[House Report 113-64]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


113th Congress                                                Report
                   }  HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES  { 
 1st Session       }                            {             113-64
======================================================================
 
             IMPROVING JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR VETERANS ACT 
                                OF 2013

                                _______
                                

  May 17, 2013.--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

                        [To accompany H.R. 1412]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1412) to improve and increase the availability 
of on-job training and apprenticeship programs carried out by 
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 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..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
Subcommittee Consideration.......................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     4
Committee Votes..................................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     5
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     5
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     5
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits.............................     5
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     5
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     5
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     8
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     8
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     8
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     8
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     8
Disclosure of Directed Rulemaking................................     9
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     9
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............     9

                               Amendment

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Improving Job Opportunities for 
Veterans Act of 2013''.

SEC. 2. AUTHORITY TO INCREASE AVAILABILITY OF PRIVATE SECTOR ON-JOB 
                    TRAINING PROGRAMS.

  During the four-year period beginning on the date that is one year 
after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs shall carry out section 3677(b)(1)(A) of title 38, United 
States Code, by substituting ``75 per centum'' for ``85 per centum''.

SEC. 3. ON-JOB TRAINING AT FEDERAL DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES.

  Beginning on the date that is one year after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall enter 
into agreements with the heads of other Federal departments and 
agencies to operate programs of training on the job under section 3677 
of title 38, United States Code, to train eligible veterans or persons 
to perform skills necessary for employment by the department or agency 
operating the program.

SEC. 4. 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 ``November 30, 2016'' and inserting ``December 31, 2016''.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 1412, the Improving Job Opportunities for Veterans Act 
of 2013, was introduced on April 9, 2013, by Representative 
Mike Coffman of Colorado. H.R. 1412, as amended, would 
temporarily reduce the percentage of full wages paid to 
veterans participating in an employer's on-the-job-training 
(OJT) program from the current 85 percent of full wages to 75 
percent. As amended, the bill would also require the Department 
of Veterans Affairs to conclude agreements with other Federal 
agencies for those agencies to participate in the OJT program. 
To meet PAYGO requirements, the bill would extend the current 
limitation on the amount of non-service-connected pension paid 
to veterans residing in Medicaid nursing homes.

                  Background and Need for Legislation


Section 1--Short title

    The Improving Job Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2013

Section 2--Authority to increase availability of private sector on-the-
        job training programs

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers for active 
duty servicemembers, veterans, and certain dependents OJT 
education and training under several GI Bill programs. During 
the recent economic recession, a relatively high percentage of 
veterans, especially those just leaving military service, found 
it difficult to obtain employment, a problem that persists 
today. In the past, one solution for some veterans was to use 
their GI Bill benefits to help support them while undergoing 
OJT. As structured, the GI Bill's OJT programs offer a monthly 
payment while a veteran undergoes training and at the same 
time, the employer is required to pay a percentage of the full 
wage paid for the specific job for which the veteran is 
receiving training. As training progressed, VA paid a smaller 
monthly benefit and the employer's payment increased. Under 
current law, under the Post-9/11 GI Bill the final training 
salary paid by an employer is 85 percent of the full wage.
    For example, under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, VA will pay 100 
percent of the beneficiary's monthly living stipend while he or 
she is engaged in training. That percentage would be reduced 
every two months by 20 percent to a minimum of 20 percent of 
the full stipend beginning on the 25th month of training. At 
the same time, when training begins, the employer would start 
paying a salary of at least 50 percent of the full salary with 
incremental increases required until the final salary equals 85 
percent of the full salary.
    Representatives from State Approving Agencies relayed to 
the Committee that employers were reluctant to offer OJT 
programs because of the final 85 percent training wage 
requirement and suggested that if the percentage was lowered 
more employers would offer OJT opportunities for veterans.
    This section would reduce the final training wage required 
to be paid by employers to 75 percent for a four year period 
beginning on the date that is one year after the date of 
enactment. The Committee hopes that this temporary reduction 
will encourage more employers to participate in the OJT program 
and ultimately result in more veterans being hired.

Section 3--On-job training at Federal departments and agencies

    The history of providing preferential hiring of veterans in 
the Federal workforce dates back to the Civil War period. 
Today, that preference continues as evidenced by the fact that 
veterans currently comprise about 25 percent of the Federal 
workforce. Currently under subsection (b) of section 3672 of 
title 38, United States Code, there is existing legal authority 
permitting veterans to use their GI Bill for OJT at Federal 
agencies however it is uncertain if Federal agencies are using 
this authority to its full extent.
    To encourage Federal managers to utilize this authority and 
continue to hire qualified veterans with job-specific skills, 
H.R. 1412, as amended provides that beginning one year after 
enactment, VA would be required to enter into agreements with 
other Federal Agencies to operate OJT programs.

Section 4--Extension of reduced pension for certain Veterans covered by 
        Medicaid plans for services furnished by nursing facilities

    Finally, H.R. 1412, as amended, would extend for an 
additional month, to December 31, 2016, the VA's current 
authority to reduce pensions for certain veterans covered by 
Medicaid plans for services furnished in nursing facilities.

