< Back to H.R. 5221 (109th Congress, 2005–2006)

Text of the Vet Center Enhancement Act of 2006

This bill was introduced on April 27, 2006, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Apr 27, 2006 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

I

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5221

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 27, 2006

(for himself and Mr. Bass) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

A BILL

To amend title 38, United States Code, to enhance services provided by Vet Centers operated by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, to clarify and improve the provision of bereavement counseling by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Vet Center Enhancement Act of 2006.

2.

Expansion of outreach activities of vet centers

(a)

Additional outreach workers

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall employ not more than 250 veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom for the purpose of providing outreach to veterans on the availability of readjustment counseling and related mental health services for veterans under section 1712A of title 38, United States Code.

(b)

Construction with current outreach program

The veterans employed under subsection (a) are in addition to any veterans employed by the Secretary for the purpose described in that subsection under the February 2004 program of the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide outreach described in that subsection.

(c)

Assignment to vet centers

The Secretary may assign any veteran employed under subsection (a) to any Vet Center that the Secretary considers appropriate in order to meet the purpose described in that subsection.

(d)

Inapplicability and termination of limitation on duration of employment

Any limitation on the duration of employment of veterans under the program described in subsection (b) is hereby terminated and shall not apply to a veteran employed under that program or under this section.

(e)

Employment status

A veteran employed under subsection (a) shall be employed in career conditional status, which is the employment status in which veterans are employed under the program described in subsection (b).

(f)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Vet center

The term Vet Center means a center operated by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for the provision of readjustment counseling and related mental health services under section 1712A of title 38, United States Code.

(2)

Veteran of operation enduring freedom or operation iraqi freedom

The term veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom means a veteran who served in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom.

3.

Clarification and enhancement of bereavement counseling

(a)

Clarification of members of immediate family eligible for counseling

Subsection (b) of section 1783 of title 38, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

by inserting (1) before The Secretary; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(2)

For purposes of this subsection, the members of the immediate family of a member of the Armed Forces described in paragraph (1) include the parents of such member.

.

(b)

Provision of counseling through vet centers

Such section is further amended—

(1)

by redesignating subsection (c) as subsection (d); and

(2)

by inserting after subsection (b) the following new subsection (c):

(c)

Provision of counseling through vet centers

Bereavement counseling may be provided under this section through the facilities and personnel of centers for the provision of readjustment counseling and related mental health services under section 1712A of this title.

.

4.

Funding for vet center program

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Department of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2007, $180,000,000 for the provision of readjustment counseling and related mental health services through centers under section 1712A of title 38, United States Code.