S. 1402 (106th): Veterans Benefits and Health Care Improvement Act of 2000

106th Congress, 1999–2000. Text as of May 23, 2000 (Passed the House (Engrossed) with an Amendment).

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S 1402 EAH

In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

May 23, 2000.

    Resolved, That the bill from the Senate (S. 1402) entitled ‘An Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to enhance programs providing education benefits for veterans, and for other purposes’, do pass with the following

AMENDMENTS:

Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS; REFERENCES TO TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE.

    (a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the ‘Veterans and Dependents Millennium Education Act’.

    (b) TABLE OF CONTENTS- The table of contents of this Act is as follows:

      Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents; references to title 38, United States Code.

      Sec. 2. Increase in rates of basic educational assistance under Montgomery GI Bill.

      Sec. 3. Additional opportunity for certain VEAP participants to enroll in basic educational assistance under Montgomery GI Bill.

      Sec. 4. Increase in rates of survivors and dependents educational assistance.

      Sec. 5. Adjusted effective date for award of survivors’ and dependents’ educational assistance.

      Sec. 6. Revision of educational assistance interval payment requirements.

      Sec. 7. Availability of education benefits for payment for licensing or certification tests.

      Sec. 8. Extension of certain temporary authorities.

      Sec. 9. Codification of recurring provisions in annual Department of Veterans Affairs appropriations Acts.

      Sec. 10. Preservation of certain reporting requirements.

    (c) REFERENCES TO TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE- Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this Act an amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or repeal of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other provision of title 38, United States Code.

SEC. 2. INCREASE IN RATES OF BASIC EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE UNDER MONTGOMERY GI BILL.

    (a) ACTIVE DUTY EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE- (1) Section 3015 is amended--

      (A) in subsection (a)(1), by striking ‘$528’ and inserting ‘$720’; and

      (B) in subsection (b)(1), by striking ‘$429’ and inserting ‘$585’.

    (2) The amendments made by paragraph (1) shall take effect on October 1, 2002, and shall apply with respect to educational assistance allowances paid for months after September 2002.

    (3) In the case of an educational assistance allowance paid for a month after September 2000, and before October 2002 under section 3015 of such title--

      (A) subsection (a)(1) of such section shall be applied by substituting ‘$600’ for ‘$528’; and

      (B) subsection (b)(1) of such section shall be applied by substituting ‘$487’ for ‘$429’.

    (b) CPI ADJUSTMENT- No adjustment in rates of educational assistance shall be made under section 3015(g) of title 38, United States Code, for fiscal years 2001 and 2003.

SEC. 3. ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITY FOR CERTAIN VEAP PARTICIPANTS TO ENROLL IN BASIC EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE UNDER MONTGOMERY GI BILL.

    (a) SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD- Section 3018C is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(e)(1) A qualified individual (described in paragraph (2)) may make an irrevocable election under this subsection, during the 1-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this subsection, to become entitled to basic educational assistance under this chapter. Such an election shall be made in the same manner as elections made under subsection (a)(5).

    ‘(2) A qualified individual referred to in paragraph (1) is an individual who meets the following requirements:

      ‘(A) The individual was a participant in the educational benefits program under chapter 32 of this title on or before October 9, 1996.

      ‘(B) The individual has continuously served on active duty since October 9, 1996 (excluding the periods referred to in section 3202(1)(C) of this title), through at least April, 1, 2000.

      ‘(C) The individual meets the requirements of subsection (a)(3).

      ‘(D) The individual is discharged or released from active duty with an honorable discharge.

    ‘(3)(A) Subject to succeeding provisions of this paragraph, with respect to a qualified individual who makes an election under paragraph (1) to become entitled to basic education assistance under this chapter--

      ‘(i) the basic pay of the qualified individual shall be reduced (in a manner determined by the Secretary concerned) until the total amount by which such basic pay is reduced is $2,700; and

      ‘(ii) to the extent that basic pay is not so reduced before the qualified individual’s discharge or release from active duty as specified in subsection (a)(4), at the election of the qualified individual--

        ‘(I) the Secretary concerned shall collect from the qualified individual; or

        ‘(II) the Secretary concerned shall reduce the retired or retainer pay of the qualified individual by,

      an amount equal to the difference between $2,700 and the total amount of reductions under clause (i), which shall be paid into the Treasury of the United States as miscellaneous receipts.

