerable 
criticism from the veterans' community, as well as Congress and 
the media.
    In the 109th Congress the Committee recognized the 
importance of focusing on programs that increase economic 
opportunities for veterans and lessen reliance on long-term 
government assistance by creating the Subcommittee on Economic 
Opportunity. This Subcommittee has jurisdiction over education 
and training, employment, home loan, and other programs that 
focus on a veteran's ability to obtain good-paying jobs. The 
Committee believes that this increased focus and specialization 
has brought greater attention and needed oversight to these 
programs that seek to enable veterans to live as economically-
productive lives as possible.
    Understandably, senior VBA leaders spend considerable time 
and resources focusing on decreasing the inventory of 
disability compensation claims at the expense of time and focus 
needed for other benefit programs. Over time, this has led to 
less leadership attention to the non-compensation programs. As 
an example, the Administration's FY 2014 budget requested funds 
to support 18,827 full time equivalent employees (FTEE) for 
VBA. Of this number, 14,297 FTEE were requested to administer 
disability compensation, pension, dependency indemnity 
compensation (DIC), and fiduciary programs while only 4,530 
FTEE were requested for other programs.
    The number of FTEE for disability compensation and pension 
has ballooned by 5,194, or 36 percent, since FY2004, while over 
this same time period, the FTEE for other programs at VBA has 
grown by only 838 FTEE, or 18 percent. While it is important to 
increase staffing to attack the current backlog, the Committee 
believes that the focus on disability compensation and pension 
staff ignores the lengthy waits for benefits from the 
education, vocational rehabilitation, and loan guaranty 
programs and only undermines the potential for veterans to 
improve their lives through programs that increase economic 
opportunities.
    Therefore, to ensure more effective oversight of those 
programs, the Committee believes that separating programs that 
are generally considered as leading to increased employability 
and economic success would be appropriate. Section 4 would, 
therefore, create Chapter 80 in title 38, U.S.C. to establish 
the Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration (VEOA) to 
manage the GI Bill, Home Loan Guaranty, and Vocational 
Rehabilitation and Employment programs. Additionally, Section 
8127 of title 38, U.S.C. established a program to assist VA in 
meeting the statutory goals for procurement of goods and 
services from service disabled veteran-owned small businesses. 
Because small business ownership can be a significant 
contributor to economic success and due to the continuing 
difficulties VA is experiencing in administering the service 
disabled veteran-owned small business program, Section 4 would 
place the program in Section 8127 under the auspices of VEOA.

Section 5--Under Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity

    Section 5 of the bill would amend title 38, U.S.C. by 
adding a new Section 306A to create the position of Under 
Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity to oversee all VEOA 
programs and operations. This section would complement section 
4 by creating this Under Secretary position to put the new VEOA 
on par with VHA, NCA and VBA.
    The Committee also believes that with the significant 
growth in VA employees it would be appropriate to staff the new 
VEOA, which reports to the new Under Secretary, from existing 
personnel resources by capping the amount of FTE at both VBA 
and VEOA to no more than 20,851 FTEE.

Section 6--Five Year Extension of the Homeless Veterans Reintegration 
        Program

    The Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) is a 
grant program managed by the U.S. Department of Labor's 
Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS). Grants are 
made generally to non-profit, community-based organizations to 
fund efforts to qualify and place homeless veterans in jobs. 
Today, VETS funds over 100 grantees and served 13,735 and 
placed 7,824 homeless veterans during the latest reporting 
period. The authorization for the HVRP program is set to expire 
on September 30, 2013. According to the latest statistics from 
VETS, the entered employment rate for HVRP participants was 65 
percent, a very credible figure given the difficulty often 
encountered when placing this population.
    Section 6 would extend the authorization of $50 million in 
appropriations for HVRP until September 30, 2018. The Committee 
believes the program's success justifies its continuation as a 
part of the overall effort to reduce homelessness among 
veterans of all ages. At the legislative hearing June 26, 2013, 
on this provision, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
received unanimous support for the extension of this program as 
it continues to provide homeless veterans with the job training 
necessary to break the cycle of homelessness.

Section 7--Entitlement of Children of Certain Deceased Veterans to 
        Educational Assistance under the Post-9/11 Educational 
        Assistance Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs

    Title V of Public Law 110-252 (122 Stat. 2323, 2357) 
established the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill which is now codified by 
Chapter 33 of title 38, U.S.C. Section 3011(f) of Chapter 33 
established the Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship 
which provides certain Chapter 33 benefits to the children of 
servicemembers who die on active duty. Chapter 33 benefits 
include tuition and fee payments (which can be limited 
depending on the type and cost of institution) a book stipend, 
and a monthly housing stipend.
    Early in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring 
Freedom, the Department of Defense often discharged severely 
wounded servicemembers relatively quickly instead of retaining 
them in active duty status for an extended period of recovery 
as is generally the practice today. As a result, some severely 
wounded servicemembers died shortly after discharge. As a 
result of dying after discharge, their children were not 
eligible for the Fry Scholarship.
    To rectify this inequity, the Committee believes if those 
who died shortly after discharge were undergoing recovery under 
today's extended recovery periods, they would have likely died 
on active duty. Therefore, the Committee believes it is 
reasonable to make the children of such veterans eligible for 
the Fry Scholarship by amending section 3311 to include the 
children of veterans who have received the Purple Heart and die 
within 31 days of discharge.

Section 8--Re-codification and Improvement of Election Process for 
        Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program

    Section 5003(c) of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational 
Assistance Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-252) delineates the 
circumstances under which veterans and servicemembers with 
remaining eligibility to other VA-administered education 
programs can be converted to the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. Under 
this section, any such conversion is irrevocable.
    During a January, 2013 site visit to the Atlanta Regional 
Processing Office, Committee staff asked the VA staff what 
steps or processes could be changed to reduce processing time 
of Post-9/11 G.I. Bill claims. VA staff informed Committee 
staff that one step in the adjudication of G.I. Claims concerns 
veterans' irrevocable decision to convert their remaining 
months of eligibility for other G.I. Bill programs to the Post-
9/11 G.I. Bill. They stated that many veterans make obvious 
errors in choosing a program to which they are not entitled or 
other errors which require manual processing of the claim. When 
this happens, VA then notifies the veteran, normally in 
writing, of the discrepancy and must wait for the veteran to 
contact VA and make the appropriate switch to their irrevocable 
election in order for their Post-9/11 G.I. Bill claims to be 
processed. VA staff believes these steps add time to processing 
delays and are un-necessary.
    Therefore, section 8 would authorize VA to make an 
alternative election for the beneficiary of a different 
education benefit. VA would only be authorized to make such an 
election if they believed such an alternative election is 
clearly in the best interest of the veteran. VA would have to 
notify veterans of this alternative election within 7 days and 
allow the veteran to change such election within 30 days. The 
Committee believes this is an important step to reduce 
processing times for this benefit while still balancing 
individual choice.

Section 9--Centralized Reporting of Veteran Enrollment by Certain 
        Groups, Districts, and Consortiums of Educational Institutions

    Chapter 36 of title 38, U.S.C., describes the process by 
which VA approves courses of instruction at institutions of 
higher education and how schools certify the enrollment of 
veterans such approval is necessary prior to any use of VA 
educational assistance benefits for veterans and survivors. 
Currently, each school is required to submit enrollments 
separately even if the school is one of a number of schools 
sharing a common registration system.
    Requiring each school to submit enrollments separately is 
highly inefficient for both the schools and the VA. 
Consolidating such processes among schools with common 
registration and administration can lead to a more cost-
efficient process for both the schools and VA.
    Section 9 would amend Section 3684(a) of title 38, U.S.C., 
to authorize institutions of higher learning that belong to a 
consortium of institutions governed by a common body with 
common administrative practices to submit enrollments in a 
consolidated fashion.

Section 10--Extension of Loan Guaranty Fee for Certain Subsequent Loans

    Section 3729 of title 38, U.S.C., requires the payment of 
an upfront funding fee when a servicemember or veteran uses 
their VA loan guaranty benefit. The funding fee varies based on 
an individual's status, the amount of down payment brought 
forward, and the date of loan origination. The rates of funding 
fees (expressed as a percentage of the principal) for 
subsequent use, that have been in effect since 2009, are set to 
be reduced on October 1, 2017.
    This section would extend through October 1, 2018, the 
rates of funding fees that would otherwise be reduced on 
October 1, 2017 for subsequent use loans. These fees reduce the 
subsidy cost associated with VA's guaranty of mortgage loans, 
and have typically been viewed as a reasonable cost to the 
benefit gained by having VA guarantee a mortgage loan. Such 
fees can also be rolled into the principal of the loan. The 
Committee believes the extension of these rates will not have a 
negative impact on veterans' or servicemembers' ability to 
acquire the finances necessary for a subsequent loan after 
their initial VA home loan usage.

Section 11--Mortgage Protection for Members of the Armed Forces, 
        Surviving Spouses, and Certain Veterans

    The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides a wide 
range of financial protections to servicemembers including 
protection from foreclosures under certain circumstances. 
Current law applies only to homes purchased by the 
servicemember prior to entering military service and those 
protections apply do not apply to surviving spouses of 
servicemembers.
    Existing mortgage related protections under SCRA fail to 
cover all military servicemembers during the course of 
deployment to a contingency operation; fail to cover medically 
discharged veterans due to a service-connected injury; fail to 
cover surviving spouses of military servicemembers; fail to 
provide stay of proceedings protections in non-judicial 
foreclosure states; lack sufficient fines as to deter future 
bank violations; and, they fail to protect covered individuals 
from discrimination in lending.
    Section 11 would clarify the rights afforded to those 
originally protected under SCRA and the new class of protected 
individuals who would be protected by this section (discussed 
below). This change was requested during the Subcommittee on 
Economic Opportunity hearing conducted on June 26, 2013. The 
new section 303A would expand protections afforded to spouses, 
servicemembers serving in a contingency operation, veterans who 
are medically discharged, and servicemembers placed on 
convalescent status. This protection would apply to mortgages 
that were incurred before and during military service.
    When a military servicemember is unable to report to duty 
because of a substantial illness or injury, he or she is 
normally placed on convalescent leave. This section would 
expand protections to a servicemember placed on convalescent 
status because of the reduction in pay they receive when placed 
in such status. During this time, the servicemember's pay could 
be reduced to as little as 50 percent of their base pay, 
thereby affecting their ability to make their mortgage 
payments. Additionally, mortgage related protections are 
extended to both judicial and non-judicial foreclosure states. 
The Committee believes that expanding SCRA coverage to all four 
classes of covered individuals would ensure they will be 
protected from a home foreclosure regardless of where their 
home is located or when it was purchased.
    The section would also require covered individuals to 
provide notice to their lender of their intention to use the 
protection under the new section 303A of SCRA. Upon receipt of 
notice, the court, mortgagee, trustee, or other creditor 
seeking to foreclose on the property would be mandated to stay 
such actions until the end of the covered time period. The four 
classes of covered individuals would be protected for an 
aggregate period of 12 months.
    This section would also double existing penalties for 
violators of the new SCRA mortgage protections. The Committee 
hopes this provision will deter banks and creditors from 
violating the protections afforded to servicemembers under 
SCRA. Finally, this section would ensure that covered 
individuals are not denied credit for the sole reason that they 
are eligible for the protections under SCRA.

Section 12. Treatment of Relocation for Active Duty for purposes of 
        Mortgage Refinancing

    Under existing SCRA protections, if a servicemember is not 
currently living in his or her home due to transfer in response 
to military orders, in many cases they are not eligible to re-
finance the home because it is not considered their principal/
primary residence.
    Section 12 would allow a servicemember who no longer 
occupies a home due to military orders to refinance a home 
originally mortgaged prior to military service. It would amend 
the SCRA to require a creditor to consider this home, unless 
refinanced during the past five years, the permanent residence 
of the servicemember. The Committee believes that 
servicemembers should not be prevented from receiving the 
lowest interest rate when refinancing simply because their 
military service prevented satisfaction of existing occupancy 
requirements.

