Text: S.6 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)

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Introduced in Senate (01/22/2013)


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[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. 6 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

113th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                  S. 6

     To reauthorize the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, to provide 
     assistance to small businesses owned by veterans, to improve 
  enforcement of employment and reemployment rights of members of the 
              uniformed services, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

             January 22 (legislative day, January 3), 2013

Mr. Reid (for himself, Mr. Sanders, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Schumer, Mr. Udall 
   of New Mexico, Mr. Baucus, Mr. Brown, Mr. Schatz, Mr. Tester, Mr. 
 Menendez, Mr. Warner, Mr. Cardin, Ms. Hirono, Mr. Begich, Mr. Casey, 
 Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Nelson, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Coons, Mr. Levin, and Mr. 
   Heinrich) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and 
             referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
     To reauthorize the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, to provide 
     assistance to small businesses owned by veterans, to improve 
  enforcement of employment and reemployment rights of members of the 
              uniformed services, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Putting Our 
Veterans Back to Work Act of 2013''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
                TITLE I--RENEWING OUR VOW TO HIRE HEROES

Sec. 101. Reauthorization of veterans retraining assistance program.
Sec. 102. Extension of authority of Secretary of Veterans Affairs to 
                            provide rehabilitation and vocational 
                            benefits to members of Armed Forces with 
                            severe injuries or illnesses.
Sec. 103. Extension of additional rehabilitation programs for persons 
                            who have exhausted rights to unemployment 
                            benefits under State law.
Sec. 104. Reauthorization of collaborative veterans' training, 
                            mentoring, and placement program.
              TITLE II--BUILDING ON OUR VOW TO HIRE HEROES

Sec. 201. Unified employment portal for veterans.
Sec. 202. Grants to hire veterans as first responders.
Sec. 203. Employment of veterans as evaluation factor in the awarding 
                            of Federal contracts.
 TITLE III--IMPROVING EMPLOYMENT AND REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS OF MEMBERS OF 
                         THE UNIFORMED SERVICES

Sec. 301. Enforcement of rights of members of uniformed services with 
                            respect to States and private employers.
Sec. 302. Suspension, termination, or debarment of contractors for 
                            repeated violations of employment or 
                            reemployment rights of members of uniformed 
                            services.
Sec. 303. Subpoena power for Special Counsel in enforcement of 
                            employment and reemployment rights of 
                            members of uniformed services with respect 
                            to Federal executive agencies.
Sec. 304. Issuance and service of civil investigative demands by 
                            Attorney General.

                TITLE I--RENEWING OUR VOW TO HIRE HEROES

SEC. 101. REAUTHORIZATION OF VETERANS RETRAINING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

    (a) Extension.--Subsection (k) of section 211 of the VOW to Hire 
Heroes Act of 2011 (Public Law 112-56; 38 U.S.C. 4100 note) is amended 
by striking ``March 31, 2014'' and inserting ``March 31, 2016''.
    (b) Number of Eligible Veterans.--Subsection (a)(2) of such section 
is amended--
            (1) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``and'' at the end;
            (2) in subparagraph (B), by striking the period at the end 
        and inserting a semicolon; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following new subparagraphs:
                    ``(C) 50,000 during the period beginning April 1, 
                2014, and ending March 31, 2015; and
                    ``(D) 50,000 during the period beginning April 1, 
                2015, and ending March 31, 2016.''.
    (c) Clarification of Limitation on Aggregate Amount of 
Assistance.--Subsection (b) of such section is amended by striking ``up 
to 12 months of retraining assistance provided by the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs'' and inserting ``an aggregate of not more than 12 
months of retraining assistance provided by the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs under this section''.

SEC. 102. EXTENSION OF AUTHORITY OF SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO 
              PROVIDE REHABILITATION AND VOCATIONAL BENEFITS TO MEMBERS 
              OF ARMED FORCES WITH SEVERE INJURIES OR ILLNESSES.