    ‘(B)(i) The Secretary concerned shall provide for an 18-month period, beginning on the date the qualified individual makes an election under paragraph (1), for the qualified individual to pay that Secretary the amount due under subparagraph (A).

    ‘(ii) Nothing in clause (i) shall be construed as modifying the period of eligibility for and entitlement to basic education assistance under this chapter applicable under section 3031 of this title.

    ‘(C) The provisions of subsection (c) shall apply to individuals making elections under this subsection in the same manner as they applied to individuals making elections under subsection (a)(5).

    ‘(4) With respect to qualified individuals referred to in paragraph (3)(A)(ii), no amount of educational assistance allowance under this chapter shall be paid to the qualified individual until the earlier of the date on which--

      ‘(A) the Secretary concerned collects the applicable amount under subparagraph (I) of such paragraph; or

      ‘(B) the retired or retainer pay of the qualified individual is first reduced under subparagraph (II) of such paragraph.

    ‘(5) The Secretary, in conjunction with the Secretary of Defense, shall provide for notice to participants in the educational benefits program under chapter 32 of this title of the opportunity under this section to elect to become entitled to basic educational assistance under this chapter.’.

    (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 3018C(b) is amended by striking ‘subsection (a)’ and inserting ‘subsection (a) or (e)’.

SEC. 4. INCREASE IN RATES OF SURVIVORS AND DEPENDENTS EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE.

    (a) SURVIVORS AND DEPENDENTS EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE- (1) Section 3532 is amended--

      (A) in subsection (a)(1)--

        (i) by striking ‘$485’ and inserting ‘$720’;

        (ii) by striking ‘$365’ and inserting ‘$540’; and

        (iii) by striking ‘$242’ and inserting ‘$360’;

      (B) in subsection (a)(2), by striking ‘$485’ and inserting ‘$720’;

      (C) in subsection (b), by striking ‘$485’ and inserting ‘$720’; and

      (D) in subsection (c)(2)--

        (i) by striking ‘$392’ and inserting ‘$582’;

        (ii) by striking ‘$294’ and inserting ‘$436’; and

        (iii) by striking ‘$196’ and inserting ‘$291’.

    (2) The amendments made by paragraph (1) shall take effect on October 1, 2002, and shall apply with respect to educational assistance allowances paid for months after September 2002.

    (3) In the case of an educational assistance allowance paid for a month after September 2000 and before October 2002 under section 3532 of such title--

      (A) subsection (a)(1) of such section shall be applied by substituting--

        (i) ‘$600’ for ‘$485’;

        (ii) ‘$450’ for ‘$365’; and

        (iii) ‘$300’ for ‘$242’;

      (B) subsection (a)(2) of such section shall be applied by substituting ‘$600’ for ‘$485’;

      (C) subsection (b) of such section shall be applied by substituting ‘$600’ for ‘$485’; and

      (D) subsection (c)(2) of such section shall be applied by substituting--

        (i) ‘$485’ for ‘$392’;

        (ii) ‘$364’ for ‘$294’; and

        (iii) ‘$242’ for ‘$196’.

    (b) CORRESPONDENCE COURSE- (1) Section 3534(b) is amended by striking ‘$485’ and inserting ‘$720’.

    (2) The amendment made by paragraph (1) shall take effect on October 1, 2002, and shall apply with respect to educational assistance allowances paid under section 3534(b) of title 38, United States Code, for months after September 2002.

    (3) In the case of an educational assistance allowance paid for a month after September 2000 and before October 2002 under section 3534 of such title, subsection (b) of such section shall be applied by substituting ‘$600’ for ‘$485’.

    (c) SPECIAL RESTORATIVE TRAINING- (1) Section 3542(a) is amended--

      (A) by striking ‘$485’ and inserting ‘$720’;

      (B) by striking ‘$152’ each place it appears and inserting ‘$225’; and

      (C) by striking ‘$16.16’ and inserting ‘$24’.

    (2) The amendments made by paragraph (1) shall take effect on October 1, 2002, and shall apply with respect to educational assistance allowances paid under section 3542(a) of title 38, United States Code, for months after September 2002.

    (3) In the case of an educational assistance allowance paid for a month after September 2000 and before October 2002 under section 3542 of such title, subsection (a) of such section shall be applied by substituting--

      (A) ‘$600’ for ‘$485’;

      (B) ‘$188’ for ‘$152’ each place it appears; and

      (C) ‘$20’ for ‘$16.16’.

    (d) APPRENTICESHIP TRAINING- (1) Section 3687(b)(2) is amended--

      (A) by striking ‘$353’ and inserting ‘$524’;

      (B) by striking ‘$264’ and inserting ‘$392’;

      (C) by striking ‘$175’ and inserting ‘$260’; and

      (D) by striking ‘$88’ and inserting ‘$131’.

    (2) The amendments made by paragraph (1) shall take effect on October 1, 2002, and shall apply with respect to educational assistance allowances paid under section 3687(b)(2) of title 38, United States Code, for months after September 2002.

    (3) In the case of an educational assistance allowance paid for a month after September 2000 and before October 2002 under section 3687 of such title, subsection (b)(2) of such section shall be applied by substituting--

      (A) ‘$437’ for ‘$353’;

      (B) ‘$327’ for ‘$264’;

      (C) ‘$216’ for ‘$175’; and

      (D) ‘$109’ for ‘$88’.

    (e) PROVISION FOR ANNUAL ADJUSTMENTS TO AMOUNTS OF ASSISTANCE-

      (1) CHAPTER 35- (A) Subchapter VI of chapter 35 is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

‘Sec. 3564. Annual adjustment of amounts of educational assistance

    ‘With respect to any fiscal year, the Secretary shall provide a percentage increase (rounded to the nearest dollar) in the rates payable under sections 3532, 3534(b), and 3542(a) of this title equal to the percentage by which--

      ‘(1) the Consumer Price Index (all items, United States city average) for the 12-month period ending on the June 30 preceding the beginning of the fiscal year for which the increase is made, exceeds

      ‘(2) such Consumer Price Index for the 12-month period preceding the 12-month period described in paragraph (1).’.

      (B) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 35 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 3563 the following new item:

      ‘3564. Annual adjustment of amounts of educational assistance.’.

      (2) CHAPTER 36- Section 3687 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(d) With respect to any fiscal year, the Secretary shall provide a percentage increase (rounded to the nearest dollar) in the rates payable under subsection (b)(2) equal to the percentage by which--

      ‘(1) the Consumer Price Index (all items, United States city average) for the 12-month period ending on the June 30 preceding the beginning of the fiscal year for which the increase is made, exceeds

      ‘(2) such Consumer Price Index for the 12-month period preceding the 12-month period described in paragraph (1).’.

      (3) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendments made by this subsection shall apply with respect to fiscal year 2002 and each fiscal year beginning on or after October 1, 2003.

SEC. 5. ADJUSTED EFFECTIVE DATE FOR AWARD OF SURVIVORS’ AND DEPENDENTS’ EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Section 5113 is amended--

      (1) by redesignating subsection (b) as subsection (c);

      (2) in subsection (a), by striking ‘subsection (b) of this section’ and inserting ‘subsections (b) and (c)’; and

      (3) by inserting after subsection (a) the following new subsection:

    ‘(b)(1) When determining the effective date of an award of survivors’ and dependents’ educational assistance under chapter 35 of this title for an individual described in paragraph (2) based on an original claim, the Secretary shall consider the individual’s application (under section 3513 of this title) as having been filed on the effective date from which the Secretary, by rating decision, determines that the individual is entitled to such educational assistance (such entitlement being based on the total service-connected disability evaluated as permanent in nature, or the service-connected death, of the spouse or parent from whom the individual’s eligibility is derived) if that date is more than 1 year before the date such rating decision is made.

    ‘(2) An individual referred to in paragraph (1) is a person who is eligible for educational assistance under chapter 35 of this title by reason of subparagraph (A)(i), (A)(ii), (B), or (D) of section 3501(a)(1) of this title who--

      ‘(A) submits to the Secretary an original application under such section 3513 for such educational assistance within 1 year of the date that the Secretary issues the rating decision referred to in paragraph (1);

      ‘(B) claims such educational assistance for an approved program of education for months preceding the 1-year period ending on the date on which the individual’s application under such section was received by the Secretary; and

      ‘(C) would have been entitled to such educational assistance for such course pursuit for such months, without regard to this subsection, if the individual had submitted such an application on the effective date from which the Secretary determined the individual was eligible for such educational assistance.’.

