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H.R. 216 (114th): Department of Veterans Affairs Budget Planning Reform Act of 2015

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 24, 2015.

Department of Veterans Affairs Budget Planning Reform Act of 2015

(Sec. 2) Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to submit annually to Congress a Future-Years Veterans Program (Program) reflecting estimated expenditures and proposed appropriations included in the budget for that fiscal year.

Requires the Program to: (1) set forth a five-year VA plan to address the U.S. commitment to veterans and the resources necessary to meet that commitment; (2) be included in VA's annual budget submission to the Congress, starting with the FY2020 budget submission; and (3) be published on a publicly available VA website.

Requires the Secretary, in 2019 and quadrennially thereafter, to conduct a review of the strategy for meeting such commitment and resources requirement (Quadrennial Veterans Review) which shall include a comprehensive examination of U.S. policies and strategies for veterans, including recommendations regarding the long-term strategy and priorities for veterans programs, services, and benefits, and guidance on VA programs, assets, budget, and policies.

Requires each Review to be coordinated with the Program.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) report to Congress regarding each Review, and (2) publish each Review on a public ally available VA website.

Directs the Secretary to establish an Independent Veterans Review Panel for each year in which a Review is conducted which shall review the process by which the review is formulated and submit a related report to Congress.

Directs the Secretary to provide annually to the appropriate VA officials written policy guidance for the preparation and review of the planning and program recommendations and budget proposals of the VA elements of such officials.

(Sec. 3) Directs the Secretary to designate a Chief Strategy Officer to: (1) advise the Secretary on long-range VA strategy and implications, and (2) develop and execute the Program.

(Sec. 4) States that: (1) no additional funds are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act, and (2) this Act shall be carried out using funds otherwise available to VA.