[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 120, 109th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

120 STAT. 3403

Public Law 109-461
109th Congress

An Act


 
To amend title 38, United States Code, to repeal certain limitations on
attorney representation of claimants for benefits under laws
administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, to expand eligibility
for the Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program, to
otherwise improve veterans' benefits, memorial affairs, and health-care
programs, to enhance information security programs of the Department of
Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.  NOTE: Dec. 22, 2006 -  [S.
3421]

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,  NOTE: Veterans
Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006.

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

(a)  NOTE: 38 USC 101 note.  Short Title.--This Act may be cited
as the ``Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act
of 2006''.

(b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. References to title 38, United States Code.

TITLE I--ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION MATTERS

Sec. 101. Agent or attorney representation in veterans benefits cases
before the Department of Veterans Affairs.

TITLE II--HEALTH MATTERS

Sec. 201. Additional mental health providers.
Sec. 202. Pay comparability for the Chief Nursing Officer, Office of
Nursing Services.
Sec. 203. Improvement and expansion of mental health services.
Sec. 204. Disclosure of medical records.
Sec. 205. Expansion of telehealth services.
Sec. 206. Strategic plan for long-term care.
Sec. 207. Blind rehabilitation outpatient specialists.
Sec. 208. Extension of certain compliance reports.
Sec. 209. Parkinson's Disease research, education, and clinical centers
and multiple sclerosis centers of excellence.
Sec. 210. Repeal of term of office for the Under Secretary for Health
and the Under Secretary for Benefits.
Sec. 211. Modifications to State home authorities.
Sec. 212. Office of Rural Health.
Sec. 213. Outreach program to veterans in rural areas.
Sec. 214. Pilot program on improvement of caregiver assistance services.
Sec. 215. Expansion of outreach activities of Vet Centers.
Sec. 216. Clarification and enhancement of bereavement counseling.
Sec. 217. Funding for Vet Center program.

TITLE III--EDUCATION MATTERS

Sec. 301. Expansion of eligibility for Survivors' and Dependents'
Educational Assistance program.
Sec. 302. Restoration of lost entitlement for individuals who
discontinue a program of education because of being ordered
to full-time National Guard duty.
Sec. 303. Exception for institutions offering Government-sponsored
nonaccredited courses to requirement of refunding unused
tuition.

[[Page 3404]]
120 STAT. 3404

Sec. 304. Extension of work-study allowance.
Sec. 305. Deadline and extension of requirement for report on
educational assistance program.
Sec. 306. Report on improvement in administration of educational
assistance benefits.
Sec. 307. Technical amendments relating to education laws.

TITLE IV--NATIONAL CEMETERY AND MEMORIAL AFFAIRS MATTERS

Sec. 401. Provision of Government memorial headstones or markers and
memorial inscriptions for deceased dependent children of
veterans whose remains are unavailable for burial.
Sec. 402. Provision of Government markers for marked graves of veterans
at private cemeteries.
Sec. 403. Eligibility of Indian tribal organizations for grants for the
establishment of veterans cemeteries on trust lands.
Sec. 404. Removal of remains of Russell Wayne Wagner from Arlington
National Cemetery.

TITLE V--HOUSING AND SMALL BUSINESS MATTERS

Sec. 501. Residential cooperative housing units.
Sec. 502. Department of Veterans Affairs goals for participation by
small businesses owned and controlled by veterans in
procurement contracts.
Sec. 503. Department of Veterans Affairs contracting priority for
veteran-owned small businesses.

TITLE VI--EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING MATTERS

Sec. 601. Training of new disabled veterans' outreach program
specialists and local veterans' employment representatives by
NVTI required.
Sec. 602. Rules for part-time employment for disabled veterans' outreach
program specialists and local veterans' employment
representatives.
Sec. 603. Performance incentive awards for employment service offices.
Sec. 604. Demonstration project on credentialing and licensure of
veterans.
Sec. 605. Department of Labor implementation of regulations for priority
of service.

TITLE VII--HOMELESS VETERANS ASSISTANCE

Sec. 701. Reaffirmation of national goal to end homelessness among
veterans.
Sec. 702. Sense of Congress on the response of the Federal Government to
the needs of homeless veterans.
Sec. 703. Authority to make grants for comprehensive service programs
for homeless veterans.
Sec. 704. Extension of treatment and rehabilitation for seriously
mentally ill and homeless veterans.
Sec. 705. Extension of authority for transfer of properties obtained
through foreclosure of home mortgages.
Sec. 706. Extension of funding for grant program for homeless veterans
with special needs.
Sec. 707. Extension of funding for homeless veteran service provider
technical assistance program.
Sec. 708. Additional element in annual report on assistance to homeless
veterans.
Sec. 709. Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans.
Sec. 710. Rental assistance vouchers for Veterans Affairs supported
housing program.

TITLE VIII--CONSTRUCTION MATTERS

Subtitle A--Construction and Lease Authorities

Sec. 801. Authorization of fiscal year 2006 major medical facility
projects.
Sec. 802. Extension of authorization for certain major medical facility
construction projects previously authorized in connection
with Capital Asset Realignment Initiative.
Sec. 803. Authorization of fiscal year 2007 major medical facility
projects.
Sec. 804. Authorization of advance planning and design for a major
medical facility, Charleston, South Carolina.
Sec. 805. Authorization of fiscal year 2006 major medical facility
leases.
Sec. 806. Authorization of fiscal year 2007 major medical facility
leases.
Sec. 807. Authorization of appropriations.

Subtitle B--Facilities Administration

Sec. 811. Director of Construction and Facilities Management.
Sec. 812. Increase in threshold for major medical facility projects.

[[Page 3405]]
120 STAT. 3405

Sec. 813. Land conveyance, city of Fort Thomas, Kentucky.

Subtitle C--Reports on Medical Facility Improvements

Sec. 821. Report on option for medical facility improvements in San
Juan, Puerto Rico.
Sec. 822. Business plans for enhanced access to outpatient care in
certain rural areas.
Sec. 823. Report on option for construction of Department of Veterans
Affairs Medical Center in Okaloosa County, Florida.

TITLE IX--INFORMATION SECURITY MATTERS

Sec. 901. Short title.
Sec. 902. Department of Veterans Affairs information security programs
and requirements.
Sec. 903. Information security education assistance programs.

TITLE X--OTHER MATTERS

Sec. 1001. Notice to congressional veterans committees of certain
transfers of funds.
Sec. 1002. Clarification of correctional facilities covered by certain
provisions of law.
Sec. 1003. Extension of authority for health care for participation in
DOD chemical and biological warfare testing.
Sec. 1004. Technical and clerical amendments.
Sec. 1005. Codification of cost-of-living adjustment provided in Public
Law 109-361.
Sec. 1006. Coordination of provisions with Veterans Programs Extension
Act of 2006.

SEC. 2. 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.

TITLE I--ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION MATTERS

SEC. 101. AGENT OR ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION IN VETERANS BENEFITS CASES
BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

(a) Qualifications and Standards of Conduct for Individuals
Recognized as Agents or Attorneys.--
(1) Additional qualifications and standards for agents and
attorneys generally.--Subsection (a) of section 5904 is
amended--
(A) by inserting ``Recognition.--(1)'' after
``(a)'';
(B) by striking ``The Secretary may recognize'' and
inserting ``Except as provided in paragraph (4), the
Secretary may recognize'';
(C) by striking the second sentence; and
(D) by adding at the end the following new
paragraphs:

``(2)  NOTE: Regulations.  The Secretary shall prescribe in
regulations (consistent with the Model Rules of Professional Conduct of
the American Bar Association) qualifications and standards of conduct
for individuals recognized under this section, including a requirement
that, as a condition of being so recognized, an individual must--
``(A) show that such individual is of good moral character
and in good repute, is qualified to render claimants valuable
service, and is otherwise competent to assist claimants in
presenting claims;

[[Page 3406]]
120 STAT. 3406

``(B) have such level of experience or specialized training
as the Secretary shall specify; and
``(C)  NOTE: Certification.  certify to the Secretary that
the individual has satisfied any qualifications and standards
prescribed by the Secretary under this section.

``(3)  NOTE: Regulations.  The Secretary shall prescribe in
regulations requirements that each agent or attorney recognized under
this section provide annually to the Secretary information about any
court, bar, or Federal or State agency to which such agent or attorney
is admitted to practice or otherwise authorized to appear, any relevant
identification number or numbers, and a certification by such agent or
attorney that such agent or attorney is in good standing in every
jurisdiction where the agent or attorney is admitted to practice or
otherwise authorized to appear.

``(4) The Secretary may not recognize an individual as an agent or
attorney under paragraph (1) if such individual has been suspended or
disbarred by any court, bar, or Federal or State agency to which the
individual was previously admitted to practice and has not been
subsequently reinstated.
``(5) The Secretary may prescribe in regulations reasonable
restrictions on the amount of fees that an agent or attorney may charge
a claimant for services rendered in the preparation, presentation, and
prosecution of a claim before the Department. A fee that does not exceed
20 percent of the past due amount of benefits awarded on a claim shall
be presumed to be reasonable.
``(6)(A) The Secretary may charge and collect an assessment from an
individual recognized as an agent or attorney under this section in any
case in which the Secretary pays to the agent or attorney, from past-due
benefits owed to a claimant represented by the agent or attorney, an
amount as a fee in accordance with a fee arrangement between the
claimant and the agent or attorney.
``(B) The amount of an assessment under subparagraph (A) shall be
equal to five percent of the amount of the fee required to be paid to
the agent or attorney, except that the amount of such an assessment may
not exceed $100.
``(C) The Secretary may collect an assessment under subparagraph (A)
by offsetting the amount of the fee otherwise required to be paid to the
agent or attorney from the past-due benefits owed to the claimant
represented by the agent or attorney.
``(D) An agent or attorney who is charged an assessment under
subparagraph (A) may not, directly or indirectly, request, receive, or
obtain reimbursement for such assessment from the claimant represented
by the agent or attorney.
``(E) Amounts collected under this paragraph shall be deposited in
the account available for administrative expenses for veterans' benefits
programs. Amounts so deposited shall be merged with amounts in such
account and shall be available for the same purpose, and subject to the
same conditions and limitations, as amounts otherwise in such
account.''.
(2) Suspension of recognized representatives of veterans
service organizations.--Section 5902(b)  NOTE: 38 USC
5902.  is amended--
(A) by redesignating paragraphs (1) and (2) as
subparagraphs (A) and (B), respectively;
(B) by inserting ``(1)'' after ``(b)''; and
(C) by adding at the end the following new
paragraph:

[[Page 3407]]
120 STAT. 3407

``(2) An individual recognized under this section shall be subject
to the provisions of section 5904(b) of this title on the same basis as
an individual recognized under section 5904(a) of this title.''.
(3) Suspension of individuals recognized for particular
claims.--Section 5903  NOTE: 38 USC 5903.  is amended--
(A) by inserting ``(a) In General.--'' before ``The
Secretary''; and
(B) by adding at the end the following new
subsection:

``(b) Suspension.--An individual recognized under this section shall
be subject to the provisions of section 5904(b) of this title on the
same basis as an individual recognized under section 5904(a) of this
title.''.
(b) Additional Bases for Suspension of Individuals.--Subsection (b)
of section 5904 is amended--
(1) by inserting ``Suspension of Agents and Attorneys.--''
after ``(b)'';
(2) in paragraph (4), by striking ``or'' at the end;
(3) in paragraph (5), by striking the period and inserting a
semicolon; and
(4) by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:
``(6) has presented to the Secretary a frivolous claim,
issue, or argument, involving conduct inconsistent with ethical
standards for the practice of law;
``(7) has been suspended or disbarred by any court or bar to
which such agent or attorney was previously admitted to
practice, or has been disqualified from participating in or
appearing before any Federal agency, and has not been
subsequently reinstated;
``(8) has charged excessive or unreasonable fees, as
determined by the Secretary in accordance with subsection
(c)(3)(A); or
``(9) has failed to comply with any other condition
specified in regulations prescribed by the Secretary for
purposes of this subsection.''.

(c) Modification of Date for Commencement of Services Subject to
Fees.--
(1) Modification.--Effective as provided in subsection (h),
paragraph (1) of subsection (c) of such section is amended--
(A) by striking ``the Board of Veterans' Appeals
first makes a final decision in'' and inserting ``a
notice of disagreement is filed with respect to'';
(B) by striking the second sentence; and
(C) in the third sentence, by inserting ``fees
charged, allowed, or paid for'' before ``services
provided''.
(2) Report.--Not later than 42 months after the date of the
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall
submit to Congress a report that sets forth an assessment of the
effects of allowing agents and attorneys recognized under
section 5904 of title 38, United States Code, to charge a fee to
a claimant for services rendered in the preparation,
presentation, and prosecution of a claim before the Department
of Veterans Affairs after a notice of disagreement has been
filed. Such report shall include the recommendations of the
Secretary with respect to agent and attorney representation.

(d) Modification of Requirements To File Attorney Fee Agreements.--
Effective as provided in subsection (h), paragraph (2) of subsection (c)
of such section is amended--

[[Page 3408]]
120 STAT. 3408

(1) by striking ``after the Board first makes a final
decision in the case'' and inserting ``after a notice of
disagreement is filed with respect to the case'';
(2) by striking ``with the Board at such time as may be
specified by the Board'' and inserting ``with the Secretary
pursuant to regulations prescribed by the Secretary''; and
(3) by striking the second and third sentences.

(e) Attorney Fees.--Subsection (c) of such section is further
amended--
(1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``paragraph (3)'' and
inserting ``paragraph (4)''; and
(2) by redesignating paragraph (3) as paragraph (4);
(3) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following new
paragraph (3):

``(3)(A) The Secretary may, upon the Secretary's own motion or at
the request of the claimant, review a fee agreement filed pursuant to
paragraph (2) and may order a reduction in the fee called for in the
agreement if the Secretary finds that the fee is excessive or
unreasonable.
``(B) A finding or order of the Secretary under subparagraph (A) may
be reviewed by the Board of Veterans' Appeals under section 7104 of this
title.
``(C) If the Secretary under subsection (b) suspends or excludes
from further practice before the Department any agent or attorney who
collects or receives a fee in excess of the amount authorized under this
section, the suspension shall continue until the agent or attorney makes
full restitution to each claimant from whom the agent or attorney
collected or received an excessive fee. If the agent or attorney makes
such restitution, the Secretary may reinstate such agent or attorney
under such rules as the Secretary may prescribe.''.
(f) Technical and Conforming Amendments.--Subsection (d) of such
section is amended--
(1) by inserting ``Payment of Fees Out of Past-Due
Benefits.--'' after ``(d)'';
(2) by inserting ``agent or'' before ``attorney'' each place
it appears;
(3) in paragraph (1), by striking ``of this subsection''
after ``paragraph (2)'';
(4) in paragraph (2)(B), by striking ``of this paragraph''
after ``subparagraph (A)''; and
(5) in paragraph (3)--
(A) by striking ``attorneys' fee'' and inserting
``fee to an agent or attorney''; and
(B) by striking ``of this subsection'' after
``paragraph (1)''.

(g) Repeal of Penalty for Certain Acts.--Section 5905  NOTE: 38 USC
5905.  is amended by striking ``(1)'' and all that follows through
``(2)''.

(h)  NOTE: 38 USC 5904 note.  Effective Date.--The amendments made
by subsections (c)(1) and (d) shall take effect on the date that is 180
days after the date of the enactment of this Act and shall apply with
respect to services of agents and attorneys that are provided with
respect to cases in which notices of disagreement are filed on or after
that date.

(i) Limitation on Collection of Fee Assessment.--
NOTE: Regulations. 38 USC 5904 note.  No assessments on fees may be
collected under paragraph (6) of section 5904(a) of title 38, United
States Code (as added by subsection

[[Page 3409]]
120 STAT. 3409

(a)(1)(D) of this section), until the date on which the Secretary of
Veterans Affairs prescribes the regulations required by the amendments
made by this section.

TITLE II--HEALTH MATTERS

SEC. 201. ADDITIONAL MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDERS.

(a) Appointments.--Section 7401(3)  NOTE: 38 USC 7401.  is amended
by inserting after ``social workers,'' the following: ``marriage and
family therapists, licensed professional mental health counselors,''.

(b) Qualifications.--Section 7402(b) is amended--
(1) by redesignating paragraph (10) as paragraph (12); and
(2) by inserting after paragraph (9) the following new
paragraphs:

``(10) Marriage and Family Therapist.--To be eligible to be
appointed to a marriage and family therapist position, a person must--
``(A) hold a master's degree in marriage and family therapy,
or a comparable degree in mental health, from a college or
university approved by the Secretary; and
``(B) be licensed or certified to independently practice
marriage and family therapy in a State, except that the
Secretary may waive the requirement of licensure or
certification for an individual marriage and family therapist
for a reasonable period of time recommended by the Under
Secretary for Health.

``(11) Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor.--To be
eligible to be appointed to a licensed professional mental health
counselor position, a person must--
``(A) hold a master's degree in mental health counseling, or
a related field, from a college or university approved by the
Secretary; and
``(B) be licensed or certified to independently practice
mental health counseling.''.

(c) Report on Marriage and Family Therapy Workload.--
(1) In general.--Not later than 90 days after the date of
the enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary for Health of the
Department of Veterans Affairs shall submit to the Committee on
Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans'
Affairs of the House of Representatives a report on the
provision of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder by
marriage and family therapists employed by the Department of
Veterans Affairs.
(2) Contents.--The report submitted under paragraph (1)
shall include the following:
(A) The actual and projected workloads in facilities
of the Veterans Readjustment Counseling Service and the
Veterans Health Administration for the provision of
marriage and family counseling for veterans diagnosed
with, or otherwise in need of treatment for, post-
traumatic stress disorder.
(B) The resources available and needed to support
the projected workload described in subparagraph (A).
(C) An assessment by the Under Secretary for Health
of the effectiveness of treatment for post-traumatic
stress disorder that is provided by marriage and family
therapists.

[[Page 3410]]
120 STAT. 3410

(D) Recommendations, if any, for improvements in the
provision of such treatment by such therapists.

SEC. 202. PAY COMPARABILITY FOR THE CHIEF NURSING OFFICER, OFFICE OF
NURSING SERVICES.

Section 7404  NOTE: 38 USC 7404.  is amended--
(1) in subsection (d), by striking ``subchapter III and in''
and inserting ``subsection (e), subchapter III, and''; and
(2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:

``(e) The position of Chief Nursing Officer, Office of Nursing
Services, shall be exempt from the provisions of section 7451 of this
title and shall be paid at a rate determined by the Secretary, not to
exceed the maximum rate established for the Senior Executive Service
under section 5382 of title 5.''.

SEC. 203.  NOTE: 38 USC 1712A note.  IMPROVEMENT AND EXPANSION OF
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES.

(a) Required Capacity for Community-Based Outpatient Clinics.--
(1) In general.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall
ensure that each community-based outpatient clinic of the
Department of Veterans Affairs has the capacity to provide, or
monitor the provision of, mental health services to enrolled
veterans who, as determined by the Secretary, are in need of
such services.
(2) Settings.--In carrying out paragraph (1), the Secretary
shall ensure that mental health services are provided through--
(A) a community-based outpatient clinic of the
Department by an employee of the Department;
(B) referral to another facility of the Department;
(C) contract with an appropriate mental health
professional in the community; or
(D) telemental health services.

(b) Clinical Training and Protocols.--
(1) Collaboration.--The National Center on Post-Traumatic
Stress Disorder of the Department of Veterans Affairs shall
collaborate with the Secretary of Defense--
(A) to enhance the clinical skills of military
clinicians on matters relating to post-traumatic stress
disorder through training, treatment protocols, web-
based interventions, and the development of evidence-
based interventions; and
(B) to promote pre-deployment resilience and post-
deployment readjustment among members of the Armed
Forces serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation
Enduring Freedom.
(2) Authorization of appropriations.--There are authorized
to be appropriated for the Department of Veterans Affairs for
fiscal year 2007 $2,000,000 to carry out this subsection.

(c) Mental Health Outreach.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs
shall--
(1) develop additional educational materials on post-
traumatic stress disorder; and
(2) undertake additional efforts to educate veterans about
post-traumatic stress disorder.

(d)  NOTE: Post-traumatic stress disorder.  Review of PTSD
Clinical Guidelines.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall--

[[Page 3411]]
120 STAT. 3411

(1) review the clinical guidelines of the Department of
Veterans Affairs on post-traumatic stress disorder and all
appropriate protocols related to post-traumatic stress disorder;
(2) revise such guidelines and protocols as the Secretary
considers appropriate to ensure that clinicians are able to
effectively distinguish between diagnoses with similar symptoms
that may manifest as post-traumatic stress disorder, including
traumatic brain injury; and
(3) develop performance measures for the treatment of post-
traumatic stress disorder among veterans.

SEC. 204. DISCLOSURE OF MEDICAL RECORDS.

(a) Limited Exception to Confidentiality of Medical Records.--
Section 5701  NOTE: 38 USC 5701.  is amended by adding at the end the
following new subsection:

``(k)(1)(A)  NOTE: Regulations.  Under regulations that the
Secretary shall prescribe, the Secretary may disclose the name and
address of any individual described in subparagraph (C) to an entity
described in subparagraph (B) in order to facilitate the determination
by such entity whether the individual is, or after death will be, a
suitable organ, tissue, or eye donor if--
``(i) the individual is near death (as determined by the
Secretary) or is deceased; and
``(ii) the disclosure is permitted under regulations
promulgated pursuant to section 264 of the Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (42 U.S.C. 1320d-2
note).

``(B) An entity described in this subparagraph is--
``(i) an organ procurement organization, including eye and
tissue banks; or
``(ii) an entity that the Secretary has determined--
``(I) is substantially similar in function,
professionalism, and reliability to an organ procurement
organization; and
``(II) should be treated for purposes of this
subsection in the same manner as an organ procurement
organization.

``(C) An individual described in this subparagraph is--
``(i) a veteran; or
``(ii) a dependent of veteran.

``(2) In this subsection, the term `organ procurement organization'
has the meaning given the term `qualified organ procurement
organization' in section 371(b) of the Public Health Service Act (42
U.S.C. 273(b)).''.
(b) Disclosures From Certain Medical Records.--Section 7332(b)(2) is
amended by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
``(E) To an entity described in paragraph (1)(B) of section
5701(k) of this title, but only to the extent authorized by such
section.''.

(c)  NOTE: 38 USC 5701 note.  Deadline for Prescribing
Regulations.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall prescribe
regulations under subsection (k) of section 5701 of title 38, United
States Code, as added by subsection (a), not later than 180 days after
the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 205.  NOTE: 38 USC 1712A note.  EXPANSION OF TELEHEALTH SERVICES.

(a) In General.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall increase
the number of facilities of the Readjustment Counseling Service that are
capable of providing health services and counseling

[[Page 3412]]
120 STAT. 3412

through telehealth linkages with facilities of the Veterans Health
Administration.
(b)  NOTE: Deadline.  Plan.--Not later than July 1, 2007, the
Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the
Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of
Representatives a plan to implement the requirement in subsection (a).
The plan shall specify which facilities of the Readjustment Counseling
Service will have the capabilities described in subsection (a) as of the
end of each of fiscal years 2007, 2008, and 2009.

SEC. 206. STRATEGIC PLAN FOR LONG-TERM CARE.

(a) Publication.--  NOTE: Deadline.  Not later than 180 days after
the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs
shall publish a strategic plan for the provision of long-term care by
the Department of Veterans Affairs.

(b) Policies and Strategies.--The plan published under subsection
(a) shall contain policies and strategies for--
(1) the delivery of care in domiciliaries, residential
treatment facilities, and nursing homes and for seriously
mentally ill veterans;
(2) maximizing the use of State veterans homes;
(3) locating domiciliary units as close to patient
populations as feasible; and
(4) identifying freestanding nursing homes as an acceptable
care model.

(c) Data.--The plan published under subsection (a) shall include
data on--
(1) the provision of care of catastrophically disabled
veterans; and
(2) the geographic distribution of catastrophically disabled
veterans.

(d) Noninstitutional Long-Term Care Options.--The plan published
under subsection (a) shall address the spectrum of noninstitutional
long-term care options, including each of the following:
(1) Respite care.
(2) Home-based primary care.
(3) Geriatric evaluation.
(4) Adult day health care.
(5) Skilled home health care.
(6) Community residential care.

(e) Additional Matters To Be Included.--The plan published under
subsection (a) shall provide--
(1) cost and quality comparison analyses of all the
different levels of long-term care for veterans;
(2) detailed information about geographic distribution of
services and gaps in care; and
(3) specific plans for working with Medicare, Medicaid, and
private insurance companies to expand the availability of such
care.

SEC. 207.  NOTE: 38 USC 3104 note.  BLIND REHABILITATION OUTPATIENT
SPECIALISTS.

(a) Findings.--Congress makes the following findings:
(1) There are approximately 135,000 blind veterans
throughout the United States, including approximately 35,000 who
are enrolled with the Department of Veterans Affairs. An aging
veteran population and injuries incurred in Operation Iraqi
Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom are increasing the number
of blind veterans.

[[Page 3413]]
120 STAT. 3413

(2) Since 1996, when the Department of Veterans Affairs
hired its first 14 blind rehabilitation outpatient specialists
(referred to in this section as ``Specialists''), Specialists
have been a critical part of the continuum of care for blind and
visually impaired veterans.
(3) The Department of Veterans Affairs operates 10
residential blind rehabilitation centers that are considered
among the best in the world. These centers have had long waiting
lists, with as many as 1,500 blind veterans waiting for openings
in 2004.
(4) Specialists provide--
(A) critically needed services to veterans who are
unable to attend residential centers or are waiting to
enter a residential center program;
(B) a range of services for blind veterans,
including training with living skills, mobility, and
adaptation of manual skills; and
(C) pre-admission screening and follow-up care for
blind rehabilitation centers.
(5) There are not enough Specialist positions to meet the
increased numbers and needs of blind veterans.

(b)  NOTE: Deadline.  Establishment of Additional Specialist
Positions.--Not later than 30 months after the date of the enactment of
this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall establish an
additional Specialist position at not fewer than 35 additional
facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

(c) Selection of Facilities.--In identifying the most appropriate
facilities to receive a Specialist position under this section, the
Secretary shall--
(1) give priority to facilities with large numbers of
enrolled legally blind veterans;
(2) ensure that each facility does not have such a position;
and
(3) ensure that each facility is in need of the services of
a Specialist.

(d) Coordination.--The Secretary shall coordinate the provision of
blind rehabilitation services for veterans with services for the care of
the visually impaired offered by State and local agencies, especially to
the extent to which such State and local agencies can provide necessary
services to blind veterans in settings located closer to the residences
of such veterans at similar quality and cost to the veteran.
(e) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be
appropriated for the Department of Veterans Affairs to carry out this
section $3,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2007 through 2012.

SEC. 208. EXTENSION OF CERTAIN COMPLIANCE REPORTS.

(a) Management of Health Care.--Section 1706(b)(5)(A)  NOTE: 38 USC
1706.  is amended by striking ``2004'' and inserting ``2008''.

(b) Advisory Committee on Women Veterans.--Section 542(c)(1) is
amended by striking ``2004'' and inserting ``2008''.

SEC. 209. PARKINSON'S DISEASE RESEARCH, EDUCATION, AND CLINICAL CENTERS
AND MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE.

(a) Requirement for Establishment of Centers.--

[[Page 3414]]
120 STAT. 3414

(1) In general.--Subchapter II of chapter 73 is amended by
adding at the end the following new sections:

``Sec. 7329. Parkinson's Disease research, education, and clinical
centers

``(a) Establishment of Centers.--(1) The Secretary, upon the
recommendation of the Under Secretary for Health, shall designate not
less than six Department health-care facilities as the locations for
centers of Parkinson's Disease research, education, and clinical
activities.
``(2) Subject to the availability of appropriations for such
purpose, the Secretary shall establish and operate centers of
Parkinson's Disease research, education, and clinical activities centers
at the locations designated pursuant to paragraph (1).
``(b) Criteria for Designation of Facilities.--(1) In designating
Department health-care facilities for centers under subsection (a), the
Secretary, upon the recommendation of the Under Secretary for Health,
shall assure appropriate geographic distribution of such facilities.
``(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), the Secretary shall
designate as the location for a center of Parkinson's Disease research,
education, and clinical activities pursuant to subsection (a)(1) each
Department health-care facility that as of January 1, 2005, was
operating a Parkinson's Disease research, education, and clinical
center.
``(3) The Secretary may not under subsection (a) designate a
facility described in paragraph (2) if (on the recommendation of the
Under Secretary for Health) the Secretary determines that such
facility--
``(A) does not meet the requirements of subsection (c); or
``(B) has not demonstrated--
``(i) effectiveness in carrying out the established
purposes of such center; or
``(ii) the potential to carry out such purposes
effectively in the reasonably foreseeable future.

``(c) Requirements for Designation.--(1) The Secretary may not
designate a Department health-care facility as a location for a center
under subsection (a) unless the peer review panel established under
subsection (d) has determined under that subsection that the proposal
submitted by such facility as a location for a new center under
subsection (a) is among those proposals that meet the highest
competitive standards of scientific and clinical merit.
``(2) The Secretary may not designate a Department health-care
facility as a location for a center under subsection (a) unless the
Secretary (upon the recommendation of the Under Secretary for Health)
determines that the facility has (or may reasonably be anticipated to
develop) each of the following:
``(A) An arrangement with an accredited medical school that
provides education and training in neurology and with which the
Department health-care facility is affiliated under which
residents receive education and training in innovative diagnosis
and treatment of chronic neurodegenerative diseases and movement
disorders, including Parkinson's Disease.
``(B) The ability to attract the participation of scientists
who are capable of ingenuity and creativity in health-care
research efforts.

[[Page 3415]]
120 STAT. 3415

``(C) An advisory committee composed of veterans and
appropriate health-care and research representatives of the
Department health-care facility and of the affiliated school or
schools to advise the directors of such facility and such center
on policy matters pertaining to the activities of the center
during the period of the operation of such center.
``(D) The capability to conduct effectively evaluations of
the activities of such center.
``(E) The capability to coordinate (as part of an integrated
national system) education, clinical, and research activities
within all facilities with such centers.
``(F) The capability to jointly develop a consortium of
providers with interest in treating neurodegenerative diseases,
including Parkinson's Disease and other movement disorders, at
facilities without centers established under subsection (a) in
order to ensure better access to state-of-the-art diagnosis,
care, and education for neurodegenerative disorders throughout
the health-care system of the Department.
``(G) The capability to develop a national repository in the
health-care system of the Department for the collection of data
on health services delivered to veterans seeking care for
neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's Disease, and
other movement disorders.

``(d)  NOTE: Establishment.  Peer Review Panel.--(1) The Under
Secretary for Health shall establish a panel to assess the scientific
and clinical merit of proposals that are submitted to the Secretary for
the establishment of centers under this section.

``(2)(A) The membership of the panel shall consist of experts in
neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's Disease and other
movement disorders.
``(B) Members of the panel shall serve for a period of no longer
than two years, except as specified in subparagraph (C).
``(C) Of the members first appointed to the panel, one half shall be
appointed for a period of three years and one half shall be appointed
for a period of two years, as designated by the Under Secretary at the
time of appointment.
``(3) The panel shall review each proposal submitted to the panel by
the Under Secretary and shall submit its views on the relative
scientific and clinical merit of each such proposal to the Under
Secretary.
``(4) The panel shall not be subject to the Federal Advisory
Committee Act.
``(e) Priority of Funding.--Before providing funds for the operation
of a center designated under subsection (a) at a Department health-care
facility other than at a facility designated pursuant to subsection
(b)(2), the Secretary shall ensure that each Parkinson's Disease center
at a facility designated pursuant to subsection (b)(2) is receiving
adequate funding to enable that center to function effectively in the
areas of Parkinson's Disease research, education, and clinical
activities.
``(f) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be
appropriated such sums as may be necessary for the support of the
research and education activities of the centers established pursuant to
subsection (a). The Under Secretary for Health shall allocate to such
centers from other funds appropriated generally

[[Page 3416]]
120 STAT. 3416

for the Department medical services account and medical and prosthetics
research account, as appropriate, such amounts as the Under Secretary
for Health determines appropriate.
``(g) Award Competitions.--Activities of clinical and scientific
investigation at each center established under subsection (a) shall be
eligible to compete for the award of funding from funds appropriated for
the Department medical and prosthetics research account. Such activities
shall receive priority in the award of funding from such account insofar
as funds are awarded to projects for research in Parkinson's Disease and
other movement disorders.

``Sec. 7330. Multiple sclerosis centers of excellence

``(a) Establishment of Centers.--(1) The Secretary, upon the
recommendation of the Under Secretary for Health, shall designate not
less than two Department health-care facilities as the locations for
multiple sclerosis centers of excellence.
``(2) Subject to the availability of appropriations for such
purpose, the Secretary shall establish and operate multiple sclerosis
centers of excellence at the locations designated pursuant to paragraph
(1).
``(b) Criteria for Designation of Facilities.--(1) In designating
Department health-care facilities for centers under subsection (a), the
Secretary, upon the recommendation of the Under Secretary for Health,
shall assure appropriate geographic distribution of such facilities.
``(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), the Secretary shall
designate as the location for a center pursuant to subsection (a)(1)
each Department health-care facility that as of January 1, 2005, was
operating a multiple sclerosis center of excellence.
``(3) The Secretary may not under subsection (a) designate a
facility described in paragraph (2) if (on the recommendation of the
Under Secretary for Health) the Secretary determines that such
facility--
``(A) does not meet the requirements of subsection (c); or
``(B) has not demonstrated--
``(i) effectiveness in carrying out the established
purposes of such center; or
``(ii) the potential to carry out such purposes
effectively in the reasonably foreseeable future.