    (b) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendments made by subsection (a) shall apply to applications first made under section 3513 of title 38, United States Code, that--

      (1) are received on or after the date of the enactment of this Act; or

      (2) on the date of the enactment of this Act, are pending (A) with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs or (B) exhaustion of available administrative and judicial remedies.

SEC. 6. REVISION OF EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE INTERVAL PAYMENT REQUIREMENTS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Subclause (C) of the third sentence of section 3680(a) is amended to read as follows:

      ‘(C) during periods between school terms where the educational institution certifies the enrollment of the eligible veteran or eligible person on an individual term basis if: (i) the period between such terms does not exceed 8 weeks; and (ii) both the terms preceding and following the period are not shorter in length than the period.’.

    (b) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to payments of educational assistance under title 38, United States Code, for months beginning on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 7. AVAILABILITY OF EDUCATION BENEFITS FOR PAYMENT FOR LICENSING OR CERTIFICATION TESTS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Sections 3452(b) and 3501(a)(5) are each amended by adding at the end the following new sentence: ‘Such term also includes licensing or certification tests, the successful completion of which demonstrates an individual’s possession of the knowledge or skill required to enter into, maintain, or advance in employment in a predetermined and identified vocation or profession, provided such tests and the licensing or credentialing organizations or entities that offer such tests are approved by the Secretary in accordance with section 3689 of this title.’.

    (b) AMOUNT OF PAYMENT-

      (1) CHAPTER 30- Section 3032 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(g) PAYMENT AMOUNT FOR LICENSING OR CERTIFICATION TEST- (1) Subject to paragraph (3), the amount of educational assistance payable under this chapter for a licensing or certification test described in section 3452(b) of this title is the lesser of $2,000 or the fee charged for the test.

    ‘(2) The number of months of entitlement charged in the case of any individual for such licensing or certification test is equal to the number (including any fraction) determined by dividing the total amount of educational assistance paid such individual for such test by the full-time monthly institutional rate of educational assistance which, except for paragraph (1) of this subsection, such individual would otherwise be paid under subsection (a)(1), (b)(1), (d), or (e)(1) of section 3015 of this title, as the case may be.

    ‘(3) In no event shall payment of educational assistance under this subsection for such a test exceed the amount of the individual’s available entitlement under this chapter.’.

      (2) CHAPTER 32- Section 3232 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(c) PAYMENT AMOUNT FOR LICENSING OR CERTIFICATION TEST- (1) Subject to paragraph (3), the amount of educational assistance payable under this chapter for a licensing or certification test described in section 3452(b) of this title is the lesser of $2,000 or the fee charged for the test.

    ‘(2) The number of months of entitlement charged in the case of any individual for such licensing or certification test is equal to the number (including any fraction) determined by dividing the total amount paid to such individual for such test by the full-time monthly institutional rate of the educational assistance allowance which, except for paragraph (1) of this subsection, such individual would otherwise be paid under this chapter.

    ‘(3) In no event shall payment of educational assistance under this subsection for such a test exceed the amount of the individual’s available entitlement under this chapter.’.

      (3) CHAPTER 34- Section 3482 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(h) PAYMENT AMOUNT FOR LICENSING OR CERTIFICATION TEST- (1) Subject to paragraph (3), the amount of educational assistance payable under this chapter for a licensing or certification test described in section 3452(b) of this title is the lesser of $2,000 or the fee charged for the test.

    ‘(2) The number of months of entitlement charged in the case of any individual for such licensing or certification test is equal to the number (including any fraction) determined by dividing the total amount paid to such individual for such test by the full-time monthly institutional rate of the educational assistance allowance which, except for paragraph (1) of this subsection, such individual would otherwise be paid under this chapter.

    ‘(3) In no event shall payment of educational assistance under this subsection for such a test exceed the amount of the individual’s available entitlement under this chapter.’.

      (4) CHAPTER 35- Section 3532 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(f) PAYMENT AMOUNT FOR LICENSING OR CERTIFICATION TEST- (1) Subject to paragraph (3), the amount of educational assistance payable under this chapter for a licensing or certification test described in section 3452(b) of this title is the lesser of $2,000 or the fee charged for the test.