                                Hearings

    On April 10, 2013, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
conducted a legislative hearing on various bills introduced 
during the 113th Congress, including H.R. 1412. The following 
witnesses testified at the hearing:

        Mr. Curtis Coy, Deputy Under Secretary for Economic 
        Opportunity, Veterans Benefits Administration, U.S. 
        Department of Veterans Affairs, who was accompanied by 
        Mr. Danny Pummill, Director, Veterans Benefits 
        Administration/Department of Defense Program Office, 
        U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Dr. Susan Kelly, 
        Deputy Director, Transition to Veterans Program Office, 
        U.S. Department of Defense; The Honorable Keith Kelly, 
        Assistant Secretary, Veterans' Employment and Training 
        Service, U.S. Department of Labor; Mr. Charles Huebner, 
        Chief of U.S. Paralympics, U.S. Olympic Committee; Dr. 
        Susan Aldridge, Senior Fellow, American Association of 
        State Colleges and Universities; Col. G. Michael 
        Denning (USMC) Ret., Director of Graduate Military 
        Programs, the University of Kansas, on behalf of the 
        Association of Public and Land Grant Universities; 
        LtGen Joseph F. Weber (USMC) Ret., Vice President for 
        Student Affairs, Texas A&M University; Mr. Alexander 
        Nicholson, Chief Policy Officer, Iraq and Afghanistan 
        Veterans of America; Mr. Ryan M. Gallucci, Deputy 
        Director, National Legislative Service, Veterans of 
        Foreign Wars of the United States; Mr. Steve L. 
        Gonzalez, Assistant Director, National Economic 
        Commission, The American Legion; and Mr. Michael 
        Dakduk, Executive Director, Student Veterans of 
        America. The following groups submitted statements for 
        the record: The National Coalition for Homeless 
        Veterans; VETSFirst; and Gold Star Wives of America, 
        Inc.

                       Subcommittee Consideration

    On April 28, 2013, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
met in an open markup session, a quorum being present, and 
favorably forwarded to the full Committee H.R. 1412 by voice 
vote.

                        Committee Consideration

    On May 8, 2013, the Full Committee met in an open markup 
session, a quorum being present, and ordered H. R. 1412, as 
amended, reported favorably to the House of Representatives, by 
voice vote. During consideration of the bill, the following 
amendment was considered:

        An amendment in the nature of a substitute by Mr. 
        Coffman of Colorado that made minor changes to the bill 
        by deleting Section 2 of the original bill that would 
        have required the Department of Veterans Affairs to 
        conduct an aggressive outreach and advertising program 
        to promote On-the-Job Training. The amendment also 
        extended for 4 years the period during which the 
        maximum final pay from an employer to an OJT 
        participant is at the 75 percent of the full salary 
        level. The amendment in the nature of a substitute was 
        agreed to by voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list recorded votes 
on motions to report legislation and amendments thereto. There 
were no recorded votes taken on amendments or in connection 
with ordering H.R. 1412, as amended, reported to the House. A 
motion by Ranking Member Mike Michaud of Maine to report H.R. 
1412, as amended, favorably to the House of Representatives was 
agreed to by voice vote.

                      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. 1412, 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. 
1412, 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. 1412, 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, May 16, 2013.
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. 1412, the 
Improving Job Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2013.
    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,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1412--Improving Job Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2013

    Summary: H.R. 1412 would extend for one month an expiring 
provision of law that limits pensions paid to certain veterans 
who are receiving Medicaid coverage in Medicaid-approved 
nursing homes. The bill also would modify the conditions for 
veterans to receive education benefit payments from the 
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for participating in on-
the-job training and require VA to enter into agreements with 
other federal agencies to promote on-the-job training 
opportunities for veterans.
    If enacted, CBO estimates that, on net, the bill would 
decrease direct spending by $14 million over the 2014-2018 
period and by $12 million over the 2014-2023 period. Because 
the bill would affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures 
apply. Enacting H.R. 1412 would not affect revenues. In 
addition, implementing H.R. 1412 would have an insignificant 
effect on discretionary spending.
    H.R. 1412 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. 1412 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget functions 700 
(veterans benefits and services) and 550 (health).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                 By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        2014   2015   2016   2017    2018   2019   2020   2021   2022   2023  2014-2018  2014-2023
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING

Pensions for Veterans in Medicaid-Approved Nursing
 Homes:
    Estimated Budget Authority.......................      0      0      0     -20      0      0      0      0      0      0      -20         -20
    Estimated Outlays................................      0      0      0     -20      0      0      0      0      0      0      -20         -20
Temporary Reduction to Wage Requirement for On-the-
 Job Training Programs:
    Estimated Budget Authority.......................      0      1      1       2      2      1      1      0      0      0        6           8
    Estimated Outlays................................      0      1      1       2      2      1      1      0      0      0        6           8
Total Changes:
    Estimated Budget Authority.......................      0      1      1     -18      2      1      1      0      0      0      -14         -12
    Estimated Outlays................................      0      1      1     -18      2      1      1      0      0      0      -14         -12
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For the purposes of this estimate, CBO 
assumes that the legislation will be enacted near the start of 
fiscal year 2014 and that outlays will follow historical 
spending patterns for similar and existing programs.
    Direct spending: H.R. 1412 would reduce direct spending for 
veterans' pensions and increase direct spending for veterans' 
education benefits. On net, enacting the bill would decrease 
direct spending by $12 million over the 2014-2023 period, CBO 
estimates.
    Pensions for Veterans in Medicaid-Approved Nursing Homes. 
Section 4 would extend for one month (from November 30, 2016, 
to December 31, 2016) the expiration date of a provision of 
current law that sets a $90 per month limit on pensions paid to 
any veteran who does not have a spouse or child and who is 
receiving Medicaid benefits in a Medicaid-approved nursing 
home; that provision also applies to any survivor of a veteran 
who is receiving such coverage. Using data provided by VA, CBO 
estimates that about 15,000 veterans and 19,000 survivors would 
be affected by this provision in fiscal year 2017 and that the 
average monthly savings to VA in that year would be about 
$1,800 per veteran and $1,200 per survivor. (Those projections 
account for inflation, mortality rates, and new nursing home 
patients.) On that basis, CBO estimates that enacting the 
provision would reduce VA spending by $50 million.
    Higher Medicaid payments to nursing homes would offset some 
of those savings. We estimate that those costs would total 
about $30 million in that month, resulting in a net reduction 
in direct spending of $20 million in 2017 and over the 2014-
2023 period.
    Temporary Reduction to Wage Requirement for On-the-Job 
Training Programs. VA provides education benefits to certain 
veterans participating in on-the-job training programs. Under 
current law, for participants in such programs to be eligible, 
the employer must pay trainees a starting wage equaling at 
least 50 percent of the full-time wage for that position. That 
amount must steadily increase to at least 85 percent of the 
appropriate full-time wage by the last month of the program.
    Section 2 would broaden participation by temporarily 
reducing the requirement for final pay to no less than 75 
percent of the appropriate wage for veterans who begin training 
in fiscal years 2015 through 2018. CBO expects that such a 
change would increase the number of on-the-job training 
programs that VA would approve for use of education benefits; 
thus, CBO estimates that an additional 150 veterans would 
receive an average of $8,500 in benefits from VA annually from 
2015 through 2020. In total, enacting section 2 would increase 
direct spending by $8 million over the 2015-2023 period, CBO 
estimates.
    Spending subject to appropriation: Section 3 would require 
VA to enter into agreements with other federal departments and 
agencies to operate on-the-job training programs to provide 
training opportunities for veterans. Based on information from 
VA, CBO estimates that any costs to enter into those agreements 
would be insignificant over the 2014-2018 period.
    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. 1412 AS ORDERED REPORTED BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS ON MAY 8, 2013
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                     ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       2013   2014   2015   2016   2017    2018   2019   2020   2021   2022   2023  2013-2018  2013-2023
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         INCREASE OR DECREASE (-) IN THE DEFICIT

Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Impact......................      0      0      1      1     -18      2      1      1      0      0      0       -14        -12
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 1412 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would not affect the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: William Ma, 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. 1412, 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. 
1412, 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.

              Statement on Duplication of Federal Programs

    Pursuant to section 3(j) of H. Res. 5, 113th Cong. (2013), 
the Committee finds that no provision of H.R. 1412, as amended, 
``The Improving Job Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2013,'' 
establishes or reauthorizes a program of the Federal Government 
known to be duplicative of another Federal program, a program 
that was included in any report from the Government 
Accountability Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of 
Public Law 111-139, or a program related to a program 
identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance.

                   Disclosure of Directed Rulemaking

    Pursuant to section 3(k) of H. Res. 5, 113th Cong. (2013), 
the Committee estimates that H.R. 1412, as amended, does not 
require any directed rule makings.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1--Short title

    This section provides the short title of H.R. 1412, as 
amended, as the ``Improving Job Opportunities for Veterans Act 
of 2013.''

Section 2--Authority to increase availability of private sector on-the-
        job training programs

    This section would amend 38 U.S.C. Sec. 3677(b)(1)(A) to 
reduce the final OJT wage paid to veterans from the current 85 
percent to 75 percent of the full wage paid for that job for a 
three year period beginning one year following the date of 
enactment.

Section 3--On-job training at Federal departments and agencies

    This section would require the VA to enter into agreements 
with other Federal agencies to establish OJT programs for 
veterans in those agencies.

Sec. 4. Extension of reduced pension for certain Veterans covered by 
        Medicaid plans 5 for services furnished by nursing facilities

    This section would extend the cap on non-service-connected 
pension payments by amending 38 U.S.C. Sec. 5503(d)(7) by 
striking ``November 30, 2016'' and inserting ``December 31, 
2016''.

         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 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 [November 30, 2016] December 
31, 2016.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *