H. Rept. 112-242 - 112th Congress (2011-2012)
October 11, 2011, As Reported by the Veterans' Affairs Committee

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House Report 112-242 - VETERANS OPPORTUNITY TO WORK ACT OF 2011




[House Report 112-242]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


112th Congress                                            Rept. 112-242
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 1

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



 
                VETERANS OPPORTUNITY TO WORK ACT OF 2011

                                _______
                                

October 11, 2011.--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

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 2433]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 2433) to amend title 38, United States Code, to 
make certain improvements in the laws relating to the 
employment and training of veterans, and for other purposes, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Amendment........................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................     9
Background and Need for Legislation..............................    10
Hearings.........................................................    19
Committee Considerations.........................................    20
Committee Votes..................................................    20
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................    20
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............    20
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures    21
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits.............................    21
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................    21
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................    21
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................    31
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................    31
Statement of Constitutional Authority............................    31
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................    31
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................    31
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............    35
Dissenting Views.................................................    49

                               Amendment

    The amendment is 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 Opportunity 
to Work Act of 2011''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

                      TITLE I--RETRAINING VETERANS

Sec. 101. Veterans retraining assistance program.

         TITLE II--IMPROVING THE TRANSITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Sec. 201. Transition Assistance Program contracting.
Sec. 202. Mandatory participation in Transition Assistance Program.
Sec. 203. Report on Transition Assistance Program.
Sec. 204. Transition Assistance Program outcomes.
Sec. 205. Comptroller General review.

 TITLE III--IMPROVING THE TRANSITION OF VETERANS TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYMENT

Sec. 301. Reauthorization and improvement of demonstration project on 
credentialing and licensure of veterans.
Sec. 302. Inclusion of performance measures in annual report on veteran 
job counseling, training, and placement programs of the Department of 
Labor.
Sec. 303. Clarification of priority of service for veterans in 
Department of Labor job training programs.
Sec. 304. Evaluation of individuals receiving training at the National 
Veterans' Employment and Training Services Institute.
Sec. 305. Requirements for full-time disabled veterans' outreach 
program specialists and local veterans' employment representatives.
Sec. 306. Report on findings of the Department of Defense and 
Department of Labor credentialing work group.

      TITLE IV--IMPROVEMENTS TO UNIFORMED SERVICES EMPLOYMENT AND 
                          REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS

Sec. 401. Clarification of benefits of employment covered under USERRA.

                         TITLE V--OTHER MATTERS

Sec. 501. Extension of certain expiring provisions of law.
Sec. 502. Department of Veterans Affairs housing loan guarantees for 
surviving spouses of certain totally disabled veterans.
Sec. 503. Extension of homeless veterans reintegration programs.
Sec. 504. Reimbursement rate for ambulance services.
Sec. 505. Annual reports on Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program 
and Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program.
Sec. 506. Limitation on amount authorized to be appropriated for 
employee travel, printing, and fleet vehicles.
Sec. 507. Extension of reduced pension for certain veterans covered by 
Medicaid plans for services furnished by nursing facilities.
Sec. 508. Statutory Pay-As-You-Go-Act of 2010.

                      TITLE I--RETRAINING VETERANS

SEC. 101. VETERANS RETRAINING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

  (a) Program Authorized.--
          (1) In general.--In accordance with this section, during the 
        period beginning on June 1, 2012, and ending on March 31, 2014, 
        the Secretary of Labor shall provide for monthly payments of 
        retraining assistance to eligible veterans. Payments of 
        retraining assistance under this section shall be made by the 
        Secretary of Labor through the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
          (2) Number of eligible veterans.--The number of eligible 
        veterans who participate in the program may not exceed--
                  (A) 45,000 during fiscal year 2012; and
                  (B) 55,000 during the period beginning October 1, 
                2012, and ending March 31, 2014.
  (b) Retraining Assistance.--Except as provided by subsection (i), 
each veteran who participates in the program established under 
subsection (a)(1) shall be entitled to up to 12 months of retraining 
assistance, as determined by the Secretary of Labor. Such retraining 
assistance may only be used by the veteran to pursue a program of 
education (as such term is defined in section 3452(b) of title 38, 
United States Code) or training on a full-time basis that--
          (1) is approved under chapter 36 of such title;
          (2) is offered by a community college or technical school;
          (3) leads to an associates degree or a certificate (or other 
        similar evidence of the completion of the program of education 
        or training); and
          (4) is designed to provide training for a high-demand 
        occupation, as determined by the Secretary of Labor.
  (c) Monthly Certification.--Each veteran who participates in the 
program established under subsection (a)(1) shall certify to the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs the enrollment of the veteran in a 
program of education described in subsection (b) for each month in 
which the veteran participates in the program.
  (d) Amount of Assistance.--The monthly amount of the retraining 
assistance payable under this section is the amount in effect under 
section 3015(a)(1) of title 38, United States Code.
  (e) Eligibility.--For purposes of this section, an eligible veteran 
is a veteran who--
          (1) is at least 35 years of age but not more than 60 years of 
        age;
          (2) was last discharged from active duty service in the Armed 
        Forces with an honorable discharge;
          (3) as of the date of the submittal of the application for 
        assistance under this section, has been unemployed for a period 
        of time determined by the Secretary, with special consideration 
        given to veterans who have been unemployed for at least 26 
        continuous weeks;
          (4) is not eligible to apply for educational assistance under 
        chapter 30, 31, 33, or 35 of title 38, United States Code; and
          (5) by not later than October 1, 2013, submits to the 
        Secretary of Labor an application containing such information 
        and assurances as the Secretary may require.
  (f) Report.--Not later than July 1, 2014, the Secretary of Labor and 
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall jointly submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the House of 
Representatives a report on the retraining assistance provided under 
this section, including--
          (1) the total number of--
                  (A) eligible veterans who participated;
                  (B) credit hours completed; and
                  (C) associates degrees or certificates awarded (or 
                other similar evidence of the completion of the program 
                of education or training earned); and
          (2) data related to the employment status of eligible 
        veterans who participated.
  (g) Joint Agreement.--The Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs shall enter into an agreement on carrying out this 
section.
  (h) Source of Funds.--Payments under this section shall be made from 
amounts appropriated to the readjustment benefits account of the 
Department of Veterans Affairs.
  (i) Termination of Authority.--The authority to make payments under 
this section shall terminate on March 31, 2014.

         TITLE II--IMPROVING THE TRANSITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

SEC. 201. TRANSITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM CONTRACTING.

  (a) Transition Assistance Program Contracting.--
          (1) In general.--Section 4113 of title 38, United States 
        Code, is amended to read as follows:

``Sec. 4113. Transition Assistance Program personnel

  ``(a) Authority To Contract.--In accordance with section 1144 of 
title 10, the Secretary shall enter into a contract with an appropriate 
private entity or entities to provide the functions described in 
subsection (b) at all locations where the program described in such 
section is carried out.
  ``(b) Functions.--Contractors under subsection (a) shall provide to 
members of the Armed Forces who are being separated from active duty 
(and the spouses of such members) the services described in section 
1144(a)(1) of title 10, including--
          ``(1) counseling;
          ``(2) assistance in identifying employment and training 
        opportunities and help in obtaining such employment and 
        training;
          ``(3) other related information and services under such 
        section; and
          ``(4) any other services that the Secretary determines are 
        appropriate.''.
          (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of chapter 41 of title 38, United States Code, is 
        amended by striking the item relating to section 4113 and 
        inserting the following new item:

``4113. Transition Assistance Program personnel.''.
  (b) Deadline for Implementation.--The Secretary of Labor shall enter 
into the contract required by section 4113 of title 38, United States 
Code, as added by subsection (a), by not later than 24 months after the 
date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 202. MANDATORY PARTICIPATION IN TRANSITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

  Section 1144(c) of title 10, United States Code, is amended by 
striking ``shall encourage'' and all that follows and inserting ``shall 
encourage the participation of members of the armed forces in pay 
grades E-8 and above and O-6 and above who are eligible for assistance 
under the program and shall require the participation of all other 
members of the armed forces who are eligible for assistance under the 
program unless a documented urgent operational requirement prevents 
attendance or an individual service member, with written approval of 
their commander, chooses to decline participation, in writing, based on 
post-service employment or acceptance to an education program. Such 
documentation shall be included in the personnel record of the 
member.''.

SEC. 203. REPORT ON TRANSITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

  Section 1144 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at 
the end the following new subsection:
  ``(e) Reports and Audits.--(1) Not later than January 30 of each 
year, the Secretary of Labor shall submit to the Committees on 
Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report 
on the program established under this section that includes the number 
of members of the armed forces eligible for assistance under the 
program who participated in the program within 30, 90, and 180 days of 
being separated from active duty, and the percentages of all such 
eligible participants who participated within each such time period.
  ``(2)(A) The Secretary of Labor shall enter into a contract with an 
appropriate entity to conduct an audit of the program established under 
this section not less frequently than once every three years and to 
submit to the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Labor, the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and the Committees on Veterans' Affairs 
of the Senate and House of Representatives a report containing the 
results of each such audit.
  ``(B)(i) Except as provided in clause (ii), the Secretary of Labor 
shall enter into the contract under subparagraph (A) with an 
appropriate entity that is a small business concern owned and 
controlled by veterans or a small business concern owned and controlled 
by service-disabled veterans and that is included in the database of 
veteran-owned businesses maintained under subsection (f) of section 
8127 of title 38 and verified by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph 
(4) of that subsection.
  ``(ii) If the Secretary of Labor is unable to enter into the contract 
under subparagraph (A) with a qualified business concern described in 
clause (i), the Secretary shall enter into such contract with another 
qualified appropriate entity.
  ``(C) The Secretary of Labor shall enter into the contract under this 
paragraph using funds made available for the State grant program 
authorized under section 4102A of title 38.''.

SEC. 204. TRANSITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM OUTCOMES.

  Section 1144 of title 10, United States Code, as amended by section 
202 and 203, is further amended by adding at the end the following new 
subsection:
  ``(f) Program Outcomes.--The Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of 
Defense shall jointly develop a method to assess the outcomes for 
individuals who participate in the program established under this 
section. Such method shall be designed to determine the following 
outcomes:
          ``(1) The length of the period during which the individual 
        was unemployed following the individual's separation from 
        active duty.
          ``(2) The beginning salary paid to the individual for the 
        first job the individual obtained following such separation.
          ``(3) The number of months of school or other training the 
        individual attended during the first 12-month period following 
        such separation.''.

SEC. 205. COMPTROLLER GENERAL REVIEW.

  Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
the Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a review of 
the Transition Assistance Program under section 1144 of title 10, 
United States Code, and submit to Congress a report on the results of 
the review and any recommendations of the Comptroller General for 
improving the program.

 TITLE III--IMPROVING THE TRANSITION OF VETERANS TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYMENT

SEC. 301. REAUTHORIZATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF DEMONSTRATION PROJECT ON 
                    CREDENTIALING AND LICENSURE OF VETERANS.

  Section 4114 of title 38, United States Code, is amended--
          (1) in subsection (b)--
                  (A) in paragraph (1), by striking ``not less than 
                10'' and inserting ``not less than 5 but not more than 
                10''; and
                  (B) in paragraph (2), by striking ``consult with 
                appropriate Federal, State, and industry officials'' 
                and inserting ``enter into a contract with an 
                appropriate entity representing a coalition of State 
                governors'';
          (2) in subsection (g)--
                  (A) by striking ``Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and 
                Information Technology Act of 2006'' and inserting the 
                ``Veterans Opportunity to Work Act of 2011''; and
                  (B) by striking ``September 30, 2009'' and inserting 
                ``September 30, 2014'';
          (3) in subsection (h)--
                  (A) by striking ``utilizing unobligated funds'' and 
                inserting ``using not more than $180,000 of the funds 
                in each fiscal year''; and
                  (B) by inserting before the period at the end the 
                following: ``, to be derived from amounts otherwise 
                made available to carry out sections 4103A and 4104 of 
                this title''; and
          (4) by adding at the end the following new subsection:
  ``(i) Report to Congress.--Not later than 30 days after the last day 
of a fiscal year during which the demonstration project under this 
section is carried out, the Assistant Secretary, in coordination with 
the entity with which the Assistant Secretary enters into a contract 
under subsection (b)(2), shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' 
Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report on the 
implementation of the demonstration project during that fiscal year.''.

SEC. 302. INCLUSION OF PERFORMANCE MEASURES IN ANNUAL REPORT ON VETERAN 
                    JOB COUNSELING, TRAINING, AND PLACEMENT PROGRAMS OF 
                    THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

  Section 4107(c) of title 38, United States Code, is amended--
          (1) in paragraph (2), by striking ``clause (1)'' and 
        inserting ``paragraph (1)'';
          (2) in paragraph (5), by striking ``and'' at the end;
          (3) in paragraph (6), by striking the period and inserting 
        ``; and''; and
          (4) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
          ``(7) performance measures for the provision of assistance 
        under this chapter, including--
                  ``(A) the percentage of participants in programs 
                under this chapter who are employed after the 180-day 
                period following their completion of the program;
                  ``(B) the percentage of such participants who are 
                employed after the one-year period following their 
                completion of the program;
                  ``(C) the median earnings of such participants after 
                the 180-day period following their completion of the 
                program;
                  ``(D) the median earnings of such participants after 
                the one-year period following their completion of the 
                program; and
                  ``(E) the percentage of participants in such program 
                who complete a certificate, degree, diploma, licensure, 
                or industry-recognized credential while they are 
                participating in the program or within one year of 
                completing the program.''.

SEC. 303. CLARIFICATION OF PRIORITY OF SERVICE FOR VETERANS IN 
                    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR JOB TRAINING PROGRAMS.