``(c) Requirements for Designation.--(1) The Secretary may not
designate a Department health-care facility as a location for a center
under subsection (a) unless the peer review panel established under
subsection (d) has determined under that subsection that the proposal
submitted by such facility as a location for a new center under
subsection (a) is among those proposals that meet the highest
competitive standards of scientific and clinical merit.
``(2) The Secretary may not designate a Department health-care
facility as a location for a center under subsection (a) unless the
Secretary (upon the recommendation of the Under Secretary for Health)
determines that the facility has (or may reasonably be anticipated to
develop) each of the following:
``(A) An arrangement with an accredited medical school that
provides education and training in neurology and with which the
Department health-care facility is affiliated under which
residents receive education and training in innovative

[[Page 3417]]
120 STAT. 3417

diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune diseases affecting the
central nervous system, including multiple sclerosis.
``(B) The ability to attract the participation of scientists
who are capable of ingenuity and creativity in health-care
research efforts.
``(C) An advisory committee composed of veterans and
appropriate health-care and research representatives of the
Department health-care facility and of the affiliated school or
schools to advise the directors of such facility and such center
on policy matters pertaining to the activities of the center
during the period of the operation of such center.
``(D) The capability to conduct effectively evaluations of
the activities of such center.
``(E) The capability to coordinate (as part of an integrated
national system) education, clinical, and research activities
within all facilities with such centers.
``(F) The capability to jointly develop a consortium of
providers with interest in treating multiple sclerosis at
facilities without such centers in order to ensure better access
to state-of-the-art diagnosis, care, and education for
autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system
throughout the health-care system of the Department.
``(G) The capability to develop a national repository in the
health-care system of the Department for the collection of data
on health services delivered to veterans seeking care for
autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system.

``(d)  NOTE: Establishment.  Peer Review Panel.--(1) The Under
Secretary for Health shall establish a panel to assess the scientific
and clinical merit of proposals that are submitted to the Secretary for
the establishment of centers under this section.

``(2)(A) The membership of the panel shall consist of experts in
autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system.
``(B) Members of the panel shall serve for a period of no longer
than two years, except as specified in subparagraph (C).
``(C) Of the members first appointed to the panel, one half shall be
appointed for a period of three years and one half shall be appointed
for a period of two years, as designated by the Under Secretary at the
time of appointment.
``(3) The panel shall review each proposal submitted to the panel by
the Under Secretary and shall submit its views on the relative
scientific and clinical merit of each such proposal to the Under
Secretary.
``(4) The panel shall not be subject to the Federal Advisory
Committee Act.
``(e) Priority of Funding.--Before providing funds for the operation
of a center designated under subsection (a) at a Department health-care
facility other than at a facility designated pursuant to subsection
(b)(2), the Secretary shall ensure that each multiple sclerosis center
at a facility designated pursuant to subsection (b)(2) is receiving
adequate funding to enable that center to function effectively in the
areas of multiple sclerosis research, education, and clinical
activities.
``(f) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be
appropriated such sums as may be necessary for the support of the
research and education activities of the centers established pursuant to
subsection (a). The Under Secretary for Health shall allocate to such
centers from other funds appropriated generally

[[Page 3418]]
120 STAT. 3418

for the Department medical services account and medical and prosthetics
research account, as appropriate, such amounts as the Under Secretary
for Health determines appropriate.
``(g) Award Competitions.--Activities of clinical and scientific
investigation at each center established under subsection (a) shall be
eligible to compete for the award of funding from funds appropriated for
the Department medical and prosthetics research account. Such activities
shall receive priority in the award of funding from such account insofar
as funds are awarded to projects for research in multiple sclerosis and
other neurodegenerative disorders.''.
(2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the
beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item
relating to section 7328 the following new items:

``7329. Parkinson's Disease research, education, and clinical centers.
``7330. Multiple sclerosis centers of excellence.''.

(b)  NOTE: 38 USC 7329 note.  Effective Date.--Sections 7329 and
7330 of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall
take effect at the end of the 30-day period beginning on the date of the
enactment of this Act.

SEC. 210. REPEAL OF TERM OF OFFICE FOR THE UNDER SECRETARY FOR HEALTH
AND THE UNDER SECRETARY FOR BENEFITS.

(a) Under Secretary for Health.--
(1) In general.--Section 305  NOTE: 38 USC 305.  is
amended by striking subsection (c).
(2) Conforming amendment.--Subsection (d) of such section is
redesignated as subsection (c).

(b) Under Secretary for Benefits.--
(1) In general.--Section 306 is amended by striking
subsection (c).
(2) Conforming amendment.--Subsection (d) of such section is
redesignated as subsection (c).

SEC. 211. MODIFICATIONS TO STATE HOME AUTHORITIES.

(a) Nursing Home Care and Prescription Medications in State Homes
for Veterans With Service-Connected Disabilities.--
(1) Nursing home care.--Subchapter V of chapter 17 is
amended by adding at the end the following new section:

``Sec. 1745. Nursing home care and medications for veterans with
service-connected disabilities

``(a)(1) The Secretary shall pay each State home for nursing home
care at the rate determined under paragraph (2), in any case in which
such care is provided to any veteran as follows:
``(A) Any veteran in need of such care for a service-
connected disability.
``(B) Any veteran who--
``(i) has a service-connected disability rated at 70
percent or more; and
``(ii) is in need of such care.

``(2) The rate determined under this paragraph with respect to a
State home is the lesser of--

[[Page 3419]]
120 STAT. 3419

``(A) the applicable or prevailing rate payable in the
geographic area in which the State home is located, as
determined by the Secretary, for nursing home care furnished in
a non-Department nursing home (as that term is defined in
section 1720(e)(2) of this title); or
``(B) a rate not to exceed the daily cost of care, as
determined by the Secretary, following a report to the Secretary
by the director of the State home.

``(3) Payment by the Secretary under paragraph (1) to a State home
for nursing home care provided to a veteran described in that paragraph
constitutes payment in full to the State home for such care furnished to
that veteran.''.
(2) Provision of prescription medicines.--Such section, as
so added, is further amended by adding at the end the following
new subsection:

``(b) The Secretary shall furnish such drugs and medicines as may be
ordered on prescription of a duly licensed physician as specific therapy
in the treatment of illness or injury to any veteran as follows:
``(1) Any veteran who--
``(A) is not being provided nursing home care for
which payment is payable under subsection (a); and
``(B) is in need of such drugs and medicines for a
service-connected disability.
``(2) Any veteran who--
``(A) has a service-connected disability rated at 50
percent or more;
``(B) is not being provided nursing home care for
which payment is payable under subsection (a); and
``(C) is in need of such drugs and medicines.''.
(3) Conforming amendments.--
(A) Criteria for payment.--Section
1741(a)(1)  NOTE: 38 USC 1741.  is amended by striking
``The'' and inserting ``Except as provided in section
1745 of this title, the''.
(B) Eligibility for nursing home care.--Section
1710(a)(4) is amended--
(i) by striking ``and'' before ``the
requirement in section 1710B of this title''; and
(ii) by inserting ``, and the requirement in
section 1745 of this title to provide nursing home
care and prescription medicines to veterans with
service-connected disabilities in State homes''
after ``a program of extended care services''.
(4) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the
beginning of chapter 17 is amended by inserting after the item
relating to section 1744 the following new item:

``1745. Nursing home care and medications for veterans with service-
connected disabilities.''.

(5)  NOTE: 38 USC 1710 note.  Effective date.--The
amendments made by this subsection shall take effect 90 days
after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(b) Identification of Veterans in State Homes.--Such chapter is
further amended--
(1) in section 1745, as added by subsection (a)(1) of this
section, by adding at the end the following new subsection:

[[Page 3420]]
120 STAT. 3420

``(c) Any State home that requests payment or reimbursement for
services provided to a veteran under this section shall provide to the
Secretary such information as the Secretary considers necessary to
identify each individual veteran eligible for payment under such
section.''; and
(2) in section 1741, by adding at the end the following new
subsection:

``(f) Any State home that requests payment or reimbursement for
services provided to a veteran under this section shall provide to the
Secretary such information as the Secretary considers necessary to
identify each individual veteran eligible for payment under such
section.''.
(c) Authority To Treat Certain Health Facilities as State Homes.--
(1) Authority.--Subchapter III of chapter 81 is amended by
adding at the end the following new section:

``Sec. 8138. Treatment of certain health facilities as State homes

``(a) The Secretary may treat a health facility (or certain beds in
a health facility) as a State home for purposes of subchapter V of
chapter 17 of this title if the following requirements are met:
``(1) The facility (or certain beds in such facility) meets
the standards for the provision of nursing home care that are
applicable to State homes, as prescribed by the Secretary under
section 8134(b) of this title, and such other standards relating
to the facility (or certain beds in such facility) as the
Secretary may require.
``(2) The facility (or certain beds in such facility) is
licensed or certified by the appropriate State and local
agencies charged with the responsibility of licensing or
otherwise regulating or inspecting State home facilities.
``(3) The State demonstrates in an application to the
Secretary that, but for the treatment of a facility (or certain
beds in such facility), as a State home under this subsection, a
substantial number of veterans residing in the geographic area
in which the facility is located who require nursing home care
will not have access to such care.
``(4) The Secretary determines that the treatment of the
facility (or certain beds in such facility) as a State home best
meets the needs of veterans for nursing home care in the
geographic area in which the facility is located.
``(5) The Secretary approves the application submitted by
the State with respect to the facility (or certain beds in such
facility).

``(b) The Secretary may not treat a health facility (or certain beds
in a health facility) as a State home under subsection (a) if the
Secretary determines that such treatment would increase the number of
beds allocated to the State in excess of the limit on the number of beds
provided for by regulations prescribed under section 8134(a) of this
title.
``(c) The number of beds occupied by veterans in a health facility
for which payment may be made under subchapter V of chapter 17 of this
title by reason of subsection (a) shall not exceed--
``(1) 100 beds in the aggregate for all States; and
``(2) in the case of any State, the difference between--

[[Page 3421]]
120 STAT. 3421

``(A) the number of veterans authorized to be in
beds in State homes in such State under regulations
prescribed under section 8134(a) of this title; and
``(B) the number of veterans actually in beds in
State homes (other than facilities or certain beds
treated as State homes under subsection (a)) in such
State under regulations prescribed under such section.

``(d) The number of beds in a health facility in a State that has
been treated as a State home under subsection (a) shall be taken into
account in determining the unmet need for beds for State homes for the
State under section 8134(d)(1) of this title.
``(e) The Secretary may not treat any new health facilities (or any
new certain beds in a health facility) as a State home under subsection
(a) after September 30, 2009.''.
(2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the
beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item
relating to section 8137 the following new item:

``8138. Treatment of certain health facilities as State homes.''.

SEC. 212. OFFICE OF RURAL HEALTH.

(a) In General.--
(1) Establishment and functions.--Chapter 73 is amended by
inserting after section 7307 the following new section:

``Sec. 7308. Office of Rural Health

``(a) Establishment.--There is established in the Department within
the Office of the Under Secretary for Health an office to be known as
the `Office of Rural Health' (in this section referred to as the
`Office').
``(b) Head.--The Director of the Office of Rural Health shall be the
head of the Office. The Director of the Office of Rural Health shall be
appointed by the Under Secretary of Health from among individuals
qualified to perform the duties of the position.
``(c) Functions.--The functions of the Office are as follows:
``(1) In cooperation with the medical, rehabilitation,
health services, and cooperative studies research programs in
the Office of Policy and the Office of Research and Development
of the Veterans Health Administration, to assist the Under
Secretary for Health in conducting, coordinating, promoting, and
disseminating research into issues affecting veterans living in
rural areas.
``(2) To work with all personnel and offices of the
Department of Veterans Affairs to develop, refine, and
promulgate policies, best practices, lessons learned, and
innovative and successful programs to improve care and services
for veterans who reside in rural areas of the United States.
``(3) To designate in each Veterans Integrated Service
Network (VISN) an individual who shall consult on and coordinate
the discharge in such Network of programs and activities of the
Office for veterans who reside in rural areas of the United
States.
``(4) To perform such other functions and duties as the
Secretary or the Under Secretary for Health considers
appropriate.''.

[[Page 3422]]
120 STAT. 3422

(2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the
beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item
relating to section 7307 the following new item:

``7308. Office of Rural Health.''.

(b) Assessment of Fee-Basis Health-Care Program.--The Director of
the Office of Rural Health shall conduct an assessment of the effects of
the implementation of the fee-basis health-care program of the Veterans
Health Administration on the delivery of health-care services to
veterans who reside in rural areas of the United States. The assessment
shall be conducted in consultation with the individuals designated under
subsection (c)(3) of section 7308 of title 38, United States Code, as
added by subsection (a). In conducting the assessment, the Director
shall--
(1) identify various mechanisms for expanding the program in
order to enhance and improve health-care services for such
veterans and determine the feasibility and advisability of
implementing such mechanisms; and
(2) for each mechanism determined under paragraph (1) to be
feasible and advisable to implement, make recommendations to the
Under Secretary for Health on the implementation of such
mechanism.

(c) Plan To Improve Access and Quality of Care.--
NOTE: Deadline.  Not later than September 30, 2007, the Director of
the Office of Rural Health shall develop a plan to improve the access
and quality of care for enrolled veterans in rural areas. The plan shall
include--
(1) measures for meeting the long term care needs of rural
veterans; and
(2) measures for meeting the mental health needs of veterans
residing in rural areas.

(d) Report on Community-Based Outpatient Clinics and Access Points
Identified in CARES May 2004 Decision Document.-- Not later than March
30, 2007, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to the
Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on
Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a report that--
(1) identifies each of the community-based outpatient
clinics and access points identified in the May 2004 Decision
Document of Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services
(CARES) that have been opened; and
(2) identifies each of the clinics and access points
identified in such report that would be opened in fiscal year
2007 or 2008 if funding were available for such purpose.

SEC. 213.  NOTE: 38 USC 6303 note.  OUTREACH PROGRAM TO VETERANS IN
RURAL AREAS.

(a) Program.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall conduct an
extensive outreach program to identify and provide information to
veterans who served in the theater of operations for Operation Iraqi
Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom and who reside in rural
communities in order to enroll those veterans in the health-care system
of the Department of Veterans Affairs during the period when they are
eligible for such enrollment.
(b) Features of Program.--In carrying out the program under
subsection (a), the Secretary shall seek to work at the local level with
employers, State agencies, community health centers located in rural
areas, rural health clinics, and critical access hospitals located in
rural areas, and units of the National Guard and other

[[Page 3423]]
120 STAT. 3423

reserve components based in rural areas, in order to increase the
awareness of veterans and their families of the availability of health
care provided by the Secretary and the means by which those veterans can
achieve access to the health-care services provided by the Department of
Veterans Affairs.

SEC. 214.  NOTE: 38 USC 1710B note.  PILOT PROGRAM ON IMPROVEMENT OF
CAREGIVER ASSISTANCE SERVICES.

(a) In General.--  NOTE: Deadline.  Commencing not later than 120
days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of
Veterans Affairs shall carry out a pilot program to assess the
feasibility and advisability of various mechanisms to expand and improve
caregiver assistance services.

(b) Duration of Pilot Program.--The pilot program required by
subsection (a) shall be carried out during the two-year period beginning
on the date of the commencement of the pilot program.
(c) Caregiver Assistance Services.--For purposes of this section,
the term ``caregiver assistance services'' means services of the
Department of Veterans Affairs that assist caregivers of veterans. Such
services including the following:
(1) Adult-day health care services.
(2) Coordination of services needed by veterans, including
services for readjustment and rehabilitation.
(3) Transportation services.
(4) Caregiver support services, including education,
training, and certification of family members in caregiver
activities.
(5) Home care services.
(6) Respite care.
(7) Hospice services.
(8) Any modalities of non-institutional long-term care.

(d) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be
appropriated to the Department of Veterans Affairs $5,000,000 for each
of fiscal years 2007 and 2008 to carry out the pilot program authorized
by this section.
(e) Allocation of Funds to Facilities.--The Secretary shall allocate
funds appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations in
subsection (d) to individual medical facilities of the Department in
such amounts as the Secretary determines appropriate, based upon
proposals submitted by such facilities for the use of such funds for
improvements to the support of the provision of caregiver assistance
services. Special consideration should be given to rural facilities,
including those without a long-term care facility of the Department.
(f) Report.--Not later than one year after the date of the enactment
of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Veterans'
Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the
House of Representatives a report on the implementation of this section.
The report shall include--
(1) a description and assessment of the activities carried
out under the pilot program;
(2) information on the allocation of funds to facilities of
the Department under subsection (e); and
(3) a description of the improvements made with funds so
allocated to the support of the provision of caregiver
assistance services.

[[Page 3424]]
120 STAT. 3424

SEC. 215.  NOTE: 38 USC 1712A note.  EXPANSION OF OUTREACH ACTIVITIES
OF VET CENTERS.

(a) Additional Outreach Workers.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs
shall employ not fewer than 100 veterans 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 center for the provision of
readjustment counseling and related mental health services under section
1712A of title 38, United States Code, 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 veterans employed under such program or under this
section.
(e) Employment Status.--Veterans 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).

SEC. 216. CLARIFICATION AND ENHANCEMENT OF BEREAVEMENT COUNSELING.

(a) Clarification of Members of Immediate Family Eligible for
Counseling.--Subsection (b) of section 1783  NOTE: 38 USC 1783.  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.''.

SEC. 217. FUNDING FOR VET CENTER PROGRAM.

There are 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.