Section 13. Requirements for Lending Institutions that are creditors 
        for Obligations and liabilities covered by the Servicemembers 
        Civil Relief Act

    Section 13 would require all lending institutions with 
assets of $10 billion or more to designate an SCRA Compliance 
officer and have a toll-free phone number published on their 
website. In testimony at a Full Committee hearing on SCRA 
mortgage related protections in February 9, 2011 witnesses 
cited servicemembers' inability to contact lender employees who 
are responsible for lenders' compliance with SCRA as well as 
being shuffled from employee to employee. At that same hearing 
and others, servicemembers have also testified about multiple 
requests for previously-submitted documentation of coverage 
under SCRA.
    Servicemembers should be able to easily contact their 
lenders for information, specific questions, feedback, etc 
especially when it comes to information about protections they 
have earned by virtue of their military service. A toll-free 
number would assist them in getting the service they deserve. 
The Committee believes that providing an SCRA Compliance 
officer would also guarantee that when these servicemembers do 
place a call, they have someone to talk to who is familiar with 
their situation and protections under the law. The Compliance 
officer and the toll-free number would both serve to make sure 
that the institution is in compliance with the SCRA mortgage 
and foreclosure provisions.

Section 14--Protection of Child Custody Arrangement for Parents Who are 
        Members of the Armed Forces.

    As our nation's servicemembers endure deployments overseas, 
SCRA and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment 
Rights Act (USERRA) protect their interests at home. Both Acts 
endeavor to ensure veterans and servicemembers' employment 
rights and civilian obligations are not affected by their 
commitment to the security of the United States. At its core, 
SCRA ensures that servicemembers have certain protections in 
the event that military service impedes their ability to meet 
certain financial and legal obligations.
    With respect to one such legal obligation, the Committee is 
aware of the often difficult decisions facing courts regarding 
child custody when one or both parents may be a servicemember 
deployed abroad. Although the current SCRA covers everything 
from mortgages to cell phone contracts, it fails to provide one 
uniform framework for protecting servicemembers' rights under 
child custody actions by state courts.
    Section 14 would protect these rights by amending the SCRA 
to require that if a court issues a temporary order for 
custodial responsibility for a child of a servicemember to 
another party because of a servicemembers' deployment, the 
custody order immediately preceding the temporary order shall 
be reinstated upon the return of the servicemember. If the 
court determines that such a move would not be in the best 
interest of a child the court could modify the pre-deployment 
custody order. The section would also prohibit courts from 
considering the absence or potential absence of a servicemember 
from being considered as part of the court's determination of 
the child's best interest. Finally, the section ensures that if 
higher protections than that provided for in this section exist 
under any state law, then the higher standard would be applied.
    In previous Congresses, the Committee received anecdotal 
evidence of servicemembers having to make the difficult 
decision of choosing between their military career and the 
legal custody of their children because of rulings made by 
courts that took their military service into account when 
assigning custody of the child. The Committee believes that 
servicemembers should never have to make this choice.
    In a February 15, 2011, letter to Representative Michael 
Turner of Ohio, then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates provided 
support for legislation that is appropriately crafted, ``[t]hat 
provides Servicemembers with a federal uniform standard of 
protection in cases where it is established that military 
service is the sole factor involved in a child custody decision 
involving a Service member.'' The Committee believes this 
section is appropriately crafted to fulfill this requirement.

                                Hearings

    On June 26, 2013, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
conducted a legislative hearing on various bills introduced 
during the 113th Congress, including H.R. 2481, H.R. 331, H.R. 
1842, H.R. 2150, H.R. 2210, and H.R. 2327. The following 
witnesses testified at the hearing:
    The Honorable Ken Calvert; The Honorable Elijah E. 
Cummings; The Honorable John Delaney; The Honorable Alan 
Grayson; The Honorable Bill Johnson; Mr. Curtis Coy, Deputy 
Under Secretary of Economic Opportunity, Veterans Benefits 
Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, who was 
accompanied by Mr. John Brizzi, Deputy Assistant General 
Counsel, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Mr. Frank C. 
DiGiovanni, Director, Training Readiness and Strategy, Office 
of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, 
U.S. Department of Defense; Mr. Ryan M. Gallucci, Deputy 
Director, National Legislative Service, Veterans of Foreign 
Wars of the United States; Mr. Jeffery Steele, Assistant 
Director, National Legislative Commission, The American Legion; 
and MG Andrew ``Drew'' Davis, USMC (Ret.) Executive Director, 
The Reserve Officers Association. The following groups 
submitted statements for the record: The Honorable Tammy 
Duckworth, U.S. Department of Labor, and Vietnam Veterans of 
America.

                       Subcommittee Consideration

    On July 18, 2013, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
met in an open markup session, a quorum being present, and 
favorably forwarded to the full Committee H.R. 331, H.R. 1842, 
H.R. 2150, H.R. 2210, as amended, H.R. 2327, as amended, and 
H.R. 2481, by voice vote.
    During consideration of H.R. 2210 the following amendment 
was considered and agreed to by voice vote:
    An amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by Mr. 
Flores of Texas modified the bill to change number of days 
after discharge a veteran could die of a service-connected 
injury in order for their dependent children to qualify for the 
Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship under the 
Post 9/11 G.I. Bill.
    During consideration of H.R. 2327 the following amendment 
was considered and agreed to by voice vote:
    An amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by Mr. 
Flores of Texas that modified the original bill to make a 
technical change in describing the Center for Veterans 
Enterprise that would be moved into the new Economic 
Opportunity Administration.

                        Committee Consideration

    On August 1, 2013, the Full Committee met in an open markup 
session, a quorum being present, and ordered H.R. 2481, as 
amended, reported favorably to the House of Representatives, by 
voice vote. During consideration of the bill, the following 
amendment was considered and agreed to by voice vote:
    An amendment in the nature of a substitute by Mr. Flores of 
Texas which combined the original bill text with the text of 
H.R. 331, H.R. 1842, H.R. 1898, H.R. 2150, H.R. 2210, as 
amended, and H.R. 2327, as amended. Further, the amendment in 
the nature of a substitute added section 10 on funding fees and 
made adjustments to effective dates to sections 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 
12, and 13 to September 1, 2014.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list recorded votes 
on motions to report legislation and amendments thereto. There 
were no recorded votes taken on amendments or in connection 
with ordering H.R. 2481, as amended, reported to the House. A 
motion by Ranking Member Michael H. Michaud of Maine to report 
H.R. 2481, as amended, favorably to the House of 
Representatives was agreed to by voice vote.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, 
the Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in the descriptive portions of this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goals and objectives are reflected in the descriptive portions 
of this report.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee adopts as its 
own the estimate of new budget authority, entitlement 
authority, or tax expenditures or revenues contained in the 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974.

                  Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits

    H.R. 2481, as amended, does not contain any Congressional 
earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as 
defined in clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate on H.R. 
2481, as amended, prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate 
for H.R. 2481, as amended, provided by the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974.

                                                   August 23, 2013.
Hon. Jeff Miller,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2481, the Veterans 
Economic Opportunity Act of 2013.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is David Newman.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 2481--Veterans Economic Opportunity Act of 2013

    Summary H.R. 2481 would decrease direct spending by 
increasing the fees charged to certain veterans who obtain 
loans guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In 
addition, the bill would increase direct spending by enhancing 
certain protections for servicemembers and veterans with home 
mortgages, and by expanding eligibility for education 
scholarships. On net, the bill would decrease direct spending 
by $149 million over the 2014-2018 period and by $120 million 
over the 2014-2023 period, CBO estimates. Pay-as-you-go 
procedures apply because enacting the legislation would affect 
direct spending and revenues. (The effect on revenues would be 
insignificant.)
    H.R. 2481 also would increase spending subject to 
appropriation, primarily by extending the authorization of 
appropriations for a program that serves homeless veterans. CBO 
estimates that implementing H.R. 2481 would have a 
discretionary cost of $218 million over the 2014-2018 period, 
subject to appropriation of the necessary amounts.
    The bill would impose intergovernmental and private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
by adding and expanding protections for servicemembers under 
the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). CBO estimates that 
the costs to public and private entities of complying with the 
mandates would not exceed the thresholds established in UMRA 
for intergovernmental and private-sector mandates ($75 million 
and $150 million, respectively, in 2013, adjusted annually for 
inflation).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 2481 is shown in Table 1. The costs of 
this legislation fall within budget functions 700 (veterans 
benefits and services), 370 (commerce and housing credit), and 
750 (administration of justice).

                                TABLE 1--ESTIMATED BUDGETARY EFFECTS OF H.R. 2481
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2014     2015     2016     2017     2018   2014-2018
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING\a\

Estimated Budget Authority..............................        0       12        5        5     -171      -149
Estimated Outlays.......................................        0       12        5        5     -171      -149

                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated Authorization Level...........................       50       65       55       55       55       282
Estimated Outlays.......................................        4       47       55       55       55      218
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Details may not add to totals because of rounding.
\a\Enacting H.R. 2481 may also lead to an insignificant increase in revenues. In addition to the effects shown
  above, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 2481 would decrease direct spending by $120 million and increase
  revenues by an insignificant amount over the 2014-2023 period.

    Basis of estimate: For the purposes of this estimate, CBO 
assumes that the legislation will be enacted near the beginning 
of fiscal year 2014, that the necessary amounts will be 
appropriated each year, and that outlays will follow historical 
spending patterns for similar and existing programs.

Direct spending and revenues

    H.R. 2481 would decrease direct spending by increasing a 
fee that VA charges for guaranteeing certain home loans. That 
effect would be partially offset by increases in direct 
spending that would arise from providing additional protections 
for certain military personnel and veterans with home mortgages 
and by expanding eligibility for educational assistance under 
the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry 
Scholarship) program. The bill also would have an insignificant 
effect on revenues.
    Loan Guarantee Fees. Under its home-loan program, VA 
provides lenders guarantees on mortgages made to veterans; 
those guarantees enable veterans to get better loan terms, such 
as lower interest rates or smaller down payments. The loan 
guarantees provide lenders a payment of up to 25 percent of the 
outstanding loan balances (subject to some limitations on the 
original loan amounts) in the event that a veteran defaults on 
a guaranteed loan.

                                                     TABLE 2--IMPACT OF H.R. 2481 ON DIRECT SPENDING
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                      By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                           ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             2014   2015   2016   2017    2018    2019   2020   2021   2022   2023  2014-2018  2014-2023
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING

Loan Guarantee Fees:
    Estimated Budget Authority............................      0      0      0      0     -177      0      0      0      0      0      -177       -177
    Estimated Outlays.....................................      0      0      0      0     -177      0      0      0      0      0      -177       -177
Enhanced Mortgage Protection:
    Estimated Budget Authority............................      0      9      2      3        3      3      3      3      3      3        17         32
    Estimated Outlays.....................................      0      9      2      3        3      3      3      3      3      3        17         32
Mortgage Refinancing Qualifications:
    Estimated Budget Authority............................      0      3      2      1        1      1      1      2      2      2         7         15
    Estimated Outlays.....................................      0      3      2      1        1      1      1      2      2      2         7         15
Education Benefits for Surviving Children:
    Estimated Budget Authority............................      0      *      1      1        2      2      1      1      1      1         4         10
    Estimated Outlays.....................................      0      *      1      1        2      2      1      1      1      1         4         10
    Total Changes:
        Estimated Budget Authority........................      0     12      5      5     -171      6      5      6      6      6      -149       -120
        Estimated Outlays.................................      0     12      5      5     -171      6      5      6      6      6      -149      -120
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note:
* = less than 500,000.