  Section 4215 of title 38, United States Code, is amended--
          (1) in subsection (a)(3), by adding at the end the following: 
        ``Such priority includes giving access to such services to a 
        covered person before a non-covered person or, if resources are 
        limited, giving access to such services to a covered person 
        instead of a non-covered person.''; and
          (2) by amending subsection (d) to read as follows:
  ``(d) Addition to Annual Report.--(1) In the annual report required 
under section 4107(c) of this title for the program year beginning in 
2003 and each subsequent program year, the Secretary of Labor shall 
evaluate whether covered persons are receiving priority of service and 
are being fully served by qualified job training programs. Such 
evaluation shall include--
          ``(A) an analysis of the implementation of providing such 
        priority at the local level;
          ``(B) whether the representation of veterans in such programs 
        is in proportion to the incidence of representation of veterans 
        in the labor market, including within groups that the Secretary 
        may designate for priority under such programs, if any; and
          ``(C) performance measures, as determined by the Secretary, 
        to determine whether veterans are receiving priority of service 
        and are being fully served by qualified job training programs.
  ``(2) The Secretary may not use the proportion of representation of 
veterans described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) as the basis 
for determining under such paragraph whether veterans are receiving 
priority of service and are being fully served by qualified job 
training programs.''.

SEC. 304. EVALUATION OF INDIVIDUALS RECEIVING TRAINING AT THE NATIONAL 
                    VETERANS' EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING SERVICES 
                    INSTITUTE.

  (a) In General.--Section 4109 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
  ``(d) The Secretary shall require that each individual who receives 
training provided by the Institute, or its successor, is given a final 
examination to evaluate the individual's performance in receiving such 
training. Each such evaluation shall be designed to provide the 
individual with a grade, which shall be designated as either a passing 
grade or a failing grade. The results of such final examination shall 
be provided to the entity that sponsored the individual who received 
the training.''.
  (b) Effective Date.--Subsection (d) of section 4109 of title 38, 
United States Code, shall apply with respect to training provided by 
the National Veterans' Employment and Training Services Institute that 
begins on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 305. REQUIREMENTS FOR FULL-TIME DISABLED VETERANS' OUTREACH 
                    PROGRAM SPECIALISTS AND LOCAL VETERANS' EMPLOYMENT 
                    REPRESENTATIVES.

  (a) Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program Specialists.--Section 4103A 
of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
following new subsection:
  ``(d) Additional Requirement for Full-Time Employees.--(1) A full-
time disabled veterans' outreach program specialist shall perform only 
duties related to meeting the employment needs of eligible veterans, as 
described in subsection (a), and shall not perform other non-veteran-
related duties.
  ``(2) The Secretary shall conduct regular audits to ensure compliance 
with paragraph (1). If, on the basis of such an audit, the Secretary 
determines that a State is not in compliance with paragraph (1), the 
Secretary may reduce the amount of a grant made to the State under 
section 4102A(b)(5) of this title.''.
  (b) Local Veterans' Employment Representatives.--Section 4104 of such 
title is amended--
          (1) by redesignating subsection (e) as subsection (f); and
          (2) by inserting after subsection (d) the following new 
        subsection (e):
  ``(e) Additional Requirements for Full-Time Employees.--(1) A full-
time local veterans' employment representative shall perform only 
duties related to the employment, training, and placement services 
under this chapter, and shall not perform other non-veteran-related 
duties.
  ``(2) The Secretary shall conduct regular audits to ensure compliance 
with paragraph (1). If, on the basis of such an audit, the Secretary 
determines that a State is not in compliance with paragraph (1), the 
Secretary may reduce the amount of a grant made to the State under 
section 4102A(b)(5) of this title.''.

SEC. 306. REPORT ON FINDINGS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND 
                    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR CREDENTIALING WORK GROUP.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Labor 
shall jointly enter into a contract with a qualified organization or 
entity jointly selected by the Secretaries to complete the study of 10 
military occupational specialties already begun by the joint Department 
of Defense and Department of Labor Credentialing Work Group to reduce 
barriers to certification and licensure for transitioning members of 
the Armed Forces and veterans. This study shall also include an 
examination of current initiatives, programs, and authority already 
established within the Department of Defense and the military services 
to promote credentialing of members of the Armed Forces and identify 
best practices that can be leveraged by all services to increase the 
transferability of military education, training, experience, and 
skills.
  (b) Report.--The contract described in subsection (a) shall provide 
that upon completion of the study described in such subsection, the 
organization or entity with which the Secretary of Defense and the 
Secretary of Labor entered into the contract shall submit to the 
Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Labor a report setting forth 
the results of the study. The report shall include--
          (1) a plan for leveraging existing successful initiatives, 
        programs, and authority to promote the credentialing of all 
        members of the Armed Forces; and
          (2) such information as the Secretaries shall specify in the 
        contract.
  (c) Submittal to Congress.--Not later than March 31, 2012, the 
Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Labor shall jointly submit to 
Congress a report on the results of the study described in subsection 
(a), together with such comments on the report as the Secretaries 
jointly consider appropriate.

      TITLE IV--IMPROVEMENTS TO UNIFORMED SERVICES EMPLOYMENT AND 
                          REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS

SEC. 401. CLARIFICATION OF BENEFITS OF EMPLOYMENT COVERED UNDER USERRA.

  Section 4303(2) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by 
inserting ``the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, 
including'' after ``means''.

                         TITLE V--OTHER MATTERS

SEC. 501. EXTENSION OF CERTAIN EXPIRING PROVISIONS OF LAW.

  (a) Adjustable Rate Mortgages.--Section 3707(a) of such title is 
amended by striking ``2012'' and inserting ``2014''.
  (b) Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgages.--Section 3707A(a) of such title 
is amended by striking ``2012'' and inserting ``2014''.
  (c) Pool of Mortgage Loans.--Section 3720(h)(2) of title 38, United 
States Code, is amended by striking ``December 31, 2011'' and inserting 
``December 31, 2016''.
  (d) Loan Fees.--
          (1) Extension of fees.--Section 3729(b)(2) of such title is 
        amended--
                  (A) in subparagraph (A)--
                          (i) in clause (iii), by striking ``October 1, 
                        2011'' and inserting ``October 1, 2017''; and
                          (ii) in clause (iv), by striking ``October 1, 
                        2011'' and inserting ``October 1, 2017'';
                  (B) in subparagraph (B)--
                          (i) in clause (i), by striking ``October 1, 
                        2011'' and inserting ``October 1, 2017'';
                          (ii) by striking clauses (ii) and (iii) and 
                        redesignating clause (iv) as clause (ii); and
                          (iii) in clause (ii), as so redesignated, by 
                        striking ``October 1, 2013'' and inserting 
                        ``October 1, 2017'';
                  (C) in subparagraph (C)--
                          (i) in clause (i), by striking ``October 1, 
                        2011'' and inserting ``October 1, 2017''; and
                          (ii) in clause (ii), by striking ``October 1, 
                        2011'' and inserting ``October 1, 2017''; and
                  (D) in subparagraph (D)--
                          (i) in clause (i), by striking ``October 1, 
                        2011'' and inserting ``October 1, 2017''; and
                          (ii) in clause (ii), by striking ``October 1, 
                        2011'' and inserting ``October 1, 2017''.
          (2) Effective date.--The amendments made by paragraph (1) 
        shall take effect on the later of--
                  (A) October 1, 2011; or
                  (B) the date of the enactment of this Act.
  (e) Temporary Adjustment of Maximum Home Loan Guaranty Amount.--
Section 501 of the Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2008 (Public 
Law 110-389; 122 Stat. 4175; 38 U.S.C. 3703 note) is amended by 
striking ``December 31, 2011'' and inserting ``December 31, 2014''.

SEC. 502. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS HOUSING LOAN GUARANTEES FOR 
                    SURVIVING SPOUSES OF CERTAIN TOTALLY DISABLED 
                    VETERANS.

  (a) In General.--Section 3701(b) of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
          ``(6) The term `veteran' also includes, for purposes of home 
        loans, the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran who dies and 
        who was in receipt of or entitled to receive (or but for the 
        receipt of retired or retirement pay was entitled to receive) 
        compensation at the time of death for a service-connected 
        disability rated totally disabling if--
                  ``(A) the disability was continuously rated totally 
                disabling for a period of 10 or more years immediately 
                preceding death;
                  ``(B) the disability was continuously rated totally 
                disabling for a period of not less than five years from 
                the date of such veteran's discharge or other release 
                from active duty; or
                  ``(C) the veteran was a former prisoner of war who 
                died after September 30, 1999, and the disability was 
                continuously rated totally disabling for a period of 
                not less than one year immediately preceding death.''.
  (b) Effective Date.--The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply 
with respect to a loan guaranteed after the date of the enactment of 
this Act.
  (c) Clarification With Respect to Certain Fees.--Fees shall be 
collected under section 3729 of title 38, United States Code, from a 
person described in paragraph (6) of subsection (b) of section 3701 of 
such title, as added by subsection (a), in the same manner as such fees 
are collected from a person described in paragraph (2) of such 
subsection.

SEC. 503. EXTENSION OF HOMELESS VETERANS REINTEGRATION PROGRAMS.

  (a) Extension.--Section 2021(e)(1)(F) of title 38, United States 
Code, is amended by striking ``2011'' and inserting ``2012''.
  (b) Report.--Not later than one year after the date of the enactment 
of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit 
to Congress a report on the operation and results of the homeless 
veterans reintegration programs under section 2021 of title 38, United 
States Code.

SEC. 504. REIMBURSEMENT RATE FOR AMBULANCE SERVICES.

  Section 111(b)(3) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by 
adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
  ``(C) In the case of transportation of a person under subparagraph 
(B) by ambulance, the Secretary may pay the provider of the 
transportation the lesser of the actual charge for the transportation 
or the amount determined by the fee schedule established under section 
1834(l) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395(l)) unless the 
Secretary has entered into a contract for that transportation with the 
provider.''.

SEC. 505. ANNUAL REPORTS ON POST-9/11 EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM 
                    AND SURVIVORS' AND DEPENDENTS' EDUCATIONAL 
                    ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

  (a) Reports Required.--
          (1) In general.--Subchapter III of chapter 33 of title 38, 
        United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
        following new section:

``Sec. 3325. Reporting requirement

  ``(a) In General.--For each academic year--
          ``(1) the Secretary of Defense shall submit to Congress a 
        report on the operation of the program provided for in this 
        chapter; and
          ``(2) the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the 
        operation of the program provided for in this chapter and the 
        program provided for under chapter 35 of this title.
  ``(b) Contents of Secretary of Defense Reports.--The Secretary of 
Defense shall include in each report submitted under this section--
          ``(1) information indicating--
                  ``(A) the extent to which the benefit levels provided 
                under this chapter are adequate to achieve the purposes 
                of inducing individuals to enter and remain in the 
                Armed Forces and of providing an adequate level of 
                financial assistance to help meet the cost of pursuing 
                a program of education;
                  ``(B) whether it is necessary for the purposes of 
                maintaining adequate levels of well-qualified active-
                duty personnel in the Armed Forces to continue to offer 
                the opportunity for educational assistance under this 
                chapter to individuals who have not yet entered active-
                duty service; and
                  ``(C) describing the efforts under section 3323(b) of 
                this title to inform members of the Armed Forces of the 
                active duty service requirements for entitlement to 
                educational assistance benefits under this chapter and 
                the results from such efforts; and
          ``(2) such recommendations for administrative and legislative 
        changes regarding the provision of educational assistance to 
        members of the Armed Forces and veterans, and their dependents, 
        as the Secretary of Defense considers appropriate.
  ``(c) Contents of Secretary of Veterans Affairs Reports.--The 
Secretary shall include in each report submitted under this section--
          ``(1) information concerning the level of utilization of 
        educational assistance and of expenditures under this chapter 
        and under chapter 35 of this title;
          ``(2) the number of credit hours, certificates, degrees, and 
        other qualifications earned by beneficiaries under this chapter 
        and under chapter 35 of this title during the academic year 
        covered by the report; and
          ``(3) such recommendations for administrative and legislative 
        changes regarding the provision of educational assistance to 
        members of the Armed Forces and veterans, and their dependents, 
        as the Secretary considers appropriate.
  ``(d) Termination.--No report shall be required under this section 
after January 1, 2021.''.
          (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the 
        item relating to section 3324 the following new item:

``3325. Reporting requirement.''.
          (3) Deadline for submittal of first report.--The first 
        reports required under section 3325 of title 38, United States 
        Code, as added by paragraph (1), shall be submitted by not 
        later than November 1, 2012, and shall cover the 2011-2012 
        academic year.
  (b) Repeal of Report on All Volunteer-Force Educational Assistance 
Program.--
          (1) In general.--Chapter 30 of such title is amended by 
        striking section 3036.
          (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of such chapter is amended by striking the item 
        relating to section 3036.

SEC. 506. LIMITATION ON AMOUNT AUTHORIZED TO BE APPROPRIATED FOR 
                    EMPLOYEE TRAVEL, PRINTING, AND FLEET VEHICLES.

  The amount authorized to be appropriated for the Department of 
Veterans Affairs for employee travel, printing, and fleet vehicles for 
fiscal year 2012 shall not exceed $385,000,000.

SEC. 507. EXTENSION OF REDUCED PENSION FOR CERTAIN VETERANS COVERED BY 
                    MEDICAID PLANS FOR SERVICES FURNISHED BY NURSING 
                    FACILITIES.

  Section 5503(d)(7) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by 
striking ``May 31, 2015'' and inserting ``May 31, 2016''.

SEC. 508. STATUTORY PAY-AS-YOU-GO-ACT OF 2010.