    (a) In General.--Section 1631(b)(2) of the Wounded Warrior Act 
(title XVI of Public Law 110-181; 10 U.S.C. 1071 note) is amended by 
striking ``December 31, 2014'' and inserting ``December 31, 2016''.
    (b) Report.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
        shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report 
        on the benefits provided by the Secretary under section 1631(b) 
        of such Act.
            (2) Appropriate committees of congress.--In this 
        subsection, the term ``appropriate committees of Congress'' 
        means--
                    (A) the Committee on Armed Services and the 
                Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate; and
                    (B) the Committee on Armed Services and the 
                Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of 
                Representatives.

SEC. 103. EXTENSION OF ADDITIONAL REHABILITATION PROGRAMS FOR PERSONS 
              WHO HAVE EXHAUSTED RIGHTS TO UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS UNDER 
              STATE LAW.

    Section 3102(b)(4) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by 
striking ``March 31, 2014'' and inserting ``March 31, 2016''.

SEC. 104. REAUTHORIZATION OF COLLABORATIVE VETERANS' TRAINING, 
              MENTORING, AND PLACEMENT PROGRAM.

    Subsection (e) of section 4104A of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended to read as follows:
    ``(e) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out this section amounts as follows:
            ``(1) $4,500,000 for the period consisting of fiscal years 
        2012 and 2013.
            ``(2) $4,500,000 for the period consisting of fiscal years 
        2014 and 2015.''.

              TITLE II--BUILDING ON OUR VOW TO HIRE HEROES

SEC. 201. UNIFIED EMPLOYMENT PORTAL FOR VETERANS.

    Section 4105 of title 38, United States Code is amended by adding 
at the end the following:
    ``(c)(1) The Secretary shall develop a single, unified Federal web-
based employment portal, for use by veterans, containing information 
regarding all Federal programs and activities concerning employment, 
unemployment, and training to the extent the programs and activities 
affect veterans.
    ``(2) The Secretary shall work with representatives from the 
Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Small 
Business Administration, and other Federal agencies and organizations 
concerned with veterans' issues, to determine an appropriate platform 
and implementing agency for the portal. The Secretary shall enter into 
an agreement with the other Federal agencies for the implementation of 
the portal.''.

SEC. 202. GRANTS TO HIRE VETERANS AS FIRST RESPONDERS.

    (a) Grants for Firefighters.--The Secretary of Homeland Security 
shall award grants under section 34 of the Federal Fire Prevention and 
Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2229a) to hire veterans as firefighters.
    (b) Grants for Law Enforcement Officers.--The Attorney General 
shall award grants under part Q of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control 
and SAfe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796dd et seq.) to hire 
veterans as law enforcement officers.
    (c) Priority.--In awarding grants under this section to hire 
veterans, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General 
shall give priority to the hiring of veterans who served on active duty 
in the Armed Forces on or after September 11, 2011.
    (d) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out this section $250,000,000.

SEC. 203. EMPLOYMENT OF VETERANS AS EVALUATION FACTOR IN THE AWARDING 
              OF FEDERAL CONTRACTS.

    (a) Civilian Contracts.--
            (1) In general.--Chapter 33 of title 41, United States 
        Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new 
        section:
``Sec. 3312. Employment of veterans as evaluation factor
    ``The head of each executive agency shall consider favorably as an 
evaluation factor in solicitations for contracts and task or delivery 
order valued at or above $25,000,000 the employment by a prospective 
contractor of veterans constituting at least 5 percent of the 
contractor's workforce.''.
            (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of such chapter is amended by adding after the item 
        relating to section 3311 the following new item:

``3312. Employment of veterans as evaluation factor.''.
    (b) Defense Contracts.--
            (1) In general.--Chapter 137 of title 10, United States 
        Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new 
        section:
``Sec. 2336. Employment of veterans as evaluation factor
    ``The head of each agency shall consider favorably as an evaluation 
factor in solicitations for contracts and task or delivery order valued 
at or above $25,000,000 the employment by a prospective contractor of 
veterans constituting at least 5 percent of the contractor's 
workforce.''.
            (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of such chapter is amended by adding after the item 
        relating to section 2335 the following new item:

``2336. Employment of veterans as evaluation factor.''.
    (c) Regulations.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council shall 
amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to carry out the provisions of 
section 3313 of title 41, United States Code, and section 2336 of title 
10, United States Code, as added by subsections (a) and (b), 
respectively.