    Section 10 would increase a fee that VA charges to certain 
veterans for providing those guarantees. By partially 
offsetting the costs of subsequent defaults, those fees lower 
the subsidy cost of the guarantees.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Under the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, the subsidy cost of 
a loan guarantee is the net present value of estimated payments by the 
government to cover defaults and delinquencies, interest subsidies, or 
other expenses, offset by any payments to the government, including 
origination fees, other fees, penalties, and recoveries on defaulted 
loans. Such subsidy costs are calculated by discounting those expected 
cash flows using the rate on Treasury securities of comparable 
maturity. The resulting estimated subsidy costs are recorded in the 
budget when the loans are disbursed.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Under current law, the up-front fee for veterans who have 
previously used the loan-guarantee benefit is 3.30 percent of 
the loan amount. That fee is scheduled to decline to 1.25 
percent on October 1, 2017.
    Under section 10, that scheduled fee reduction would be 
delayed by one year, until October 1, 2018. Continuing the fee 
at the current level in 2018 would increase collections by VA 
in that year, thereby lowering the subsidy cost of the loan 
guarantees. Based on data from VA, CBO estimates that enacting 
section 10 would reduce direct spending by $177 million in 
2018.
    Enhanced Mortgage Protection. Section 11 would prohibit 
lenders from initiating or completing foreclosure proceedings 
on mortgages issued to certain servicemembers and surviving 
spouses. Lenders could not foreclose on mortgages held by 
military personnel who are deployed in support of a contingency 
operation for the duration of that deployment and for the 12 
months following deployment. The following individuals also 
would be protected from foreclosure for 12 months:
           Servicemembers who are convalescing;
           Personnel who are transferred to the 
        temporary disability retired list or who are medically 
        discharged and retired; and
           Surviving spouses of servicemembers who die 
        from a service-connected cause while in military 
        service in regards to property that was jointly owned.
    The enhanced protections afforded by section 11 would take 
effect on October 1, 2014.
    Some of the loans that would be affected by the enhanced 
foreclosure protection in section 11 are guaranteed by VA or 
the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Under its home loan 
program, VA pays lenders up to 25 percent of the outstanding 
loan debt in the event that the borrower defaults. Unpaid 
interest can be added to the guaranteed debt, within certain 
limits. FHA provides a similar guarantee on mortgages it 
insures, compensating lenders for up to 100 percent of the 
loss. Unpaid interest can be added to FHA-guaranteed debt, but 
it accrues at a rate similar to that for federal borrowing, 
rather than the interest rate of the defaulted loan.
    Delaying foreclosure on borrowers who default would 
lengthen the period during which unpaid interest accrues, 
increasing the indebtedness of the borrower. If the loan is 
eventually terminated, the claim filed by the lender would be 
larger by the amount of the additional interest, and the 
subsequent claim payment from VA or FHA would rise as a result. 
Those larger claim payments would raise the loan subsidy costs 
of both agencies.
    For loans that were originated before enactment of H.R. 
2481, such changes would be treated as loan modifications and 
the increased subsidy costs would be recorded as direct 
spending when the modifications became effective--that is, at 
the start of fiscal year 2015, the effective date of section 
11, as specified in the bill. The higher subsidy costs for 
loans made subsequent to the effective date would increase 
mandatory costs for VA loans and discretionary costs for FHA 
loans in the year those loans are originated.
    Based on information from the Department of Defense, CBO 
estimates that approximately 300,000 servicemembers, retirees, 
and surviving spouses would be eligible for the enhanced 
foreclosure protection in 2015. (The majority of those 
beneficiaries are personnel who are currently deployed or were 
deployed in the previous year.) However, some of those eligible 
personnel currently receive similar protection under the 
national mortgage settlement, an agreement regarding 
foreclosure practices that was signed by the five largest 
mortgage servicers, the Department of Justice, and state 
attorneys general. Under that settlement, the servicers agreed 
not to foreclose without a court order on property owned by 
servicemembers who deployed and received hostile fire or 
imminent danger pay, during their deployment and for nine 
months thereafter. That agreement expires in October 2015.
    CBO estimates that about 175,000 people would be newly 
eligible in 2015 for the enhanced mortgage protection under the 
bill. After the national mortgage settlement expires and 
borrowers no longer benefit from the similar protections that 
it provides, the population of beneficiaries under section 11 
would increase to 260,000 in 2016 and each year thereafter. On 
the basis of information from VA, CBO estimates that about 25 
percent of potential beneficiaries have loans guaranteed by VA 
and another 5 percent have loans guaranteed by FHA. Of those 
loans, CBO expects that about 1.5 percent will default, for a 
total of about 1,100 loans annually. Under H.R. 2481, CBO 
estimates that the average claim payments for those defaults 
would increase by about $3,800 for VA loans and by about $3,000 
for FHA loans.
    On that basis, we estimate that, the increased subsidy 
costs for loans originated in prior years would total almost $6 
million for VA-guaranteed loans and nearly $2 million for FHA-
backed loans. In addition, higher subsidy costs for loans 
guaranteed by VA after the effective date would increase direct 
spending by about $2 million in 2015, and by an average of $3 
million a year over the 2016-2023 period. In total, CBO 
estimates that enacting section 11 would increase direct 
spending by $32 million over the 2014-2023 period. (Higher 
subsidy costs for loans guaranteed by FHA in 2015 and later 
years would result in an increase in discretionary spending, 
assuming appropriation action necessary to implement FHA's 
single-family program. Those costs are described in the section 
on discretionary spending below.)
    In addition, section 11 would establish civil penalties for 
lenders who foreclose on property in violation of the enhanced 
mortgage protection that would be provided by the bill. Civil 
fines are recorded as revenues. CBO expects that any additional 
revenues would not be significant because of the relatively 
small number of cases likely to be affected.
    Mortgage Refinancing Qualifications. Section 12 would make 
it easier for certain servicemembers to refinance mortgages on 
homes that they do not occupy. Under current law, borrowers 
must occupy their homes to be eligible for loan guarantees from 
VA on refinancing loans that allow borrowers to increase the 
principal amount owed (cash-out loans). Further, private-sector 
lenders generally charge higher interest rates for loans on 
homes that are not occupied by the borrower, which discourages 
some of those borrowers from refinancing. Section 12 would 
require servicemembers to be treated as if they occupied the 
home when they refinance, if they left the home because of 
change-of-station or deployment orders. That requirement would 
take effect on October 1, 2014. As a result, some additional 
borrowers would qualify for cash-out refinancing loans that are 
guaranteed by VA. Others would choose to refinance loans that 
they would otherwise not have because they would receive lower 
interest rates; some of those loans also would be guaranteed by 
VA.
    Because the subsidy costs of VA loan guarantees are paid 
from mandatory appropriations, guaranteeing additional loans 
would increase direct spending. Based on the annual number of 
loan guarantees that VA currently provides for servicemembers, 
CBO expects that over the next 10 years, VA would guarantee an 
additional 5,000 loans under this provision. Providing those 
loan guarantees would increase direct spending by $15 million 
over the 2014-2023 period, CBO estimates.
    Education Benefits for Surviving Children. The children of 
servicemembers who die in the line of duty while serving in an 
active-duty status are eligible for education benefits under 
the Fry Scholarship. Section 7 would expand eligibility for Fry 
Scholarships to the children of servicemembers who receive the 
Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat and then die as a 
result of those injuries within 31 days of separating from 
active duty. Under current law, those children are only 
eligible for benefits under the Survivors' and Dependents' 
Education Assistance Program (DEAP).
    The Fry Scholarship entitles qualifying recipients to 
education benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Those benefits 
include the payment of in-state tuition and fees for 
beneficiaries attending public schools, a monthly housing 
allowance, and a stipend to pay for books and supplies. DEAP 
currently provides education benefits to qualifying recipients 
at a maximum rate--for full-time students--of $987 per month.
    Based on information from VA and the Department of Defense, 
CBO estimates that, if this provision was enacted, an average 
of about 80 children per year would elect to receive education 
benefits under the Fry Scholarship rather than DEAP. Each of 
those children would receive, on average, about $16,400 in Fry 
Scholarship benefits in 2015 and, after cost-of-living 
increases, that amount would increase to about $22,700 in 2023, 
CBO estimates. Under DEAP, we estimate that each of those 
children would have received about $5,700 in benefits in 2015 
and, after cost of living increases, about $6,800 in benefits 
in 2023. On net, CBO estimates the change in eligibility would 
increase direct spending by $10 million over the 2014-2023 
period.
    Selection of Education Benefits. Section 8 would permit the 
Secretary to change an individual's choice of program for VA 
education benefits when the Secretary determines that the 
choice is not in the individual's best interest. If the 
Secretary makes an alternative selection on behalf of an 
applicant, the Secretary would be required to notify the 
individual within seven days. The applicant would then have 30 
days to modify or revoke the Secretary's selection. Under 
current law, when a claims processor determines that an 
individual has not made the most advantageous choice of 
programs, the processor attempts to contact the applicant to 
recommend a change. By allowing VA to change the individual's 
selection proactively, claims processing and benefit payments 
would be accelerated. Based on information from VA, CBO 
estimates that the department would change the elections of 
very few people. Thus, we estimate that enacting this section 
would increase direct spending by an insignificant amount over 
the 2014-2023 period.

Spending subject to appropriation

    H.R. 2481 would authorize appropriations for programs that 
benefit homeless veterans. It also would reorganize the VA's 
management structure by establishing a new administration to 
oversee certain benefit programs. Finally, it would increase 
the subsidy cost of loans guaranteed by FHA. In total, CBO 
estimates that implementing H.R. 2481 would increase the cost 
of veterans' benefits that are subject to appropriation by $218 
million over the 2014-2018 period, assuming appropriation of 
the necessary amounts.
    Homeless Veterans Reintegration Programs. Section 6 would 
authorize the appropriation of $50 million each year over the 
2014-2018 period for Department of Labor programs that serve 
homeless veterans. The department provides grants to agencies 
and organizations that provide job placement, training, and 
vocational counseling to homeless veterans. Under current law, 
the authorization for this program will expire at the end of 
fiscal year 2013. CBO estimates that implementing this section 
would cost $187 million over the 2014-2018 period, assuming 
appropriation of the authorized amounts.
    Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration. Under VA's 
current organizational structure, the Veterans Benefits 
Administration (VBA) manages the provision of the following 
benefits to veterans and other eligible individuals:
           Disability compensation;
           Pension, dependency and indemnity 
        compensation, burial benefits, and fiduciary assistance 
        programs;
           Readjustment benefits such as education 
        funding, employment assistance, and vocational 
        rehabilitation;
           Home-loans guarantees;
           Assistance to small businesses owned by 
        veterans; and
           Life insurance.
    Sections 4 and 5 would establish a Veterans Economic 
Opportunity Administration (VEOA) to oversee readjustment 
benefit programs, the home loan program, and small business 
programs. VBA and VEOA each would be led by an undersecretary 
responsible to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Section 5 
would limit the total number of full-time equivalent positions 
serving in VBA and VEOA to the current workforce of 20,851 in 
fiscal years 2014 and 2015. Based on information from VA, about 
20 percent of that workforce--roughly 4,500 people--oversee and 
carry out the benefits programs that would be transferred to 
VEOA under the bill.
    CBO estimates that the personnel, records, property, and 
budgetary resources currently used by VBA to manage those 
programs would be transferred to the new entity. In addition, 
CBO estimates that VEOA would ultimately add 20 additional 
positions, such as an Under Secretary for Veterans Economic 
Opportunity, to manage the daily operations of the new 
administration.