  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

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 2433 was introduced on July 7, 2011, by Chairman Jeff 
Miller of Florida. H.R. 2433, as amended, would amend title 38, 
United States Code, to make certain improvements in the laws 
relating to the employment and training of veterans, and for 
other purposes. H.R. 2433, as amended, incorporates provisions 
from H.R. 120, introduced by Mrs. Foxx of North Carolina, and 
H.R. 2274, introduced by Mr. Bilirakis of Florida. The bill 
also includes two free-standing provisions that would reduce 
discretionary spending by preventing the Department of Veterans 
Affairs (VA) from being overcharged for the provision of 
ambulance services by non-VA providers to certain veterans and 
capping certain expenditures related to employee travel, fleet 
vehicles, and printing costs at VA. Taken together, the bill 
would improve the provision of Federal transition, education, 
vocational training, and loan guaranty benefits to members of 
the Armed Forces, veterans, and survivors.

                  Background and Need for Legislation


                      TITLE I--RETRAINING VETERANS

Section 101--Veterans Retraining Assistance Program

    The total number of unemployed veterans has stayed 
consistently around 1 million throughout most of FY 2011. 
According to the U.S. Department of Labor's (DoL) Bureau of 
Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 877,000 unemployed veterans 
in the United States during the month of August 2011. Of this 
number 577,000, or 66 percent, were between the ages of 35-64. 
Despite these high numbers, unfilled jobs have also remained 
high. For example, data from the Conference Board show that 
over 4 million jobs are available and listed on the Internet. 
The Committee is also aware of employers who have expressed 
their concern about a lack of qualified job seekers and that 
job applicants do not have the proper training for these 
openings.
    BLS data show that Americans with higher education/training 
levels have significantly lower unemployment rates and higher 
weekly earnings. For example, in 2010, high school graduates 
had an unemployment rate of 10.3 percent and weekly earnings of 
$626. Those with an Associate's Degree experienced unemployment 
at a rate of 7 percent and had average weekly earnings of $767, 
a 22 percent increase above the earnings of high school 
graduates. Having a Bachelor's Degree reduced the unemployment 
rate to 5.4 percent while increasing weekly earnings to $1,038.
    Therefore, the challenge before the Committee is to 
increase the skills and qualifications of unemployed veterans. 
By doing this, veterans will be better positioned not only for 
today's job market, but also for an expanding job market as the 
stagnant economy improves. Upgrading skills and qualifications 
is especially critical for the 66 percent of unemployed 
veterans between the ages of 35 and 64. One proven way to do 
that is through providing them with meaningful education and 
training benefits.
    Unlike younger or recently discharged older veterans who 
have eligibility to obtain education and training through the 
Post-9/11 GI Bill, older veterans seldom have access to similar 
education or training programs. This is because many of these 
veterans would have passed their eligibility period to use the 
predecessor education benefit to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the 
Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB), and few would have the service 
required to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. In times of 
economic downturn, this gap in benefits is particularly 
troubling since middle-aged veterans would typically have 
significantly higher financial obligations than younger 
veterans.
    Section 101 would provide an opportunity for unemployed 
veterans aged 35 to 60 to gain new skills by offering them a 
temporary education and training benefit. The program would 
allow these veterans to enroll in courses at community colleges 
and technical training schools. Education payments would be 
administered under the rules governing the existing MGIB 
program and would only be payable to veterans enrolled in 
education or training courses that lead to an associate degree, 
certificate, or similar qualification, in a high demand 
occupation as determined by the Secretary of Labor.
    Section 101 would authorize the DoL and the VA to enroll up 
to 100,000 unemployed veterans beginning June 1, 2011, through 
March 31, 2014. Veterans would be eligible to receive the 
monthly MGIB benefit that is in effect for up to 12 months. 
However, payments could not be made after March 31, 2014. To be 
eligible, veterans must be at least 35 but not more than 60 
years old, have an honorable discharge, be unemployed as 
determined by the Secretary of Labor with special consideration 
given to those who have been unemployed for at least 26 
consecutive weeks and have no eligibility for other VA-
administered education programs. The Committee notes the bill's 
provision in subsection (g) directing DoL and VA to reach a 
joint agreement on administration of the program and expects 
both Departments to move aggressively to bring the program 
online.
    Section 101 also includes a provision requiring program 
participants to certify attendance on a monthly basis as is 
done under the existing MGIB. This provision has been included 
to minimize overpayments to enrollees who do not complete their 
course of training. The Committee would expect VA to ensure 
that enrollees understand that failure to certify on a monthly 
basis may result in disenrollment and indebtedness to the 
government, just as in any other education or training program 
managed by VA.

         TITLE II--IMPROVING THE TRANSITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Section 201--Transition Assistance Program contracting

    The purpose of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) is 
to prepare departing servicemembers for civilian life by 
providing them with a two and one half day course that focuses 
on finding a job after discharge. TAP consists of three phases: 
pre-separation counseling by Department of Defense (DoD) 
military or civilian personnel designed to make the 
servicemember aware of available career options, an employment 
workshop taught by labor specialists, and a veterans' benefits 
phase taught by VA employees.
    The employment workshop focuses on career training 
essentials such as resume and cover letter writing, 
interviewing, and job search skills. Participants also receive 
a briefing from VA on the various types of veterans' benefits 
available to them.
    Currently, Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialists 
(DVOPS) and Local Veteran Employment Representatives (LVER) 
teach most TAP courses in the United States. DVOPS and LVERs 
are State employees funded by DoL's Veterans Employment and 
Training Service (VETS). The primary job of DVOPS and LVERs is 
to work at State workforce employment centers to help veterans, 
especially disabled veterans, find meaningful employment, not 
to teach TAP classes.
    However, contract instructors teach TAP at overseas bases 
as well as at several locations inside the United States. Over 
the past several Congresses, Committee staff has conducted site 
visits to observe TAP classes in action. In general, staff has 
found the quality of instruction in classes taught by contract 
instructors to be superior to those taught by DVOPS and LVERs. 
This is not to denigrate the efforts of the DVOPS and LVERs 
because they are hired for different skill sets needed to be 
effective job placement and outreach experts, not classroom 
instructors.
    Section 201 would require VETS to contract for all TAP 
instruction. This change would not only ensure quality 
instruction for all servicemembers but it would allow DVOPS and 
LVERs to focus on their primary mission, which is to provide 
intensive services to disabled veterans and outreach to 
employers. The Committee expresses its appreciation for DVOPS 
and LVERs who have helped departing servicemembers transition 
to civilian life. However, the Committee also believes that 
veterans will benefit more by using contract instructors for 
TAP and freeing DVOPS and LVERs to devote their time to helping 
veterans get good-paying jobs.
    Finally, the Committee believes that using contract 
instructors for all TAP employment workshop classes offers an 
excellent opportunity for VA to join with VETS to contract for 
the VA benefits instructional element of TAP. This would 
relieve VA from the need to station additional personnel 
overseas, as well as allow VA TAP instructors to perform their 
normal day-to-day duties.

Section 202--Mandatory participation in Transition Assistance Program

    Under current law, all servicemembers are ``encouraged'' to 
participate in TAP classes but only the Marines make TAP 
mandatory for all of its personnel. As a result, DoD data 
indicate that 15 to 20 percent of departing servicemembers do 
not attend TAP classes.
    Therefore, section 202 would require that all 
servicemembers below the rank of O-6 and E-8 (generally, those 
below the rank of Colonel for officers and Master or First 
Sergeant for enlisted persons) participate in TAP with a few 
exceptions for senior officers and enlisted personnel, as well 
as those unable to attend due to operational necessity.
    While the TAP program is considered dated and in serious 
need of improvement, the Committee believes that having a 
servicemember attend a less-than-perfect TAP class is better 
than nothing at all. The Committee is also aware that DoL, VETS 
and DoD are in the process of modernizing TAP so that it will 
feature a strong emphasis on training targeted to individual 
needs and circumstances. The Committee encourages the 
Departments to complete the project as soon as possible. The 
Committee also expects the revamped TAP to include, at least, a 
period during TAP that will assist those who intend to enroll 
in school to assess their readiness for higher education and to 
choose an institution appropriate for their academic and 
vocational goals.

Section 203--Report on the Transition Assistance Program

    Congress has little statistical data on TAP participation 
and it has been over 17 years since the TAP program was last 
updated. Therefore, section 203 would establish a reporting 
requirement on the level of participation in TAP as well as a 
third party review on a regular basis to determine whether the 
content of TAP is meeting the needs of departing 
servicemembers. The section would require that to the extent 
feasible, the third party contracted to conduct the review of 
TAP should be a company that has been validated as owned and 
controlled by a service disabled veteran and listed in the 
database required by section 8127 of title 38, United States 
Code.

Section 204--Transition Assistance Program outcomes

    TAP has been in operation for nearly two decades. While 
many DVOPS and LVERs do have participants fill out evaluations 
on their impressions of the program, participants are not 
tracked to see how they used the skills presented in TAP to 
successfully transition to civilian life. However, that data is 
not compiled at a national level. Section 204 would direct DoL 
and DoD to develop a method to assess the outcomes obtained by 
participants after TAP class completion.
    The Committee has learned that despite the fact that the 
Marines have made TAP mandatory, thousands of Marines 
nevertheless do not attend this important class. Additionally, 
with the revised TAP coming online, DoL will need to assess the 
effectiveness of its redesign efforts. To do that, the TAP 
program will need to collect data from those who have recently 
participated in TAP.
    Based on briefings from VETS and DoD staff, the Committee 
is aware of the intent to include such follow-up in the 
redesigned TAP. The Committee accepts the Departments' 
statements of intent in this matter and believes that inclusion 
of the followup data collection will meet the requirements of 
this section. However, if the redesigned TAP does not collect 
the data required by this section, the Departments must collect 
the data by another means.

Section 205--Comptroller general review

    As a means to gain a more immediate analysis of the quality 
and modernization needs of the TAP program, section 205 would 
require the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct 
a thorough review of TAP.

 TITLE III--IMPROVING THE TRANSITION OF VETERANS TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYMENT

Section 301--Reauthorization and improvement of demonstration project 
        on credentialing and licensure of veterans

    Public Law (P.L.) 109-461, 120 Stat. 3403, was signed into 
law on December 22, 2006. Section 604 included provisions 
authorizing VETS to conduct a pilot program, from 2006 through 
2009, to analyze several military occupations to determine the 
barriers to employment in similar civilian occupations. The law 
also authorized DoL to use unobligated funds to contract with 
an appropriate entity to carry out the project. To date, DoL 
has failed to carry out the study.
    DoD has the largest training program in the world, training 
servicemembers in hundreds of occupations. While many of these 
occupations center on combat-related duties, the vast majority 
train servicemembers in support roles, many of which are 
closely related to skills required in civilian occupations.
    Despite that close relationship, servicemembers find it 
difficult to transition directly into equivalent civilian 
occupations. There are many reasons for this, but chief among 
those reasons is the plethora of differing State laws and 
regulations that directly impede that transition.
    The Committee believes that it is vital to engage the 
States in an effort to standardize laws and regulations, even 
on a limited basis, in an effort to smooth servicemembers' 
transition to civilian employment and retain the value of 
taxpayer investment in the military training program. The 
Committee also recognizes that an unregulated transition for 
some specialties may not be achievable, but expects DOL to 
select military specialties ranging from those that are easier 
to transition from, to those that are more difficult. 
Therefore, section 301 would reauthorize the demonstration 
project on licensing and credentialing and require DoL to enter 
into a contract with an association of State governors to 
assist in developing a unified set of standards for not less 
than five, but no more than ten, occupations that will easily 
translate from the military.

Section 302--Inclusion of performance measures in annual report on 
        veteran job counseling, training, and placement programs of the 
        Department of Labor

    VETS currently funds the salaries and expenses of DVOPS and 
LVERs at a cost of over $165 million per year. Unfortunately, 
there is little statistical accountability built into the 
system to determine if this funding objectively leads to 
effective results.
    Section 302 would require VETS to create new performance 
metrics on the participants served by DVOPS and LVERs, 
including data on length of employment, median income, and 
degrees earned by participants following the completion of the 
program.

Section 303--Clarification of priority of service for veterans in 
        Department of Labor training programs

    Section 2 of the Jobs for Veterans Act, P.L. 107-288, 116 
Stat. 2033, required DoL to give veterans and certain spouses 
of veterans priority of service in all DoL training programs 
for which the veteran or spouse would otherwise qualify.
    Based on DoL statistics, it appears that DoL interprets the 
priority of service requirement to be met if veterans and other 
covered persons are shown to be participating in a DoL training 
program at a percentage roughly equal to the percentage of 
veterans in the general population (around 9-10 percent). The 
Committee believes such a proportion-based approach fails to 
meet both the letter and spirit of the law. Therefore, section 
303 would clarify the law to ensure that veterans are indeed 
receiving the priority of service envisioned in P.L. 107-288. 
The section also requires a new section to the VETS annual 
report that will track this priority of service at the local 
level. The section also makes it clear that DoL may not use the 
proportion of representation of veterans in training programs 
vs. the general veteran population as a basis for determining 
priority of service.

Section 304--Evaluation of individuals receiving training at the 
        National Veterans Employment and Training Services Institute

    The Committee believes it is important to hold DVOPS and 
LVERs accountable for the funds taxpayers are providing to 
enable them to perform their duties. Chapter 41 of title 38, 
United States Code, requires that DVOPS and LVERS complete an 
initial training program offered by the National Veterans 
Employment and Training Services Institute (NVTI). However, 
there is no statutory requirement that DVOPS and LVERs 
satisfactorily complete the course of training or that the 
employing State agency be informed of an employee's performance 
at NVTI. Therefore, section 304 would require that at the 
completion of their training at NVTI, each trainee would be 
required to take a final examination based on the training at 
NVTI. The results of this examination would then be sent to the 
organization or group that sponsored the trainee's attendance 
at NVTI.
    The Committee expects DoL and NVTI to implement such 
reporting beginning with the first class completing training 
following enactment of this provision.