 TITLE III--IMPROVING EMPLOYMENT AND REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS OF MEMBERS OF 
                         THE UNIFORMED SERVICES

SEC. 301. ENFORCEMENT OF RIGHTS OF MEMBERS OF UNIFORMED SERVICES WITH 
              RESPECT TO STATES AND PRIVATE EMPLOYERS.

    (a) Action for Relief.--Subsection (a) of section 4323 of title 38, 
United States Code, is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1)--
                    (A) by striking ``appear on behalf of, and act as 
                attorney for, the person on whose behalf the complaint 
                is submitted and'';
                    (B) by striking ``for such person'';
                    (C) by striking the fourth sentence; and
                    (D) by adding at the end the following: ``The 
                person on whose behalf the complaint is referred may, 
                upon timely application, intervene in such action, and 
                may obtain such appropriate relief as is provided in 
                subsections (d) and (e).'';
            (2) by striking paragraph (2) and inserting the following 
        new paragraph (2):
    ``(2)(A) Not later than 60 days after the date the Attorney General 
receives a referral under paragraph (1), the Attorney General shall 
transmit, in writing, to the person on whose behalf the complaint is 
submitted--
            ``(i) if the Attorney General has made a decision to 
        commence an action for relief under paragraph (1) relating to 
        the complaint of the person, notice of the decision; and
            ``(ii) if the Attorney General has not made such a 
        decision, notice of when the Attorney General expects to make 
        such a decision.
    ``(B) If the Attorney General notifies a person that the Attorney 
General expects to make a decision under subparagraph (A)(ii), the 
Attorney General shall, not later than 30 days after the date on which 
the Attorney General makes such decision, notify, in writing, the 
person of such decision.'';
            (3) by redesignating paragraph (3) as paragraph (4);
            (4) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following new 
        paragraph (3):
    ``(3) Whenever the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe 
that a State (as an employer) or a private employer is engaged in a 
pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of any of the 
rights and benefits provided for under this chapter, and that the 
pattern or practice is of such a nature and is intended to deny the 
full exercise of such rights and benefits, the Attorney General may 
commence an action for relief under this chapter.''; and
            (5) in paragraph (4), as redesignated by paragraph (3), by 
        striking subparagraph (C) and inserting the following new 
        subparagraph (C):
            ``(C) has been notified by the Attorney General that the 
        Attorney General does not intend to commence an action for 
        relief under paragraph (1) with respect to the complaint under 
        such paragraph.''.
    (b) Standing.--Subsection (f) of such section is amended to read as 
follows:
    ``(f) Standing.--An action under this chapter may be initiated only 
by the Attorney General or by a person claiming rights or benefits 
under this chapter under subsection (a).''.
    (c) Conforming Amendment.--Subsection (h)(2) of such section is 
amended by striking ``under subsection (a)(2)'' and inserting ``under 
paragraph (1) or (4) of subsection (a)''.

SEC. 302. SUSPENSION, TERMINATION, OR DEBARMENT OF CONTRACTORS FOR 
              REPEATED VIOLATIONS OF EMPLOYMENT OR REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS 
              OF MEMBERS OF UNIFORMED SERVICES.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter III of chapter 43 of title 38, United 
States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
``Sec. 4328. Suspension, termination, or debarment of contractors
    ``(a) Grounds for Suspension, Termination, or Debarment.--Payment 
under a contract awarded by a Federal executive agency may be suspended 
and the contract may be terminated, and the contractor who made the 
contract with the agency may be suspended or debarred in accordance 
with the requirements of this section, if the head of the agency 
determines that the contractor as an employer has repeatedly been 
convicted of failing or refusing to comply with one or more provisions 
of this chapter.
    ``(b) Effect of Debarment.--A contractor debarred by a final 
decision under this section is ineligible for award of a contract by a 
Federal executive agency, and for participation in a future procurement 
by a Federal executive agency, for a period specified in the decision, 
not to exceed 5 years.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
chapter 43 of such title is amended by inserting after the item 
relating to section 4327 the following new item:

``4328. Suspension, termination, or debarment of contractor.''.
    (c) Regulations.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council shall 
amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to carry out section 4328 of 
title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a).
    (d) Effective Date.--Section 4328 of title 38, United States Code, 
as added by subsection (a), shall apply with respect to failures and 
refusals to comply with provisions of chapter 43 of such title 
occurring on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.
    (e) Annual Report.--Section 4332(a) of such title is amended--
            (1) by redesignating paragraph (10) as paragraph (11); and
            (2) by inserting after paragraph (9) the following new 
        paragraph (10):
            ``(10) The number of suspensions, terminations, and 
        debarments under section 4328 of this title, disaggregated by 
        the agency or department imposing the suspension or 
        debarment.''.