[[Page 3425]]
120 STAT. 3425

TITLE III--EDUCATION MATTERS

SEC. 301. EXPANSION OF ELIGIBILITY FOR SURVIVORS' AND DEPENDENTS'
EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

(a) Expansion of Eligibility.--Section 3501(a)(1)  NOTE: 38 USC
3501.  is amended--
(1) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking
``means--'' and inserting ``means any of the following:'';
(2) in each of subparagraphs (A) through (D), by
capitalizing the first letter of the first word;
(3) in subparagraph (A)--
(A) by inserting after ``a person who'' the
following: ``, as a result of qualifying service'';
(B) by striking the comma at the end of clause (i)
and inserting ``; or'';
(C) by striking ``, or'' at the end of clause (ii)
and inserting a period; and
(D) by striking clause (iii);
(4) in subparagraph (B) by striking the comma at the end and
inserting the following: ``sustained during a period of
qualifying service.'';
(5) in subparagraph (C)--
(A) by inserting ``or child'' after ``the spouse'';
and
(B) by striking ``, or'' at the end and inserting a
period;
(6) in subparagraph (D)--
(A) in clause (i), by inserting before the comma the
following: ``sustained during a period of qualifying
service''; and
(B) by striking the comma at the end and inserting a
period;
(7) by inserting after subparagraph (D) the following new
subparagraph:
``(E) The spouse or child of a person who--
``(i) at the time of the Secretary's
determination under clause (ii), is a member of
the Armed Forces who is hospitalized or receiving
outpatient medical care, services, or treatment;
``(ii) the Secretary determines has a total
disability permanent in nature incurred or
aggravated in the line of duty in the active
military, naval, or air service; and
``(iii) is likely to be discharged or released
from such service for such disability.''; and
(8) by striking ``arising out of'' and all that follows
through the end.

(b) Conforming Amendments to Chapter 35.--Chapter 35 is amended as
follows:
(1) Section 3501(a) is amended by adding at the end the
following new paragraph:
``(12) The term `qualifying service' means service in the
active military, naval, or air service after the beginning of
the Spanish-American War that did not terminate under
dishonorable conditions.''.
(2) Section 3511 is amended--
(A) in subsection (a)(1)--

[[Page 3426]]
120 STAT. 3426

(i) by striking ``Each eligible person'' and
inserting the following: ``Each eligible person,
whether made eligible by one or more of the
provisions of section 3501(a)(1) of this title,'';
(ii) by striking ``a period'' and inserting
``an aggregate period''; and
(iii) by striking the second sentence;
(B) in subsection (b)--
(i) in paragraph (2)--
(I) by striking ``the provisions of
section 3501(a)(1)(A)(iii) or'' and
inserting ``section''; and
(II) by striking ``or'' at the end;
(ii) in paragraph (3)--
(I) by striking ``section
3501(a)(1)(D)'' and inserting
``subparagraph (D) or (E) of section
3501(a)(1)''; and
(II) by inserting ``or'' after the
comma at the end; and
(iii) by inserting after paragraph (3) the
following new paragraph:
``(4) the parent or spouse from whom such eligibility is
derived based upon subparagraph (E) of section 3501(a)(1) of
this title no longer meets a requirement under clause (i), (ii),
or (iii) of that subparagraph,''; and
(C) by striking subsection (c).
(3) Section 3512  NOTE: 38 USC 3512.  is amended--
(A) in subsection (a)--
(i) by striking ``an eligible person (within
the meaning of section 3501(a)(1)(A) of this
title)'' and inserting ``an eligible person whose
eligibility is based on the death or disability of
a parent or on a parent being listed in one of the
categories referred to in section 3501(a)(1)(C) of
this title''; and
(ii) in paragraph (6), by striking ``the
provisions of section 3501(a)(1)(A)(iii)'' and
inserting ``a parent being listed in one of the
categories referred to in section 3501(a)(1)(C)'';
(B) in subsection (b)--
(i) in paragraph (1)(A)--
(I) by inserting after ``section
3501(a)(1) of this title'' the
following: ``or a person made eligible
by the disability of a spouse under
section 3501(a)(1)(E) of this title'';
and
(II) by striking ``or
3501(a)(1)(D)(ii) of this title'' and
inserting ``3501(a)(1)(D)(ii), or
3501(a)(1)(E) of this title'';
(ii) in paragraph (1)(B), by adding at the end
the following new clause:
``(iii)  NOTE: Notification.  The date on which the
Secretary notifies the member of the Armed Forces from whom
eligibility is derived that the member has a total disability
permanent in nature incurred or aggravated in the line of duty
in the active military, naval, or air service.''; and
(iii) in paragraph (2)--
(I) by striking ``or (D) of this
title'' and inserting ``(D), or (E) of
this title''; and

[[Page 3427]]
120 STAT. 3427

(II) by inserting ``whose
eligibility is based on the death or
disability of a spouse or on a spouse
being listed in one of the categories
referred to in section 3501(a)(1)(C) of
this title'' after ``of this title)'';
(C) in subsection (d), by striking ``veteran'' and
inserting ``person''; and
(D) in subsection (e)--
(i) by inserting ``based on a spouse being
listed in one of the categories referred to in
section 3501(a)(1)(C) of this title'' after ``of
this title'';
(ii) by inserting ``so'' after ``the spouse
was''; and
(iii) by striking ``by the Secretary'' and all
that follows through ``occurs''.
(4) Section 3540  NOTE: 38 USC 3540.  is amended by
striking ``(as defined in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (D) of
section 3501(a)(1) of this title)'' and inserting ``(other than
a person made eligible under subparagraph (C) of such section by
reason of a spouse being listed in one of the categories
referred to in that subparagraph)''.
(5) Section 3563 is amended by striking ``each eligible
person defined in section 3501(a)(1)(A) of this title'' and
inserting ``each eligible person whose eligibility is based on
the death or disability of a parent or on a parent being listed
in one of the categories referred to in section 3501(a)(1)(C) of
this title''.

(c) Other Conforming Amendments.--Such title is further amended as
follows:
(1) Section 3686(a)(1) is amended by striking ``or (D)'' and
inserting ``(D), or (E)''.
(2) Section 5113(b)(3) is amended--
(A) in subparagraph (B) by striking ``section
3501(a)(1)'' and all that follows through the end and
inserting the following: ``subparagraphs (A), (B), (D),
and (E) of section 3501(a)(1) of this title.''; and
(B) in subparagraph (C)--
(i) by striking ``such veteran's death'' and
inserting ``the death of the person from whom such
eligibility is derived''; and
(ii) by striking ``such veteran's service-
connected total disability permanent in nature''
and inserting ``the service-connected total
disability permanent in nature (or, in the case of
a person made eligible under section
3501(a)(1)(E), the total disability permanent in
nature incurred or aggravated in the line of duty
in the active military, naval, or air service) of
the person from whom such eligibility is
derived''.

(d)  NOTE: 38 USC 3501 note.  Effective Date.--The amendments made
by this section shall apply with respect to a payment of educational
assistance for a course of education pursued after the date of the
enactment of this Act.

[[Page 3428]]
120 STAT. 3428

SEC. 302. RESTORATION OF LOST ENTITLEMENT FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO
DISCONTINUE A PROGRAM OF EDUCATION BECAUSE OF BEING ORDERED
TO FULL-TIME NATIONAL GUARD DUTY.

(a) Restoration of Entitlement.--Section 3511(a)(2)(B)(i)  NOTE: 38
USC 3511.  is amended by inserting after ``title 10'' the following:
``or of being involuntarily ordered to full-time National Guard duty
under section 502(f) of title 32''.

(b)  NOTE: 38 USC 3511 note.  Effective Date.--The amendment made
by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to a payment of educational
assistance allowance made after September 11, 2001.

SEC. 303. EXCEPTION FOR INSTITUTIONS OFFERING GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED
NONACCREDITED COURSES TO REQUIREMENT OF REFUNDING UNUSED
TUITION.

Section 3676(c)(13) is amended by striking ``prior to completion''
and all that follows and inserting the following: ``before completion
and--
``(A) in the case of an institution (other than (i)
a Federal, State, or local Government institution or
(ii) an institution described in subparagraph (B)), such
policy provides that the amount charged to the eligible
person for tuition, fees, and other charges for a
portion of the course shall not exceed the approximate
pro rata portion of the total charges for tuition, fees,
and other charges that the length of the completed
portion of the course bears to its total length; or
``(B) in the case of an institution that is a
nonaccredited public educational institution, the
institution has and maintains a refund policy regarding
the unused portion of tuition, fees, and other charges
that is substantially the same as the refund policy
followed by accredited public educational institutions
located within the same State as such institution.''.

SEC. 304. EXTENSION OF WORK-STUDY ALLOWANCE.

Section 3485(a)(4) is amended by striking ``December 27, 2006'' each
place it appears and inserting ``June 30, 2007''.

SEC. 305. DEADLINE AND EXTENSION OF REQUIREMENT FOR REPORT ON
EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

(a) Deadline.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of
Veterans Affairs shall each submit to Congress a report containing the
information specified in subsections (b) and (c) of section 3036 of
title 38, United States Code.
(b) Extension of Requirement.--Subsection (d) of section 3036 of
title 38, United States Code, is amended by striking ``January 1, 2005''
and inserting ``January 1, 2011''.

SEC. 306. REPORT ON IMPROVEMENT IN ADMINISTRATION OF EDUCATIONAL
ASSISTANCE BENEFITS.

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act,
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to Congress a report on
the administration of education benefits, including benefits under
chapters 30, 31, 32, 34, 35, and 36 of title 38, United States Code, and
chapters 1606 and 1607 of title 10, United

[[Page 3429]]
120 STAT. 3429

States Code. Such report shall propose methods to streamline the
processes and procedures of administering such benefits.

SEC. 307. TECHNICAL AMENDMENTS RELATING TO EDUCATION LAWS.

Section 3485  NOTE: 38 USC 3485.  is amended--
(1) in subsection (a)(4)(E), by inserting ``or 1607'' after
``chapter 1606'';
(2) in subsection (b), by striking ``chapter 106'' and
inserting ``chapter 1606 or 1607''; and
(3) in subsection (e)(1)--
(A) by striking ``services of the kind described in
clauses (A) through (E) of subsection (a)(1) of this
section'' and inserting ``a qualifying work-study
activity described in subsection (a)(4)''; and
(B) by striking ``chapter 106'' and inserting
``chapter 1606 or 1607''.

TITLE IV--NATIONAL CEMETERY AND MEMORIAL AFFAIRS MATTERS

SEC. 401. PROVISION OF GOVERNMENT MEMORIAL HEADSTONES OR MARKERS AND
MEMORIAL INSCRIPTIONS FOR DECEASED DEPENDENT CHILDREN OF
VETERANS WHOSE REMAINS ARE UNAVAILABLE FOR BURIAL.

(a) Provision of Memorial Headstones or Markers.--Subsection (b) of
section 2306 is amended--
(1) in paragraph (2), by adding at the end the following new
subparagraph:
``(C) An eligible dependent child of a veteran.''; and
(2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

``(5) For purposes of this section, the term `eligible dependent
child' means a child--
``(A) who is under 21 years of age, or under 23 years of age
if pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational
institution; or
``(B) who is unmarried and became permanently physically or
mentally disabled and incapable of self-support before reaching
21 years of age, or before reaching 23 years of age if pursuing
a course of instruction at an approved educational
institution.''.

(b) Addition of Memorial Inscription to Headstone or Marker of
Veteran.--Subsection (f) of such section is amended by inserting ``or
eligible dependent child'' after ``surviving spouse'' both places it
appears.
(c)  NOTE: 38 USC 2306 note.  Effective Date.--The amendments made
by subsections (a) and (b) shall apply with respect to individuals dying
after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 402. PROVISION OF GOVERNMENT MARKERS FOR MARKED GRAVES OF VETERANS
AT PRIVATE CEMETERIES.

(a) Extension of Authority.--Paragraph (3) of subsection (d) of
section 2306 is amended by striking ``December 31, 2006'' and inserting
``December 31, 2007''.
(b) Provision of Headstone or Marker.--
(1) In general.--Such subsection is further amended--
(A) in paragraph (1)--

[[Page 3430]]
120 STAT. 3430

(i) in the first sentence, by striking
``Government marker'' and inserting ``Government
headstone or marker''; and
(ii) in the second sentence, by inserting
``headstone or'' before ``marker'' each place it
appears; and
(B) in paragraph (2), by inserting ``headstone or''
before ``marker''.
(2) Conforming amendment.--Subsection (g)(3) of such section
is amended by inserting ``headstone or'' before ``marker''.

(c) Placement of Headstone or Marker.--The second sentence of
subsection (d)(1) of such section, as amended by subsection
(b)(1)(A)(ii), is further amended by inserting before the period the
following: ``, or, if placement on the grave is impossible or
impracticable, as close as possible to the grave within the grounds of
the cemetery in which the grave is located''.
(d) Delivery of Headstone or Marker.--Subsection (d)(2) of such
section, as amended by subsection (b)(1)(B), is further amended by
inserting before the period the following: ``or to a receiving agent for
delivery to the cemetery''.
(e) Repeal of Obsolete Report Requirement.--Subsection (d) of such
section is further amended by striking paragraph (4).
(f) Scope of Headstones and Markers Furnished.--Subsection (d) of
such section is further amended by inserting after paragraph (3) the
following new paragraph (4):
``(4) The headstone or marker furnished under this subsection shall
be the headstone or marker selected by the individual making the request
from among all the headstones and markers made available by the
Government for selection.''.

SEC. 403. ELIGIBILITY OF INDIAN TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS FOR GRANTS FOR THE
ESTABLISHMENT OF VETERANS CEMETERIES ON TRUST LANDS.

Section 2408  NOTE: 38 USC 2408.  is amended by adding at the end
the following new subsection:

``(f)(1) The Secretary may make grants under this subsection to any
tribal organization to assist the tribal organization in establishing,
expanding, or improving veterans' cemeteries on trust land owned by, or
held in trust for, the tribal organization.
``(2) Grants under this subsection shall be made in the same manner,
and under the same conditions, as grants to States are made under the
preceding provisions of this section.
``(3) For purposes of this subsection:
``(A) The term `tribal organization' has the meaning given
that term in section 3765(4) of this title.
``(B) The term `trust land' has the meaning given that term
in section 3765(1) of this title.''.

SEC. 404. REMOVAL OF REMAINS OF RUSSELL WAYNE WAGNER FROM ARLINGTON
NATIONAL CEMETERY.

(a) Removal of Remains.--The Secretary of the Army shall remove the
remains of Russell Wayne Wagner from Arlington National Cemetery.
(b) Notification of Next-of-Kin.--The Secretary of the Army shall--
(1) notify the next-of-kin of record for Russell Wayne
Wagner of the impending removal of his remains; and
(2) upon removal, relinquish the remains to the next-of-kin
of record for Russell Wayne Wagner or, if the next-of-

[[Page 3431]]
120 STAT. 3431

kin of record for Russell Wayne Wagner is unavailable, arrange
for an appropriate disposition of the remains.

TITLE V--HOUSING AND SMALL BUSINESS MATTERS

SEC. 501. RESIDENTIAL COOPERATIVE HOUSING UNITS.

(a) Housing Benefits for Cooperative Housing Units.--Subsection (a)
of section 3710  NOTE: 38 USC 3710.  is amended by inserting after
paragraph (11) the following new paragraph:
``(12) With respect to a loan guaranteed after the date of
the enactment of this paragraph and before the date that is five
years after that date, to purchase stock or membership in a
cooperative housing corporation for the purpose of entitling the
veteran to occupy for dwelling purposes a single family
residential unit in a development, project, or structure owned
or leased by such corporation, in accordance with subsection
(h).''.

(b) Conditions of Housing Benefits for Cooperative Housing Units.--
Such section is further amended by adding at the end the following new
subsection:
``(h)(1) A loan may not be guaranteed under subsection (a)(12)
unless--
``(A) the development, project, or structure of the
cooperative housing corporation complies with such criteria as
the Secretary prescribes in regulations; and
``(B) the dwelling unit that the purchase of stock or
membership in the development, project, or structure of the
cooperative housing corporation entitles the purchaser to occupy
is a single family residential unit.

``(2) In this subsection, the term `cooperative housing corporation'
has the meaning given such term in section 216(b)(1) of the Internal
Revenue Code of 1986.
``(3) When applying the term `value of the property' to a loan
guaranteed under subsection (a)(12), such term means the appraised value
of the stock or membership entitling the purchaser to the permanent
occupancy of the dwelling unit in the development, project, or structure
of the cooperative housing corporation.''.

SEC. 502. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS GOALS FOR PARTICIPATION BY
SMALL BUSINESSES OWNED AND CONTROLLED BY VETERANS IN
PROCUREMENT CONTRACTS.

(a) Goals.--
(1) In general.--Subchapter II of chapter 81 is amended by
adding at the end the following new section:

``Sec. 8127. Small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans:
contracting goals and preferences

``(a) Contracting Goals.--(1) In order to increase contracting
opportunities for small business concerns owned and controlled by
veterans and small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans
with service-connected disabilities, the Secretary shall--
``(A) establish a goal for each fiscal year for
participation in Department contracts (including subcontracts)
by small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans who
are not

[[Page 3432]]
120 STAT. 3432

veterans with service-connected disabilities in accordance with
paragraph (2); and
``(B) establish a goal for each fiscal year for
participation in Department contracts (including subcontracts)
by small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans with
service-connected disabilities in accordance with paragraph (3).

``(2) The goal for a fiscal year for participation under paragraph
(1)(A) shall be determined by the Secretary.
``(3) The goal for a fiscal year for participation under paragraph
(1)(B) shall be not less than the Government-wide goal for that fiscal
year for participation by small business concerns owned and controlled
by veterans with service-connected disabilities under section 15(g)(1)
of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 644(g)(1)).
``(4)  NOTE: Review.  The Secretary shall establish a review
mechanism to ensure that, in the case of a subcontract of a Department
contract that is counted for purposes of meeting a goal established
pursuant to this section, the subcontract was actually awarded to a
business concern that may be counted for purposes of meeting that goal.

``(b) Use of Noncompetitive Procedures for Certain Small
Contracts.--For purposes of meeting the goals under subsection (a), and
in accordance with this section, in entering into a contract with a
small business concern owned and controlled by veterans for an amount
less than the simplified acquisition threshold (as defined in section 4
of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 403)), a
contracting officer of the Department may use procedures other than
competitive procedures.
``(c) Sole Source Contracts for Contracts Above Simplified
Acquisition Threshold.--For purposes of meeting the goals under
subsection (a), and in accordance with this section, a contracting
officer of the Department may award a contract to a small business
concern owned and controlled by veterans using procedures other than
competitive procedures if--
``(1) such concern is determined to be a responsible source
with respect to performance of such contract opportunity;
``(2) the anticipated award price of the contract (including
options) will exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (as
defined in section 4 of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy
Act (41 U.S.C. 403)) but will not exceed $5,000,000; and
``(3) in the estimation of the contracting officer, the
contract award can be made at a fair and reasonable price that
offers best value to the United States.

``(d) Use of Restricted Competition.--Except as provided in
subsections (b) and (c), for purposes of meeting the goals under
subsection (a), and in accordance with this section, a contracting
officer of the Department shall award contracts on the basis of
competition restricted to small business concerns owned and controlled
by veterans if the contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that
two or more small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans
will submit offers and that the award can be made at a fair and
reasonable price that offers best value to the United States.
``(e) Eligibility of Small Business Concerns.--A small business
concern may be awarded a contract under this section only if the small
business concern and the veteran owner of the small business concern are
listed in the database of veteran-owned businesses maintained by the
Secretary under subsection (f).

[[Page 3433]]
120 STAT. 3433

``(f) Database of Veteran-Owned Businesses.--(1) Subject to
paragraphs (2) through (6), the Secretary shall maintain a database of
small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans and the veteran
owners of such business concerns.
``(2) To be eligible for inclusion in the database, such a veteran
shall submit to the Secretary such information as the Secretary may
require with respect to the small business concern or the veteran.
``(3) Information maintained in the database shall be submitted on a
voluntary basis by such veterans.
``(4) In maintaining the database, the Secretary shall carry out at
least the following two verification functions:
``(A) Verification that each small business concern listed
in the database is owned and controlled by veterans.
``(B) In the case of a veteran who indicates a service-
connected disability, verification of the service-disabled
status of such veteran.

``(5)  NOTE: Notification.  The Secretary shall make the database
available to all Federal departments and agencies and shall notify each
such department and agency of the availability of the database.

``(6) If the Secretary determines that the public dissemination of
certain types of information maintained in the database is
inappropriate, the Secretary shall take such steps as are necessary to
maintain such types of information in a secure and confidential manner.
``(g) Enforcement Penalties for Misrepresentation.--Any business
concern that is determined by the Secretary to have misrepresented the
status of that concern as a small business concern owned and controlled
by veterans or as a small business concern owned and controlled by
service-disabled veterans for purposes of this subsection shall be
debarred from contracting with the Department for a reasonable period of
time, as determined by the Secretary.
``(h) Treatment of Businesses After Death of Veteran-Owner.--(1)
Subject to paragraph (3), if the death of a veteran causes a small
business concern to be less than 51 percent owned by one or more
veterans, the surviving spouse of such veteran who acquires ownership
rights in such small business concern shall, for the period described in
paragraph (2), be treated as if the surviving spouse were that veteran
for the purpose of maintaining the status of the small business concern
as a small business concern owned and controlled by veterans.
``(2) The period referred to in paragraph (1) is the period
beginning on the date on which the veteran dies and ending on the
earliest of the following dates:
``(A) The date on which the surviving spouse remarries.
``(B) The date on which the surviving spouse relinquishes an
ownership interest in the small business concern.
``(C) The date that is ten years after the date of the
veteran's death.

``(3) Paragraph (1) only applies to a surviving spouse of a veteran
with a service-connected disability rated as 100 percent disabling or
who dies as a result of a service-connected disability.
``(i)  NOTE: Applicability.  Priority for Contracting
Preferences.--Preferences for awarding contracts to small business
concerns shall be applied in the following order of priority:

[[Page 3434]]
120 STAT. 3434

``(1) Contracts awarded pursuant to subsection (b), (c), or
(d) to small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans
with service-connected disabilities.
``(2) Contracts awarded pursuant to subsection (b), (c), or
(d) to small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans
that are not covered by paragraph (1).
``(3) Contracts awarded pursuant to--
``(A) section 8(a) of the Small Business Act (15
U.S.C. 637(a)); or
``(B) section 31 of such Act (15 U.S.C. 657a).
``(4) Contracts awarded pursuant to any other small business
contracting preference.

``(j) Annual Reports.--Not later than December 31 each year, the
Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on small business
contracting during the fiscal year ending in such year. Each report
shall include, for the fiscal year covered by such report, the
following:
``(1) The percentage of the total amount of all contracts
awarded by the Department during that fiscal year that were
awarded to small business concerns owned and controlled by
veterans.
``(2) The percentage of the total amount of all such
contracts awarded to small business concerns owned and
controlled by veterans with service-connected disabilities.
``(3) The percentage of the total amount of all contracts
awarded by each Administration of the Department during that
fiscal year that were awarded to small business concerns owned
and controlled by veterans.
``(4) The percentage of the total amount of all contracts
awarded by each such Administration during that fiscal year that
were awarded to small business concerns owned and controlled by
veterans with service-connected disabilities.

``(k) Definitions.--In this section:
``(1) The term `small business concern' has the meaning
given that term under section 3 of the Small Business Act (15
U.S.C. 632).
``(2) The term `small business concern owned and controlled
by veterans' means a small business concern--
``(A)(i) not less than 51 percent of which is owned
by one or more veterans or, in the case of a publicly
owned business, not less than 51 percent of the stock of
which is owned by one or more veterans; and
``(ii) the management and daily business operations
of which are controlled by one or more veterans; or
``(B) not less than 51 percent of which is owned by
one or more veterans with service-connected disabilities
that are permanent and total who are unable to manage
the daily business operations of such concern or, in the
case of a publicly owned business, not less than 51
percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more
such veterans.''.

[[Page 3435]]
120 STAT. 3435

(2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the
beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item
relating to section 8126 the following new item:

``8127. Small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans:
contracting goals and preferences.''.

(b)  NOTE: 38 USC 8127 note.  Transition Rule.--A small business
concern that is listed in any small business database maintained by the
Secretary of Veterans Affairs on the date of the enactment of this Act
shall be presumed to be eligible for inclusion in the database under
subsection (f) of section 8127 of title 38, United States Code, as added
by subsection (a), during the period beginning on the effective date of
that section and ending one year after such effective date. Such a small
business concern may be removed from the database during that period if
it is found not to be a small business concern owned and controlled by
veterans (as defined in subsection (k) of such section).

(c) Comptroller General Study and Report.--
(1) Study required.--During the first three fiscal years for
which this section is in effect, the Comptroller General shall
conduct a study on the efforts made by the Secretary of Veterans
Affairs to meet the contracting goals established pursuant to
section 8127 of title 38, United States Code, as added by
subsection (a).
(2) Information to congress on study.--On or before January
31 of each year during which the Comptroller General conducts
the study under paragraph (1), the Comptroller General shall
brief Congress on such study, placing special emphasis on any
structural or organizational issues within the Department of
Veterans Affairs that might act as an impediment to reaching
such contracting goals.
(3) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the end of the
three-year period during which the Comptroller General conducts
the study under paragraph (1), the Comptroller General shall
submit to Congress a report on the findings of such study.

(d)  NOTE: 38 USC 8127 note.  Effective Date.--This section and
the amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date that
is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 503. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS CONTRACTING PRIORITY FOR
VETERAN-OWNED SMALL BUSINESSES.

(a) Priority for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses.--
(1) In general.--Subchapter II of chapter 81, as amended by
section 502 of this Act, is further amended by adding at the end
the following new section:

``Sec. 8128. Small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans:
contracting priority

``(a) Contracting Priority.--In procuring goods and services
pursuant to a contracting preference under this title or any other
provision of law, the Secretary shall give priority to a small business
concern owned and controlled by veterans, if such business concern also
meets the requirements of that contracting preference.
``(b) Definition.--For purposes of this section, the term `small
business concern owned and controlled by veterans' means a small

[[Page 3436]]
120 STAT. 3436

business concern that is included in the small business database
maintained by the Secretary under section 8127(f) of this title.''.
(2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the
beginning of such chapter, as so amended, is further amended by
inserting after the item relating to section 8127 the following
new item:

``8128. Small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans:
contracting priority.''.

(b)  NOTE: 38 USC 8128 note.  Effective Date.--This section and
the amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date that
is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

TITLE VI--EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING MATTERS

SEC. 601. TRAINING OF NEW DISABLED VETERANS' OUTREACH PROGRAM
SPECIALISTS AND LOCAL VETERANS' EMPLOYMENT REPRESENTATIVES
BY NVTI REQUIRED.

(a) Training Required.--Section 4102A(c)  NOTE: 38 USC 4102A.  is
amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

``(8)(A) As a condition of a grant or contract under which funds are
made available to a State in order to carry out section 4103A or 4104 of
this title, the Secretary shall require the State to require each
employee hired by the State who is assigned to perform the duties of a
disabled veterans' outreach program specialist or a local veterans'
employment representative under this chapter to satisfactorily complete
training provided by the National Veterans' Employment and Training
Services Institute during the three-year period that begins on the date
on which the employee is so assigned.
``(B) For any employee described in subparagraph (A) who does not
complete such training during such period, the Secretary may reduce by
an appropriate amount the amount made available to the State employing
that employee.
``(C) The Secretary may establish such reasonable exceptions to the
completion of training otherwise required under subparagraph (A) as the
Secretary considers appropriate.''.
(b) Submission of Employee Training Information Required.--Section
4102A(c)(2)(A) is amended--
(1) by redesignating clause (iii) as clause (iv); and
(2) by inserting after clause (ii) the following new clause
(iii):
``(iii) For each employee of the State who is assigned to
perform the duties of a disabled veterans' outreach program
specialist or a local veterans' employment representative under
this chapter--
``(I) the date on which the employee is so assigned;
and
``(II) whether the employee has satisfactorily
completed such training by the National Veterans'
Employment and Training Services Institute as the
Secretary requires for purposes of paragraph (8).''.

(c)  NOTE: 38 USC 4102A note.  Applicability.--Paragraph (8) of
section 4102A(c) of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection
(a), and clause (iii) of section 4102A(c)(2)(A) of such title, as added
by subsection

[[Page 3437]]
120 STAT. 3437

(b), shall apply with respect to a State employee assigned to perform
the duties of a disabled veterans' outreach program specialist or a
local veterans' employment representative under chapter 41 of such title
who is so assigned on or after January 1, 2006.

SEC. 602. RULES FOR PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT FOR DISABLED VETERANS' OUTREACH
PROGRAM SPECIALISTS AND LOCAL VETERANS' EMPLOYMENT
REPRESENTATIVES.

(a) Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program Specialists.--Section
4103A  NOTE: 38 USC 4103A.  is amended by adding at the end the
following new subsection:

``(c) Part-Time Employees.--A part-time disabled veterans' outreach
program specialist shall perform the functions of a disabled veterans'
outreach program specialist under this section on a half-time basis.''.
(b) Local Veterans' Employment Representatives.--Section 4104 is
amended--
(1) by redesignating subsection (d) as subsection (e); and
(2) by inserting after subsection (c) the following new
subsection (d):

``(d) Part-Time Employees.--A part-time local veterans' employment
representative shall perform the functions of a local veterans'
employment representative under this section on a half-time basis.''.
(c)  NOTE: 38 USC 4103A note.  Effective Date.--Section 4103A(c)
of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), and section
4104(d) of such title, as amended by subsection (b), shall apply with
respect to pay periods beginning after the date that is 180 days after
the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 603. PERFORMANCE INCENTIVE AWARDS FOR EMPLOYMENT SERVICE OFFICES.

(a) Provision of Incentives to Employment Service Offices.--Section
4112 is amended--
(1) in subsection (a)(1)(B), by inserting ``and employment
service offices'' after ``recognize eligible employees''; and
(2) in subsection (c)--
(A) in paragraph (1), by striking ``and'' at the
end;
(B) in paragraph (2)--
(i) by striking ``is'' and inserting ``in the
case of such an award made to an eligible
employee, shall be''; and
(ii) by striking the period at the end and
inserting the following: ``; and''; and
(C) by adding at the end the following new
paragraph:
``(3) in the case of such an award made to an employment
service office, may be used by that employment service office
for any purpose.''.

(b) Conforming Amendment.--The heading for subsection (c) of such
section is amended to read as follows: ``Administration and Use of
Awards.--''.

SEC. 604. DEMONSTRATION PROJECT ON CREDENTIALING AND LICENSURE OF
VETERANS.

(a) Establishment of Demonstration Project.--
(1) In general.--Chapter 41 is amended by adding at the end
the following new section:

[[Page 3438]]
120 STAT. 3438

``Sec. 4114. Credentialing and licensure of veterans: demonstration
project

``(a) Demonstration Project Authorized.--The Assistant Secretary for
Veterans' Employment and Training may carry out a demonstration project
on credentialing in accordance with this section for the purpose of
facilitating the seamless transition of members of the Armed Forces from
service on active duty to civilian employment.
``(b) Identification of Military Occupational Specialties and
Associated Credentials and Licenses.--(1) The Assistant Secretary shall
select not less than 10 military occupational specialties for purposes
of the demonstration project. Each specialty so selected by the
Assistant Secretary shall require a skill or set of skills that is
required for civilian employment in an industry with high growth or high
worker demand.
``(2) The Assistant Secretary shall consult with appropriate
Federal, State, and industry officials to identify requirements for
credentials, certifications, and licenses that require a skill or set of
skills required by a military occupational specialty selected under
paragraph (1).
``(3) The Assistant Secretary shall analyze the requirements
identified under paragraph (2) to determine which requirements may be
satisfied by the skills, training, or experience acquired by members of
the Armed Forces with the military occupational specialties selected
under paragraph (1).
``(c) Elimination of Barriers to Credentialing and Licensure.--The
Assistant Secretary shall cooperate with appropriate Federal, State, and
industry officials to reduce or eliminate any barriers to providing a
credential, certification, or license to a veteran who acquired any
skill, training, or experience while serving as a member of the Armed
Forces with a military occupational specialty selected under subsection
(b)(1) that satisfies the Federal and State requirements for the
credential, certification, or license.
``(d) Task Force.--The Assistant Secretary may establish a task
force of individuals with appropriate expertise to provide assistance to
the Assistant Secretary in carrying out this section.
``(e) Consultation.--In carrying out this section, the Assistant
Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of
Veterans Affairs, appropriate Federal and State officials, private-
sector employers, labor organizations, and industry trade associations.
``(f) Contract Authority.--For purposes of carrying out any part of
the demonstration project under this section, the Assistant Secretary
may enter into a contract with a public or private entity with
appropriate expertise.
``(g) Period of Project.--The period during which the Assistant
Secretary may carry out the demonstration project under this section
shall be the period beginning on the date that is 60 days after the date
of the enactment of the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information
Technology Act of 2006 and ending on September 30, 2009.
``(h) Funding.--The Assistant Secretary may carry out the
demonstration project under this section utilizing unobligated funds
that are appropriated in accordance with the authorization set forth in
section 4106 of this title.''.

[[Page 3439]]
120 STAT. 3439

(2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the
beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the
following new item:

``4114. Credentialing and licensure of veterans: demonstration
project.''.

(b) Membership of Advisory Committee on Veterans Employment,
Training, and Employer Outreach.--Section 4110(c)(1)(A)  NOTE: 38 USC
4110.  is amended--
(1) by striking ``Six'' and inserting ``Seven''; and
(2) by adding at the end the following new clause:
``(vii) The National Governors Association.''.

SEC. 605.  NOTE: Deadline. 38 USC 4215 note.  DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
IMPLEMENTATION OF REGULATIONS FOR PRIORITY OF SERVICE.

Not later than two years after the date of the enactment of this
Act, the Secretary of Labor shall prescribe regulations to implement
section 4215 of title 38, United States Code.

TITLE VII--HOMELESS VETERANS ASSISTANCE

SEC. 701.  NOTE: 38 USC 2001 note.  REAFFIRMATION OF NATIONAL GOAL TO
END HOMELESSNESS AMONG VETERANS.

(a) Reaffirmation.--Congress reaffirms the national goal to end
chronic homelessness among veterans within a decade of the enactment of
the Homeless Veterans Comprehensive Assistance Act of 2001 (Public Law
107-95; 115 Stat. 903).
(b) Reaffirmation of Encouragement of Cooperative Efforts.--Congress
reaffirms its encouragement, as specified in the Homeless Veterans
Comprehensive Assistance Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-95; 115 Stat. 903),
that all departments and agencies of the Federal, State, and local
governments, quasi-governmental organizations, private and public sector
entities, including community-based organizations, faith-based
organizations, and individuals, work cooperatively to end chronic
homelessness among veterans.

