H.R. 1936: Honoring Our WWII Merchant Mariners Act of 2013

113th Congress, 2013–2015. Text as of May 09, 2013 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO and Cato Institute Deepbills

I

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1936

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 9, 2013

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

A BILL

To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish the Merchant Mariner Equity Compensation Fund to provide benefits to certain individuals who served in the United States merchant marine (including the Army Transport Service and the Naval Transport Service) during World War II.

1.

Short Title

This Act may be cited as the Honoring Our WWII Merchant Mariners Act of 2013 .

2.

Payments to individuals who served during World War II in the United States Merchant Marine

(a)

Establishment of Compensation Fund

Subchapter II of chapter 5 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

533.

Merchant Mariner Equity Compensation Fund

(a)

Compensation Fund

(1)

There is in the general fund of the Treasury a fund to be known as the Merchant Mariner Equity Compensation Fund (in this section referred to as the compensation fund).

(2)

Subject to the availability of appropriations for such purpose, amounts in the compensation fund shall be available to the Secretary without fiscal year limitation to make payments to eligible individuals in accordance with this section.

(b)

Eligible Individuals

(1)

An eligible individual is an individual who—

(A)

during the one-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this section, submits to the Secretary an application containing such information and assurances as the Secretary may require;

(B)

has not received benefits under the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 ( Public Law 78–346 ); and

(C)

has engaged in qualified service.

(2)

For purposes of paragraph (1), a person has engaged in qualified service if, between December 7, 1941, and December 31, 1946, the person—

(A)

was a member of the United States merchant marine (including the Army Transport Service and the Naval Transport Service) serving as a crewmember of a vessel that was—

(i)

operated by the War Shipping Administration or the Office of Defense Transportation (or an agent of the Administration or Office);

(ii)

operated in waters other than inland waters, the Great Lakes, and other lakes, bays, and harbors of the United States;

(iii)

under contract or charter to, or property of, the Government of the United States; and

(iv)

serving the Armed Forces; and

(B)

while so serving, was licensed or otherwise documented for service as a crewmember of such a vessel by an officer or employee of the United States authorized to license or document the person for such service.

(c)

Amount of Payments

The Secretary shall make a monthly payment out of the compensation fund in the amount of $1,000 to an eligible individual. The Secretary shall make such payments to eligible individuals in the order in which the Secretary receives the applications of the eligible individuals.

(d)

Authorization of Appropriations

(1)

There are authorized to be appropriated to the compensation fund amounts as follows:

(A)

For fiscal year 2014, $120,000,000.

(B)

For fiscal year 2015, $108,000,000.

(C)

For fiscal year 2016, $97,000,000.

(D)

For fiscal year 2017, $85,000,000.

(E)

For fiscal year 2018, $75,000,000.

(2)

Funds appropriated to carry out this section shall remain available until expended.

(e)

Reports

The Secretary shall include, in documents submitted to Congress by the Secretary in support of the President's budget for each fiscal year, detailed information on the operation of the compensation fund, including the number of applicants, the number of eligible individuals receiving benefits, the amounts paid out of the compensation fund, the administration of the compensation fund, and an estimate of the amounts necessary to fully fund the compensation fund for that fiscal year and each of the three subsequent fiscal years.

(f)

Regulations

The Secretary shall prescribe regulations to carry out this section.

.

(b)

Regulations

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall prescribe the regulations required under section 532(f) of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a).

(c)

Clerical Amendment

The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item related to section 532 the following new item:

533. Merchant Mariner Equity Compensation Fund..