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                                                        Calendar No. 67 
114th Congress    }                                      {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session      }                                      {       114-35                                                                 
_______________________________________________________________________



                     GOLD STAR FATHERS ACT OF 2015

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                 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

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                  May 5, 2015.--Ordered to be printed
                                    ______

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

49-010                         WASHINGTON : 2015
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin Chairman
JOHN McCAIN, Arizona                 THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  JON TESTER, Montana
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             HEIDI HEITKAMP, North Dakota
KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire          CORY A. BOOKER, New Jersey
JONI ERNST, Iowa                     GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
BEN SASSE, Nebraska

                    Keith B. Ashdown, Staff Director
                  Christopher R. Hixon, Chief Counsel
       Patrick J. Bailey, Chief Counsel for Governmental Affairs
              Gabrielle A. Batkin, Minority Staff Director
           John P. Kilvington, Minority Deputy Staff Director
               Mary Beth Schultz, Minority Chief Counsel
             Katherine C. Sybenga, Minority Senior Counsel
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              
                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and Need for the Legislation..........................1
III. Legislative History..............................................2
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................2
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................3
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................3
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............3















                                                        Calendar No. 67
114th Congress     }                                     {       Report
                                 SENATE
                                                                 
 1st Session       }                                     {       114-35

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



 
                     GOLD STAR FATHERS ACT OF 2015

                                _______
                                

                  May 5, 2015.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Johnson, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 136]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which 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, reports favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    Current law provides certain preferences for the mothers of 
permanently disabled or deceased veterans in obtaining 
appointment to the civil service. S. 136, the Gold Star Fathers 
Act of 2015, expands preferred eligibility for such civil 
service appointments to the fathers of these same disabled and 
deceased veterans.

              II. Background and the Need for Legislation

    In January 1948, Congress established a hiring preference 
for the widowed, divorced, or legally separated mothers of 
veterans who died in active duty in wartime or who suffer a 
permanent and total disability connected to such service.\1\ 
The committee reporting the legislation provided the following 
explanation:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Public Law 80-396 (1948).

          It is the opinion of this committee that the debt of 
        gratitude owed by the United States to the widowed 
        mothers of ex-servicemen who lost their lives on active 
        duty, and to the widowed mothers of ex-servicemen who 
        are permanently and totally disabled, is immeasurable, 
        but such widowed mothers warrant the same consideration 
        now given to wives and unmarried widows of certain ex-
        servicemen.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, Report to accompany 
H.R. 1426, Extending Veterans' Preference Benefits to Widowed Mothers 
of Certain Ex-Servicemen, H.R. Rep. No. 697, 80th Congress, 1st Session 
(June 25, 1947).

    Under current statute, mothers of certain permanently 
disabled or deceased veterans receive a preference in obtaining 
appointment to the civil service if such mothers are widowed, 
divorced, or separated, or also if they are married to a 
husband who is permanently disabled, in recognition of their 
sacrifice.\3\ The current hiring preference for mothers of 
deceased and permanently disabled veterans provides 10 
additional points to the score of those who pass the civil 
service examination.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Public Law 81-887 (Dec. 27, 1950). The laws making mothers of 
veterans eligible for hiring preference have been codified at 5 U.S.C. 
2108(3)(F)-(G).
    \4\See U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM): Veterans 
Services, VetGuide, http://
www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/veterans-services/vet-guide/, last 
visited April 24, 2014.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Recognizing that the fathers of disabled or deceased 
veterans suffer a loss that warrants no less consideration than 
that suffered by mothers, this legislation would extend the 
hiring preference to fathers. The United States owes a 
tremendous debt of gratitude to the parents of fallen and 
disabled veterans.
    In addition to extending the 10-point hiring preference to 
fathers, S.136 also extends the preference not just to widowed 
and divorced mothers, but also to those that are otherwise 
unmarried.

                        III. Legislative History

    Senator Wyden introduced S. 136, which was referred to the 
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on 
January 8, 2015.
    The Committee considered S. 136 at a business meeting held 
on March 4, 2015. No amendments were offered. The Committee 
ordered the bill reported favorably en bloc by voice vote. 
Members present for the vote were: Johnson, Portman, Lankford, 
Ayotte, Ernst, Carper, McCaskill, Baldwin, Heitkamp, and 
Peters.

        IV. Section-by-Section Analysis of the Bill, as Reported


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides a short title by which the bill may 
be cited.

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.

Section 3. Effective date

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

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this bill and determined 
that the bill will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the rules. The Committee agrees with the Congressional 
Budget Office's statement that 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.

             VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                                    March 11, 2015.
Hon. Ron Johnson,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 136, the Gold Star 
Fathers Act of 2015.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

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 any significant effect on the federal budget. Enacting 
the bill 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 have no 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.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew 
Pickford. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

       VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
S. 136 as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed 
to be omitted is enclosed in brackets, new matter is printed in 
italic, and existing law in which no change is proposed is 
shown in roman):

             TITLE 5--GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION AND EMPLOYEES

                          PART III--EMPLOYEES

                      Subpart A--General Provision

                        CHAPTER 21--DEFINITIONS


Sec. 2108--Veteran; disabled veteran; preference eligible

    For the purpose of this title--
          (1) * * *
          (2) * * *
          (3) ``preference eligible'' means, except as provided 
        in paragraph (4) of this section or section 2108a(c)--
                  (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  [(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 the 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

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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