Section 305--Requirements for full-time Disabled Veterans Outreach 
        Program Specialists (DVOPS) and Local Veterans Employment 
        Representatives (LVERs)

    The Committee continues to be made aware of full-time DVOPS 
and LVERs being required to perform non veteran-related 
functions at their worksites. Although the Committee 
understands the significant workload on the workforce 
development system with nearly 14 million Americans dealing 
with unemployment, the Committee is convinced there is 
sufficient work for DVOPS and LVERs to do in finding good jobs 
for the nearly 1 million unemployed veterans. The Committee 
also believes that State Directors and Assistant Directors of 
Veterans Employment and Training need to conduct aggressive 
audits of workforce development offices and make it clear to 
managers that DVOPS and LVERs shall not perform non veteran-
related work.
    Therefore, because there is currently no statutory 
prohibition from full-time DVOPS and LVERs performing non-
veteran related work, Section 305 would prohibit full-time 
DVOPS and LVERs from performing non-veteran related work, and 
require VETS to conduct audits to ensure compliance.

Section 306--Report on findings of the Department of Defense and 
        Department of Labor Credentialing Work Group

    In FY 2006, DoD and DoL began a study of 10 military 
occupations to determine the civilian barriers to employment in 
those occupations. Unfortunately, the study was terminated in 
2008 despite the investment made to date. Therefore, section 
306 would require DoD and DoL to complete the study and provide 
to Congress a report on the results of the study and ways that 
DoD and DoL will use existing programs to promote licensing and 
credentialing of servicemembers in the civilian world.

      TITLE IV--IMPROVEMENTS TO UNIFORMED SERVICES EMPLOYMENT AND 
                          REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS

Section 401--Clarification of benefits of employment covered under 
        USERRA

    The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights 
Act (USERRA) sets the parameters under which an employer must 
employ and reemploy members of the uniformed services who are 
returning from active duty or who must be absent from work due 
to military obligation.
    DoL has suggested adding language to clarify the definition 
of, or has suggested clarifying the definition of ``benefit,'' 
``benefit of employment,'' or ``rights and benefits,''. On page 
18 of the Department's Fiscal Year 2010 Annual Report on the 
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act 
(USERRA), DoL noted that:
          In the Department's view these terms [section 
        4303(2)] to include the right not to suffer workplace 
        harassment or the creation of a hostile working 
        environment because of an individual's membership in 
        the uniformed service or uniformed service 
        obligations[.] DoL considers it a violation of USERRA 
        for an employer to cause or permit workplace 
        harassment, the creation of a hostile working 
        environment, or to fail to take prompt and effective 
        action to correct harassing conduct because of an 
        individual's membership in the uniformed service or 
        uniformed service obligations. Although the Department 
        believes that the statute currently supports this 
        reading, in light of the risk of contrary 
        interpretations by the courts, the Department 
        recommends that Congress consider clarifying that 
        USERRA prohibits workplace harassment or the creation 
        of a hostile working environment. The Department of 
        Justice and the Office of Special Counsel concur with 
        this recommendation.
    In determining the existence of a ``hostile workplace,'' 
the Supreme Court in Meritor Savings Bank vs. Vinson, 477 U.S. 
57, 63-66 (1986) considered whether the ``term, conditions, or 
privileges of employment'' were violated. Therefore, section 
401 will expand the definition of a hostile work environment to 
include, ``the terms, conditions, or privileges of 
employment,'' to conform USERRA with the Supreme Court's 
decision and DoL's request in its annual report on USERRA.

                         TITLE V--OTHER MATTERS

Section 501--Extension of certain expiring provisions of law

    In FY 2010, the VA Loan Guaranty Service guaranteed 314,011 
loans and managed a total loan volume of over $65 billion. 
Among the loans VA may guarantee are adjustable rate mortgages 
(ARM) loans and hybrid ARMs (which loans allow for a fixed 
interest rate for a defined period prior to any adjustment). 
However the authority for VA to guarantee these kinds of loans 
expires on September 30, 2012. Section 501 reauthorizes VA's 
ability to guarantee ARM and hybrid ARM loans through September 
30, 2014.
    Further, to minimize taxpayer risk in association with 
mortgages and properties acquired by VA, VA has the authority 
to pool VA-guaranteed mortgages and sell them on the secondary 
market. This authority expires on December 31, 2011, and 
section 501 would also reauthorize this authority through 
December 31, 2016. The Committee believes that this authority 
protects taxpayer's investment into these houses and helps 
remove these properties from VA's books.
    In addition, section 3729 of title 38, United States Code, 
requires certain uses of VA's loan guaranty benefit to pay an 
upfront fee. The funding fee varies based on an individual's 
status and the amount of down payment brought forward, and the 
date of loan origination. The rates of funding fees (expressed 
as a percentage of the loan) that have been in effect since 
2009 are set to be reduced on October 1, 2011. 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. Section 501 would also extend through October 1, 2017, 
the rates of funding fees that would otherwise be reduced on 
October 1, 2011.
    Finally, the Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2008, 
P.L. 110-389, 122 Stat. 4145, authorized VA to temporarily 
guarantee mortgages with higher loan values in recognition of 
the high cost of housing in several areas of the country. This 
authorization expires on December 31, 2011. Section 501 would 
extend through December 31, 2014, VA's ability to guarantee 
loans with a maximum value of $417,000 for most areas of the 
country and a maximum of $1.1 million in high cost areas of the 
country.

Section 502--Department of Veterans Affairs housing loan guarantees for 
        surviving spouses of certain totally disabled veterans

    Currently, surviving spouses of veterans whose deaths were 
not service-connected, but who had service-connected 
disabilities that were permanent and total for at least 10 
years immediately preceding their deaths, are eligible to 
receive a monthly dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) 
payment from VA. However, surviving spouses of such veterans 
are not eligible for the VA home loan guaranty benefit 
administered by VA. Section 502 would enable these surviving 
spouses to take advantage of the VA loan guaranty benefit.

Section 503--Extension of Homeless Veterans Reintegration Programs

    The Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) is a 
grant program managed by VETS. Grants are made generally to 
non-profit, community-based organizations to fund efforts to 
qualify and place homeless veterans in jobs. The Comptroller 
General has consistently found the HVRP to be among the best 
federal programs to assist the homeless. Today, VETS funds well 
over 100 grantees and served 13,735 and placed 7,824 homeless 
veterans during the latest reporting period.
    The authority for the HVRP program is set to expire on 
September 30, 2011. 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. 
Therefore, section 503 would expand the authorization for this 
program to September 30, 2012 and requires the Comptroller 
General to complete a report on the effectiveness of HVRP no 
later than one year after enactment.

Section 504--Reimbursement rate for ambulance services

    Under current law, VA reimburses ambulance companies for 
services rendered to veterans enrolled in the VA health care 
system. The Administration reported to Congress that VA's 
reimbursement is well above the rate used to determine 
reimbursement under Medicare. The Administration requested that 
Congress end this practice and authorize reimbursement at the 
lesser of the actual rates charged on the rates authorized 
under Medicare.
    Section 504 would permit VA to pay the lesser of the actual 
amount charged by the ambulance provider or the applicable 
amount in the Medicare fee schedule for ambulance services. It 
is the Committee's expectation that ambulance providers will 
accept payment at the Medicare rate and not bill veterans 
directly. The Committee directs VA to report on the 
implementation of this provision.

Section 505--Annual reports on Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program 
        and Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program.

    Title 38, United States Code, currently requires DoD and VA 
to report on the effectiveness of the MGIB in meeting the 
statutory objectives of the program. With the advent of the 
Post-9/11 GI Bill, and the resulting reduction in the 
participation in the MGIB, the Committee believes it is time to 
refocus the report on the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
    With the significant investment, estimated to be as much as 
$60 to $80 billion over the first 10 years, and the need for 
Congress to be able to determine whether provisions of the new 
GI Bill are meeting their intended outcomes, section 505 would 
require an annual assessment of the outcomes of GI Bill 
participants.
    The report would require DoD to measure what effect the 
level of GI Bill benefits has on DoD's ability to recruit and 
maintain qualified active-duty personnel. This section would 
require VA to report on the level of utilization of benefits 
under all education programs administered by VA, the number of 
credit hours, certificates, degrees, and other qualifications 
earned by students under the GI Bill, and VA's recommendations 
on ways to improve the benefit for servicemembers, veterans, 
and their dependents.

Section 506--Limitation on amount authorized to be appropriated for 
        employee travel, printing, and fleet vehicles

    The President's National Commission on Fiscal 
Responsibility issued its report in December 2010 and 
recommended that every Federal agency: be prohibited from 
spending in excess of 80 percent of its FY 2010 travel budget; 
cap total government printing expenditures; and reduce 
government-wide (excluding DoD) vehicle fleet expenditures by 
20 percent. In support of its recommendation, the President's 
Commission made the following observation:
          Despite advances in technology, Federal travel costs 
        have ballooned in recent years, growing 56 percent 
        between 2001 and 2006 alone. Government fleets, 
        meanwhile, have grown by 20,000 over the last 4 years. 
        Printing costs are still higher than necessary despite 
        technological advancement.
    In response to pre-hearing questions for the record 
submitted by Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, VA testified that 
its combined expenditures for employee travel, printing costs, 
and costs associated with its vehicle fleet, was $289 million 
in fiscal year 2009, $341 million in fiscal year 2010, and was 
budgeted at $385 million in fiscal year 2011. Although the 
President's Commission recommended reductions relative to FY 
2010 spending, the Committee believes it is appropriate, in 
light of VA efforts to increase its outreach to veterans in 
rural communities and its effort to train newly hired 
employees, to cap spending at an amount that not only 
encourages greater use of technology (as the Commission 
recommended) but also remains sensitive to VA's mission to 
serve veterans.
    Accordingly, section 506 would establish an authorization 
cap of $385 million in FY 2012 for employee travel, printing 
costs, and fleet vehicles. The authorization cap would be equal 
to planned FY 2011 spending and, according to VA, $9 million 
below VA's planned expenditures for FY 2012. The Committee 
notes that the authorization cap under section 506 would be 33 
percent above the fiscal year 2009 amount and 13 percent above 
the fiscal year 2010 amount. The Committee encourages VA, 
consistent with the Commission's recommendations, to strive for 
greater savings in these areas through the expanded use of 
technology.

Section 507--Extension of reduced pension for certain veterans covered 
        by Medicaid plans for services furnished by nursing facilities.

    Current law limits pensions for veterans who have no 
dependents, and who are residing in nursing homes paid for 
under a Medicaid plan, to $90 per month. The provision will 
expire on May 31, 2015. Section 507 would extend this provision 
through May 31, 2016.

                                Hearings

    On July 7, 2011, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
conducted a legislative hearing on various bills introduced 
during the 112th Congress, including:
    H.R. 1911, H.R. 240, H.R. 1263, H.R. 120, H.R. 2274, H.R. 
2301, H.R. 2302, H.R. 2345, and H.R. 2329. The following 
witnesses testified: Mr. Tom Tarantino, Senior Legislative 
Associate of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; Mr. 
Shane Barker, Senior Legislative Associate, National 
Legislative Service of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the 
United States; Mr. Jeff Steele, Assistant Director, National 
Legislative Commission of The American Legion; MG David Bockel, 
USA (Ret.), Executive Director of the Reserve Officers 
Association of the United States (testimony also submitted on 
behalf of Reserve Enlisted Association of the United States); 
Mr. Arthur F. Kirk, Jr., President, Saint Leo University, Saint 
Leo, FL, on behalf of National Association of Independent 
Colleges and Universities; Ms. Susan C. Aldridge, Ph.D., 
President, University of Maryland University College, Adelphia, 
MD, on behalf of the American Association of State Colleges and 
Universities; and Mr. Curtis L. Coy, Deputy Under Secretary for 
Economic Opportunity, Veterans Benefits Administration of the 
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, who was accompanied by Mr. 
John Brizzi, Deputy Assistant General Counsel, Office of 
General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Ms. 
Vivianne Cisneros Wersel, Au.D., Chair, Government Relations 
Committee of Gold Star Wives of America, Inc., and Paralyzed 
Veterans of America submitted a statement for the record.
    On July 15, 2011, the Committee conducted a legislative 
hearing on various bills introduced during the 112th Congress, 
including: H.R. 2433, H.R. 1941, and H.R. 1169. The following 
witnesses testified: The Honorable Sanford D. Bishop Jr., 
Georgia, U.S. House of Representatives; The Honorable Jack 
Quinn, President, Erie Community College, Williamsville, NY. 
The following individuals and organization submitted statements 
for the record: Mr. Ryan M. Gallucci, Deputy Director, National 
Legislative Service of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the 
United States; Mr. Tom Tarantino, Senior Legislative Associate, 
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; Mr. Robert Madden, 
Assistant Director, National Economic Commission of The 
American Legion, Mr. Bob Simoneau, Deputy Executive Director, 
National Association of State Workforce Agencies; Mr. Curtis L. 
Coy, Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity of the 
Veterans Benefits Administration of the U.S. Department of 
Veterans Affairs who was accompanied by Mr. John Brizzi, Deputy 
Assistant General Counsel, Office of General Counsel, U.S. 
Department of Veterans Affairs; and the Honorable Raymond M. 
Jefferson, Assistant Secretary of the Veterans' Employment and 
Training Service of the U.S. Department of Labor. United States 
Department of Defense; Paralyzed Veterans of America; and Mr. 
John F. Morgan, President/Chief Executive Officer of Veterans 
of Modern Warfare.