SEC. 303. SUBPOENA POWER FOR SPECIAL COUNSEL IN ENFORCEMENT OF 
              EMPLOYMENT AND REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS OF MEMBERS OF 
              UNIFORMED SERVICES WITH RESPECT TO FEDERAL EXECUTIVE 
              AGENCIES.

    Section 4324 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding 
at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(e)(1) In order to carry out the Special Counsel's 
responsibilities under this section, the Special Counsel may require by 
subpoena the attendance and testimony of Federal employees and the 
production of documents from Federal employees and Federal executive 
agencies.
    ``(2) In the case of contumacy or failure to obey a subpoena issued 
under paragraph (1), upon application by the Special Counsel, the Merit 
Systems Protection Board may issue an order requiring a Federal 
employee or Federal executive agency to comply with a subpoena of the 
Special Counsel.
    ``(3) An order issued under paragraph (2) may be enforced by the 
Merit Systems Protection Board in the same manner as any order issued 
under section 1204 of title 5.''.

SEC. 304. ISSUANCE AND SERVICE OF CIVIL INVESTIGATIVE DEMANDS BY 
              ATTORNEY GENERAL.

    (a) In General.--Section 4323 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended--
            (1) by redesignating subsection (i) as subsection (j); and
            (2) by inserting after subsection (h) the following new 
        subsection (i):
    ``(i) Issuance and Service of Civil Investigative Demands.--(1) 
Whenever the Attorney General has reason to believe that any person may 
be in possession, custody, or control of any documentary material 
relevant to an investigation under this subchapter, the Attorney 
General may, before commencing a civil action under subsection (a), 
issue in writing and serve upon such person, a civil investigative 
demand requiring--
            ``(A) the production of such documentary material for 
        inspection and copying;
            ``(B) that the custodian of such documentary material 
        answer in writing written questions with respect to such 
        documentary material; or
            ``(C) the production of any combination of such documentary 
        material or answers.
    ``(2) The provisions of section 3733 of title 31 governing the 
authority to issue, use, and enforce civil investigative demands shall 
apply with respect to the authority to issue, use, and enforce civil 
investigative demands under this section, except that, for purposes of 
applying such section 3733--
            ``(A) references to false claims law investigators or 
        investigations shall be considered references to investigators 
        or investigations under this subchapter;
            ``(B) references to interrogatories shall be considered 
        references to written questions, and answers to such need not 
        be under oath;
            ``(C) the definitions relating to `false claims law' shall 
        not apply; and
            ``(D) provisions relating to qui tam relators shall not 
        apply.''.
    (b) Effective Date.--Subsection (i) of such section, as added by 
subsection (a)(2), shall take effect on the date of the enactment of 
this Act and shall apply with respect to violations of chapter 43 of 
such title alleged to have occurred on or after such date.
    (c) Annual Reports.--Section 4332(b)(2) of such title is amended--
            (1) by striking ``Not later than'' and inserting the 
        following:
                    ``(A) In general.--Not later than''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
                    ``(B) Annual supplement on civil investigative 
                demands.--
                            ``(i) In general.--The Attorney General 
                        shall include with each report submitted under 
                        subparagraph (A) for the last quarter of each 
                        fiscal year a report on the issuance of civil 
                        investigative demands under section 4323(i) of 
                        this title during the most recently completed 
                        fiscal year.
                            ``(ii) Elements.--Each report submitted 
                        under clause (i) shall include the following 
                        for the fiscal year covered by the report:
                                    ``(I) The number of times that a 
                                civil investigative demand was issued 
                                under section 4323(i) of this title.
                                    ``(II) For each civil investigative 
                                demand issued under such section with 
                                respect to an investigation, whether 
                                such investigation resulted in a 
                                settlement, order, or judgment.''.
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