    ‘(2) The number of months of entitlement charged in the case of any individual for such licensing or certification test is equal to the number (including any fraction) determined by dividing the total amount paid to such individual for such test by the full-time monthly institutional rate of the educational assistance allowance which, except for paragraph (1) of this subsection, such individual would otherwise be paid under this chapter.

    ‘(3) In no event shall payment of educational assistance under this subsection for such a test exceed the amount of the individual’s available entitlement under this chapter.’.

    (c) REQUIREMENTS FOR LICENSING AND CREDENTIALING TESTING-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Chapter 36 is amended by inserting after section 3688 the following new section:

‘Sec. 3689. Approval requirements for licensing and certification testing

    ‘(a) IN GENERAL- (1) No payment may be made for a licensing or certification test described in section 3452(b) or section 3501(a)(5) of this title unless the Secretary determines that the requirements of this section have been met with respect to such test and the organization or entity offering the test. The requirements of approval for tests and organizations or entities offering tests shall be in accordance with the relevant provisions of this part and with such regulations promulgated by the Secretary to carry out this section.

    ‘(2) To the extent that the Secretary determines practicable, State approving agencies may, in lieu of the Secretary, approve licensing and certification tests, and organizations and entities offering such tests, under this section.

    ‘(b) REQUIREMENTS FOR TESTS- (1) Subject to paragraph (2), a licensing or certification test is approved for purposes of this section only if--

      ‘(A) the test is required under Federal, State, or local law or regulation for an individual to enter into, maintain, or advance in employment in a predetermined and identified vocation or profession; or

      ‘(B) the Secretary determines that the test is generally accepted, in accordance with relevant government, business, or industry standards, employment policies, or hiring practices, as attesting to a level of knowledge or skill required to qualify to enter into, maintain, or advance in employment in a predetermined and identified vocation or profession.

    ‘(2) A licensing or certification test offered by a State, or a political subdivision of the State, is deemed approved by the Secretary.

    ‘(c) REQUIREMENTS FOR ORGANIZATIONS OR ENTITIES OFFERING TESTS- (1) Each organization or entity that is not an entity of the United States, a State, or political subdivision of a State, that offers a licensing or certification test for which payment may be made under this part, and that meets the following requirements shall be approved by the Secretary to offer such test:

      ‘(A) The organization or entity certifies to the Secretary that each licensing or certification test offered by the organization or entity is required to obtain the license or certificate required to enter into, maintain, or advance in employment in a predetermined and identified vocation or profession.

      ‘(B) The organization or entity is licensed, chartered, or incorporated in a State and has offered such tests for a minimum of 2 years before the date on which the organization or entity first submits to the Secretary an application for approval under this section.

      ‘(C) The organization or entity employs, or consults with, individuals with expertise or substantial experience with respect to all areas of knowledge or skill that are measured by the test and that are required for the license of certificate issued.

      ‘(D) The organization or entity has no direct financial interest in--

        ‘(i) the outcome of a test; or

        ‘(ii) organizations that provide the education or training of candidates for licenses or certificates required for vocations or professions.

      ‘(E) The organization or entity maintains appropriate records with respect to all candidates who take such a test for a period prescribed by the Secretary, but in no case for a period of less than 3 years.

      ‘(F)(i) The organization or entity promptly issues notice of the results of the test to the candidate for the license or certificate.

      ‘(ii) The organization or entity has in place a process to review complaints submitted against the organization or entity with respect to a test the organization or entity offers or the process for obtaining a license or certificate required for vocations or professions.

      ‘(G) The organization or entity furnishes to the Secretary such information with respect to a licensing or certification test offered by the organization or entity as the Secretary requires to determine whether payment may be made for the test under this part, including personal identifying information, fee payment, and test results. Such information shall be furnished in the form prescribed by the Secretary.

      ‘(H) The organization or entity furnishes to the Secretary the following information:

        ‘(i) A description of each licensing or certification test offered by the organization or entity, including the purpose of each test, the vocational, professional, governmental, and other entities that recognize the test, and the license of certificate issued upon successful completion of the test.

        ‘(ii) The requirements to take such a test, including the amount of the fee charged for the test and any prerequisite education, training, skills, or other certification.

        ‘(iii) The period for which the license or certificate awarded upon successful completion of such a test is valid, and the requirements for maintaining or renewing the license or certificate.