                        Committee Considerations

    On September 8, 2011, the full Committee met in an open 
markup session, a quorum being present, and ordered reported 
favorably H.R. 2433, as amended, to the House of 
Representatives, by voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report the legislation and amendments thereto. 
Ranking Member Filner requested a record vote on H.R. 2433, as 
amended. The results of the record vote are as follows with the 
motion carrying by 17 yeas and 5 nays. Following the record 
vote on passage of H.R. 2433 as amended, the Committee approved 
a motion by Mr. Bilirakis to report favorably the bill, as 
amended, to the House, by voice vote.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Member                         Yea/Nay                   Member                  Yea/Nay
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Miller (FL)..............................             Yea   Mr. Filner.....................             Nay
Mr. Bilirakis................................             Yea   Ms. Brown......................     Not Present
Mr. Stearns..................................             Yea   Mr. Reyes......................     Not Present
Mr. Lamborn..................................             Yea   Mr. Michaud....................             Yea
Mr. Roe......................................             Yea   Ms. L. Sanchez.................             Yea
Mr. Stutzman.................................             Yea   Mr. Braley.....................             Nay
Mr. Flores...................................             Yea   Mr. McNerney...................             Nay
Mr. Johnson (OH).............................             Yea   Mr. Donnelly...................             Yea
Mr. Denham...................................             Yea   Mr. Walz.......................             Yea
Mr. Runyan...................................             Yea   Mr. Barrow.....................             Nay
Mr. Benishek.................................             Yea   Mr. Carnahan...................             Nay
Ms. Buerkle..................................             Yea
Mr. Huelskamp................................             Yea
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      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. 2433, 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. 
2433, 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. 2433, as amended, provided by the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 19, 2011.
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. 2433, the Veterans 
Opportunity to Work Act of 2011.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is William Ma.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 2433--Veterans Opportunity to Work Act of 2011

    Summary: H.R. 2433 would create or modify programs that 
provide employment and training services to veterans and 
servicemembers separating from active duty. The bill also would 
make changes to programs that offer home loan guarantees, 
ambulance services, and pension payments to qualifying 
individuals.
    If enacted, CBO estimates that, on net, the bill would 
decrease direct spending by $8 million over the 2012-2016 
period and by $291 million over the 2012-2021 period. Because 
the bill would affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures 
apply. Enacting H.R. 2433 would not affect revenues.
    In addition, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 2433 
would have a discretionary cost of $8 million over the 2012-
2016 period, assuming appropriation of the specified and 
estimated amounts.
    H.R. 2433 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 2433 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget functions 700 
(veterans benefits and services) and 050 (national defense).

        TABLE 1.--ESTIMATED BUDGETARY EFFECTS OF H.R. 2433, THE VETERANS OPPORTUNITY TO WORK ACT OF 2011
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2012     2013     2014     2015     2016   2012-2016
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDINGa

Estimated Budget Authority..............................      -20    1,066     -266     -360     -428        -8
Estimated Outlays.......................................      -20    1,066     -266     -360     -428        -8

                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated Authorization Level...........................       90       48      -41      -47      -51         1
Estimated Outlays.......................................       -1       69       33      -45      -50         8
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.
aIn addition to the direct spending effects shown here, enacting H.R. 2433 would have additional effects on
  direct spending beyond 2016 (see Table 2). CBO estimates that net direct spending would decrease by $291
  million over the 2012-2021 period.

    Basis of estimate: This estimate is based on information 
from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of 
Labor (DOL), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the National 
Veterans Training Institute (NVTI). For the purposes of this 
estimate, CBO assumes the bill will be enacted near the 
beginning of fiscal year 2012, that the necessary amounts will 
be appropriated each year, and that outlays will follow 
historical patterns for similar and existing programs.

Direct spending

    Table 2 summarizes the effects of H.R. 2433 on direct 
spending for veterans' housing loan guarantees, training and 
employment assistance, and pension payments. CBO estimates that 
enacting those provisions would reduce net direct spending for 
veterans' programs by $291 million over the 2012-2021 period.

                                                                 TABLE 2.--ESTIMATED CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING UNDER H.R. 2433
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                       Outlays, in millions of dollars, by fiscal year--
                                                             -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 2012       2013       2014       2015       2016       2017       2018       2019       2020       2021    2012-2016  2012-2021
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Guaranteed Loan Provisions..................................       -242       -262       -281       -292       -300       -307          3          2          2          1     -1,377     -1,676
Veterans Retraining Assistance..............................        223      1,330         17          0          0          0          0          0          0          0      1,570      1,570
Pensions for Veterans in Medicaid Nursing Homes.............          0          0          0        -65       -125          0          0          0          0          0       -190       -190
Loan Guarantees for Surviving Spouses.......................         -1         -2         -2         -3         -3         -4          5          5          5          5        -11          5
                                                             -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total changes...........................................        -20      1,066       -266       -360       -428       -311          8          7          7          6         -8       -291
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: * = less than $500,000.

    Guaranteed Loan Provisions. Section 501 would modify 
several provisions of current law related to VA's authority to 
guarantee certain mortgages provided to veterans. In total, 
those changes would decrease direct spending by almost $1.7 
billion over the 2012-2021 period.
    Fee Changes. Most significantly, section 501 would postpone 
scheduled decreases in the fees that VA charges for providing 
loan guarantees. Under its mortgage guarantee program, VA 
promises lenders a payment of up to 25 percent of the 
outstanding loan balance (subject to some limitations on the 
original loan amount) in the event that the borrower defaults. 
Such guarantees enable veterans to get better loan terms, such 
as lower interest rates or smaller down payments. VA charges 
fees to some borrowers for its guarantee to offset the costs of 
subsequent defaults. The amount of the fee varies depending on 
the size of the down payment and whether the borrower has 
previously used the loan-guarantee benefit.
    Under current law, in 2011, veterans who get a mortgage 
with a VA guarantee and who make no down payment are required 
to pay an up-front fee equal to 2.15 percent of the principal 
amount. The fees for veterans who do make down payments range 
from 1.25 percent to 1.50 percent of the principal amount, 
depending on the size of the down payment. Under current law, 
in 2012 and thereafter the fees for such loans are scheduled to 
decline by roughly half. Veterans who have previously used the 
loan-guarantee benefit currently pay an up-front fee equal to 
3.30 percent of a subsequent guaranteed loan taken in 2011. The 
rate for that fee will decline to 2.80 percent in 2012, to 2.15 
percent in 2013, and to 1.25 percent in 2014 and any subsequent 
year. (Veterans of the reserve components pay an additional fee 
of 0.25 percent for loan guarantees.)
    Section 501 would increase the current-law fee rates for 
the 2012-2017 period to the rates in effect for 2011. Reserve 
veterans would continue to pay the additional 0.25 percent 
premium. In 2018 and thereafter, the fees would decline to the 
rates specified for those years in current law. Eliminating the 
scheduled fee decline for the 2012-2017 period would increase 
collections by VA, lowering the subsidy cost of the loan 
guarantees provided in those years; direct spending would 
decrease by $229 million in 2012, and by $1,684 million over 
the 2012-2021 period, CBO estimates.\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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Adjustable-Rate, Hybrid-Adjustable-Rate, and Jumbo 
Mortgages. Section 501 also would extend several expiring 
authorities to guarantee certain types of mortgages. VA is 
authorized to provide guarantees for adjustable-rate mortgages 
and hybrid-adjustable-rate mortgages (that is, mortgages with a 
rate that is fixed for an initial period and adjustable 
thereafter) until the end of fiscal year 2012. The bill would 
extend those authorities through fiscal year 2014.
    It also would increase the maximum loan level for which VA 
can provide a full guarantee. The guaranteed payment from VA is 
generally capped at 25 percent of the initial loan balance, up 
to the limit on loan size established by the Federal Home Loan 
Mortgage Corporation Act, currently a maximum loan amount of 
$417,000. (Loans at or below that level are known as conforming 
loans; loans in excess are called jumbo loans. Exceptions are 
made to the conforming limit for certain high-cost areas like 
Hawaii and Alaska.) The Veterans Benefits Improvements Act of 
2008 (Public Law 110-389) temporarily increased by 75 percent--
to $729,750--the maximum loan amount eligible for the full 
guarantee. The limit reverts to the lower level after December 
31, 2011. Section 501 would extend for three years the 
authority to guarantee loans up to that higher limit.
    Based on the number of adjustable-rate, hybrid-adjustable-
rate, and jumbo mortgages VA has guaranteed in recent years, 
CBO estimates that VA would guarantee about $6 billion worth of 
additional loans a year during the period those expiring 
authorities would be extended. In conjunction with the fee 
increases discussed above, those extensions would reduce direct 
spending by $13 million in 2012, and increase it by $8 million 
over the 2012-2021 period, CBO estimates.
    Veterans Retraining Assistance. Section 101 would provide 
up to 12 months of retraining assistance to no more than 
100,000 unemployed veterans that enter education or training 
programs at community colleges or technical schools to prepare 
them for employment in an occupational field that is determined 
by DOL to have significant employment opportunities. The 
monthly amount of assistance payable to participating veterans 
would equal the maximum monthly amount of basic assistance 
payable under the Montgomery G.I. Bill. For 2011, that rate is 
$1,426 per month. To qualify for the retraining assistance, 
veterans must be:
          
 Unemployed;
          
 At least 35, but not more than 60 years of 
        age;
          
 Discharged from active-duty service under 
        honorable conditions; and
          
 Ineligible to receive any other educational 
        assistance from VA.
    Of the total number of veterans that qualify for retraining 
assistance, only 45,000 may enter the retraining program in 
fiscal year 2012 and only 55,000 may enter the program between 
October 1, 2012, and March 31, 2014. Based on information from 
DOL, CBO estimates that those caps will quickly bereached and 
that each participating veteran would, on average, receive 
about $15,500 in assistance. Over the 2012-2014 period, CBO 
estimates that providing retraining assistance to those 
veterans would increase direct spending by about $1.5 billion, 
with most of that cost falling in fiscal year 2013.
    Of the 100,000 unemployed veterans expected to participate 
in the retraining program, we project that nearly half also 
would apply for, and be eligible to participate in, the Federal 
Pell Grant and Federal Student Loan Programs funded by the U.S. 
Department of Education. While the bulk of funding for Pell 
grants is discretionary (see discussion below under the 
spending subject to appropriation estimate for section 101), 
CBO estimates that, if enacted, section 101 would increase 
direct spending by $21 million over the 2012-2015 period for 
the mandatory portion of the Pell Grant program. The bill also 
would have a negligible impact on direct spending for student 
loans.
    Pensions for Veterans in Medicaid Nursing Homes. Section 
507 would extend from May 31, 2015, to May 31, 2016, the 
expiration date of a provision of current law that sets a $90 
per month limit on pensions paid to any veteran without a 
spouse or child, or to any survivor of a veteran, who is 
receiving Medicaid coverage in a Medicaid-approved nursing 
home. The law also allows the beneficiary to retain the pension 
instead of having to use it to defray nursing home costs. Using 
data provided by VA, CBO estimates that in 2012 about 15,000 
veterans and 19,000 survivors will be affected by this 
provision and that the average savings to VA will total about 
$18,600 per veteran and $11,600 per survivor. Extrapolating 
from this estimate to account for mortality and new nursing 
home patients, CBO estimates the provision would save VA $490 
million over the 2015-2016 period. Higher Medicaid payments to 
nursing homes would offset some of those savings. We estimate 
that those costs would total about $300 million over the 2015-
2016 period, resulting in a net savings of $190 million over 
the period.
    Loan Guarantees for Surviving Spouses. Section 502 would 
make the surviving spouses of certain totally disabled veterans 
eligible for the mortgage guarantee benefit. Under current law, 
surviving spouses of veterans who die from a service-connected 
disability may get a loan with a VA guarantee; spouses of 
veterans whose disability was not related to their service are 
ineligible. The bill would authorize VA to guarantee loans to 
surviving spouses of veterans with disabilities that were not 
service-connected if the veteran had been continuously and 
completely disabled for 10 years preceding death, completely 
disabled for five years from the date of discharge, or 
completely disabled for one year if they had also been held as 
a prisoner of war and died after September 30, 1999. CBO 
estimates that VA would guarantee few such loans initially, but 
that over time, the number of additional loans it would 
guarantee would reach about 2,500 a year. Those additional 
loans--taking into account the fee structure specified in 
section 501--would yield a net increase in direct spending of 
$5 million over the 2012-2021 period, CBO estimates.

Spending subject to appropriation

    H.R. 2433 would limit reimbursement to organizations that 
provide ambulance services to veterans and modify programs that 
provide employment and training services to veterans and 
servicemembers separating from active duty. If enacted, CBO 
estimates that, on net, the bill would have a discretionary 
cost of $8 million over the 2012-2016 period, assuming 
appropriation of the specified and estimated amounts (see Table 
3).
    Reimbursement for Ambulance Services. Section 504 would 
allow VA to pay the provider of ambulance services the lesser 
of the actual charge or the amount determined by the Medicare 
fee schedule for such services. Under current law, VA does not 
have a standard fee for ambulance services; rather the 
department reimburses the transportation costs for certain 
veterans based upon the ``actual necessary expense'' as 
submitted by the provider. CBO expects that paying Medicare 
rates for ambulance services would lower such costs by roughly 
20 percent (comparable to the difference between Medicare Part 
B physician payment rates and those of the private sector). On 
that basis, CBO estimates that using the Medicare fee schedule 
would reduce spending for ambulance services by $246 million 
over the 2012-2016 period, assuming future appropriations are 
reduced accordingly.