                        TABLE 3--IMPACT OF H.R. 2481 ON SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2014     2015     2016     2017     2018   2014-2018
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Homeless Veterans Reintegration Programs:
    Authorization Level.................................       50       50       50       50       50       250
    Estimated Outlays...................................        4       34       49       50       50       187
Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................        0       15        5        5        5        30
    Estimated Outlays...................................        0       13        6        5        5        29
Enhanced Mortgage Protection:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................        0        *        *        *        *         2
    Estimated Outlays...................................        0        *        *        *        *         2
Total Changes:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................       50       65       55       55       55       282
    Estimated Outlays...................................        4       47       55       55       55      218
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes: Details may not add to totals because of rounding.
* = between -$500,000 and $500,000.

    On that basis, CBO estimates that establishing VEOA, 
transferring the programs, personnel, and accompanying assets, 
and hiring the additional 20 personnel would cost $29 million 
over the 2014-2018 period, assuming appropriation of the 
estimated amounts.
    Enhanced Mortgage Protection. As described above, section 
11 would increase the subsidy costs of FHA loans guaranteed in 
2015 and later years by increasing the amount of unpaid 
interest that could accrue on defaulted loans before those 
loans are terminated. CBO estimates that the annual subsidy 
rate for the FHA single-family program would increase by less 
than 0.1 percent relative to the rates estimated under current 
law.\2\ As a result of the provisions in section 11, net 
subsidy costs under the FHA program would increase by less than 
$500,000 each year, and by a total of $2 million over the 2014-
2018 period, assuming enactment of the commitment limit at 
levels projected in CBO's baseline.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\The subsidy rate for that program is negative, resulting in net 
receipts to the federal government. Discretionary credit programs with 
negative subsidy rates do not require a subsidy appropriation, but an 
appropriations act must specify the maximum amount of loans that an 
agency can commit to guarantee.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pay-As-You-Go Considerations: The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go 
Act of 2010 establishes budget-reporting and enforcement 
procedures for legislation affecting direct spending or 
revenues. The net changes in outlays and revenues that are 
subject to those pay-as-you-go procedures are shown in the 
following table.

          CBO ESTIMATE OF PAY-AS-YOU-GO EFFECTS FOR H.R. 2481 AS ORDERED REPORTED BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS ON AUGUST 1, 2013
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      2013   2014   2015   2016   2017    2018    2019   2020   2021   2022   2023  2013-2018  2013-2023
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                       NET INCREASE OR DECREASE (-) IN THE DEFICIT
Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Impact.....................      0      0     12      5      5     -171      6      5      6      6      6      -149       -120
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: The bill would 
impose a number of mandates, as defined in UMRA, on public and 
private lending institutions. In aggregate, CBO estimates that 
the costs of complying with the mandates in H.R. 2481 would 
fall below the annual thresholds established in UMRA for both 
intergovernmental and private-sector mandates ($75 million and 
$150 million in 2013, respectively, adjusted annually for 
inflation).
    Under the bill, public and private lending institutions 
that are subject to SCRA would have to:
           Extend the length of stay of civil 
        proceedings relating to real or personal property, 
        mortgages, evictions, and foreclosures for 
        servicemembers, veterans, and surviving spouses (as 
        those groups are defined in the bill);
           Designate an employee who would ensure 
        compliance with the act;
           Consider active-duty servicemembers who have 
        been relocated to be occupying the residence that 
        secures a mortgage for refinancing inquiries or 
        applications; and
           Maintain a toll-free telephone number to 
        provide assistance to servicemembers if the institution 
        has over $10 billion in annual assets.
    CBO expects the cost of complying with the stay of civil 
proceedings would be small because relatively few 
servicemembers, retirees, and surviving spouses of 
servicemembers who die on active duty are likely to face 
foreclosure within the periods specified in the bill. Some of 
those costs would be offset by claim payments from VA and FHA.
    Lending institutions currently employ compliance officers, 
and all large institutions maintain toll-free numbers. For that 
reason, CBO estimates that the extra training for employees and 
the maintenance of toll-free numbers would not impose 
significant costs on private entities. Because few lending 
institutions are public entities, CBO estimates that the 
intergovernmental costs of the mandates also would be small.
    The bill also would preempt state laws, applicable to child 
custody protection, that provide less protection to 
servicemembers than the federal standard. The preemption would 
be an intergovernmental mandate as defined in UMRA because it 
would limit the application of state law; however, it would 
impose no duty on states that would result in additional 
spending.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: William Ma and David 
Newman; Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Lisa 
Ramirez-Branum; Impact on the Private Sector: Elizabeth Bass.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates regarding H.R. 2481, as amended, prepared by the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 
423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act would be created by H.R. 
2481, as amended.

                 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.''

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

              Statement on Duplication of Federal Programs

    Pursuant to section 3(j) of H. Res. 5, 113th Cong. (2013), 
the Committee finds that no provision of H.R. 2481, as amended, 
``The Economic Opportunity Act of 2013,'' establishes or 
reauthorizes a program of the Federal Government known to be 
duplicative of another Federal program, a program that was 
included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-
139, or a program related to a program identified in the most 
recent Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.

                   Disclosure of Directed Rulemaking

    Pursuant to section 3(k) of H. Res. 5, 113th Cong. (2013), 
the Committee estimates that H.R. 2481, as amended, does not 
require any directed rule makings.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1--Short title

    This section provides the short title of H.R. 2481, as 
amended, as the ``Veterans Economic Opportunity Act of 2013.''

Section 2--References to Title 38, United States Code

    Section 2 provides that unless otherwise expressly 
provided, all references to the United States Code shall be 
considered to be in reference to title 38, United States Code.

Section 3--Score of budgetary effects

    Section 3 states that to ensure that the bill is in 
compliance with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, the 
budgetary effect of the bill be determined by reference to a 
statement submitted in the Congressional Record by the Chairman 
of the House Budget Committee prior to a vote on passage.

Section 4--Establishment of Veteran Economic Opportunity Administration 
        of Department of Veterans Affairs

    Section 4(a) would amend title 38, U.S.C., to add a new 
chapter 80 which would authorize the creation of the Veterans 
Economic Opportunity Administration. The new Administration 
would be headed by the Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity 
who would report directly to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. 
The new administration would be responsible for the following 
programs: vocational rehabilitation and employment, educational 
assistance, veterans housing, and veterans small business 
programs under section 8127 of title 38, U.S.C.
    Section 4(b) states that this section would take effect on 
October 1, 2014.

Section 5--Under Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity

    Section 5(a) would amend title 38, U.S.C., to create a new 
section 306A that would create the position of the Under 
Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity. Under this 
section, the new Under Secretary would be appointed by the 
President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Under 
Secretary would have to have demonstrated ability in 
information technology and administration of programs within 
the Economic Opportunity Administration or similar programs.
    The section also would require that when there is a vacancy 
for this position, the Secretary would establish a commission 
to recommend individuals to the President for appointment to 
the position. This commission would be composed of three 
persons representing programs or industries affected by the new 
administration, two veterans served by the new administration, 
two persons with private sector experience with programs in 
similar content and scope as the new administration, the Deputy 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the chairman of the Veterans 
Advisory Committee on Education, and one person who has held 
the position of Under Secretary of Veterans Economic 
Opportunity if the Secretary determines having this person on 
the commission is desirable.
    The Commission would recommend at least three individuals 
for appointment for the Under Secretary position to the 
Secretary. The Secretary would then submit these 
recommendations, with or without comment as the Secretary 
desires, to the President and the House and Senate Committees 
on Veterans' Affairs. Each of these individuals submitted by 
the commission would have to have held a senior level position 
in the private sector with responsibilities relating to similar 
programs as those administered by the Veterans Opportunity 
Administration.
    Section 5(b) would provide conforming amendments.
    Section 5(c) would require that for each of fiscal years 
2014 and 2015 the aggregate number of full-time equivalent 
employees authorized for the Veterans Benefit Administration 
and the Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration in either 
year would be no greater than 20,851.
    Section 5(d) would require that the amendment made by this 
section be effective on October 1, 2014.

Section 6--Five year extension of the Homeless Veterans Reintegration 
        Program

    Section 6 would amend 2021(e)(F) of title 38, U.S.C., to 
reauthorize the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program until 
the end of fiscal year 2018.

Section 7--Entitlement of children of certain deceased veterans to 
        educational assistance under the Post-9/11 Educational 
        Assistance Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs

    Section 7(a) would amend section 3311(b)(9) to add an 
additional eligibility for the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John 
David Frye Scholarship to include children of veterans that die 
within 31 days of discharge as a result of the injury for which 
the veterans received a Purple Heart.
    Section 7(b) would stipulate that such eligibility under 
section 7(a) would apply to veterans who died after September 
11, 2001.
    Section 7(c) would state that payments to eligible children 
under chapter 33 of title 38, U.S.C. made eligible by this 
section shall be effective no earlier than October 1, 2014.

Section 8--Re-codification and improvement of election process for 
        Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program

    Section 8 would create section 3326 of title 38, U.S.C., by 
re-codifying section 5003(c) of the Post-9/11 Veterans 
Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-252). Section 8(h) 
would be added to this section and would authorize VA, after 
October 1, 2014, to make an alternative election for veterans 
to relinquish their eligibly for other VA education program(s) 
in order to transfer into the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The VA would 
make this election for the veteran if VA believes the veteran's 
choice was not in the veteran's best interests. Under this 
section, if the VA makes this election, the veteran would have 
to be notified within seven days and given 30 days in which he 
or she could change the VA's decision.

Section 9--Centralized reporting of veteran enrollment by certain 
        groups, districts, and consortiums of educational institutions

    Section 9 would amend section 3684(a) of title 38, U.S.C., 
by permitting a group, district, or consortium of separately 
accredited educational institutions located in the state to 
centralize the reporting of statutorily required GI Bill 
enrollment information.

Section 10--Extension of loan guaranty fee for certain subsequent loans

    Section 10 would amend section 3729(b)(2)(B) of title 38, 
U.S.C., to authorize the extension of the current rate of 
funding fees for subsequent use loans from October 1, 2017 to 
October 1, 2018.

Section 11--Mortgage protection for members of the armed forces, 
        surviving spouses, and certain veterans

    Section 11(a) would amend SCRA to create a new section 303A 
related to mortgages and trust deeds of certain servicemembers, 
surviving spouses, and disabled veterans. The section would 
cover obligations on real and personal property purchased by a 
covered individual at any time to include both judicial and 
non-judicial foreclosure actions. This section would also 
authorize a court, on its own motion or upon application by a 
covered individual, to stay a foreclosure action and require 
the creditor to cease foreclosure action upon notice by a 
covered individual during the covered time period. It would 
allow a foreclosure to be completed with a court order or a 
waiver of rights by the covered person if a stay is not 
granted.
    The new 303A(d) would require a covered individual to 
provide notice of SCRA protection to the creditor during the 
covered period to qualify for the protections. Where 
applicable, the notice would include a copy of military orders 
or any notification, certification, or verification from the 
servicemember's commanding officer, etc. The new section 
303A(e) would require that the aggregate period that a covered 
individual would be protected by this section would be 12 
months. Section 303A(f) would make it a misdemeanor for a 
person to knowingly foreclose on or sell a covered individual's 
home or property in violation of the protections that would be 
extended by this section.
    Under the new 303A(g)(1), ``covered persons'' would be 
defined as including: servicemembers on active duty serving in 
support of contingency operations, servicemembers in a 
convalescent status, servicemembers placed on the Temporary 
Disability Retired List (TDRL), servicemembers medically 
discharged and retired under Chapter 61 of Title 10, U.S.C., 
except those separated under section 1207 (separated for 
misconduct), and surviving spouses of servicemembers who died 
during military service.
    Under the new 303A(g)(2), covered time periods would be 
defined as starting from the effective date of orders until 12 
months following return for servicemembers supporting 
contingency operations, 12 months after entering such status 
for those on convalescent status or TDRL, 12 months after 
retirement for those retired under Chapter 61, 12 months after 
death of the servicemember for surviving spouses, and a maximum 
of 12 months of aggregate coverage if a covered person 
qualifies under more than one category of covered persons.
    Section 11(b) would amend paragraph 3 of section 802(b) of 
SCRA to double the existing civil penalties for violations of 
mortgage protections.
    Section 11(c) would prohibit credit discrimination against 
those who are or may be covered under SCRA.
    Section 11(d) would require that all amendments to SCRA 
that would be made by this section would take effect on October 
1, 2014.