      ‘(I) Upon request of the Secretary, the organization or entity furnishes such information to the Secretary that the Secretary determines necessary to perform an assessment of--

        ‘(i) the test conducted by the organization or entity as compared to the level of knowledge or skills that a license or certificate attests; and

        ‘(ii) the applicability of the test over such periods of time as the Secretary determines appropriate.

    ‘(2) With respect to each organization or entity that is an entity of the United States, a State, or political subdivision of a State, that offers a licensing or certification test for which payment may be made under this part, the following provisions of paragraph (1) shall apply to the entity: subparagraphs (E), (F), (G), and (H).

    ‘(d) ADMINISTRATION- (1) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this section or part, in implementing this section and making payment under this part for a licensing or certification test, the test is deemed to be a ‘course’ and the organization or entity that offers such test is deemed to be an ‘institution’ or ‘educational institution’, respectively, as those terms are applied under and for purposes of sections 3671, 3673, 3674, 3678, 3679, 3681, 3682, 3683, 3685, 3690, and 3696 of this title.

    ‘(2) The Secretary shall use amounts appropriated to the Department in fiscal year 2001 for readjustment benefits to develop the systems and procedures required to make payments under this part for a licensing or certification test, such amounts not to exceed $3,000,000.

    ‘(e) PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION AND LICENSURE ADVISORY COMMITTEE- (1) There is established within the Department a committee to be known as the Professional Certification and Licensure Advisory Committee (hereafter in this section referred to as the ‘Committee’).

    ‘(2) The Committee shall advise the Secretary with respect to the requirements of organizations or entities offering licensing and certification tests to individuals for which payment for such tests may be made under this part, and such other related issues as the Committee determines to be appropriate.

    ‘(3)(A) The Secretary shall appoint five individuals with expertise in matters relating to licensing and certification tests to serve as members of the Committee, of whom--

      ‘(i) one shall be a representative of the Coalition for Professional Certification;

      ‘(ii) one shall be a representative of the Council on Licensure and Enforcement; and

      ‘(iii) one shall be a representative of the National Skill Standards Board (established under section 503 of the National Skill Standards Act of 1994 (20 U.S.C. 5933)).

    ‘(B) The Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Defense shall serve as ex-officio members of the Committee.

    ‘(C) A vacancy in the Committee shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made.

    ‘(4)(A) The Secretary shall appoint the chairman of the Committee.

    ‘(B) The Committee shall meet at the call of the chairman.

    ‘(C)(i) Members of the Committee shall serve without compensation.

    ‘(ii) Members of the Committee shall be allowed reasonable and necessary travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for persons serving intermittently in the Government service in accordance with the provisions of subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5 while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of the responsibilities of the Committee.

    ‘(5) The Committee shall terminate December 31, 2006.’.

    (2) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 36 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 3688 the following new item:

      ‘3689. Approval requirements for licensing and certification testing.’.

    (d) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendments made by this section shall take effect on October 1, 2000, and apply with respect to licensing and certification tests approved by the Secretary on or after such date.

SEC. 8. EXTENSION OF CERTAIN TEMPORARY AUTHORITIES.

    (a) ENHANCED LOAN ASSET SALE AUTHORITY- Section 3720(h)(2) is amended by striking ‘December 31, 2002’ and inserting ‘December 31, 2008’.

    (b) HOME LOAN FEES- Section 3729(a) is amended--

      (1) in paragraph (4)(B)--

        (A) by striking ‘2002’ and inserting ‘2008’; and

        (B) by striking ‘2003’ and inserting ‘2009’; and

      (2) in paragraph (5)(C), by striking ‘October 1, 2002’ and inserting ‘October 1, 2008’.

    (c) PROCEDURES APPLICABLE TO LIQUIDATION SALES ON DEFAULTED HOME LOANS GUARANTEED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS- Section 3732(c)(11) is amended by striking ‘October 1, 2002’ and inserting ‘October 1, 2008’.

    (d) INCOME VERIFICATION AUTHORITY- Section 5317(g) is amended by striking ‘September 30, 2002’ and inserting ‘September 30, 2008’.

    (e) LIMITATION ON PENSION FOR CERTAIN RECIPIENTS OF MEDICAID-COVERED NURSING HOME CARE- Section 5503(f)(7) is amended by striking ‘September 30, 2002’ and inserting ‘September 30, 2008’.