SEC. 702. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON THE RESPONSE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO
THE NEEDS OF HOMELESS VETERANS.

It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) homelessness is a significant problem in the veterans
community and veterans are disproportionately represented among
the homeless population;
(2) while many effective programs assist homeless veterans
to become, once again, productive and self-sufficient members of
their communities and society, all the essential services,
assistance, and support that homeless veterans require are not
currently provided;
(3) federally funded programs for homeless veterans should
be held accountable for achieving clearly defined results;
(4) Federal efforts to assist homeless veterans should
include prevention of homelessness;
(5) Federal efforts regarding homeless veterans should be
particularly vigorous where women veterans have minor children
in their care;

[[Page 3440]]
120 STAT. 3440

(6) Federal agencies, particularly the Department of
Veterans Affairs, the Department of Labor, and the Department of
Housing and Urban Development, should cooperate more fully to
address the problem of homelessness among veterans; and
(7) the programs reauthorized by this title provide
important housing and services to homeless veterans.

SEC. 703. AUTHORITY TO MAKE GRANTS FOR COMPREHENSIVE SERVICE PROGRAMS
FOR HOMELESS VETERANS.

(a) Permanent Authority.--Section 2011(a)  NOTE: 38 USC 2011.  is
amended--
(1) by striking paragraph (2); and
(2) in paragraph (1)--
(A) by striking ``(1)''; and
(B) by redesignating subparagraphs (A) through (D)
as paragraphs (1) through (4), respectively.

(b) Authorization of Appropriations.--The text of section 2013 is
amended to read as follows: ``There is authorized to be appropriated to
carry out this subchapter $130,000,000 for fiscal year 2007 and each
fiscal year thereafter.''.

SEC. 704. EXTENSION OF TREATMENT AND REHABILITATION FOR SERIOUSLY
MENTALLY ILL AND HOMELESS VETERANS.

(a) Extension of Authority for General Treatment.--Section 2031(b)
is amended by striking ``December 31, 2006'' and inserting ``December
31, 2011''.
(b) Extension of Authority for Additional Services.--Section 2033(d)
is amended by striking ``December 31, 2006'' and inserting ``December
31, 2011''.

SEC. 705. EXTENSION OF AUTHORITY FOR TRANSFER OF PROPERTIES OBTAINED
THROUGH FORECLOSURE OF HOME MORTGAGES.

Section 2041(c) is amended by striking ``December 31, 2008'' and
inserting ``December 31, 2011''.

SEC. 706. EXTENSION OF FUNDING FOR GRANT PROGRAM FOR HOMELESS VETERANS
WITH SPECIAL NEEDS.

Section 2061(c)(1) is amended--
(1) by striking ``Medical Care'' and inserting ``Medical
Services''; and
(2) by striking ``fiscal years 2003, 2004, and 2005'' and
inserting ``fiscal years 2007 through 2011''.

SEC. 707. EXTENSION OF FUNDING FOR HOMELESS VETERAN SERVICE PROVIDER
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

Subsection (b) of section 2064 is amended to read as follows:
``(b) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be
appropriated $1,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2007 through 2012 to
carry out the program under this section.''.

SEC. 708. ADDITIONAL ELEMENT IN ANNUAL REPORT ON ASSISTANCE TO HOMELESS
VETERANS.

Section 2065(b) is amended--
(1) by redesignating paragraph (5) as paragraph (6); and
(2) by inserting after paragraph (4) the following new
paragraph (5):

[[Page 3441]]
120 STAT. 3441

``(5) Information on the efforts of the Secretary to
coordinate the delivery of housing and services to homeless
veterans with other Federal departments and agencies,
including--
``(A) the Department of Defense;
``(B) the Department of Health and Human Services;
``(C) the Department of Housing and Urban
Development;
``(D) the Department of Justice;
``(E) the Department of Labor;
``(F) the Interagency Council on Homelessness;
``(G) the Social Security Administration; and
``(H) any other Federal department or agency with
which the Secretary coordinates the delivery of housing
and services to homeless veterans.''.

SEC. 709. ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON HOMELESS VETERANS.

(a) Additional Ex Officio Members.--Subsection (a)(3) of section
2066  NOTE: 38 USC 2066.  is amended by adding at the end the
following new subparagraphs:
``(E) The Executive Director of the Interagency Council on
Homelessness (or a representative of the Executive Director).
``(F) The Under Secretary for Health (or a representative of
the Under Secretary after consultation with the Director of the
Office of Homeless Veterans Programs).
``(G) The Under Secretary for Benefits (or a representative
of the Under Secretary after consultation with the Director of
the Office of Homeless Veterans Programs).''.

(b) Extension.--Subsection (d) of such section is amended by
striking ``December 31, 2006'' and inserting ``December 30, 2011''.

SEC. 710. RENTAL ASSISTANCE VOUCHERS FOR VETERANS AFFAIRS SUPPORTED
HOUSING PROGRAM.

Section (8)(o)(19)(B) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42
U.S.C. 1437f(o)(19)(B)) is amended to read as follows:
``(B) Amount.--The amount specified in this
subparagraph is--
``(i) for fiscal year 2007, the amount
necessary to provide 500 vouchers for rental
assistance under this subsection;
``(ii) for fiscal year 2008, the amount
necessary to provide 1,000 vouchers for rental
assistance under this subsection;
``(iii) for fiscal year 2009, the amount
necessary to provide 1,500 vouchers for rental
assistance under this subsection;
``(iv) for fiscal year 2010, the amount
necessary to provide 2,000 vouchers for rental
assistance under this subsection; and
``(v) for fiscal year 2011, the amount
necessary to provide 2,500 vouchers for rental
assistance under this subsection.''.

[[Page 3442]]
120 STAT. 3442

TITLE VIII--CONSTRUCTION MATTERS

Subtitle A--Construction and Lease Authorities

SEC. 801. AUTHORIZATION OF FISCAL YEAR 2006 MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY
PROJECTS.

(a) In General.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may carry out the
following major medical facility projects in fiscal year 2006, with each
project to be carried out in the amount specified for that project:
(1) Restoration, new construction or replacement of the
medical center facility for the Department of Veterans Affairs
Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, due to damage from
Hurricane Katrina in an amount not to exceed $300,000,000. The
Secretary is authorized to carry out the project in or near New
Orleans as a collaborative effort consistent with the New
Orleans Collaborative Opportunities Study Group Report dated
June 12, 2006.
(2) Restoration of the Department of Veterans Affairs
Medical Center, Biloxi, Mississippi, and consolidation of
services performed at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical
Center, Gulfport, Mississippi, in an amount not to exceed
$310,000,000.
(3) Replacement of the Department of Veterans Affairs
Medical Center, Denver, Colorado, in an amount not to exceed
$98,000,000.

(b) Report on Replacement of Department of Veterans Affairs Medical
Center, Denver, Colorado.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to
the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on
Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a report identifying
and outlining the various options available to the Department of
Veterans Affairs for replacing the current Department of Veterans
Affairs Medical Center, Denver, Colorado. The report shall include the
following:
(1) The feasibility of entering into a partnership with a
Federal, State, or local governmental agency, or a suitable non-
profit organization, for the construction and operation of a new
facility.
(2) The medical, legal, and financial implications of each
of the options identified, including recommendations regarding
any statutory changes necessary for the Department of Veterans
Affairs to carry out any of the options identified.
(3) A detailed cost-benefit analysis of each of the options
identified.
(4) Estimates regarding the length of time and associated
costs needed to complete such a facility under each of the
options identified.

[[Page 3443]]
120 STAT. 3443

SEC. 802. EXTENSION OF AUTHORIZATION FOR CERTAIN MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY
CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED IN CONNECTION
WITH CAPITAL ASSET REALIGNMENT INITIATIVE.

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may carry out the following major
medical facility projects, with each such project to be carried out in
the amount specified for that project:
(1) Construction of an outpatient clinic and regional office
at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Anchorage,
Alaska, in an amount not to exceed $75,270,000.
(2) Consolidation of clinical and administrative functions
of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cleveland,
Ohio, and the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in
Brecksville, Ohio, in an amount not to exceed $102,300,000.
(3) Construction of the Extended Care Building at the
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Des Moines, Iowa,
in an amount not to exceed $25,000,000.
(4) Renovation of patient wards at the Department of
Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, in an
amount not to exceed $9,100,000.
(5) Correction of patient privacy deficiencies at the
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Gainesville,
Florida, in an amount not to exceed $85,200,000.
(6) 7th and 8th floor wards modernization addition at the
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Indianapolis,
Indiana, in an amount not to exceed $27,400,000.
(7) Construction of a new Medical Center Facility at the
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Las Vegas,
Nevada, in an amount not to exceed $406,000,000.
(8) Construction of an ambulatory surgery/outpatient
diagnostic support center in the Gulf South Submarket of
Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 8 and completion of
Phase I land purchase, Lee County, Florida, in an amount not to
exceed $65,100,000.
(9) Seismic corrections, Buildings 7 and 126 at the
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Long Beach,
California, in an amount not to exceed $107,845,000.
(10) Seismic Corrections, Buildings 500 and 501 at the
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Los Angeles,
California, in an amount not to exceed $79,900,000.
(11) Construction of a new medical center facility in the
Orlando, Florida, area in an amount not to exceed $377,700,000.
(12) Consolidation of campuses at the University Drive and
H. John Heinz III divisions, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in an
amount not to exceed $189,205,000.
(13) Ward upgrades and expansion at the Department of
Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, in an
amount not to exceed $19,100,000.
(14) Construction of a spinal cord injury center at the
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Syracuse, New
York, in an amount not to exceed $77,700,000.
(15) Upgrade essential electrical distribution systems at
the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Tampa,
Florida, in an amount not to exceed $49,000,000.

[[Page 3444]]
120 STAT. 3444

(16) Expansion of the spinal cord injury center addition at
the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Tampa,
Florida, in an amount not to exceed $7,100,000.
(17) Blind Rehabilitation and Psychiatric Bed renovation and
new construction project at the Department of Veterans Affairs
Medical Center, Temple, Texas, in an amount not to exceed
$56,000,000.

SEC. 803. AUTHORIZATION OF FISCAL YEAR 2007 MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY
PROJECTS.

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may carry out the following major
medical facility projects in fiscal year 2007 in the amount specified
for each project:
(1) Seismic Corrections, Nursing Home Care Unit and
Dietetics at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center,
American Lake, Washington, in an amount not to exceed
$38,220,000.
(2) Replacement of Operating Suite at the Department of
Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Columbia, Missouri, in an
amount not to exceed $25,830,000.
(3) Construction of a new clinical addition at the
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Fayetteville,
Arkansas, in an amount not to exceed $56,163,000.
(4) Construction of Spinal Cord Injury Center at the
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Milwaukee,
Wisconsin, in an amount not to exceed $32,500,000.
(5) Medical facility improvements and cemetery expansion of
Jefferson Barracks at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical
Center, St. Louis, Missouri, in an amount not to exceed
$69,053,000.

SEC. 804. AUTHORIZATION OF ADVANCE PLANNING AND DESIGN FOR A MAJOR
MEDICAL FACILITY, CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA.

(a) Agreement Authorized.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may
enter into an agreement with the Medical University of South Carolina to
design, and plan for the operation of, a co-located joint-use medical
facility in Charleston, South Carolina, to replace the Ralph H. Johnson
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Charleston, South
Carolina.
(b) Cost Limitation.--Advance planning and design for a co-located,
joint-use medical facility in Charleston, South Carolina, under
subsection (a) shall be carried out in an amount not to exceed
$36,800,000.
(c) Limitation on Naming.--A joint-use medical facility referred to
in subsection (a) may not be named by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs
or any other entity after any living Member or former Member of the
Senate or House of Representatives.

SEC. 805. AUTHORIZATION OF FISCAL YEAR 2006 MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY
LEASES.

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may carry out the following major
medical facility leases in fiscal year 2006 at the locations specified,
and in an amount for each lease not to exceed the amount shown for such
location:
(1) For an outpatient clinic, Baltimore, Maryland,
$10,908,000.

[[Page 3445]]
120 STAT. 3445

(2) For an outpatient clinic, Evansville, Indiana,
$8,989,000.
(3) For an outpatient clinic, Smith County, Texas,
$5,093,000.

SEC. 806. AUTHORIZATION OF FISCAL YEAR 2007 MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY
LEASES.

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may carry out the following major
medical facility leases in fiscal year 2007 at the locations specified,
and in an amount for each lease not to exceed the amount shown for such
location:
(1) For an outpatient and specialty care clinic, Austin,
Texas, $6,163,000.
(2) For an outpatient clinic, Lowell, Massachusetts,
$2,520,000.
(3) For an outpatient clinic, Grand Rapids, Michigan,
$4,409,000.
(4) For up to four outpatient clinics, Las Vegas, Nevada,
$8,518,000.
(5) For an outpatient clinic, Parma, Ohio, $5,032,000.

SEC. 807. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

(a) Authorization of Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2006 Major
Medical Facility Projects.--There is authorized to be appropriated to
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2006 for the
Construction, Major Projects, account, $708,000,000 for the projects
authorized in section 801(a).
(b) Authorization of Appropriations for Major Medical Facility
Projects Under Capital Asset Realignment Initiative.--
(1) Authorization of appropriations.--There is authorized to
be appropriated for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for fiscal
year 2007 for the Construction, Major Projects, account,
$1,758,920,000 for the projects whose authorization is extended
by section 802.
(2) Availability.--Amounts appropriated pursuant to the
authorization of appropriations in paragraph (1) shall remain
available until September 30, 2009.

(c) Authorization of Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2007 Major
Medical Facility Projects.--There is authorized to be appropriated to
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2007 for the
Construction, Major Projects, account, $221,766,000 for the projects
authorized in section 803.
(d) Authorization of Appropriations for Advance Planning and Design
for Major Medical Facility, Charleston, South Carolina.--There is
authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for
the Construction, Major Projects, account, $36,800,000 for the advance
planning and design authorized in section 804.
(e) Authorization of Appropriations for Major Medical Facility
Leases.--
(1) Fiscal year 2006 leases.--There is authorized to be
appropriated for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for fiscal
year 2006 for the Medical Care account, $24,990,000 for the
leases authorized in section 805.
(2) Fiscal year 2007 leases.--There is authorized to be
appropriated for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for fiscal

[[Page 3446]]
120 STAT. 3446

year 2007 for the Medical Care account, $26,642,000 for the
leases authorized in section 806.

(f) Limitation.--The projects authorized in sections 801(a) and 802
may only be carried out using--
(1) funds appropriated for fiscal year 2006 or 2007 pursuant
to the authorization of appropriations in subsections (a), (b),
and (c) of this section;
(2) funds available for Construction, Major Projects, for a
fiscal year before fiscal year 2006 that remain available for
obligation;
(3) funds available for Construction, Major Projects, for a
fiscal year after fiscal year 2006 or 2007 that are available
for obligation; and
(4) funds appropriated for Construction, Major Projects, for
fiscal year 2006 or 2007 for a category of activity not specific
to a project.

Subtitle B--Facilities Administration

SEC. 811. DIRECTOR OF CONSTRUCTION AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT.

(a) Establishment of Position.--Chapter 3 is amended by inserting
after section 312 the following new section:

``Sec. 312A. Director of Construction and Facilities Management

``(a) In General.--(1) There is in the Department a Director of
Construction and Facilities Management, who shall be appointed by the
Secretary.
``(2) The position of Director of Construction and Facilities
Management is a career reserved position, as such term is defined in
section 3132(a)(8) of title 5.
``(3) The Director shall provide direct support to the Secretary in
matters covered by the responsibilities of the Director under subsection
(c).
``(4) The Director shall report to the Deputy Secretary in the
discharge of the responsibilities of the Director under subsection (c).
``(b) Qualifications.--Each individual appointed as Director of
Construction and Facilities Management shall be an individual who--
``(1) holds an undergraduate or master's degree in
architectural design or engineering; and
``(2) has substantive professional experience in the area of
construction project management.

``(c) Responsibilities.--(1) The Director of Construction and
Facilities Management shall--
``(A) be responsible for overseeing and managing the
planning, design, construction, and operation of facilities and
infrastructure of the Department, including major and minor
construction projects; and
``(B) perform such other functions as the Secretary shall
prescribe.

``(2) In carrying out the oversight and management of construction
and operation of facilities and infrastructure under this section, the
Director shall be responsible for the following:

[[Page 3447]]
120 STAT. 3447

``(A) Development and updating of short-range and long-range
strategic capital investment strategies and plans of the
Department.
``(B) Planning, design, and construction of facilities for
the Department, including determining architectural and
engineering requirements and ensuring compliance of the
Department with applicable laws relating to the construction
program of the Department.
``(C) Management of the short-term and long-term leasing of
real property by the Department.
``(D) Repair and maintenance of facilities of the
Department, including custodial services, building management
and administration, and maintenance of roads, grounds, and
infrastructure.
``(E) Management of procurement and acquisition processes
relating to the construction and operation of facilities of the
Department, including the award of contracts related to design,
construction, furnishing, and supplies and equipment.''.