Section 12--Treatment of relocation for active duty for purposes of 
        mortgage refinancing

    Section 12 would amend SCRA to create a new section, 303B, 
which would ensure that, for purposes of refinancing an 
existing mortgage, the creditor would consider the home as the 
primary residence even though the servicemember is absent due 
to military orders. The section would not cover mortgages that 
had been refinanced at any time during the previous 5 years. It 
would consider a refinanced mortgage under this section as a 
pre-service obligation and therefore covered under SCRA if the 
mortgage being refinanced was originated prior to military 
service. These amendments would take effect on October 1, 2014.

Section 13--Requirements for lending institutions that are creditors 
        for obligations and liabilities covered by the Servicemembers 
        Civil Relief Act

    Section 13 would amend section 207 of SCRA to require all 
lending institutions that service or hold SCRA covered 
mortgages to designate an SCRA Compliance officer who would be 
responsible for ensuring the institution's compliance with 
SCRA. The section would also require the covered institutions 
with annual assets of $10 billion have a toll-free phone number 
published on the institution's website.

Section 14--Protection of child custody arrangement for parents who are 
        members of the armed forces.

    Section 14 amends Title II of the Servicemembers Civil 
Relief Act by adding a new section 208 on child custody 
protection.
    Subsection (a) provides for a new section 208 in the SCRA 
that provides that if a court renders a temporary order for 
custodial responsibility for a child based solely on a 
deployment or anticipated deployment of a parent who is a 
servicemember, then the court shall require that upon the 
return of the servicemember from deployment, the custody order 
that was in effect immediately preceding the temporary order 
shall be reinstated, unless the court finds that such a 
reinstatement is not in the best interest of the child.
    Section 208(b) would prohibit courts from considering the 
absence or potential absence of a servicemember from being 
considered as part of the court's determination of the child's 
best interest.
    Section 208(c) would state that nothing in this new section 
shall create a Federal right of action.
    Section 208(d) would require that if any applicable state 
law gives a greater level of protection to the rights of the 
parents than the one provided by this section, the state law 
will apply.
    Section 208(e) would define a deployment as movement or 
mobilization of a servicemember for a period no shorter than 60 
days and not longer than 18 months where the servicemember is 
not authorized to bring their dependents.

         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 I--GENERAL PROVISIONS

                       PART I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Chapter.                                                            Sec.
      General........................................................101
     * * * * * * *

              PART V. BOARDS, ADMINISTRATIONS, AND SERVICES

      Board of Veterans' Appeals....................................7101
     * * * * * * *
8001Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration......................

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


               CHAPTER 3--DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

Sec.
301. Department.
     * * * * * * *
306A. Under Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 306. Under Secretary for Benefits

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c)(1) * * *
  (2) A commission established under this subsection shall be 
composed of the following members appointed by the Secretary:
          [(A) Three persons representing education and 
        training, real estate, mortgage finance, and related 
        industries, and survivor benefits activities affected 
        by the Veterans Benefits Administration.]
          [(B)] (A) Two persons representing veterans served by 
        the Veterans Benefits Administration.
          [(C)] (B) Two persons who have experience in the 
        management of veterans benefits programs or programs of 
        similar content and scope.
          [(D)] (C) The Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
          [(E) The chairman of the Veterans' Advisory Committee 
        on Education formed under section 3692 of this title.]
          [(F)] (D) One person who has held the position of 
        Under Secretary for Benefits (including service as 
        Chief Benefits Director of the Veterans' 
        Administration), if the Secretary determines that it is 
        desirable for such person to be a member of the 
        commission.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 306A. Under Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity

  (a) Under Secretary.--There is in the Department an Under 
Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity, who is appointed 
by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the 
Senate. The Under Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity 
shall be appointed without regard to political affiliation or 
activity and solely on the basis of demonstrated ability in--
          (1) information technology; and
          (2) the administration of programs within the 
        Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration or 
        programs of similar content and scope.
  (b) Responsibilities.--The Under Secretary for Veterans 
Economic Opportunity is the head of, and is directly 
responsible to the Secretary for the operations of, the 
Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration.
  (c) Vacancies.--(1) Whenever a vacancy in the position of 
Under Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity occurs or is 
anticipated, the Secretary shall establish a commission to 
recommend individuals to the President for appointment to the 
position.
  (2) A commission established under this subsection shall be 
composed of the following members appointed by the Secretary:
          (A) Three persons representing education and 
        training, vocational rehabilitation, employment, real 
        estate, mortgage finance and related industries, and 
        survivor benefits activities affected by the Veterans 
        Economic Opportunity Administration.
          (B) Two persons representing veterans served by the 
        Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration.
          (C) Two persons who have experience in the management 
        of private sector benefits programs of similar content 
        and scope to the economic opportunity programs of the 
        Department.
          (D) The Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
          (E) The chairman of the Veterans' Advisory Committee 
        on Education formed under section 3692 of this title.
          (F) One person who has held the position of Under 
        Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity, if the 
        Secretary determines that it is desirable for such 
        person to be a member of the commission.
  (3) A commission established under this subsection shall 
recommend at least three individuals for appointment to the 
position of Under Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity. 
The commission shall submit all recommendations to the 
Secretary. The Secretary shall forward the recommendations to 
the President and the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the 
Senate and House of Representatives with any comments the 
Secretary considers appropriate. Thereafter, the President may 
request the commission to recommend additional individuals for 
appointment.
  (4) The Assistant Secretary or Deputy Assistant Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs who performs personnel management and labor 
relations functions shall serve as the executive secretary of a 
commission established under this subsection.
  (d) Qualifications of Recommended Individuals.--Each 
individual recommended to the President by the commission for 
appointment to the position of Under Secretary for Veterans 
Economic Opportunity shall be an individual who has held a 
senior level position in the private sector with 
responsibilities relating to at least one of the following:
          (1) Education policy.
          (2) Vocational rehabilitation.
          (3) Employment.
          (4) Home loan finance.
          (5) Small business development.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 317. Center for Minority Veterans

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) The Director shall perform the following functions with 
respect to veterans who are minorities:
          (1) * * *
          (2) Make recommendations to the Secretary, the Under 
        Secretary for Health, the Under Secretary for Benefits, 
        the Under Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity, 
        and other Department officials for the establishment or 
        improvement of programs in the Department for which 
        veterans who are minorities are eligible.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 318. Center for Women Veterans

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) The Director shall perform the following functions with 
respect to veterans who are women:
          (1) * * *
          (2) Make recommendations to the Secretary, the Under 
        Secretary for Health, the Under Secretary for Benefits, 
        the Under Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity, 
        and other Department officials for the establishment or 
        improvement of programs in the Department for which 
        veterans who are women are eligible.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


            CHAPTER 5--AUTHORITY AND DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY

SUBCHAPTER I--GENERAL AUTHORITIES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 516. Equal employment responsibilities

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e)(1) * * *
  (2) Paragraph (1) applies to the following officers and 
employees of the Department:
          (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (C) The Under Secretary for [Health and the Under 
        Secretary for Benefits] Health, the Under Secretary for 
        Benefits, and the Under Secretary for Veterans Economic 
        Opportunity.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                  SUBCHAPTER III--ADVISORY COMMITTEES

Sec. 541. Advisory Committee on Former Prisoners of War

  (a)(1) * * *
  (2)(A) * * *
  (B) The Committee shall also include, as ex officio members, 
the Under Secretary for [Health and the Under Secretary for 
Benefits] Health, the Under Secretary for Benefits, and the 
Under Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity, or their 
designees.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 542. Advisory Committee on Women Veterans

  (a)(1) * * *
  (2)(A) * * *
  (B) The Committee shall include, as ex officio members--
          (i) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (iii) the Under Secretary for [Health and the Under 
        Secretary for Benefits] Health, the Under Secretary for 
        Benefits, and the Under Secretary for Veterans Economic 
        Opportunity, or their designees.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 544. Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans

  (a)(1) * * *
  (2)(A) * * *
  (B) The Committee shall include, as ex officio members, the 
following:
          (i) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (vi) The Under Secretary for [Health and the Under 
        Secretary for Benefits] Health, the Under Secretary for 
        Benefits, and the Under Secretary for Veterans Economic 
        Opportunity, or their designees.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 7--EMPLOYEES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 709. Employment restrictions

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c)(1) * * *
  (2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply--
          (A) to the appointment of any person by the President 
        under this title, other than the appointment of the 
        Under Secretary for Health, the Under Secretary for 
        Benefits, the Under Secretary for Veterans Economic 
        Opportunity, and the Inspector General; or

PART II--GENERAL BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 20--BENEFITS FOR HOMELESS VETERANS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                 SUBCHAPTER III--TRAINING AND OUTREACH

SEC. 2021. HOMELESS VETERANS REINTEGRATION PROGRAMS

  (a) * * *
  (e) Authorization of Appropriations.--(1) There are 
authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section amounts 
as follows:
          (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (F) $50,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2007 through 
        [2013] 2018.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART III--READJUSTMENT AND RELATED BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


              CHAPTER 33--POST-9/11 EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

                        SUBCHAPTER i--definitions

Sec.
3301. Definitions.
     * * * * * * *

                SUBCHAPTER iii--administrative provisions

     * * * * * * *
3326. Election to receive educational assistance.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                 SUBCHAPTER II--EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

Sec. 3311. Educational assistance for service in the Armed Forces 
                    commencing on or after September 11, 2001: 
                    entitlement

  (a) * * *
  (b) Covered Individuals.--An individual described in this 
subsection is any individual as follows:
          (1) * * *
          (9) An individual who is the child of a person who, 
        on or after September 11, [2001, dies in line of duty 
        while serving on active duty as a member of the Armed 
        Forces.] 2001--
                  (A) dies in line of duty while serving on 
                active duty as a member of the Armed Forces; or
                  (B) is awarded the Purple Heart for an injury 
                and dies as a result of that injury during the 
                31-day period beginning on the date of the 
                person's discharge or release from active duty 
                service in the Armed Forces.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER III--ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3326. Election to receive educational assistance