SEC. 9. CODIFICATION OF RECURRING PROVISIONS IN ANNUAL DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS APPROPRIATIONS ACTS.

    (a) CODIFICATION OF RECURRING PROVISIONS- (1) Section 313 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsections:

    ‘(c) COMPENSATION AND PENSION- Funds appropriated for Compensation and Pensions are available for the following purposes:

      ‘(1) The payment of compensation benefits to or on behalf of veterans as authorized by section 107 and chapters 11, 13, 51, 53, 55, and 61 of this title.

      ‘(2) Pension benefits to or on behalf of veterans as authorized by chapters 15, 51, 53, 55, and 61 of this title and section 306 of the Veterans’ and Survivors’ Pension Improvement Act of 1978.

      ‘(3) The payment of benefits as authorized under chapter 18 of this title.

      ‘(4) Burial benefits, emergency and other officers’ retirement pay, adjusted-service credits and certificates, payments of premiums due on commercial life insurance policies guaranteed under the provisions of article IV of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940 (50 U.S.C. App. 540 et seq.), and other benefits as authorized by sections 107, 1312, 1977, and 2106 and chapters 23, 51, 53, 55, and 61 of this title and the World War Adjusted Compensation Act (43 Stat. 122, 123), the Act of May 24, 1928 (Public Law No. 506 of the 70th Congress; 45 Stat. 735), and Public Law 87-875 (76 Stat. 1198).

    ‘(d) MEDICAL CARE- Funds appropriated for Medical Care are available for the following purposes:

      ‘(1) The maintenance and operation of hospitals, nursing homes, and domiciliary facilities.

      ‘(2) Furnishing, as authorized by law, inpatient and outpatient care and treatment to beneficiaries of the Department, including care and treatment in facilities not under the jurisdiction of the Department.

      ‘(3) Furnishing recreational facilities, supplies, and equipment.

      ‘(4) Funeral and burial expenses and other expenses incidental to funeral and burial expenses for beneficiaries receiving care from the Department.

      ‘(5) Administrative expenses in support of planning, design, project management, real property acquisition and disposition, construction, and renovation of any facility under the jurisdiction or for the use of the Department.

      ‘(6) Oversight, engineering, and architectural activities not charged to project cost.

      ‘(7) Repairing, altering, improving, or providing facilities in the medical facilities and homes under the jurisdiction of the Department, not otherwise provided for, either by contact or by the hire of temporary employees and purchase of materials.

      ‘(8) Uniforms or uniform allowances, as authorized by sections 5901 and 5902 of title 5.

      ‘(9) Aid to State homes, as authorized by section 1741 of this title.

      ‘(10) Administrative and legal expenses of the Department for collecting and recovering amounts owed the Department as authorized under chapter 17 of this title and Public Law 87-693, popularly known as the Federal Medical Care Recovery Act (42 U.S.C. 2651 et seq.).

    ‘(e) MEDICAL ADMINISTRATION AND MISCELLANEOUS OPERATING EXPENSES- Funds appropriated for Medical Administration and Miscellaneous Operating Expenses are available for the following purposes:

      ‘(1) The administration of medical, hospital, nursing home, domiciliary, construction, supply, and research activities authorized by law.

      ‘(2) Administrative expenses in support of planning, design, project management, architectural work, engineering, real property acquisition and disposition, construction, and renovation of any facility under the jurisdiction or for the use of the Department, including site acquisition.

      ‘(3) Engineering and architectural activities not charged to project costs.

      ‘(4) Research and development in building construction technology.

    ‘(f) GENERAL OPERATING EXPENSES- Funds appropriated for General Operating Expenses are available for the following purposes:

      ‘(1) Uniforms or allowances therefor.

      ‘(2) Hire of passenger motor vehicles.

      ‘(3) Reimbursement of the General Services Administration for security guard services.

      ‘(4) Reimbursement of the Department of Defense for the cost of overseas employee mail.

      ‘(5) Administration of the Service Members Occupational Conversion and Training Act of 1992 (10 U.S.C. 1143 note).

    ‘(g) CONSTRUCTION- Funds appropriated for Construction, Major Projects, and for Construction, Minor Projects, are available, with respect to a project, for the following purposes:

      ‘(1) Planning.