                TABLE 3.--ESTIMATED CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION UNDER H.R. 2433
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2012     2013     2014     2015     2016   2012-2016
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reimbursement for Ambulance Services:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................      -45      -48      -51      -53      -56      -253
    Estimated Outlays...................................      -41      -47      -50      -53      -55      -246
Veterans Retraining Assistance:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................       76       91        5        0        0       172
    Estimated Outlays...................................       27       80       64        1        0       172
Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program:
    Authorization Level.................................       50        0        0        0        0        50
    Estimated Outlays...................................        4       31       14        1        0        50
Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Outcomes:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................        2        2        3        3        3        14
    Estimated Outlays...................................        2        2        3        3        3        14
Mandatory Participation in TAP:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................        2        2        2        2        2        10
    Estimated Outlays...................................        2        2        2        2        2        10
Reports, Studies, and Audits:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................        5        1        *        1        *         7
    Estimated Outlays...................................        5        1        *        1        *         7
Credentialing and Licensure:
    Authorization Level.................................        *        *        *        0        0         1
    Estimated Outlays...................................        *        *        *        *        *         1
    Total Changes:
        Estimated Authorization Level...................       90       48      -41      -47      -51         1
        Estimated Outlays...............................       -1       69       33      -45      -50         8
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes: * = less than $500,000.
Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.

    Veterans Retraining Assistance. In addition to the direct 
spending effects estimated for section 101, CB0 estimates that 
implementing this provision would cost $172 million over the 
2012-2016 period, assuming appropriation of the estimated 
amounts.
    Personnel and Information Technology. Based on information 
from VA, CBO estimates that about 60 full-time permanent 
employees and about 70 temporary employees would be required to 
review and process all incoming applications for retraining 
assistance. An information technology (IT) system also would 
need to be created to manage those applications once approved. 
Hiring those employees and developing and maintaining the IT 
system would cost $22 million and about $2 million, 
respectively, over the 2012-2016 period, CB0 estimates.
    Pell Grant Program. As discussed in the direct spending 
estimate for section 101, CBO projects that nearly half of the 
100,000 unemployed veterans expected to participate in the 
retraining program would apply for, and be eligible to 
participate in, the Pell Grant program. If enacted, section 101 
would increase discretionary costs for Pell grants by $148 
million over the 2012-2016 period, CB0 estimates.
    Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP). Section 503 
would extend the HVRP through fiscal year 2012, authorizing $50 
million for DOL to provide 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 2011. CB0 
estimates that implementing this section would cost $50 million 
over the 2012-2016 period, assuming appropriation of the 
authorized amount.
    Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Outcomes. Section 204 
would require DOL and DoD to develop a joint method to assess 
certain outcomes of every TAP participant. Specifically, DOL 
and DoD would have to be able to determine the following for 
each TAP participant:
          
 The length of the period of unemployment 
        following separation from active-duty service,
          
 The beginning salary paid for the first job 
        obtained following separation, and
          
 The number of months of school or training 
        attended during the first 12 months following 
        separation.
    Based on information from DOL and DoD, and assuming 
implementation of section 202 (see discussion below under 
``Mandatory Participation in TAP''), CB0 estimates that DOL and 
DoD would need to contact about 170,000 veterans each year. CB0 
estimates that it would cost $12 million to hire the additional 
staff and about $2 million to develop and maintain the IT 
system needed to conduct this outreach over the 2012-2016 
period, assuming appropriation of the estimated amounts.
    Mandatory Participation in TAP. Under current law, 
separating servicemembers are not required to participate in 
the employment and job training workshops provided by DOL as an 
element of TAP. Section 202 would require that all 
servicemembers separating from active duty participate in those 
workshops unless they fall under one of these categories:
          
 In pay grades E-8 and above or 0-6 and 
        above,
          
 Prevented from attending due to an urgent 
        operational requirement, or
          
 Accepted to an education program or already 
        obtained post-service employment.
    Under current law, DOL provides employment and job training 
services to an average of 130,000 separating servicemembers 
through about 4,100 employment workshops per year. Based on 
information from DOL and DoD, CBO estimates that under section 
202 an additional 36,000 individuals would be required to 
attend those workshops each year and that DOL would have to 
hold about 1,100 additional workshops annually to accommodate 
the increased attendance. Based on the cost of current 
workshops, CBO estimates that implementing section 202 would 
cost $10 million over the 2012-2016 period, assuming 
appropriation of the estimated amounts.
    Reports, Studies, and Audits. H.R. 2433 contains several 
provisions that would require the Comptroller General and the 
Secretaries of Labor, Defense, and Veterans Affairs to 
complete, or contract with appropriate entities to complete, 
various reports, studies, audits, and program reviews. Sections 
302 and 303 also would expand existing reporting requirements. 
If implemented, CB0 estimates that those efforts, collectively, 
would cost $7 million over the 2012-2016 period, assuming 
appropriation of the necessary amounts.
    Credentialing and Licensure. Section 301 would continue a 
demonstration project on credentialing and licensure of 
veterans through September 30, 2014, and authorize the use of 
up to $180,000 each year for that purpose. The authority to run 
that project ended September 30, 2009. If implemented, CB0 
estimates that continuing that demonstration project would cost 
about $1 million over the 2012-2016 period, assuming 
appropriation of the necessary amounts.
    Testing of National Veterans Training Institute Course 
Participants. NVTI was created to provide training to disabled 
veterans' outreach program specialists, local veterans' 
employment representatives, and other personnel that provide 
employment services to veterans. Section 304 would require that 
individuals receiving training at NVTI be given a final 
examination at the end of each training course and that the 
results of those examinations be provided to the entity that 
sponsored the training. Under current law, no such testing is 
required. Based on information from NVTI, CBO estimates that 
administering those exams would cost less than $500,000 over 
the 2012-2016 period, assuming the availability of appropriated 
funds.
    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 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. 2433 AS ORDERED REPORTED BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS ON SEPTEMBER 8, 2011
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                      By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      2011       2012       2013       2014       2015       2016       2017       2018       2019       2020       2021    2011-2016  2011-2021
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                           NET INCREASE OR DECREASE (-) IN THE DEFICIT

Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Impact...................          0        -20      1,066       -266       -360       -428       -311          8          7          7          6         -8       -291
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 2433 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would not affect the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    Previous CBO estimates: On July 7, 2011, CBO transmitted a 
cost estimate for S. 951, the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011, as 
ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs 
on June 29, 2011. Sections 6 and 13 of that bill are similar to 
sections 202 and 301 in H.R. 2433, respectively. The 
differences in the estimated costs reflect differences in the 
proposals.
    On August 30, 2011, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 
914, the Veterans Programs Improvements Act of 2011, as ordered 
reported by the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs on June 
29, 2011. Sections 108 and 206 of that bill are similar to 
sections 504 and 503 in H.R. 2433, respectively, and their 
estimated costs are the same.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Ann Futrell, Justin 
Humphrey, William Ma, David Newman, and Dwayne Wright; 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. 2433, 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. 
2433, 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.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides the short title of H.R. 2433 as the 
``Veterans Opportunity to Work Act of 2011.''

                                TITLE I

Section 101--Veterans Retraining Assistance Program

    (a) Authorizes payments to up to 100,000 veterans eligible 
under this section.
    (b) Defines the types of education and training eligible 
for payment under this section.
    (c) Requires participants to certify continuing 
participation on a monthly basis as done under the Montgomery 
GI Bill program.
    (d) Defines the benefit payment as the amount paid under 
the Montgomery GI Bill in effect at the time of participation.
    (e) Defines the eligibility requirements for those veterans 
desiring to participate in the program.
    (f) Requires VA to report educational achievement data for 
Post-9/11 GI Bill participants.
    (g) Directs the DoL and VA to jointly develop an agreement 
to carry out section 101.
    (h) Directs that funds to pay benefits shall come from the 
Readjustment Benefits Account.
    (i) Terminates all payments on March 31, 2014.

                                TITLE II

Section 201--Transition Assistance Program Contracting

    (a) Amends Section 4113 of title 38, United States Code, to 
direct the DoL to contract for all Transition Assistance 
Employment Workshop instruction and describes the minimum 
functions to be performed under the contract.
    (b) Requires DoL to contract for TAP instruction not later 
than 24 months after enactment.

Section 202--Mandatory Participation in Transition Assistance Program

    Amends Section 1144(c) of title 38, United States Code, to 
require, with limited exceptions, all servicemembers to 
participate in the TAP.

Section 203--Report on the Transition Assistance Program

    Amends Section 1144 of title 10, United States Code, to 
require DoL to submit annually a report on TAP participation 
and to contract with a validated small business owned and 
controlled by a service disabled veteran(s) that is listed in 
the database of such companies that is maintained by the VA. 
Also authorizes funding to pay for the contract to come from 
the Jobs for Veterans State Grant program.

Section 204--Transition Assistance Program Outcomes

    Amends Section 1144 of title 10, United States Code, to 
require the DoL and DoD to collect employment data on TAP 
participants during the first year following discharge.

Section 205--Comptroller general review

    Requires the Comptroller General to provide a review of the 
TAP and to submit recommendations on the program to the 
Congress not later than one year after the date of enactment.

                               TITLE III

Section 301--Reauthorization and improvement of Demonstration Project 
        on credentialing and licensure of veterans

    Amends section 4114 of title 38, United States Code, to 
direct the DoL to conduct a study in cooperation with an 
association of governors on 5 to 10 military occupations to 
determine barriers to transitioning those skills to civilian 
employment and authorizes $180,000 per year to fund the program 
through September 30, 2014, and sets reporting requirements.

Section 302--Inclusion of performance measures in annual report on 
        veteran job counseling, training, and placement programs of the 
        Department of Labor

    Amends Section 4107(c) of title 38, United States Code, to 
specify certain employment-education/training-related data for 
veterans placed in jobs by DVOPS and LVERs.

Section 303--Clarification of priority of service for veterans in 
        Department of Labor job training programs

    Amends Section 4215 of title 38, United States Code, to 
clarify that the term ``priority of service'' in DoL training 
programs does not mean proportional participation and requires 
the DoL to submit an analysis of how priority of service is 
implemented at the local level and prohibits the use of 
proportional representation as the basis of determining whether 
qualified veterans are receiving priority of service.

Section 304--Evaluation of individuals receiving training at the 
        National Veterans Employment and Training Services Institute

    Amends section 4109 of title 38, United States Code, to 
require the National Veterans Employment and Training Services 
Institute to test participants in its training program and to 
provide the results of that testing to the student's employer.

Section 305--Requirements for full-time Disabled Veterans Outreach 
        Program Specialists and Local Veterans Employment 
        Representatives

    Amends section 4103A of title 38, United States Code, to 
prohibit full-time DVOP and LVER representatives from being 
required to perform functions that are not part of their 
statutory veterans' employment-related duties. Also requires 
the DoL to conduct reviews to determine compliance with the 
section and to reduce the State grant funding as the DoL 
considers appropriate in cases of non-compliance.

Section 306--Report on the findings of the Department of Defense and 
        Department of Labor Credentialing Work Group

    Requires the DoL and DoD to complete a licensing and 
credentialing study of military occupations that was terminated 
in 2008 and to report the findings of the study not later than 
March 31, 2012.

                                TITLE IV

Section 401--Clarification of benefits of employment covered under 
        USERRA

    Amends Section 4303(2) of title 38, United States Code, to 
clarify the circumstances that define what can be considered a 
hostile work environment.

                                TITLE V

Section 501--Extension of certain expiring provisions of law

    Extends the authorization dates for Adjustable Rate 
Mortgages (ARMs), Hybrid ARMs, the sale of mortgage-backed 
securities, temporary higher maximum VA loan guaranty amount, 
and certain loan guaranty funding fees.

Section 502--Department of Veterans Affairs housing loan guarantees for 
        surviving spouses of certain totally disabled veterans

    Amends Section 3701(b) of title 38, United States Code, by 
authorizing VA to guarantee home loans for the surviving 
spouses of certain veterans who are eligible for DIC but not 
for VA's loan guaranty benefit.

Section 503--Extension of Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program

    Amends section 2021(e)(1)(F) of title 38, United States 
Code, to extend the HVRP through FY 2012.

Section 504--Reimbursement rate for ambulance services

    Amends section 111(b)(3) of title 38, United States Code, 
to limit VA payments for ambulance services to the lesser of 
the actual charges or the rates authorized under Medicare.

Section 505--Annual reports on Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program 
        and Survivor's and Dependents' Education Assistance Program

    Amends subchapter 33 of title 38, United States Code, to 
require DoD and VA to report on the effectiveness of the 
education and training offered under the Post-9/11 GI Bill to 
servicemembers and dependents in meeting recruiting and 
retention goals. It would also require VA to report the levels 
of educational achievement earned by participants. Section 505 
also terminates similar Montgomery GI Bill reporting 
requirements under section 3036 of title 38, United States 
Code.

Section 506--Limitation on amount authorized to be appropriated for 
        employee travel, printing, and fleet vehicles

    Reduces the amount of funding for travel, printing, and 
fleet vehicles to $385 million for FY 2012.

Section 507--Extension of reduced pension for certain veterans covered 
        by Medicaid plans for services furnished by nursing facilities

    Extends the current $90 limit on pension paid to certain 
veterans residing in nursing homes being paid for by Medicaid.