  (a) Individuals Eligible To Elect Participation in Post-9/11 
Educational Assistance.--An individual may elect to receive 
educational assistance under this chapter if such individual--
          (1) as of August 1, 2009--
                  (A) is entitled to basic educational 
                assistance under chapter 30 of the title and 
                has used, but retains unused, entitlement under 
                that chapter;
                  (B) is entitled to educational assistance 
                under chapter 107, 1606, or 1607 of title 10 
                and has used, but retains unused, entitlement 
                under the applicable chapter;
                  (C) is entitled to basic educational 
                assistance under chapter 30 of this title but 
                has not used any entitlement under that 
                chapter;
                  (D) is entitled to educational assistance 
                under chapter 107, 1606, or 1607 of title 10 
                but has not used any entitlement under such 
                chapter;
                  (E) is a member of the Armed Forces who is 
                eligible for receipt of basic educational 
                assistance under chapter 30 this title and is 
                making contributions toward such assistance 
                under section 3011(b) or 3012(c) of this title; 
                or
                  (F) is a member of the Armed Forces who is 
                not entitled to basic educational assistance 
                under chapter 30 of this title by reason of an 
                election under section 3011(c)(1) or 3012(d)(1) 
                of this title; and
          (2) as of the date of the individual's election under 
        this paragraph, meets the requirements for entitlement 
        to educational assistance under this chapter.
  (b) Cessation of Contributions Toward GI Bill.--Effective as 
of the first month beginning on or after the date of an 
election under subsection (a) of an individual described by 
paragraph (1)(E) of that subsection, the obligation of the 
individual to make contributions under section 3011(b) or 
3012(c) of this title, as applicable, shall cease, and the 
requirements of such section shall be deemed to be no longer 
applicable to the individual.
  (c) Revocation of Remaining Transferred Entitlement.--
          (1) Election to revoke.--If, on the date an 
        individual described in paragraph (1)(A) or (1)(C) of 
        subsection (a) makes an election under that subsection, 
        a transfer of the entitlement of the individual to 
        basic educational assistance under section 3020 of this 
        title is in effect and a number of months of the 
        entitlement so transferred remain unutilized, the 
        individual may elect to revoke all or a portion of the 
        entitlement so transferred that remains unutilized.
          (2) Availability of revoked entitlement.--Any 
        entitlement revoked by an individual under this 
        paragraph shall no longer be available to the dependent 
        to whom transferred, but shall be available to the 
        individual instead for educational assistance under 
        chapter 33 of this title in accordance with the 
        provisions of this section.
          (3) Availability of unrevoked entitlement.--Any 
        entitlement described in paragraph (1) that is not 
        revoked by an individual in accordance with that 
        paragraph shall remain available to the dependent or 
        dependents concerned in accordance with the current 
        transfer of such entitlement under section 3020 of this 
        title.
  (d) Post-9/11 Educational Assistance.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2) and except 
        as provided in subsection (e), an individual making an 
        election under subsection (a) shall be entitled to 
        educational assistance under this chapter in accordance 
        with the provisions of this chapter, instead of basic 
        educational assistance under chapter 30 this title, or 
        educational assistance under chapter 107, 1606, or 1607 
        of title 10, as applicable.
          (2) Limitation on entitlement for certain 
        individuals.--In the case of an individual making an 
        election under subsection (a) who is described by 
        paragraph (1)(A) of that subsection, the number of 
        months of entitlement of the individual to educational 
        assistance under this chapter 33 shall be the number of 
        months equal to--
                  (A) the number of months of unused 
                entitlement of the individual under chapter 30 
                of this title, as of the date of the election, 
                plus
                  (B) the number of months, if any, of 
                entitlement revoked by the individual under 
                subsection (c)(1).
  (e) Continuing Entitlement to Educational Assistance not 
Available Under 9/11 Assistance Program.--
          (1) In general.--In the event educational assistance 
        to which an individual making an election under 
        subsection (a) would be entitled under chapter 30 of 
        this title, or chapter 107, 1606, or 1607 of title 10, 
        as applicable, is not authorized to be available to the 
        individual under the provisions of this chapter the 
        individual shall remain entitled to such educational 
        assistance in accordance with the provisions of the 
        applicable chapter.
          (2) Charge for use of entitlement.--The utilization 
        by an individual of entitlement under paragraph (1) 
        shall be chargeable against the entitlement of the 
        individual to educational assistance under this chapter 
        at the rate of one month of entitlement under this 
        chapter for each month of entitlement utilized by the 
        individual under paragraph (1) (as determined as if 
        such entitlement were utilized under the provisions of 
        chapter 30 of this title, or chapter 107, 1606, or 1607 
        of title 10, as applicable).
  (f) Additional Post-9/11 Assistance for Members Having Made 
Contributions Toward GI Bill.--
          (1) Additional assistance.--In the case of an 
        individual making an election under subsection (a) who 
        is described by subparagraph (A), (C), or (E) of 
        paragraph (1) of that subsection, the amount of 
        educational assistance payable to the individual under 
        this chapter 33 as a monthly stipend payable under 
        paragraph (1)(B) of section 3313(c) of this title, or 
        under paragraphs (2) through (7) of that section (as 
        applicable), shall be the amount otherwise payable as a 
        monthly stipend under the applicable paragraph 
        increased by the amount equal to--
                  (A) the total amount of contributions toward 
                basic educational assistance made by the 
                individual under section 3011(b) or 3012(c) of 
                this title, as of the date of the election, 
                multiplied by
                  (B) the fraction--
                          (i) the numerator of which is--
                                  (I) the number of months of 
                                entitlement to basic 
                                educational assistance under 
                                chapter 30 of this title 
                                remaining to the individual at 
                                the time of the election; plus
                                  (II) the number of months, if 
                                any, of entitlement under such 
                                chapter 30 revoked by the 
                                individual under subsection 
                                (c)(1); and
                          (ii) the denominator of which is 36 
                        months.
          (2) Months of remaining entitlement for certain 
        individuals.--In the case of an individual covered by 
        paragraph (1) who is described by subsection (a)(1)(E), 
        the number of months of entitlement to basic 
        educational assistance remaining to the individual for 
        purposes of paragraph (1)(B)(i)(II) shall be 36 months.
          (3) Timing of payment.--The amount payable with 
        respect to an individual under paragraph (1) shall be 
        paid to the individual together with the last payment 
        of the monthly stipend payable to the individual under 
        paragraph (1)(B) of section 3313(c) of this title, or 
        under subsections (b) through (g) of that section (as 
        applicable), before the exhaustion of the individual's 
        entitlement to educational assistance under this 
        chapter.
  (g) Continuing Entitlement to Additional Assistance for 
Critical Skills or Speciality and Additional Service.--An 
individual making an election under subsection (a)(1) who, at 
the time of the election, is entitled to increased educational 
assistance under section 3015(d) of this title, or section 
16131(i) of title 10, or supplemental educational assistance 
under subchapter III of chapter 30 of this title, shall remain 
entitled to such increased educational assistance or 
supplemental educational assistance in the utilization of 
entitlement to educational assistance under this chapter, in an 
amount equal to the quarter, semester, or term, as applicable, 
equivalent of the monthly amount of such increased educational 
assistance or supplemental educational assistance payable with 
respect to the individual at the time of the election.
  (h) Alternative Election by Secretary.--
          (1) In general.--In the case of an individual who, on 
        or after October 1, 2014, submits to the Secretary an 
        election under this section that the Secretary 
        determines is clearly against the interests of the 
        individual, the Secretary may make an alternative 
        election on behalf of the individual that the Secretary 
        determines is in the best interests of the individual.
          (2) Notice.--If the Secretary makes an election on 
        behalf of an individual under this subsection, the 
        Secretary shall notify the individual by not later than 
        seven days after making such election and shall provide 
        the individual with a 30-day period, beginning on the 
        date of the individual's receipt of such notice, during 
        which the individual may modify or revoke the election 
        made by the Secretary on the individual's behalf. The 
        Secretary shall include, as part of such notice, a 
        clear statement of why the alternative election made by 
        the Secretary is in the best interests of the 
        individual as compared to the election submitted by the 
        individual. The Secretary shall provide the notice 
        required under this paragraph by electronic means 
        whenever possible.
  (i) Irrevocability of Elections.--An election under 
subsection (a) or (c)(1) is irrevocable.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 36--ADMINISTRATION OF EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER II--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3684. Reports by veterans, eligible persons, and institutions; 
                    reporting fee

  (a)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this 
subsection, the veteran or eligible person and the educational 
institution offering a course in which such veteran or eligible 
person is enrolled under chapter 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, or 36 of 
this title shall, without delay, report to the Secretary, in 
the form prescribed by the Secretary, such enrollment and any 
interruption or termination of the education of each such 
veteran or eligible person. The date of such interruption or 
termination will be the last date of pursuit, or, in the case 
of correspondence training, the last date a lesson was serviced 
by a school.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (4) For purposes of this subsection, the term ``educational 
institution'' may include a group, district, or consortium of 
separately accredited educational institutions located in the 
same State that are organized in a manner that facilitates the 
centralized reporting of the enrollments in such group, 
district, or consortium of institutions.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 37--HOUSING AND SMALL BUSINESS LOANS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


               SUBCHAPTER III--ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

SEC. 3729. LOAN FEE

  (a) * * *
  (b) Determination of Fee.--(1) * * *
  (2) The loan fee table referred to in paragraph (1) is as 
follows:


                             LOAN FEE TABLE
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Active duty
 Type of loan        veteran            Reservist         Other obligor
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(A)(i) Initial  2.00               2.75                 NA
 loan
 described in
 section 3710
 38 USC Sec.
 3710(a) to
 purchase or
 construct a
 dwelling with
 0-down, or
 any other
 initial loan
 described in
 section 3710
 38 USC Sec.
 3710(a) other
 than with 5-
 down or 10-
 down (closed
 before
 January 1,
 2004)
(A)(ii)         2.20               2.40                 NA
 Initial loan
 described in
 section 3710
 38 USC Sec.
 3710 (a) to
 purchase or
 construct a
 dwelling with
 0-down, or
 any other
 initial loan
 described in
 section 3710
 38 USC Sec.
 3710(a) other
 than with 5-
 down or 10-
 down (closed
 on or after
 January 1,
 2004, and
 before
 October 1,
 2004)
(A)(iii)        2.15               2.40                 NA
 Initial loan
 described in
 section 3710
 38 USC Sec.
 3710(a) to
 purchase or
 construct a
 dwelling with
 0-down, or
 any other
 initial loan
 described in
 section 3710
 38 USC Sec.
 3710(a) other
 than with 5-
 down or 10-
 down (closed
 on or after
 October 1,
 2004, and
 before
 October 1,
 2017)
(A)(iv)         1.40               1.65                 NA
 Initial loan
 described in
 section 3710
 (a) to
 purchase or
 construct a
 dwelling with
 0-down, or
 any other
 initial loan
 described in
 section
 3710(a) other
 than with 5-
 down or 10-
 down (closed
 on or after
 October 1,
 2017)
(B)(i)          3.30               3.30                 NA
 Subsequent
 loan
 described in
 section 3710
 (a) to
 purchase or
 construct a
 dwelling with
 0-down, or
 any other
 subsequent
 loan
 described in
 section
 3710(a)
 (closed
 before
 [October 1,
 2017] October
 1, 2018)
(B)(ii)         1.25               1.25                 NA
 Subsequent
 loan
 described in
 section 3710
 (a) to
 purchase or
 construct a
 dwelling with
 0-down, or
 any other
 subsequent
 loan
 described in
 section 3710
 (a) (closed
 on or after
 [October 1,
 2017] October
 1, 2018)
(C)(i) Loan     1.50               1.75                 NA
 described in
 section
 3710(a) to
 purchase or
 construct a
 dwelling with
 5-down
 (closed
 before
 October 1,
 2017)
(C)(ii) Loan    0.75               1.00                 NA
 described in
 section
 3710(a) to
 purchase or
 construct a
 dwelling with
 5-down
 (closed on or
 after October
 1, 2017)
(D)(i) Initial  1.25               1.50                 NA
 loan
 described in
 section
 3710(a) to
 purchase or
 construct a
 dwelling with
 10-down
 (closed
 before
 October 1,
 2017)
(D)(ii)         0.50               0.75                 NA
 Initial loan
 described in
 section
 3710(a) to
 purchase or
 construct a
 dwelling with
 10-down
 (closed on or
 after October
 1, 2017)
(E) Interest    0.50               0.50                 NA
 rate
 reduction
 refinancing
 loan
(F) Direct      1.00               1.00                 NA
 loan under
 section 3711
(G)             1.00               1.00                 NA
 Manufactured
 home loan
 under section
 3712 (other
 than an
 interest rate
 reduction
 refinancing
 loan)
(H) Loan to     1.25               1.25                 NA
 Native
 American
 veteran under
 section 3762
 (other than
 an interest
 rate
 reduction
 refinancing
 loan)
(I) Loan        0.50               0.50                 0.50
 assumption
 under section
 3714
(J) Loan under  2.25               2.25                 2.25
 section
 3733(a)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                        

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
PART V--BOARDS, ADMINISTRATIONS, AND SERVICES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


              CHAPTER 77--VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION

                  SUBCHAPTER I--ORGANIZATION; GENERAL

Sec. 7701. Organization of the Administration

  (a) There is in the Department of Veterans Affairs a Veterans 
Benefits Administration. The primary function of the Veterans 
Benefits Administration is the administration of nonmedical 
benefits programs of the Department which provide assistance, 
other than assistance related to economic opportunity, to 
veterans and their dependents and survivors.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 7703. Functions of the Administration

  The Veterans Benefits Administration is responsible for the 
administration of the following programs of the Department:
          (1) * * *
          [(2) Vocational rehabilitation and educational 
        assistance programs.
          [(3) Veterans' housing loan programs.]
          [(4)] (2) Veterans' and servicemembers' life 
        insurance programs.
          [(5)] (3) Outreach programs and other veterans' 
        services programs.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


        CHAPTER 80--VETERANS ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ADMINISTRATION

8001. Organization of Administration.
8002. Functions of Administration.

Sec. 8001. Organization of Administration

  (a) Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration.--There is 
in the Department of Veterans Affairs a Veterans Economic 
Opportunity Administration. The primary function of the 
Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration is the 
administration of the programs of the Department which provide 
assistance related to economic opportunity to veterans and 
their dependents and survivors.
  (b) Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity.--The Veterans 
Economic Opportunity Administration is under the Under 
Secretary for Veterans Economic Opportunity, who is directly 
responsible to the Secretary for the operations of the 
Administration.

