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114th Congress    }                                      {      Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                      {     114-263

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



 
                     GOLD STAR FATHERS ACT OF 2015

                                _______
                                

 September 18, 2015.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Chaffetz, from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 136]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to whom 
was referred the bill (S. 136) to amend chapter 21 of title 5, 
United States Code, to provide that fathers of certain 
permanently disabled or deceased veterans shall be included 
with mothers of such veterans as preference eligibles for 
treatment in the civil service, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that 
the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Committee Statement and Views....................................     2
Section-by-Section...............................................     3
Explanation of Amendments........................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Roll Call Votes..................................................     3
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................     3
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................     4
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     4
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     4
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     4
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................     4
Unfunded Mandate Statement.......................................     4
Earmark Identification...........................................     4
Committee Estimate...............................................     4
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............     5

                     Committee Statement and Views


                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    The Gold Star Fathers Act of 2015, S. 136, would extend to 
fathers federal hiring preferences available to mothers of 
certain permanently disabled or deceased veterans.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Under current law, mothers of certain permanently disabled 
or deceased veterans receive preference in appointments for 
civil service positions if such mothers are widowed, divorced, 
or separated or if the husband of such mother is totally or 
permanently disabled.
    S. 136 provides that fathers of certain permanently 
disabled or deceased veterans shall be included with mothers of 
such veterans in order to receive treatment as preference 
eligible in civil service appointments.
    Finally, S. 136 also extends preference in appointments to 
parents who never married along with those that are widowed, 
divorced or legally separated.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 136, Gold Star Fathers Act of 2015, was introduced on 
January 8, 2015, by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and referred to the 
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. 
On March 4, 2015, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and 
Governmental Affairs ordered S. 136 reported favorably, without 
amendment. On May 11, 2015, S. 136 passed the Senate without 
amendment by Unanimous Consent. On May 12, 2015, S. 136 was 
referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. 
Similar legislation, H.R. 1222, was introduced on March 3, 
2015, by Rep. Elizabeth H. Esty (D-CT), and referred to the 
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
    The legislation has passed the Senate on two prior 
occasions: in the 113th Congress (S. 2323) and in the 111th 
Congress (S. 3650).
    In the 113th Congress, the Gold Star Fathers Act of 2014, 
S. 2323, was introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on May 13, 
2014, and referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security 
and Governmental Affairs. S. 2323 was reported by the Senate 
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, 
without amendment, on August 26, 2014. On September 10, 2014, 
S. 2323 passed the Senate by Unanimous Consent. The bill was 
referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on 
September 11, 2014. Similar legislation, H.R. 1832, was 
introduced by Rep. Timothy H. Bishop (D-NY), on May 6, 2014, 
and referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government 
Reform.
    In the 112th Congress, the Gold Star Fathers Act of 2011, 
S. 514, was introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) on March 8, 
2011, and referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security 
and Governmental Affairs. Similar legislation, H.R. 4312, was 
introduced by Rep. Timothy H. Bishop and referred to the 
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
    In the 111th Congress, the Jessica Ann Ellis Gold Star 
Fathers Act of 2010, S. 3650, was introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden 
(D-OR) and referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs. The bill was reported by the 
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on 
November 18, 2010, without amendment, and passed the Senate 
with amendments on November 19, 2010. S. 3650 was referred to 
the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on November 
29, 2010.

                           Section-by-Section


Section 1. Short title

    Designates the short title of the bill as the ``Gold Star 
Fathers Act of 2015''.

Section 2. Preference eligible treatment for fathers of certain 
        permanently disabled or deceased veterans

    This section amends title 5 of the United States Code 
sections 2108(3)(F) and (G) to establish that the mothers and 
fathers of certain deceased and totally disabled veterans may 
be eligible for preference in civil service hiring if certain 
conditions are met. It also amends these paragraphs to extend 
the preference to a parent who was never married.
    This section modifies title 5 of the United States Code 
sections 2108(3)(F) and (G) by amending the phrase ``the mother 
of an individual'' to ``the parent of an individual'' and the 
phrase ``her husband'' to ``the spouse of that parent''.

Section 3. Effective date

    This section provides that the amendments made by S. 136 
will take effect 90 days after the date of enactment.

                       Explanation of Amendments

    No amendments were offered during Full Committee 
consideration of S. 136.

                        Committee Consideration

    On July 22, 2015, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered reported favorably the bill, S. 136, by voice vote, a 
quorum being present.

                            Roll Call Votes

    No recorded votes were taken during Full Committee 
consideration of S. 136.

              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch where the bill relates to the terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations. 
This bill extends preference in civil service appointments to 
fathers of certain permanently disabled or deceased veterans. 
As such this bill does not relate to employment or access to 
public services and accommodations.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    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 
goal or objective of the bill is to amend chapter 21 of title 
5, United States Code, to provide that fathers of certain 
permanently disabled or deceased veterans shall be included 
with mothers of such veterans as preference eligibles for 
treatment in the civil service.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of this bill 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 Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that enacting this bill does not 
direct the completion of any specific rule makings within the 
meaning of 5 U.S.C. Sec. 551.

                     Federal Advisory Committee Act

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not establish 
or authorize the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the definition of 5 U.S.C. App., Section 5(b).

                       Unfunded Mandate Statement

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandate Reform Act, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement as to 
whether the provisions of the reported include unfunded 
mandates. In compliance with this requirement, the Committee 
has received a letter from the Congressional Budget Office 
included herein.

                         Earmark Identification

    This bill does not include any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI.

                           Committee Estimate

    Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs that would be incurred in carrying out 
this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) of that rule provides 
that this requirement does not apply when the Committee has 
included in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the 
bill prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974.

     Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has received 
the following cost estimate for this bill from the Director of 
Congressional Budget Office:

S. 136--Gold Star Fathers Act of 2015

    S. 136 would expand preferred eligibility for federal jobs 
to the fathers of certain permanently disabled or deceased 
veterans. CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would 
not have a significant effect on the federal budget. Enacting 
S. 136 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, 
pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    Under current law, mothers of certain veterans are eligible 
to claim preferences for civil service positions if their 
children are permanently disabled or deceased. S. 136 would 
expand that preference to include such veterans' fathers. We 
estimate that the legislation would not have a significant 
budgetary effect because, while it would expand the pool of 
people eligible for federal job preferences, it would not 
change the total number of federal jobs available or the 
salaries paid to federal employees.
    S. 136 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    On March 11, 2015, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 
136 as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs on March 4, 2015. The two 
versions of the legislation are identical, and the CBO cost 
estimates are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew 
Pickford. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

         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, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

                      TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE



           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
PART III--EMPLOYEES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBPART A--GENERAL PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 21--DEFINITIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 2108. Veteran; disabled veteran; preference eligible

   For the purpose of this title--
          (1) ``veteran'' means an individual who--
                  (A) served on active duty in the armed forces 
                during a war, in a campaign or expedition for 
                which a campaign badge has been authorized, or 
                during the period beginning April 28, 1952, and 
                ending July 1, 1955;
                  (B) served on active duty as defined by 
                section 101(21) of title 38 at any time in the 
                armed forces for a period of more than 180 
                consecutive days any part of which occurred 
                after January 31, 1955, and before October 15, 
                1976, not including service under section 
                12103(d) of title 10 pursuant to an enlistment 
                in the Army National Guard or the Air National 
                Guard or as a Reserve for service in the Army 
                Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, 
                Marine Corps Reserve, or Coast Guard Reserve;
                  (C) served on active duty as defined by 
                section 101(21) of title 38 in the armed forces 
                during the period beginning on August 2, 1990, 
                and ending on January 2, 1992; or
                  (D) served on active duty as defined by 
                section 101(21) of title 38 at any time in the 
                armed forces for a period of more than 180 
                consecutive days any part of which occurred 
                during the period beginning on September 11, 
                2001, and ending on the date prescribed by 
                Presidential proclamation or by law as the last 
                date of Operation Iraqi Freedom;
        and, except as provided under section 2108a, who has 
        been discharged or released from active duty in the 
        armed forces under honorable conditions;
          (2) ``disabled veteran'' means an individual who has 
        served on active duty in the armed forces, (except as 
        provided under section 2108a) has been separated 
        therefrom under honorable conditions, and has 
        established the present existence of a service-
        connected disability or is receiving compensation, 
        disability retirement benefits, or pension because of a 
        public statute administered by the Department of 
        Veterans Affairs or a military department;
          (3) ``preference eligible'' means, except as provided 
        in paragraph (4) of this section or section 2108a(c)--
                  (A) a veteran as defined by paragraph (1)(A) 
                of this section;
                  (B) a veteran as defined by paragraph (1)(B), 
                (C), or (D) of this section;
                  (C) a disabled veteran;
                  (D) the unmarried widow or widower of a 
                veteran as defined by paragraph (1)(A) of this 
                section;
                  (E) the wife or husband of a service-
                connected disabled veteran if the veteran has 
                been unable to qualify for any appointment in 
                the civil service or in the government of the 
                District of Columbia;
                  [(F) the mother of an individual who lost his 
                life under honorable conditions while serving 
                in the armed forces during a period named by 
                paragraph (1)(A) of this section, if--
                          [(i) her husband is totally and 
                        permanently disabled;
                          [(ii) she is widowed, divorced, or 
                        separated from the father and has not 
                        remarried; or
                          [(iii) she has remarried but is 
                        widowed, divorced, or legally separated 
                        from her husband when preference is 
                        claimed;
                  [(G) the mother of a service-connected 
                permanently and totally disabled veteran, if--
                          [(i) her husband is totally and 
                        permanently disabled;
                          [(ii) she is widowed, divorced, or 
                        separated from the father and has not 
                        remarried; or
                          [(iii) she has remarried but is 
                        widowed, divorced, or legally separated 
                        from her husband when preference is 
                        claimed; and]
                  (F) the parent of an individual who lost his 
                or her life under honorable conditions while 
                serving in the armed forces during a period 
                named by paragraph (1)(A) of this section, if--
                          (i) the spouse of that parent is 
                        totally and permanently disabled; or
                          (ii) that parent, when preference is 
                        claimed, is unmarried or, if married, 
                        legally separated from his or her 
                        spouse;
                  (G) the parent of a service-connected 
                permanently and totally disabled veteran, if--
                          (i) the spouse of that parent is 
                        totally and permanently disabled; or
                          (ii) that parent, when preference is 
                        claimed, is unmarried or, if married, 
                        legally separated from his or her 
                        spouse; and
                  (H) a veteran who was discharged or released 
                from a period of active duty by reason of a 
                sole survivorship discharge (as that term is 
                defined in section 1174(i) of title 10);
        but does not include applicants for, or members of, the 
        Senior Executive Service, the Defense Intelligence 
        Senior Executive Service, the Senior Cryptologic 
        Executive Service, or the Federal Bureau of 
        Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration 
        Senior Executive Service;
          (4) except for the purposes of chapters 43 and 75 of 
        this title, ``preference eligible'' does not include a 
        retired member of the armed forces unless--
                  (A) the individual is a disabled veteran; or
                  (B) the individual retired below the rank of 
                major or its equivalent; and
          (5) ``retired member of the armed forces'' means a 
        member or former member of the armed forces who is 
        entitled, under statute, to retired, retirement, or 
        retainer pay on account of service as a member.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                                  [all]