         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

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 1--GENERAL

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 111.   Payments or allowances for beneficiary travel

  (a) * * *
  (b)(1)* * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (3)(A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (C) In the case of transportation of a person under 
subparagraph (B) by ambulance, the Secretary may pay the 
provider of the transportation the lesser of the actual charge 
for the transportation or the amount determined by the fee 
schedule established under section 1834(l) of the Social 
Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395(l)) unless the Secretary has 
entered into a contract for that transportation with the 
provider.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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 
        [2011] 2012.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART III--READJUSTMENT AND RELATED BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


     CHAPTER 30--ALL-VOLUNTEER FORCE EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

                   SUBCHAPTER I--PURPOSES; DEFINITIONS

Sec.
3001. Purposes.
     * * * * * * *

 SUBCHAPTER IV--TIME LIMITATION FOR USE OF ELIGIBILITY AND ENTITLEMENT; 
                  GENERAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

     * * * * * * *
[3036. Reporting requirement.]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER IV--TIME LIMITATION FOR USE OF ELIGIBILITY AND ENTITLEMENT; 
GENERAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


[Sec. 3036. Reporting requirement

  [(a) The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary shall submit 
to the Congress at least once every two years separate reports 
on the operation of the program provided for in this chapter.
  [(b) The Secretary of Defense shall include in each report 
submitted under this section--
          [(1) information indicating (A) the extent to which 
        the benefit levels provided under this chapter are 
        adequate to achieve the purposes of inducing 
        individuals to enter and remain in the Armed Forces and 
        of providing an adequate level of financial assistance 
        to help meet the cost of pursuing a program of 
        education, (B) whether it is necessary for the purposes 
        of maintaining adequate levels of well-qualified 
        active-duty personnel in the Armed Forces to continue 
        to offer the opportunity for educational assistance 
        under this chapter to individuals who have not yet 
        entered active-duty service, and (C) describing the 
        efforts under sections 3011(i) and 3012(g) of this 
        title to inform members of the Armed Forces of the 
        minimum service requirements for entitlement to 
        educational assistance benefits under this chapter and 
        the results from such efforts; and
          [(2) such recommendations for administrative and 
        legislative changes regarding the provision of 
        educational assistance to members of the Armed Forces 
        and veterans, and their dependents, as the Secretary of 
        Defense considers appropriate.
  [(c) The Secretary shall include in each report submitted 
under this section--
          [(1) information concerning the level of utilization 
        of educational assistance and of expenditures under 
        this chapter; and
          [(2) such recommendations for administrative and 
        legislative changes regarding the provision of 
        educational assistance to members of the Armed Forces 
        and veterans, and their dependents, as the Secretary 
        considers appropriate.
  [(d) No report shall be required under this section after 
January 1, 2011.]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


              CHAPTER 33--POST-9/11 EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

                        SUBCHAPTER I--DEFINITIONS

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

                SUBCHAPTER III--ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

     * * * * * * *
3325. Reporting requirement.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER III--ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3325. Reporting requirement

  (a) In General.--For each academic year--
          (1) the Secretary of Defense shall submit to Congress 
        a report on the operation of the program provided for 
        in this chapter; and
          (2) the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report 
        on the operation of the program provided for in this 
        chapter and the program provided for under chapter 35 
        of this title.
  (b) Contents of Secretary of Defense Reports.--The Secretary 
of Defense shall include in each report submitted under this 
section--
          (1) information indicating--
                  (A) the extent to which the benefit levels 
                provided under this chapter are adequate to 
                achieve the purposes of inducing individuals to 
                enter and remain in the Armed Forces and of 
                providing an adequate level of financial 
                assistance to help meet the cost of pursuing a 
                program of education;
                  (B) whether it is necessary for the purposes 
                of maintaining adequate levels of well-
                qualified active-duty personnel in the Armed 
                Forces to continue to offer the opportunity for 
                educational assistance under this chapter to 
                individuals who have not yet entered active-
                duty service; and
                  (C) describing the efforts under section 
                3323(b) of this title to inform members of the 
                Armed Forces of the active duty service 
                requirements for entitlement to educational 
                assistance benefits under this chapter and the 
                results from such efforts; and
          (2) such recommendations for administrative and 
        legislative changes regarding the provision of 
        educational assistance to members of the Armed Forces 
        and veterans, and their dependents, as the Secretary of 
        Defense considers appropriate.
  (c) Contents of Secretary of Veterans Affairs Reports.--The 
Secretary shall include in each report submitted under this 
section--
          (1) information concerning the level of utilization 
        of educational assistance and of expenditures under 
        this chapter and under chapter 35 of this title;
          (2) the number of credit hours, certificates, 
        degrees, and other qualifications earned by 
        beneficiaries under this chapter and under chapter 35 
        of this title during the academic year covered by the 
        report; and
          (3) such recommendations for administrative and 
        legislative changes regarding the provision of 
        educational assistance to members of the Armed Forces 
        and veterans, and their dependents, as the Secretary 
        considers appropriate.
  (d) Termination.--No report shall be required under this 
section after January 1, 2021.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 37--HOUSING AND SMALL BUSINESS LOANS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                         SUBCHAPTER I--GENERAL

Sec. 3701. Definitions

  (a) * * *
  (b) For the purposes of housing loans under this chapter--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (6) The term ``veteran'' also includes, for purposes 
        of home loans, the surviving spouse of a deceased 
        veteran who dies and who was in receipt of or entitled 
        to receive (or but for the receipt of retired or 
        retirement pay was entitled to receive) compensation at 
        the time of death for a service-connected disability 
        rated totally disabling if--
                  (A) the disability was continuously rated 
                totally disabling for a period of 10 or more 
                years immediately preceding death;
                  (B) the disability was continuously rated 
                totally disabling for a period of not less than 
                five years from the date of such veteran's 
                discharge or other release from active duty; or
                  (C) the veteran was a former prisoner of war 
                who died after September 30, 1999, and the 
                disability was continuously rated totally 
                disabling for a period of not less than one 
                year immediately preceding death.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3707. Adjustable rate mortgages

  (a) The Secretary shall carry out a demonstration project 
under this section during fiscal years 1993 through [2012] 2014 
for the purpose of guaranteeing loans in a manner similar to 
the manner in which the Secretary of Housing and Urban 
Development insures adjustable rate mortgages under section 251 
of the National Housing Act.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3707A. Hybrid adjustable rate mortgages

  (a) The Secretary shall carry out a demonstration project 
under this section during fiscal years 2004 through [2012] 2014 
for the purpose of guaranteeing loans in a manner similar to 
the manner in which the Secretary of Housing and Urban 
Development insures adjustable rate mortgages under section 251 
of the National Housing Act in accordance with the provisions 
of this section with respect to hybrid adjustable rate 
mortgages described in subsection (b).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


               SUBCHAPTER III--ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

Sec. 3720. Powers of Secretary

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (h)(1) * * *
  (2) The Secretary may not under this subsection guarantee the 
payment of principal and interest on certificates or other 
securities issued or approved after [December 31, 2011] 
December 31, 2016.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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                    Other
         Type of loan              veteran      Reservist      obligor
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(A)(i) Initial loan described          2.00          2.75            NA
 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 before January 1,
 2004)........................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(A)(ii) Initial loan described         2.20          2.40            NA
 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 January
 1, 2004, and before October
 1, 2004).....................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(A)(iii) Initial loan                  2.15          2.40            NA
 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, 2004, and before [October
 1, 2011] October 1, 2017)....
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(A)(iv) Initial loan described         1.40          1.65            NA
 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, 2011] October 1, 2017)....
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(B)(i) Subsequent loan                 3.30          3.30            NA
 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,
 2011] October 1, 2017).......
------------------------------------------------------------------------
[(B)(ii) Subsequent loan               2.80          2.80            NA
 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, 2011, and before October
 1, 2012).....................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
[(B)(iii) Subsequent loan              2.15          2.15           NA]
 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, 2012 and before October 1,
 2013)........................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(B)[(iv)] (ii) Subsequent loan         1.25          1.25            NA
 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, 2013] October 1, 2017)....
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(C)(i) Loan described in               1.50          1.75            NA
 section 3710(a) to purchase
 or construct a dwelling with
 5-down (closed before
 [October 1, 2011] October 1,
 2017)........................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(C)(ii) Loan described in              0.75          1.00            NA
 section 3710(a) to purchase
 or construct a dwelling with
 5-down (closed on or after
 [October 1, 2011] October 1,
 2017)........................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(D)(i) Initial loan described          1.25          1.50            NA
 in section 3710(a) to
 purchase or construct a
 dwelling with 10-down (closed
 before [October 1, 2011]
 October 1, 2017).............
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(D)(ii) Initial loan described         0.50          0.75            NA
 in section 3710(a) to
 purchase or construct a
 dwelling with 10-down (closed
 on or after [October 1, 2011]
 October 1, 2017).............
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(E) Interest rate reduction            0.50          0.50            NA
 refinancing loan.............
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(F) Direct loan under section          1.00          1.00            NA
 3711.........................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(G) Manufactured home loan             1.00          1.00            NA
 under section 3712 (other
 than an interest rate
 reduction refinancing loan)..
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(H) Loan to Native American            1.25          1.25            NA
 veteran under section 3762
 (other than an interest rate
 reduction refinancing loan)..
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(I) Loan assumption under              0.50          0.50          0.50
 section 3714.................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(J) Loan under section 3733(a)         2.25          2.25          2.25
------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                            

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

Sec.
4100. Findings.
     * * * * * * *
[4113. Outstationing of Transition Assistance Program personnel.]
4113. Transition Assistance Program personnel.
     * * * * * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 4103A. Disabled veterans' outreach program

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) Additional Requirement for Full-Time Employees.--(1) A 
full-time disabled veterans' outreach program specialist shall 
perform only duties related to meeting the employment needs of 
eligible veterans, as described in subsection (a), and shall 
not perform other non-veteran-related duties.
  (2) The Secretary shall conduct regular audits to ensure 
compliance with paragraph (1). If, on the basis of such an 
audit, the Secretary determines that a State is not in 
compliance with paragraph (1), the Secretary may reduce the 
amount of a grant made to the State under section 4102A(b)(5) 
of this title.

Sec. 4104. Local veterans' employment representatives

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e) Additional Requirements for Full-Time Employees.--(1) A 
full-time local veterans' employment representative shall 
perform only duties related to the employment, training, and 
placement services under this chapter, and shall not perform 
other non-veteran-related duties.
  (2) The Secretary shall conduct regular audits to ensure 
compliance with paragraph (1). If, on the basis of such an 
audit, the Secretary determines that a State is not in 
compliance with paragraph (1), the Secretary may reduce the 
amount of a grant made to the State under section 4102A(b)(5) 
of this title.
  [(e)] (f) Reporting.--Each local veterans' employment 
representative shall be administratively responsible to the 
manager of the employment service delivery system and shall 
provide reports, not less frequently than quarterly, to the 
manager of such office and to the Director for Veterans' 
Employment and Training for the State regarding compliance with 
Federal law and regulations with respect to special services 
and priorities for eligible veterans and eligible persons.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 4107. Administrative controls; annual report

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) Not later than February 1 of each year, the Secretary 
shall report to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the 
Senate and the House of Representatives on the success during 
the preceding program year of the Department of Labor and its 
affiliated State employment service agencies in carrying out 
the provisions of this chapter and programs for the provision 
of employment and training services to meet the needs of 
eligible veterans and eligible persons. The report shall 
include--
          (1) * * *
          (2) a comparison of the rate of entered employment 
        (as determined in a manner consistent with State 
        performance measures applicable under section 136(b) of 
        the Workforce Investment Act of 1998) for each of the 
        categories of veterans and persons described in [clause 
        (1)] paragraph (1) of this subsection with such rate of 
        entered employment (as so determined) for nonveterans 
        of the same age groups registered for assistance with 
        the public employment system in each State;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (5) a report on the operation during the preceding 
        program year of programs for the provision of 
        employment and training services designed to meet the 
        needs of eligible veterans and eligible persons, 
        including an evaluation of the effectiveness of such 
        programs during such program year in meeting the 
        requirements of section 4102A(b) of this title, the 
        efficiency with which services were provided through 
        such programs during such year, and such 
        recommendations for further legislative action relating 
        to veterans' employment and training as the Secretary 
        considers appropriate; [and]
          (6) a report on the operation during the preceding 
        program year of the program of performance incentive 
        awards for quality employment services under section 
        4112 of this title[.]; and
          (7) performance measures for the provision of 
        assistance under this chapter, including--
                  (A) the percentage of participants in 
                programs under this chapter who are employed 
                after the 180-day period following their 
                completion of the program;
                  (B) the percentage of such participants who 
                are employed after the one-year period 
                following their completion of the program;
                  (C) the median earnings of such participants 
                after the 180-day period following their 
                completion of the program;
                  (D) the median earnings of such participants 
                after the one-year period following their 
                completion of the program; and
                  (E) the percentage of participants in such 
                program who complete a certificate, degree, 
                diploma, licensure, or industry-recognized 
                credential while they are participating in the 
                program or within one year of completing the 
                program.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 4109. National Veterans' Employment and Training Services 
                    Institute

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) The Secretary shall require that each individual who 
receives training provided by the Institute, or its successor, 
is given a final examination to evaluate the individual's 
performance in receiving such training. Each such evaluation 
shall be designed to provide the individual with a grade, which 
shall be designated as either a passing grade or a failing 
grade. The results of such final examination shall be provided 
to the entity that sponsored the individual who received the 
training.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


[Sec. 4113. Outstationing of Transition Assistance Program personnel

  [(a) Stationing of TAP Personnel at Overseas Military 
Installations.--(1) The Secretary--
          [(A) shall station employees of the Veterans' 
        Employment and Training Service, or contractors under 
        subsection (c), at each veterans assistance office 
        described in paragraph (2); and
          [(B) may station such employees or contractors at 
        such other military installations outside the United 
        States as the Secretary, after consultation with the 
        Secretary of Defense, determines to be appropriate or 
        desirable to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
  [(2) Veterans assistance offices referred to in paragraph 
(1)(A) are those offices that are established by the Secretary 
of Veterans Affairs on military installations pursuant to the 
second sentence of section 6304(a) of this title.
  [(b) Functions.--Employees (or contractors) stationed at 
military installations pursuant to subsection (a) shall 
provide, in person, counseling, assistance in identifying 
employment and training opportunities, help in obtaining such 
employment and training, and other related information and 
services to members of the Armed Forces who are being separated 
from active duty, and the spouses of such members, under the 
Transition Assistance Program and Disabled Transition 
Assistance Program established in section 1144 of title 10.
  [(c) Authority To Contract With Private Entities.--The 
Secretary, consistent with section 1144 of title 10, may enter 
into contracts with public or private entities to provide, in 
person, some or all of the counseling, assistance, information 
and services under the Transition Assistance Program required 
under subsection (a).]