(b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of
such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section
312 the following new item:

``312A. Director of Construction and Facilities Management.''.

SEC. 812. INCREASE IN THRESHOLD FOR MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY PROJECTS.

Section 8104(a)(3)(A)  NOTE: 38 USC 8104.  is amended by striking
``$7,000,000'' and inserting ``$10,000,000''.

SEC. 813. LAND CONVEYANCE, CITY OF FORT THOMAS, KENTUCKY.

(a) Conveyance Authorized.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may
convey to the city of Fort Thomas, Kentucky (in this section referred to
as the ``City''), all right, title, and interest of the United States in
and to a parcel of real property, including the 15 structures located
thereon, consisting of approximately 11.75 acres that is managed by the
Department of Veterans Affairs and located in the northeastern portion
of Tower Park in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Any such conveyance shall be
subject to valid existing rights, easements, and rights-of-way.
(b) Consideration.--As consideration for the conveyance under
subsection (a), the City shall pay to the United States an amount equal
to the fair market value of the conveyed real property, as determined by
the Secretary.
(c) Treatment of Consideration.--The consideration received under
subsection (b) shall be deposited, at the discretion of the Secretary,
in the ``Medical Facilities'' account or the ``Construction, Minor
Projects'' account (or a combination of those accounts) and shall be
available to the Secretary, without limitation and until expended--
(1) to cover costs incurred by the Secretary associated with
the environmental remediation of the real property before
conveyance under subsection (a); and
(2) with any funds remaining after the Secretary has covered
costs as required under paragraph (1), for acquisition of a site
for use as a parking facility, or contract (by lease or
otherwise) for the operation of a parking facility, to be

[[Page 3448]]
120 STAT. 3448

used in connection with the Department of Veterans Affairs
Medical Facility, Cincinnati, Ohio.

(d) Release From Liability.--Effective on the date of the conveyance
under subsection (a), the United States shall not be liable for damages
arising out of any act, omission, or occurrence relating to the conveyed
real property, but shall continue to be liable for damages caused by
acts of negligence committed by the United States or by any employee or
agent of the United States before the date of conveyance, consistent
with chapter 171 of title 28, United States Code.
(e) Payment of Costs of Conveyance.--
(1) Payment required.--The Secretary shall require the City
to cover costs to be incurred by the Secretary, or to reimburse
the Secretary for costs incurred by the Secretary, to carry out
the conveyance under subsection (a), including survey costs,
costs related to environmental documentation, and other
administrative costs related to the conveyance. If amounts are
collected from the City in advance of the Secretary incurring
the actual costs, and the amount collected exceeds the costs
actually incurred by the Secretary to carry out the conveyance,
the Secretary shall refund the excess amount to the City.
(2) Treatment of amounts received.--Amounts received as
reimbursement under paragraph (1) shall be credited to the fund
or account that was used to cover the costs incurred by the
Secretary in carrying out the conveyance. Amounts so credited
shall be merged with amounts in such fund or account and shall
be available for the same purposes, and subject to the same
conditions and limitations, as amounts in such fund or account.

(f) Description of Property.--The exact acreage and legal
description of the real property to be conveyed under subsection (a)
shall be determined by a survey satisfactory to the Secretary.
(g) Additional Terms and Conditions.--The Secretary may require such
additional terms and conditions in connection with the conveyance under
subsection (a) as the Secretary considers necessary to protect the
interests of the United States.

Subtitle C--Reports on Medical Facility Improvements

SEC. 821. REPORT ON OPTION FOR MEDICAL FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS IN SAN
JUAN, PUERTO RICO.

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act,
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to the Committee on
Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs
of the House of Representatives a report identifying and outlining the
various options available to the Department of Veterans Affairs for
replacing the current Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San
Juan, Puerto Rico. The report shall not affect current contracts at the
current site, and the report shall include the following:
(1) The feasibility of entering into a partnership with a
Federal, Commonwealth, or local governmental agency, or a
suitable non-profit organization, for the construction and
operation of a new facility.

[[Page 3449]]
120 STAT. 3449

(2) The medical, legal, and financial implications of each
of the options identified, including recommendations regarding
any statutory changes necessary for the Department to carry out
any of the options identified.
(3) A detailed cost-benefit analysis of each of the options
identified.
(4) Estimates regarding the length of time and associated
costs needed to complete such a facility under each of the
options identified.

SEC. 822. BUSINESS PLANS FOR ENHANCED ACCESS TO OUTPATIENT CARE IN
CERTAIN RURAL AREAS.

(a) Requirement.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to
the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on
Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a business plan for
enhanced access to outpatient care (as described in subsection (b)) for
primary care, mental health care, and specialty care in each of the
following areas:
(1) The Lewiston-Auburn area of Maine.
(2) The area of Houlton, Maine.
(3) The area of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine.
(4) Whiteside County, Illinois.

(b) Means of Enhanced Access.--The means of enhanced access to
outpatient care to be covered by the business plans under subsection (a)
are, with respect to each area specified in that subsection, one or more
of the following:
(1) New sites of care.
(2) Expansions at existing sites of care.
(3) Use of existing authority and policies to contract for
care where necessary.
(4) Increased use of telemedicine.

SEC. 823. REPORT ON OPTION FOR CONSTRUCTION OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS
AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER IN OKALOOSA COUNTY, FLORIDA.

(a) Feasibility Study.--Not later than 180 days after the date of
the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall
submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Committee on Armed
Services of the Senate of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans'
Affairs and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of
Representatives of the House of Representatives a report identifying and
outlining the various options available to the Department of Veterans
Affairs for the placement of a Department of Veterans Affairs Medical
Center in Okaloosa County, Florida. The report shall be prepared in
conjunction with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Air
Force.
(b) Matters To Be Included.--The report under subsection (a) shall
include the following:
(1) The feasibility of entering into a partnership with
Eglin Air Force Base for the construction and operation of a
new, joint Department of Veterans Affairs-Department of Defense
facility.
(2) The medical, legal, and financial implications of each
of the options identified, including recommendations regarding
any statutory changes necessary for the Department of Veterans
Affairs to carry out any of the options identified.

[[Page 3450]]
120 STAT. 3450

(3) A detailed cost-benefit analysis of each of the options
identified.
(4) Estimates regarding the length of time and associated
costs needed to complete such a facility under each of the
options identified.

TITLE IX--  NOTE: Department of Veterans Affairs Information Security
Enhancement Act of 2006.  INFORMATION SECURITY MATTERS

SEC. 901.  NOTE: 38 USC 101 note.  SHORT TITLE.

This title may be cited as the ``Department of Veterans Affairs
Information Security Enhancement Act of 2006''.

SEC. 902. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS INFORMATION SECURITY PROGRAMS
AND REQUIREMENTS.

(a) Information Security Programs and Requirements.--Chapter 57 is
amended by adding at the end the following new subchapter:

``SUBCHAPTER III--INFORMATION SECURITY

``Sec. 5721. Purpose

``The purpose of the Information Security Program is to establish a
program to provide security for Department information and information
systems commensurate to the risk of harm, and to communicate the
responsibilities of the Secretary, Under Secretaries, Assistant
Secretaries, other key officials, Assistant Secretary for Information
and Technology, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cyber and
Information Security, and Inspector General of the Department of
Veterans Affairs as outlined in the provisions of subchapter III of
chapter 35 of title 44 (also known as the `Federal Information Security
Management Act of 2002', which was enacted as part of the E-Government
Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-347)).

``Sec. 5722. Policy

``(a) In General.--The security of Department information and
information systems is vital to the success of the mission of the
Department. To that end, the Secretary shall establish and maintain a
comprehensive Department-wide information security program to provide
for the development and maintenance of cost-effective security controls
needed to protect Department information, in any media or format, and
Department information systems.
``(b) Elements.--The Secretary shall ensure that the Department
information security program includes the following elements:
``(1) Periodic assessments of the risk and magnitude of harm
that could result from the unauthorized access, use, disclosure,
disruption, modification, or destruction of information and
information systems that support the operations and assets of
the Department.
``(2) Policies and procedures that--
``(A) are based on risk assessments;
``(B) cost-effectively reduce security risks to an
acceptable level; and

[[Page 3451]]
120 STAT. 3451

``(C) ensure that information security is addressed
throughout the life cycle of each Department information
system.
``(3) Selection and effective implementation of minimum,
mandatory technical, operational, and management security
controls, or other compensating countermeasures, to protect the
confidentiality, integrity, and availability of each Department
system and its information.
``(4) Subordinate plans for providing adequate security for
networks, facilities, systems, or groups of information systems,
as appropriate.
``(5) Annual security awareness training for all Department
employees, contractors, and all other users of VA sensitive data
and Department information systems that identifies the
information security risks associated with the activities of
such employees, contractors, and users and the responsibilities
of such employees, contractors, and users to comply with
Department policies and procedures designed to reduce such
risks.
``(6) Periodic testing and evaluation of the effectiveness
of security controls based on risk, including triennial
certification testing of all management, operational, and
technical controls, and annual testing of a subset of those
controls for each Department system.
``(7) A process for planning, developing, implementing,
evaluating, and documenting remedial actions to address
deficiencies in information security policies, procedures, and
practices.
``(8) Procedures for detecting, immediately reporting, and
responding to security incidents, including mitigating risks
before substantial damage is done as well as notifying and
consulting with the US-Computer Emergency Readiness Team of the
Department of Homeland Security, law enforcement agencies, the
Inspector General of the Department, and other offices as
appropriate.
``(9) Plans and procedures to ensure continuity of
operations for Department systems.

``(c) Compliance With Certain Requirements.--The Secretary shall
comply with the provisions of subchapter III of chapter 35 of title 44
and other related information security requirements promulgated by the
National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Office of
Management and Budget that define Department information system
mandates.

``Sec. 5723. Responsibilities

``(a) Secretary of Veterans Affairs.--In accordance with the
provisions of subchapter III of chapter 35 of title 44, the Secretary is
responsible for the following:
``(1) Ensuring that the Department adopts a Department-wide
information security program and otherwise complies with the
provisions of subchapter III of chapter 35 of title 44 and other
related information security requirements.
``(2) Ensuring that information security protections are
commensurate with the risk and magnitude of the potential harm
to Department information and information systems resulting from
unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification,
or destruction.

[[Page 3452]]
120 STAT. 3452

``(3) Ensuring that information security management
processes are integrated with Department strategic and
operational planning processes.
``(4) Ensuring that the Under Secretaries, Assistant
Secretaries, and other key officials of the Department provide
adequate security for the information and information systems
under their control.
``(5) Ensuring enforcement and compliance with the
requirements imposed on the Department under the provisions of
subchapter III of chapter 35 of title 44.
``(6) Ensuring that the Department has trained program and
staff office personnel sufficient to assist in complying with
all the provisions of subchapter III of chapter 35 of title 44
and other related information security requirements.
``(7) Ensuring that the Assistant Secretary for Information
and Technology, in coordination with the Under Secretaries,
Assistant Secretaries, and other key officials of the Department
report to Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, and
other entities as required by law and Executive Branch direction
on the effectiveness of the Department information security
program, including remedial actions.
``(8)  NOTE: Notification.  Notifying officials other than
officials of the Department of data breaches when required under
this subchapter.
``(9) Ensuring that the Assistant Secretary for Information
and Technology has the authority and control necessary to
develop, approve, implement, integrate, and oversee the
policies, procedures, processes, activities, and systems of the
Department relating to subchapter III of chapter 35 of title 44,
including the management of all related mission applications,
information resources, personnel, and infrastructure.
``(10)  NOTE: Deadline. Reports.  Submitting to the
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of
Representatives, the Committee on Government Reform of the House
of Representatives, and the Committee on Homeland Security and
Governmental Affairs of the Senate, not later than March 1 each
year, a report on the compliance of the Department with
subchapter III of chapter 35 of title 44, with the information
in such report displayed in the aggregate and separately for
each Administration, office, and facility of the Department.
``(11) Taking appropriate action to ensure that the budget
for any fiscal year, as submitted by the President to Congress
under section 1105 of title 31, sets forth separately the
amounts required in the budget for such fiscal year for
compliance by the Department with Federal law and regulations
governing information security, including this subchapter and
subchapter III of chapter 35 of title 44.
``(12)  NOTE: Notification.  Providing notice to the
Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Inspector
General of the Department, and such other Federal agencies as
the Secretary considers appropriate of a presumptive data breach
of which notice is provided the Secretary under subsection
(b)(16) if, in the opinion of the Assistant Secretary for
Information and Technology, the breach involves the information
of twenty or more individuals.

``(b) Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology.--The
Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology,

[[Page 3453]]
120 STAT. 3453

as the Chief Information Officer of the Department, is responsible for
the following:
``(1) Establishing, maintaining, and monitoring Department-
wide information security policies, procedures, control
techniques, training, and inspection requirements as elements of
the Department information security program.
``(2) Issuing policies and handbooks to provide direction
for implementing the elements of the information security
program to all Department organizations.
``(3) Approving all policies and procedures that are related
to information security for those areas of responsibility that
are currently under the management and the oversight of other
Department organizations.
``(4) Ordering and enforcing Department-wide compliance with
and execution of any information security policy.
``(5) Establishing minimum mandatory technical, operational,
and management information security control requirements for
each Department system, consistent with risk, the processes
identified in standards of the National Institute of Standards
and Technology, and the responsibilities of the Assistant
Secretary to operate and maintain all Department systems
currently creating, processing, collecting, or disseminating
data on behalf of Department information owners.
``(6) Establishing standards for access to Department
information systems by organizations and individual employees,
and to deny access as appropriate.
``(7) Directing that any incidents of failure to comply with
established information security policies be immediately
reported to the Assistant Secretary.
``(8) Reporting any compliance failure or policy violation
directly to the appropriate Under Secretary, Assistant
Secretary, or other key official of the Department for
appropriate administrative or disciplinary action.
``(9) Reporting any compliance failure or policy violation
directly to the appropriate Under Secretary, Assistant
Secretary, or other key official of the Department along with
taking action to correct the failure or violation.
``(10) Requiring any key official of the Department who is
so notified to report to the Assistant Secretary with respect to
an action to be taken in response to any compliance failure or
policy violation reported by the Assistant Secretary.
``(11) Ensuring that the Chief Information Officers and
Information Security Officers of the Department comply with all
cyber security directives and mandates, and ensuring that these
staff members have all necessary authority and means to direct
full compliance with such directives and mandates relating to
the acquisition, operation, maintenance, or use of information
technology resources from all facility staff.
``(12) Establishing the VA National Rules of Behavior for
appropriate use and protection of the information which is used
to support Department missions and functions.
``(13) Establishing and providing supervision over an
effective incident reporting system.
``(14)  NOTE: Deadline. Reports.  Submitting to the
Secretary, at least once every quarter, a report on any
deficiency in the compliance with subchapter III of chapter 35
of title 44 of the Department or any Administration, office, or
facility of the Department.

[[Page 3454]]
120 STAT. 3454

``(15) Reporting immediately to the Secretary on any
significant deficiency in the compliance described by paragraph
(14).
``(16)  NOTE: Notification.  Providing immediate notice to
the Secretary of any presumptive data breach.

``(c) Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cyber and Information
Security.--In accordance with the provisions of subchapter III of
chapter 35 of title 44, the Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Cyber and Information Security, as the Senior Information Security
Officer of the Department, is responsible for carrying out the
responsibilities of the Assistant Secretary for Information and
Technology under the provisions of subchapter III of chapter 35 of title
44, as set forth in subsection (b).
``(d) Department Information Owners.--In accordance with the
criteria of the Centralized IT Management System, Department information
owners are responsible for the following:
``(1) Providing assistance to the Assistant Secretary for
Information and Technology regarding the security requirements
and appropriate level of security controls for the information
system or systems where sensitive personal information is
currently created, collected, processed, disseminated, or
subject to disposal.
``(2) Determining who has access to the system or systems
containing sensitive personal information, including types of
privileges and access rights.
``(3) Ensuring the VA National Rules of Behavior is signed
on an annual basis and enforced by all system users to ensure
appropriate use and protection of the information which is used
to support Department missions and functions.
``(4) Assisting the Assistant Secretary for Information and
Technology in the identification and assessment of the common
security controls for systems where their information resides.
``(5) Providing assistance to Administration and staff
office personnel involved in the development of new systems
regarding the appropriate level of security controls for their
information.

``(e) Other Key Officials.--In accordance with the provisions of
subchapter III of chapter 35 of title 44, the Under Secretaries,
Assistant Secretaries, and other key officials of the Department are
responsible for the following:
``(1) Implementing the policies, procedures, practices, and
other countermeasures identified in the Department information
security program that comprise activities that are under their
day-to-day operational control or supervision.
``(2) Periodically testing and evaluating information
security controls that comprise activities that are under their
day-to-day operational control or supervision to ensure
effective implementation.
``(3) Providing a plan of action and milestones to the
Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology on at least a
quarterly basis detailing the status of actions being taken to
correct any security compliance failure or policy violation.
``(4) Complying with the provisions of subchapter III of
chapter 35 of title 44 and other related information security
laws and requirements in accordance with orders of the Assistant
Secretary for Information and Technology to execute the
appropriate security controls commensurate to responding to a
security bulletin of the Security Operations Center of the

[[Page 3455]]
120 STAT. 3455

Department, with such orders to supersede and take priority over
all operational tasks and assignments and be complied with
immediately.
``(5) Ensuring that--
``(A) all employees within their organizations take
immediate action to comply with orders from the
Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology to--
``(i) mitigate the impact of any potential
security vulnerability;
``(ii) respond to a security incident; or
``(iii) implement the provisions of a bulletin
or alert of the Security Operations Center; and
``(B) organizational managers have all necessary
authority and means to direct full compliance with such
orders from the Assistant Secretary.
``(6) Ensuring the VA National Rules of Behavior is signed
and enforced by all system users to ensure appropriate use and
protection of the information which is used to support
Department missions and functions on an annual basis.