Sec. 8002. Functions of Administration

  The Veterans Economic Opportunity Administration is 
responsible for the administration of the following programs of 
the Department:
          (1) Vocational rehabilitation and employment 
        programs.
          (2) Educational assistance programs.
          (3) Veterans' housing loan and related programs.
          (4) The veterans small business program under section 
        8127 of this title.
                              ----------                              


 SECTION 5003 OF THE POST-9/11 VETERANS EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE ACT OF 
                                  2008

SEC. 5003. EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE FOR MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES WHO 
                    SERVE AFTER SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(c) Applicability to Individuals Under Montgomery GI Bill 
Program.--
          [(1) Individuals eligible to elect participation in 
        post-9/11 educational assistance.--An individual may 
        elect to receive educational assistance under chapter 
        33 of title 38, United States Code (as added by 
        subsection (a)), if such individual--
                  [(A) as of August 1, 2009--
                          [(i) is entitled to basic educational 
                        assistance under chapter 30 of title 
                        38, United States Code, and has used, 
                        but retains unused, entitlement under 
                        that chapter;
                          [(ii) is entitled to educational 
                        assistance under chapter 107, 1606, or 
                        1607 of title 10, United States Code, 
                        and has used, but retains unused, 
                        entitlement under the applicable 
                        chapter;
                          [(iii) is entitled to basic 
                        educational assistance under chapter 30 
                        of title 38, United States Code, but 
                        has not used any entitlement under that 
                        chapter;
                          [(iv) is entitled to educational 
                        assistance under chapter 107, 1606, or 
                        1607 of title 10, United States Code, 
                        but has not used any entitlement under 
                        such chapter;
                          [(v) is a member of the Armed Forces 
                        who is eligible for receipt of basic 
                        educational assistance under chapter 30 
                        of title 38, United States Code, and is 
                        making contributions toward such 
                        assistance under section 3011(b) or 
                        3012(c) of such title; or
                          [(vi) is a member of the Armed Forces 
                        who is not entitled to basic 
                        educational assistance under chapter 30 
                        of title 38, United States Code, by 
                        reason of an election under section 
                        3011(c)(1) or 3012(d)(1) of such title; 
                        and
                  [(B) as of the date of the individual's 
                election under this paragraph, meets the 
                requirements for entitlement to educational 
                assistance under chapter 33 of title 38, United 
                States Code (as so added).
          [(2) Cessation of contributions toward gi bill.--
        Effective as of the first month beginning on or after 
        the date of an election under paragraph (1) of an 
        individual described by subparagraph (A)(v) of that 
        paragraph, the obligation of the individual to make 
        contributions under section 3011(b) or 3012(c) of title 
        38, United States Code, as applicable, shall cease, and 
        the requirements of such section shall be deemed to be 
        no longer applicable to the individual.
          [(3) Revocation of remaining transferred 
        entitlement.--
                  [(A) Election to revoke.--If, on the date an 
                individual described in subparagraph (A)(i) or 
                (A)(iii) of paragraph (1) makes an election 
                under that paragraph, a transfer of the 
                entitlement of the individual to basic 
                educational assistance under section 3020 of 
                title 38, United States Code, is in effect and 
                a number of months of the entitlement so 
                transferred remain unutilized, the individual 
                may elect to revoke all or a portion of the 
                entitlement so transferred that remains 
                unutilized.
                  [(B) Availability of revoked entitlement.--
                Any entitlement revoked by an individual under 
                this paragraph shall no longer be available to 
                the dependent to whom transferred, but shall be 
                available to the individual instead for 
                educational assistance under chapter 33 of 
                title 38, United States Code (as so added), in 
                accordance with the provisions of this 
                subsection.
                  [(C) Availability of unrevoked entitlement.--
                Any entitlement described in subparagraph (A) 
                that is not revoked by an individual in 
                accordance with that subparagraph shall remain 
                available to the dependent or dependents 
                concerned in accordance with the current 
                transfer of such entitlement under section 3020 
                of title 38, United States Code.
          [(4) Post-9/11 educational assistance.--
                  [(A) In general.--Subject to subparagraph (B) 
                and except as provided in paragraph (5), an 
                individual making an election under paragraph 
                (1) shall be entitled to educational assistance 
                under chapter 33 of title 38, United States 
                Code (as so added), in accordance with the 
                provisions of such chapter, instead of basic 
                educational assistance under chapter 30 of 
                title 38, United States Code, or educational 
                assistance under chapter 107, 1606, or 1607 of 
                title 10, United States Code, as applicable.
                  [(B) Limitation on entitlement for certain 
                individuals.--In the case of an individual 
                making an election under paragraph (1) who is 
                described by subparagraph (A)(i) of that 
                paragraph, the number of months of entitlement 
                of the individual to educational assistance 
                under chapter 33 of title 38, United States 
                Code (as so added), shall be the number of 
                months equal to--
                          [(i) the number of months of unused 
                        entitlement of the individual under 
                        chapter 30 of title 38, United States 
                        Code, as of the date of the election, 
                        plus
                          [(ii) the number of months, if any, 
                        of entitlement revoked by the 
                        individual under paragraph (3)(A).
          [(5) Continuing entitlement to educational assistance 
        not available under 9/11 assistance program.--
                  [(A) In general.--In the event educational 
                assistance to which an individual making an 
                election under paragraph (1) would be entitled 
                under chapter 30 of title 38, United States 
                Code, or chapter 107, 1606, or 1607 of title 
                10, United States Code, as applicable, is not 
                authorized to be available to the individual 
                under the provisions of chapter 33 of title 38, 
                United States Code (as so added), the 
                individual shall remain entitled to such 
                educational assistance in accordance with the 
                provisions of the applicable chapter.
                  [(B) Charge for use of entitlement.--The 
                utilization by an individual of entitlement 
                under subparagraph (A) shall be chargeable 
                against the entitlement of the individual to 
                educational assistance under chapter 33 of 
                title 38, United States Code (as so added), at 
                the rate of one month of entitlement under such 
                chapter 33 for each month of entitlement 
                utilized by the individual under subparagraph 
                (A) (as determined as if such entitlement were 
                utilized under the provisions of chapter 30 of 
                title 38, United States Code, or chapter 107, 
                1606, or 1607 of title 10, United States Code, 
                as applicable).
          [(6) Additional post-9/11 assistance for members 
        having made contributions toward gi bill.--
                  [(A) Additional assistance.--In the case of 
                an individual making an election under 
                paragraph (1) who is described by clause (i), 
                (iii), or (v) of subparagraph (A) of that 
                paragraph, the amount of educational assistance 
                payable to the individual under chapter 33 of 
                title 38, United States Code (as so added), as 
                a monthly stipend payable under paragraph 
                (1)(B) of section 3313(c) of such title, or 
                under paragraphs (2) through (7) of that 
                section (as applicable), shall be the amount 
                otherwise payable as a monthly stipend under 
                the applicable paragraph increased by the 
                amount equal to--
                          [(i) the total amount of 
                        contributions toward basic educational 
                        assistance made by the individual under 
                        section 3011(b) or 3012(c) of title 38, 
                        United States Code, as of the date of 
                        the election, multiplied by
                          [(ii) the fraction--
                                  [(I) the numerator of which 
                                is--
                                          [(aa) the number of 
                                        months of entitlement 
                                        to basic educational 
                                        assistance under 
                                        chapter 30 of title 38, 
                                        United States Code, 
                                        remaining to the 
                                        individual at the time 
                                        of the election; plus
                                          [(bb) the number of 
                                        months, if any, of 
                                        entitlement under such 
                                        chapter 30 revoked by 
                                        the individual under 
                                        paragraph (3)(A); and
                                  [(II) the denominator of 
                                which is 36 months.
                  [(B) Months of remaining entitlement for 
                certain individuals.--In the case of an 
                individual covered by subparagraph (A) who is 
                described by paragraph (1)(A)(v), the number of 
                months of entitlement to basic educational 
                assistance remaining to the individual for 
                purposes of subparagraph (A)(ii)(I)(aa) shall 
                be 36 months.
                  [(C) Timing of payment.--The amount payable 
                with respect to an individual under 
                subparagraph (A) shall be paid to the 
                individual together with the last payment of 
                the monthly stipend payable to the individual 
                under paragraph (1)(B) of section 3313(c) of 
                title 38, United States Code (as so added), or 
                under paragraphs (2) through (7) of that 
                section (as applicable), before the exhaustion 
                of the individual's entitlement to educational 
                assistance under chapter 33 of such title (as 
                so added).
          [(7) Continuing entitlement to additional assistance 
        for critical skills or speciality and additional 
        service.--An individual making an election under 
        paragraph (1)(A) who, at the time of the election, is 
        entitled to increased educational assistance under 
        section 3015(d) of title 38, United States Code, or 
        section 16131(i) of title 10, United States Code, or 
        supplemental educational assistance under subchapter 
        III of chapter 30 of title 38, United States Code, 
        shall remain entitled to such increased educational 
        assistance or supplemental educational assistance in 
        the utilization of entitlement to educational 
        assistance under chapter 33 of title 38, United States 
        Code (as so added), in an amount equal to the quarter, 
        semester, or term, as applicable, equivalent of the 
        monthly amount of such increased educational assistance 
        or supplemental educational assistance payable with 
        respect to the individual at the time of the election.
          [(8) Irrevocability of elections.--An election under 
        paragraph (1) or (3)(A) is irrevocable.]
                              ----------                              


                    SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a) * * *
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is 
as follows:

     * * * * * * *

                        TITLE II--GENERAL RELIEF

     * * * * * * *
208. Child custody protection.

 TITLE III--RENT, INSTALLMENT CONTRACTS, MORTGAGES, LIENS, ASSIGNMENT, 
                   LEASES, TELEPHONE SERVICE CONTRACTS

     * * * * * * *
Sec. 303A. Mortgages and trust deeds of certain servicemembers, 
          surviving spouses, and disabled veterans.
Sec. 303B. Treatment of relocation for active duty for purposes of 
          mortgage refinancing.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE I--GENERAL PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 107. WAIVER OF RIGHTS PURSUANT TO WRITTEN AGREEMENT.

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e) Other Individuals.--For purposes of this section, the 
term ``servicemember'' includes any covered individual under 
section 303A.

SEC. 108. EXERCISE OF RIGHTS UNDER ACT NOT TO AFFECT CERTAIN FUTURE 
                    FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS.

  [Application by] (a) Application or Receipt._Application by a 
servicemember for, or receipt by a servicemember of, a stay, 
postponement, or suspension pursuant to this Act in the payment 
of a tax, fine, penalty, insurance premium, or other civil 
obligation or liability of that servicemember shall not itself 
(without regard to other considerations) provide the basis for 
any of the following:
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (b) Eligibility.--In addition to the protections under 
subsection (a), an individual who is entitled to any right or 
protection provided under this Act may not be denied or refused 
credit or be subject to any other action described under 
paragraphs (1) through (6) of subsection (a) solely by reason 
of such entitlement.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE II--GENERAL RELIEF

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 207. MAXIMUM RATE OF INTEREST ON DEBTS INCURRED BEFORE MILITARY 
                    SERVICE.

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) Lending Institution Requirements.--
          (1) Compliance officers.--Each lending institution 
        subject to the requirements of this section shall 
        designate an employee of the institution as a 
        compliance officer who is responsible for ensuring the 
        institution's compliance with this section and for 
        distributing information to servicemembers whose 
        obligations and liabilities are covered by this 
        section.
          (2) Toll-free telephone number.--During any fiscal 
        year, a lending institution subject to the requirements 
        of this section that had annual assets for the 
        preceding fiscal year of $10,000,000,000 or more shall 
        maintain a toll-free telephone number and shall make 
        such telephone number available on the primary Internet 
        website of the institution.
  [(d)] (e) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(e)] (f) Penalty.--Whoever knowingly violates subsection (a) 
shall be fined as provided in title 18, United States Code, 
imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

SEC. 208. CHILD CUSTODY PROTECTION.

  (a) Restriction on Temporary Custody Order.--If a court 
renders a temporary order for custodial responsibility for a 
child based solely on a deployment or anticipated deployment of 
a parent who is a servicemember, then the court shall require 
that, upon the return of the servicemember from deployment, the 
custody order that was in effect immediately preceding the 
temporary order shall be reinstated, unless the court finds 
that such a reinstatement is not in the best interest of the 
child, except that any such finding shall be subject to 
subsection (b).
  (b) Limitation on Consideration of Member's Deployment in 
Determination of Child's Best Interest.--If a motion or a 
petition is filed seeking a permanent order to modify the 
custody of the child of a servicemember, no court may consider 
the absence of the servicemember by reason of deployment, or 
the possibility of deployment, as the sole factor in 
determining the best interest of the child.
  (c) No Federal Jurisdiction or Right of Action or Removal.--
Nothing in this section shall create a Federal right of action 
or otherwise give rise to Federal jurisdiction or create a 
right of removal.
  (d) Preemption.--In any case where State law applicable to a 
child custody proceeding involving a temporary order as 
contemplated in this section provides a higher standard of 
protection to the rights of the parent who is a deploying 
servicemember than the rights provided under this section with 
respect to such temporary order, the appropriate court shall 
apply the higher State standard.
  (e) Deployment Defined.--In this section, the term 
``deployment'' means the movement or mobilization of a 
servicemember to a location for a period of longer than 60 days 
and not longer than 540 days pursuant to temporary or permanent 
official orders--
          (1) that are designated as unaccompanied;
          (2) for which dependent travel is not authorized; or
          (3) that otherwise do not permit the movement of 
        family members to that location.

 TITLE III--RENT, INSTALLMENT CONTRACTS, MORTGAGES, LIENS, ASSIGNMENT, 
LEASES, TELEPHONE SERVICE CONTRACTS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 303A. MORTGAGES AND TRUST DEEDS OF CERTAIN SERVICEMEMBERS, 
                    SURVIVING SPOUSES, AND DISABLED VETERANS.

  (a) Mortgage as Security.--This section applies only to an 
obligation on real or personal property owned by a covered 
individual that--
          (1) originated at any time and for which the covered 
        individual is still obligated; and
          (2) is secured by a mortgage, trust deed, or other 
        security in the nature of a mortgage.
  (b) Stay of Proceedings.--
          (1) In general.--In accordance with subsection 
        (d)(1), in a judicial action pending or in a 
        nonjudicial action commenced during a covered time 
        period to enforce an obligation described in subsection 
        (a), a court--
                  (A) may, after a hearing and on its own 
                motion, stay the proceedings until the end of 
                the covered time period; and
                  (B) shall, upon application by a covered 
                individual, stay the proceedings until the end 
                of the covered time period.
          (2) Obligation to stop proceedings.--Upon receipt of 
        notice provided under subsection (d)(1), a mortgagee, 
        trustee, or other creditor seeking to foreclose on real 
        property secured by an obligation covered by this 
        section using any judicial or nonjudicial proceedings 
        shall immediately stop any such proceeding until the 
        end of the covered time period.
  (c) Sale or Foreclosure.--A sale, judicial or nonjudicial 
foreclosure, or seizure of property for a breach of an 
obligation described in subsection (a) that is not stayed under 
subsection (b) shall not be valid during a covered time period 
except--
          (1) upon a court order granted before such sale, 
        judicial or nonjudicial foreclosure, or seizure with a 
        return made and approved by the court; or
          (2) if made pursuant to an agreement as provided in 
        section 107.
  (d) Notice Required.--
          (1) In general.--To be covered under this section, a 
        covered individual shall provide to the mortgagee, 
        trustee, or other creditor written notice that such 
        individual is so covered.
          (2) Manner.--Written notice under paragraph (1) may 
        be provided electronically.
          (3) Time.--Notice provided under paragraph (1) shall 
        be provided during the covered time period.
          (4) Contents.--With respect to a servicemember 
        described in subsection (g)(1)(A), notice shall 
        include--
                  (A) a copy of the servicemember's official 
                military orders, or any notification, 
                certification, or verification from a 
                servicemember's commanding officer that 
                provides evidence of servicemember's 
                eligibility for special pay as described in 
                subsection (g)(1)(A); or
                  (B) an official notice using a form designed 
                under paragraph (5).
          (5) Official forms.--
                  (A) In general.--The Secretary of Defense 
                shall design and distribute an official 
                Department of Defense form that can be used by 
                an individual to give notice under paragraph 
                (1).
                  (B) Use of official form not required.--
                Failure by any individual to use a form 
                designed or distributed under subparagraph (A) 
                to provide notice shall not make such provision 
                of notice invalid.
  (e) Aggregate Duration.--The aggregate duration for which a 
covered individual (except a servicemember described in 
subsection (g)(1)(A)) may be covered under this section is one 
year.
  (f) Misdemeanor.--A person who knowingly makes or causes to 
be made a sale, foreclosure, or seizure of property that is 
prohibited by subsection (c), or who knowingly attempts to do 
so, shall be fined as provided in title 18, United States Code, 
or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
  (g) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Covered individual.--The term ``covered 
        individual'' means the following individuals:
                  (A) A servicemember who is or was eligible 
                for hostile fire or imminent danger special pay 
                under section 310 of title 37, United States 
                Code, during a period of military service.
                  (B) A servicemember placed on convalescent 
                status, including a servicemember transferred 
                to the temporary disability retired list under 
                section 1202 or 1205 of title 10, United States 
                Code.
                  (C) A veteran who was medically discharged 
                and retired under chapter 61 of title 10, 
                United States Code, except for a veteran 
                described in section 1207 of such title.
                  (D) A surviving spouse (as defined in section 
                101(3) of title 38, United States Code, and in 
                accordance with section 103 of such title) of a 
                servicemember who died while in military 
                service if such spouse is the successor in 
                interest to property covered under subsection 
                (a).
          (2) Covered time period.--The term ``covered time 
        period'' means the following time periods:
                  (A) With respect to a servicemember who is or 
                was eligible for hostile fire or imminent 
                danger special pay under section 310 of title 
                37, United States Code, during a period of 
                military service, during the period beginning 
                on the first day on which the servicemember is 
                or was eligible for such special pay during 
                such period of military service and ending on 
                the date that is one year after the last day of 
                such period of military service.
                  (B) With respect to a servicemember described 
                in paragraph (1)(B), during the one-year period 
                beginning on the date on which the 
                servicemember is placed on convalescent status 
                or transferred to the temporary disability 
                retired list under section 1202 or 1205 of 
                title 10, United States Code.
                  (C) With respect to a veteran described in 
                paragraph (1)(C), during the one-year period 
                beginning on the date of the retirement of such 
                veteran.
                  (D) With respect to a surviving spouse of a 
                servicemember as described in paragraph (1)(D), 
                during the one-year period beginning on the 
                date on which the spouse receives notice of the 
                death of the servicemember.

SEC. 303B. TREATMENT OF RELOCATION FOR ACTIVE DUTY FOR PURPOSES OF 
                    MORTGAGE REFINANCING.

  (a) Treatment of Absence From Residence due to Active Duty.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), if, at any 
        time that a servicemember who is the mortgagor under an 
        existing mortgage does not reside in the residence that 
        secures the existing mortgage because of relocation 
        described in subsection (c)(1)(B), such servicemember 
        inquires about or applies for a covered refinancing 
        mortgage, such servicemember shall be, for all purposes 
        relating to the covered refinancing mortgage, including 
        such inquiry or application and eligibility for and 
        compliance with any underwriting criteria and standards 
        regarding such covered refinancing mortgage, considered 
        to occupy the residence that secures the existing 
        mortgage to be paid or prepaid by such covered 
        refinancing mortgage as the principal residence of the 
        servicemember during the period of any such relocation.
          (2) Limitation.--Paragraph (1) shall not apply with 
        respect to a servicemember at any time if, during the 
        five-year period preceding such time, the servicemember 
        entered into a covered refinancing mortgage pursuant to 
        this section.
  (b) Mortgages Originated Before Period Military Service.--If 
a covered refinancing mortgage is entered into pursuant to this 
section with respect to an existing mortgage that originated 
before the period of the servicemember's military service, such 
covered refinancing mortgage shall be deemed to be an 
obligation that originated before the period of the 
servicemember's military service and for which the 
servicemember is still obligated for purposes of section 
303(a)(1).
  (c) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Existing mortgage.--The term ``existing 
        mortgage'' means a mortgage that is secured by a 1- to 
        4-family residence, including a condominium or a share 
        in a cooperative ownership housing association, that 
        was the principal residence of a servicemember for a 
        period that--
                  (A) had a duration of 13 consecutive months 
                or longer; and
                  (B) ended upon the relocation of the 
                servicemember caused by the servicemember 
                receiving military orders for a permanent 
                change of station or to deploy with a military 
                unit, or as an individual in support of a 
                military operation, for a period of not less 
                than 90 days that did not allow the 
                servicemember to continue to occupy such 
                residence as a principal residence.
          (2) Covered refinancing mortgage.--The term ``covered 
        refinancing mortgage'' means any mortgage--
                  (A) that is made for the purpose of paying or 
                prepaying, and extinguishing, the outstanding 
                obligations under an existing mortgage or 
                mortgages; and
                  (B) that is secured by the same residence 
                that secured such existing mortgage or 
                mortgages.

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                      TITLE VIII--CIVIL LIABILITY

SEC. 801. ENFORCEMENT BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.

  (a) * * *
  (b) Relief.--In a civil action commenced under subsection 
(a), the court may--
          (1) * * *

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          [(3) may, to vindicate the public interest, assess a 
        civil penalty--
                  [(A) in an amount not exceeding $55,000 for a 
                first violation; and
                  [(B) in an amount not exceeding $110,000 for 
                any subsequent violation.]
          (3) to vindicate the public interest, assess a civil 
        penalty--
                  (A) with respect to a violation of section 
                207, 303, or 303A regarding real property--
                          (i) in an amount not exceeding 
                        $110,000 for a first violation; and
                          (ii) in an amount not exceeding 
                        $220,000 for any subsequent violation; 
                        and
                  (B) with respect to any other violation of 
                this Act--
                          (i) in an amount not exceeding 
                        $55,000 for a first violation; and
                          (ii) in an amount not exceeding 
                        $110,000 for any subsequent violation.

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