Sec. 4113. Transition Assistance Program personnel

  (a) Authority To Contract.--In accordance with section 1144 
of title 10, the Secretary shall enter into a contract with an 
appropriate private entity or entities to provide the functions 
described in subsection (b) at all locations where the program 
described in such section is carried out.
  (b) Functions.--Contractors under subsection (a) shall 
provide to members of the Armed Forces who are being separated 
from active duty (and the spouses of such members) the services 
described in section 1144(a)(1) of title 10, including--
          (1) counseling;
          (2) assistance in identifying employment and training 
        opportunities and help in obtaining such employment and 
        training;
          (3) other related information and services under such 
        section; and
          (4) any other services that the Secretary determines 
        are appropriate.

Sec. 4114. Credentialing and licensure of veterans: demonstration 
                    project

  (a) * * *
  (b) Identification of Military Occupational Specialties and 
Associated Credentials and Licenses.--(1) The Assistant 
Secretary shall select [not less than 10] not less than 5 but 
not more than 10 military occupational specialties for purposes 
of the demonstration project. Each specialty so selected by the 
Assistant Secretary shall require a skill or set of skills that 
is required for civilian employment in an industry with high 
growth or high worker demand.
  (2) The Assistant Secretary shall [consult with appropriate 
Federal, State, and industry officials] enter into a contract 
with an appropriate entity representing a coalition of State 
governors to identify requirements for credentials, 
certifications, and licenses that require a skill or set of 
skills required by a military occupational specialty selected 
under paragraph (1).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (g) Period of Project.--The period during which the Assistant 
Secretary may carry out the demonstration project under this 
section shall be the period beginning on the date that is 60 
days after the date of the enactment of the [Veterans Benefits, 
Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006] Veterans 
Opportunity to Work Act of 2011 and ending on [September 30, 
2009] September 30, 2014.
  (h) Funding.--The Assistant Secretary may carry out the 
demonstration project under this section [utilizing unobligated 
funds] using not more than $180,000 of the funds in each fiscal 
year that are appropriated in accordance with the authorization 
set forth in section 4106 of this title, to be derived from 
amounts otherwise made available to carry out sections 4103A 
and 4104 of this title.
  (i) Report to Congress.--Not later than 30 days after the 
last day of a fiscal year during which the demonstration 
project under this section is carried out, the Assistant 
Secretary, in coordination with the entity with which the 
Assistant Secretary enters into a contract under subsection 
(b)(2), shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of 
the Senate and House of Representatives a report on the 
implementation of the demonstration project during that fiscal 
year.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 42--EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING OF VETERANS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 4215. Priority of service for veterans in Department of Labor job 
                    training programs

  (a) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (3) The term ``priority of service'' means, with 
        respect to any qualified job training program, that a 
        covered person shall be given priority over nonveterans 
        for the receipt of employment, training, and placement 
        services provided under that program, notwithstanding 
        any other provision of law. Such priority includes 
        giving access to such services to a covered person 
        before a non-covered person or, if resources are 
        limited, giving access to such services to a covered 
        person instead of a non-covered person.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(d) Addition to Annual Report.--In the annual report 
required under section 4107(c) of this title for the program 
year beginning in 2003 and each subsequent program year, the 
Secretary of Labor shall evaluate whether covered persons are 
receiving priority of service and are being fully served by 
qualified job training programs, and whether the representation 
of veterans in such programs is in proportion to the incidence 
of representation of veterans in the labor market, including 
within groups that the Secretary may designate for priority 
under such programs, if any.]
  (d) Addition to Annual Report.--(1) In the annual report 
required under section 4107(c) of this title for the program 
year beginning in 2003 and each subsequent program year, the 
Secretary of Labor shall evaluate whether covered persons are 
receiving priority of service and are being fully served by 
qualified job training programs. Such evaluation shall 
include--
          (A) an analysis of the implementation of providing 
        such priority at the local level;
          (B) whether the representation of veterans in such 
        programs is in proportion to the incidence of 
        representation of veterans in the labor market, 
        including within groups that the Secretary may 
        designate for priority under such programs, if any; and
          (C) performance measures, as determined by the 
        Secretary, to determine whether veterans are receiving 
        priority of service and are being fully served by 
        qualified job training programs.
  (2) The Secretary may not use the proportion of 
representation of veterans described in subparagraph (B) of 
paragraph (1) as the basis for determining under such paragraph 
whether veterans are receiving priority of service and are 
being fully served by qualified job training programs.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


   CHAPTER 43--EMPLOYMENT AND REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS OF MEMBERS OF THE 
                           UNIFORMED SERVICES

SUBCHAPTER I--GENERAL

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 4303. Definitions

   For the purposes of this chapter--
          (1) * * *
          (2) The term ``benefit'', ``benefit of employment'', 
        or ``rights and benefits'' means the terms, conditions, 
        or privileges of employment, including any advantage, 
        profit, privilege, gain, status, account, or interest 
        (including wages or salary for work performed) that 
        accrues by reason of an employment contract or 
        agreement or an employer policy, plan, or practice and 
        includes rights and benefits under a pension plan, a 
        health plan, an employee stock ownership plan, 
        insurance coverage and awards, bonuses, severance pay, 
        supplemental unemployment benefits, vacations, and the 
        opportunity to select work hours or location of 
        employment.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART IV--GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 55--MINORS, INCOMPETENTS, AND OTHER WARDS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 5503. Hospitalized veterans and estates of incompetent 
                    institutionalized veterans

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d)(1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (7) This subsection expires on [May 31, 2015] May 31, 2016.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


                      TITLE 10, UNITED STATES CODE



           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
SUBTITLE A--GENERAL MILITARY LAW

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART II--PERSONNEL

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


   CHAPTER 58--BENEFITS AND SERVICES FOR MEMBERS BEING SEPARATED OR 
RECENTLY SEPARATED

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 1144. Employment assistance, job training assistance, and other 
                    transitional services: Department of Labor

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) Participation.--The Secretary of Defense and the 
Secretary of Homeland Security [shall encourage and otherwise 
promote maximum participation by members of the armed forces 
eligible for assistance under the program carried out under 
this section.] shall encourage the participation of members of 
the armed forces in pay grades E-8 and above and O-6 and above 
who are eligible for assistance under the program and shall 
require the participation of all other members of the armed 
forces who are eligible for assistance under the program unless 
a documented urgent operational requirement prevents attendance 
or an individual service member, with written approval of their 
commander, chooses to decline participation, in writing, based 
on post-service employment or acceptance to an education 
program. Such documentation shall be included in the personnel 
record of the member.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e) Reports and Audits.--(1) Not later than January 30 of 
each year, the Secretary of Labor shall submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of 
Representatives a report on the program established under this 
section that includes the number of members of the armed forces 
eligible for assistance under the program who participated in 
the program within 30, 90, and 180 days of being separated from 
active duty, and the percentages of all such eligible 
participants who participated within each such time period.
  (2)(A) The Secretary of Labor shall enter into a contract 
with an appropriate entity to conduct an audit of the program 
established under this section not less frequently than once 
every three years and to submit to the Secretary of Defense, 
the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and 
the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of 
Representatives a report containing the results of each such 
audit.
  (B)(i) Except as provided in clause (ii), the Secretary of 
Labor shall enter into the contract under subparagraph (A) with 
an appropriate entity that is a small business concern owned 
and controlled by veterans or a small business concern owned 
and controlled by service-disabled veterans and that is 
included in the database of veteran-owned businesses maintained 
under subsection (f) of section 8127 of title 38 and verified 
by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (4) of that subsection.
  (ii) If the Secretary of Labor is unable to enter into the 
contract under subparagraph (A) with a qualified business 
concern described in clause (i), the Secretary shall enter into 
such contract with another qualified appropriate entity.
  (C) The Secretary of Labor shall enter into the contract 
under this paragraph using funds made available for the State 
grant program authorized under section 4102A of title 38.
  (f) Program Outcomes.--The Secretary of Labor and the 
Secretary of Defense shall jointly develop a method to assess 
the outcomes for individuals who participate in the program 
established under this section. Such method shall be designed 
to determine the following outcomes:
          (1) The length of the period during which the 
        individual was unemployed following the individual's 
        separation from active duty.
          (2) The beginning salary paid to the individual for 
        the first job the individual obtained following such 
        separation.
          (3) The number of months of school or other training 
        the individual attended during the first 12-month 
        period following such separation.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


      SECTION 501 OF THE VETERANS BENEFITS IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2008

SEC. 501. TEMPORARY INCREASE IN MAXIMUM LOAN GUARANTY AMOUNT FOR 
                    CERTAIN HOUSING LOANS GUARANTEED BY SECRETARY OF 
                    VETERANS AFFAIRS

  Notwithstanding subparagraph (C) of section 3703(a)(1) of 
title 38, United States Code, for purposes of any loan 
described in subparagraph (A)(i)(IV) of such section that is 
originated during the period beginning on the date of the 
enactment of this Act and ending on [December 31, 2011] 
December 31, 2014, the term ``maximum guaranty amount'' shall 
mean an amount equal to 25 percent of the higher of--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    I appreciate Chairman Miller's efforts to make meaningful 
change in the lives of our veterans and their families with 
this legislation but we need to be clear about what H.R. 2433, 
the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act, is and what it is not and 
how this measure is paid for. This bill is not a jobs bill, 
however it may be portrayed. This bill creates no new jobs. 
Rather, it is a retraining bill. It seeks to assist some 
veterans in the age group of 35 to 60 who have been out of the 
military for years and have transitioned into the civilian 
world, while doing little to assist returning servicemembers 
who are facing double-digit unemployment rates. While I fully 
support widening the opportunities for all of our veterans by 
providing them with additional skills, I do not believe we 
should take from some veterans to provide assistance to other 
veterans.
    In order to pay for this legislation, this bill would 
extend higher loan fees on our veterans that utilize the VA 
Home Loan Guarantee Program and then use those monies to pay 
for the monthly stipend and retraining costs created by this 
bill. By not allowing the higher loan fee rates to expire to 
much lower rates and by extending the higher rates for 10 
years, we are effectively taxing a specific group of veterans 
for using a benefit. The House Majority Leader, Representative 
Cantor of Virginia, said on July 11, 2011, that ``We don't 
believe you ought to be raising taxes right now in this 
recession, in this economy[.]''
    If this is the belief of our colleagues, then we must be 
consistent in how we apply these beliefs. If allowing the Bush 
tax cuts to expire was characterized as a tax increase, then 
not allowing these higher rates to expire should also be 
characterized as a tax increase. We need to be crystal clear as 
to what we are doing, and say in plain language that we are 
raising taxes on veterans. I believe it is wrong and 
hypocritical of this Committee to move forward with, to use the 
Majority's own logic, a tax increase on a certain portion of 
our veterans. During these troubled economic times and high 
veteran unemployment, we should not seek to make home ownership 
more difficult for veterans. I support many of the changes this 
bill makes, but the underlying issue is that all programs are 
being funded on the backs of veterans. It is unconscionable 
that this Committee cavalierly passes a tax increase on 
veterans while Congress is fighting to prevent any other type 
of tax increase. If Congress is serious about these programs 
then Congress should seek to truly find funding for these 
programs instead of taking the funds from our veterans' 
pockets.
    I want to be transparent about this ``shell game'' and how 
we are paying for it, so we are not back here later talking 
about how we had some ``unintended consequences'' and we then 
have to find some way to pay for the ``pay-for.''
    Simply put, in order to pay for this bill, we will charge 
our veterans more for the use of their benefit in one program 
so we can pay for other veterans and their benefits in another 
program. In this economy where our national housing market is 
very depressed, where we, on this Committee, have worked so 
very hard to protect our veterans from home foreclosures, we 
must carefully weigh our actions and be sure that the actions 
we take are not going to make it more difficult for a veteran 
to purchase or keep a home.
    All too often we read about veterans who come home with the 
invisible wounds of war and cannot find the dignity and 
security that work provides. We read about increasing suicide 
statistics, problems at home, substance abuse, and even in 
rising homelessness among our veterans. Unemployment among 
veterans, and all of our citizens, is a national tragedy. A 
recent article in the Los Angeles Times dated July 11, 2011, 
stated that ``Unemployment among recently returned veterans, 
already in double digits, is poised to get worse as more 
soldiers return from Iraq and Afghanistan.'' According to the 
Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment among Gulf War-era II 
veterans aged 18-24 was nearly 21 percent in 2010. Our focus 
should be to help recently separated veterans who are in 
desperate need of transition assistance and have very little 
experience in the civilian sector. Many of our recently 
separated veterans suffer from serious injuries such as: Post-
Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injuries, blindness 
and amputations.
    The Majority believes that it has found the quality of 
instruction in classes taught by contract instructors to be 
superior to those taught by DVOPS and LVERS. No fault has been 
found with the VA portion of the instruction and if Department 
of Labor instruction is subpar then the Committee has an 
obligation to fix it--not to immediately seek to contract it 
out. This is an area that we prefer to have the Department of 
Labor continue to perform because they do have more experience 
and tend to have less turnover than part-time contractors.
    This Committee should be working tirelessly to find ways to 
create real jobs for veterans. The Majority has failed to 
convince me that this measure will do this. I am willing to 
support needed improvements in the current retraining regime 
once we demonstrate a real need for these improvements. Once 
again, the Majority has failed to convince me that this is the 
case.
    Finally, I simply cannot support, in these troubled 
economic times, an approach that seeks to continue higher loan 
fees that are scheduled to decrease, an approach that can only 
be characterized as taxing some veterans to pay for the 
benefits of other veterans. I simply cannot understand why it 
is acceptable for them to do this to veterans while vigorously 
resisting any attempt to promote increased revenues to address 
our fiscal situation from those who are well-off.

                                                        Bob Filner.