      ‘(2) Architectural and engineering services.

      ‘(3) Maintenance or guarantee period services costs associated with equipment guarantees provided under the project.

      ‘(4) Services of claims analysts.

      ‘(5) Offsite utility and storm drainage system construction costs.

      ‘(6) Site acquisition.

    ‘(h) CONSTRUCTION, MINOR PROJECTS- In addition to the purposes specified in subsection (g), funds appropriated for Construction, Minor Projects, are available for--

      ‘(1) repairs to any of the nonmedical facilities under the jurisdiction or for the use of the Department which are necessary because of loss or damage caused by a natural disaster or catastrophe; and

      ‘(2) temporary measures necessary to prevent or to minimize further loss by such causes.’.

    (2)(A) Chapter 1 is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

‘Sec. 116. Definition of cost of direct and guaranteed loans

    ‘For the purpose of any provision of law appropriating funds to the Department for the cost of direct or guaranteed loans, the cost of any such loan, including the cost of modifying any such loan, shall be as defined in section 502 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C. 661a).’.

    (B) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

      ‘116. Definition of cost of direct and guaranteed loans.’.

    (b) EFFECTIVE DATE- Subsections (c) through (h) of section 313 of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a)(1), and section 116 of such title, as added by subsection (a)(2), shall take effect with respect to funds appropriated for fiscal year 2002.

SEC. 10. PRESERVATION OF CERTAIN REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.

    (a) INAPPLICABILITY OF PRIOR REPORTS TERMINATION PROVISION TO CERTAIN REPORTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS- Section 3003(a)(1) of the Federal Reports Elimination and Sunset Act of 1995 (31 U.S.C. 1113 note) does not apply to any report required to be submitted under any of the following: sections 503(c), 529, 541(c), 542(c), 3036, and 7312(d) of title 38, United States Code.

    (b) REPEAL OF REPORTING REQUIREMENTS TERMINATED BY PRIOR LAW- Sections 8111A(f) and 8201(h) are repealed.

    (c) SUNSET OF CERTAIN REPORTING REQUIREMENTS-

      (1) ANNUAL REPORT ON EQUITABLE RELIEF CASES- Section 503(c) is amended by adding at the end the following new sentence: ‘No report shall be required under this subsection after December 31, 2004.’.

      (2) BIENNIAL REPORT OF ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON FORMER PRISONERS OF WAR- Section 541(c)(1) is amended by inserting ‘through 2003’ after ‘each odd-numbered year’.

      (3) BIENNIAL REPORT OF ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON WOMEN VETERANS- Section 542(c)(1) is amended by inserting ‘through 2004’ after ‘each even-numbered year’.

      (4) BIENNIAL REPORTS ON MONTGOMERY GI BILL- Subsection (d) of section 3036 is amended to read as follows:

    ‘(d) No report shall be required under this section after January 1, 2005.’.

      (5) ANNUAL REPORT OF SPECIAL MEDICAL ADVISORY GROUP- Section 7312(d) is amended by adding at the end the following new sentence: ‘No report shall be required under this subsection after December 31, 2004.’.

    (d) COST INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED WITH EACH REPORT REQUIRED BY CONGRESS-

      (1) IN GENERAL- (A) Chapter 1, as amended by section 9(2)(A), is further amended by adding at the end the following new section:

‘Sec. 117. Reports to Congress: cost information

    ‘Whenever the Secretary submits to Congress, or any committee of Congress, a report that is required by law or by a joint explanatory statement of a committee of conference of the Congress, the Secretary shall include with the report--

      ‘(1) a statement of the cost of preparing the report; and

      ‘(2) a brief explanation of the methodology used in preparing that cost statement.’.

      (B) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter, as amended by section 9(2)(B), is further amended by adding at the end the following new item:

      ‘117. Reports to Congress: cost information.’.

      (2) EFFECTIVE DATE- Section 117 of title 38, United States Code, as added by paragraph (1) of this subsection, shall apply with respect to any report submitted by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs after the end of the 90-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.

Amend the title so as to read ‘An Act to amend title 38, United States Code, to increase amounts of educational assistance for veterans under the Montgomery GI Bill and to enhance programs providing educational benefits under that title, and for other purposes.’.

Attest:

Clerk.