``(f) Users of Department Information and Information Systems.--
Users of Department information and information systems are responsible
for the following:
``(1) Complying with all Department information security
program policies, procedures, and practices.
``(2) Attending security awareness training on at least an
annual basis.
``(3) Reporting all security incidents immediately to the
Information Security Officer of the system or facility and to
their immediate supervisor.
``(4) Complying with orders from the Assistant Secretary for
Information and Technology directing specific activities when a
security incident occurs.
``(5) Signing an acknowledgment that they have read,
understand, and agree to abide by the VA National Rules of
Behavior on an annual basis.

``(g) Inspector General of Department of Veterans Affairs.--In
accordance with the provisions of subchapter III of chapter 35 of title
44, the Inspector General of the Department is responsible for the
following:
``(1)  NOTE: Audit.  Conducting an annual audit of the
Department information security program.
``(2)  NOTE: Reports.  Submitting an independent annual
report to the Office of Management and Budget on the status of
Department information security program, based on the results of
the annual audit.
``(3)  NOTE: Investigations.  Conducting investigations of
complaints and referrals of violations as considered appropriate
by the Inspector General.

``Sec. 5724. Provision of credit protection and other services

``(a) Independent Risk Analysis.--(1) In the event of a data breach
with respect to sensitive personal information that is processed or
maintained by the Secretary, the Secretary shall ensure that, as soon as
possible after the data breach, a non-Department entity or the Office of
Inspector General of the Department conducts an independent risk
analysis of the data breach to determine the level of risk associated
with the data breach for the potential

[[Page 3456]]
120 STAT. 3456

misuse of any sensitive personal information involved in the data
breach.
``(2) If the Secretary determines, based on the findings of a risk
analysis conducted under paragraph (1), that a reasonable risk exists
for the potential misuse of sensitive personal information involved in a
data breach, the Secretary shall provide credit protection services in
accordance with the regulations prescribed by the Secretary under this
section.
``(b)  NOTE: Deadline.  Regulations.--Not later than 180 days
after the date of the enactment of the Veterans Benefits, Health Care,
and Information Technology Act of 2006, the Secretary shall prescribe
interim regulations for the provision of the following in accordance
with subsection (a)(2):
``(1) Notification.
``(2) Data mining.
``(3) Fraud alerts.
``(4) Data breach analysis.
``(5) Credit monitoring.
``(6) Identity theft insurance.
``(7) Credit protection services.

``(c) Report.--(1) For each data breach with respect to sensitive
personal information processed or maintained by the Secretary, the
Secretary shall promptly submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs
of the Senate and House of Representatives a report containing the
findings of any independent risk analysis conducted under subsection
(a)(1), any determination of the Secretary under subsection (a)(2), and
a description of any services provided pursuant to subsection (b).
``(2) In the event of a data breach with respect to sensitive
personal information processed or maintained by the Secretary that is
the sensitive personal information of a member of the Army, Navy, Air
Force, or Marine Corps or a civilian officer or employee of the
Department of Defense, the Secretary shall submit the report required
under paragraph (1) to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and
the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives in
addition to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House
of Representatives.

``Sec. 5725. Contracts for data processing or maintenance

``(a) Contract Requirements.--If the Secretary enters into a
contract for the performance of any Department function that requires
access to sensitive personal information, the Secretary shall require as
a condition of the contract that--
``(1) the contractor shall not, directly or through an
affiliate of the contractor, disclose such information to any
other person unless the disclosure is lawful and is expressly
permitted under the contract;
``(2) the contractor, or any subcontractor for a subcontract
of the contract, shall promptly notify the Secretary of any data
breach that occurs with respect to such information.

``(b) Liquidated Damages.--Each contract subject to the requirements
of subsection (a) shall provide for liquidated damages to be paid by the
contractor to the Secretary in the event of a data breach with respect
to any sensitive personal information processed or maintained by the
contractor or any subcontractor under that contract.

[[Page 3457]]
120 STAT. 3457

``(c) Provision of Credit Protection Services.--Any amount collected
by the Secretary under subsection (b) shall be deposited in or credited
to the Department account from which the contractor was paid and shall
remain available for obligation without fiscal year limitation
exclusively for the purpose of providing credit protection services
pursuant to section 5724(b) of this title.

``Sec. 5726. Reports and notice to Congress on data breaches

``(a) Quarterly Reports.--(1) Not later than 30 days after the last
day of a fiscal quarter, the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on
Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report on
any data breach with respect to sensitive personal information processed
or maintained by the Department that occurred during that quarter.
``(2) Each report submitted under paragraph (1) shall identify, for
each data breach covered by the report--
``(A) the Administration and facility of the Department
responsible for processing or maintaining the sensitive personal
information involved in the data breach; and
``(B) the status of any remedial or corrective action with
respect to the data breach.

``(b) Notification of Significant Data Breaches.--(1) In the event
of a data breach with respect to sensitive personal information
processed or maintained by the Secretary that the Secretary determines
is significant, the Secretary shall provide notice of such breach to the
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of
Representatives.
``(2) In the event of a data breach with respect to sensitive
personal information processed or maintained by the Secretary that is
the sensitive personal information of a member of the Army, Navy, Air
Force, or Marine Corps or a civilian officer or employee of the
Department of Defense that the Secretary determines is significant under
paragraph (1), the Secretary shall provide the notice required under
paragraph (1) to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the
Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives in addition
to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of
Representatives.
``(3) Notice under paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be provided promptly
following the discovery of such a data breach and the implementation of
any measures necessary to determine the scope of the breach, prevent any
further breach or unauthorized disclosures, and reasonably restore the
integrity of the data system.

``Sec. 5727. Definitions

``In this subchapter:
``(1) Availability.--The term `availability' means ensuring
timely and reliable access to and use of information.
``(2) Confidentiality.--The term `confidentiality' means
preserving authorized restrictions on access and disclosure,
including means for protecting personal privacy and proprietary
information.
``(3) Control techniques.--The term `control techniques'
means methods for guiding and controlling the operations of
information systems to ensure adherence to the provisions of
subchapter III of chapter 35 of title 44 and other related
information security requirements.

[[Page 3458]]
120 STAT. 3458

``(4) Data breach.--The term `data breach' means the loss,
theft, or other unauthorized access, other than those incidental
to the scope of employment, to data containing sensitive
personal information, in electronic or printed form, that
results in the potential compromise of the confidentiality or
integrity of the data.
``(5) Data breach analysis.--The term `data breach analysis'
means the process used to determine if a data breach has
resulted in the misuse of sensitive personal information.
``(6) Fraud resolution systems.--The term `fraud resolution
services' means services to assist an individual in the process
of recovering and rehabilitating the credit of the individual
after the individual experiences identity theft.
``(7) Identity theft.--The term `identity theft' has the
meaning given such term under section 603 of the Fair Credit
Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a).
``(8) Identity theft insurance.--The term `identity theft
insurance' means any insurance policy that pays benefits for
costs, including travel costs, notary fees, and postage costs,
lost wages, and legal fees and expenses associated with efforts
to correct and ameliorate the effects and results of identity
theft of the insured individual.
``(9) Information owner.--The term `information owner' means
an agency official with statutory or operational authority for
specified information and responsibility for establishing the
criteria for its creation, collection, processing,
dissemination, or disposal, which responsibilities may extend to
interconnected systems or groups of interconnected systems.
``(10) Information resources.--The term `information
resources' means information in any medium or form and its
related resources, such as personnel, equipment, funds, and
information technology.
``(11) Information security.--The term `information
security' means protecting information and information systems
from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption,
modification, or destruction in order to provide integrity,
confidentiality, and availability.
``(12) Information security requirements.--The term
`information security requirements' means information security
requirements promulgated in accordance with law, or directed by
the Secretary of Commerce, the National Institute of Standards
and Technology, and the Office of Management and Budget, and, as
to national security systems, the President.
``(13) Information system.--The term `information system'
means a discrete set of information resources organized for the
collection, processing, maintenance, use, sharing,
dissemination, or disposition of information, whether automated
or manual.
``(14) Integrity.--The term `integrity' means guarding
against improper information modification or destruction, and
includes ensuring information non-repudiation and authenticity.
``(15) National security system.--The term `national
security system' means an information system that is protected
at all times by policies and procedures established for the
processing, maintenance, use, sharing, dissemination or
disposition of information that has been specifically authorized
under

[[Page 3459]]
120 STAT. 3459

criteria established by statute or Executive Order to be kept
classified in the interest of national defense or foreign
policy.
``(16) Plan of action and milestones.--The term `plan of
action and milestones', means a plan used as a basis for the
quarterly reporting requirements of the Office of Management and
Budget that includes the following information:
``(A) A description of the security weakness.
``(B) The identity of the office or organization
responsible for resolving the weakness.
``(C) An estimate of resources required to resolve
the weakness by fiscal year.
``(D) The scheduled completion date.
``(E) Key milestones with estimated completion
dates.
``(F) Any changes to the original key milestone
date.
``(G) The source that identified the weakness.
``(H) The status of efforts to correct the weakness.
``(17) Principal credit reporting agency.--The term
`principal credit reporting agency' means a consumer reporting
agency as described in section 603(p) of the Fair Credit
Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a(p)).
``(18) Security incident.--The term `security incident'
means an event that has, or could have, resulted in loss or
damage to Department assets, or sensitive information, or an
action that breaches Department security procedures.
``(19) Sensitive personal information.--The term `sensitive
personal information', with respect to an individual, means any
information about the individual maintained by an agency,
including the following:
``(A) Education, financial transactions, medical
history, and criminal or employment history.
``(B) Information that can be used to distinguish or
trace the individual's identity, including name, social
security number, date and place of birth, mother's
maiden name, or biometric records.
``(20) Subordinate plan.--The term `subordinate plan', also
referred to as a `system security plan', means a subordinate
plan defines the security controls that are either planned or
implemented for networks, facilities, systems, or groups of
systems, as appropriate, within a specific accreditation
boundary.
``(21) Training.--The term `training' means a learning
experience in which an individual is taught to execute a
specific information security procedure or understand the
information security common body of knowledge.
``(22) Va national rules of behavior.--The term `VA National
Rules of Behavior' means a set of Department rules that
describes the responsibilities and expected behavior of
personnel with regard to information system usage.
``(23) Va sensitive data.--The term `VA sensitive data'
means all Department data, on any storage media or in any form
or format, which requires protection due to the risk of harm
that could result from inadvertent or deliberate disclosure,
alteration, or destruction of the information and includes
information whose improper use or disclosure could adversely
affect the ability of an agency to accomplish its mission,
proprietary information, and records about individuals requiring
protection under applicable confidentiality provisions.

[[Page 3460]]
120 STAT. 3460

``Sec. 5728. Authorization of appropriations

``There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this
subchapter such sums as may be necessary for each fiscal year.''.
(b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of
chapter 57 is amended by adding at the end the following:

``subchapter iii--information security

``5721. Purpose.
``5722. Policy.
``5723. Responsibilities.
``5724. Provision of credit protection and other services.
``5725. Contracts for data processing or maintenance.
``5726. Reports and notice to Congress on data breaches.
``5727. Definitions.
``5728. Authorization of appropriations.''.

(c)  NOTE: 38 USC 5721 note.  Deadline for Regulations.--Not later
than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary
of Veterans Affairs shall prescribe regulations to carry out subchapter
III of chapter 57 of title 38, United States Code, as added by
subsection (a).

SEC. 903. INFORMATION SECURITY EDUCATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS.

(a) Programs Authorized.--
(1) In general.--Title 38 is amended by inserting after
chapter 78 the following new chapter:

``CHAPTER 79--INFORMATION SECURITY EDUCATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

``Sec.
``7901. Programs; purpose.
``7902. Scholarship program.
``7903. Education debt reduction program.
``7904. Preferences in awarding financial assistance.
``7905. Requirement of honorable discharge for veterans receiving
assistance.
``7906. Regulations.
``7907. Termination.

``Sec. 7901. Programs; purpose

``(a) In General.--To encourage the recruitment and retention of
Department personnel who have the information security skills necessary
to meet Department requirements, the Secretary may carry out programs in
accordance with this chapter to provide financial support for education
in computer science and electrical and computer engineering at
accredited institutions of higher education.
``(b) Types of Programs.--The programs authorized under this chapter
are as follows:
``(1) Scholarships for pursuit of doctoral degrees in
computer science and electrical and computer engineering at
accredited institutions of higher education.
``(2) Education debt reduction for Department personnel who
hold doctoral degrees in computer science and electrical and
computer engineering at accredited institutions of higher
education.

``Sec. 7902. Scholarship program

``(a) Authority.--(1) Subject to the availability of appropriations,
the Secretary may establish a scholarship program under

[[Page 3461]]
120 STAT. 3461

which the Secretary shall, subject to subsection (d), provide financial
assistance in accordance with this section to a qualified person--
``(A) who is pursuing a doctoral degree in computer science
or electrical or computer engineering at an accredited
institution of higher education; and
``(B) who enters into an agreement with the Secretary as
described in subsection (b).

``(2)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the Secretary may
provide financial assistance under this section to an individual for up
to five years.
``(B) The Secretary may waive the limitation under subparagraph (A)
if the Secretary determines that such a waiver is appropriate.
``(b) Service Agreement for Scholarship Recipients.--(1) To receive
financial assistance under this section an individual shall enter into
an agreement to accept and continue employment in the Department for the
period of obligated service determined under paragraph (2).
``(2) For the purposes of this subsection, the period of obligated
service for a recipient of financial assistance under this section shall
be the period determined by the Secretary as being appropriate to obtain
adequate service in exchange for the financial assistance and otherwise
to achieve the goals set forth in section 7901(a) of this title. In no
event may the period of service required of a recipient be less than the
period equal to the total period of pursuit of a degree for which the
Secretary agrees to provide the recipient with financial assistance
under this section. The period of obligated service is in addition to
any other period for which the recipient is obligated to serve on active
duty or in the civil service, as the case may be.
``(3) An agreement entered into under this section by a person
pursuing a doctoral degree shall include terms that provide the
following:
``(A) That the period of obligated service begins on a date
after the award of the degree that is determined under the
regulations prescribed under section 7906 of this title.
``(B) That the individual will maintain satisfactory
academic progress, as determined in accordance with those
regulations, and that failure to maintain such progress
constitutes grounds for termination of the financial assistance
for the individual under this section.
``(C) Any other terms and conditions that the Secretary
determines appropriate for carrying out this section.

``(c) Amount of Assistance.--(1) The amount of the financial
assistance provided for an individual under this section shall be the
amount determined by the Secretary as being necessary to pay--
``(A) the tuition and fees of the individual; and
``(B) $1,500 to the individual each month (including a month
between academic semesters or terms leading to the degree for
which such assistance is provided or during which the individual
is not enrolled in a course of education but is pursuing
independent research leading to such degree) for books,
laboratory expenses, and expenses of room and board.

``(2) In no case may the amount of assistance provided for an
individual under this section for an academic year exceed $50,000.

[[Page 3462]]
120 STAT. 3462

``(3) In no case may the total amount of assistance provided for an
individual under this section exceed $200,000.
``(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, financial
assistance paid an individual under this section shall not be considered
as income or resources in determining eligibility for, or the amount of
benefits under, any Federal or federally assisted program.
``(d) Repayment for Period of Unserved Obligated Service.--(1) An
individual who receives financial assistance under this section shall
repay to the Secretary an amount equal to the unearned portion of the
financial assistance if the individual fails to satisfy the requirements
of the service agreement entered into under subsection (b), except in
circumstances authorized by the Secretary.
``(2) The Secretary may establish, by regulations, procedures for
determining the amount of the repayment required under this subsection
and the circumstances under which an exception to the required repayment
may be granted.
``(3) An obligation to repay the Secretary under this subsection is,
for all purposes, a debt owed the United States. A discharge in
bankruptcy under title 11 does not discharge a person from such debt if
the discharge order is entered less than five years after the date of
the termination of the agreement or contract on which the debt is based.
``(e) Waiver or Suspension of Compliance.--
NOTE: Regulations.  The Secretary shall prescribe regulations
providing for the waiver or suspension of any obligation of an
individual for service or payment under this section (or an agreement
under this section) whenever noncompliance by the individual is due to
circumstances beyond the control of the individual or whenever the
Secretary determines that the waiver or suspension of compliance is in
the best interest of the United States.

``(f) Internships.--(1) The Secretary may offer a compensated
internship to an individual for whom financial assistance is provided
under this section during a period between academic semesters or terms
leading to the degree for which such assistance is provided.
Compensation provided for such an internship shall be in addition to the
financial assistance provided under this section.
``(2) An internship under this subsection shall not be counted
toward satisfying a period of obligated service under this section.
``(g) Ineligibility of Individuals Receiving Montgomery GI Bill
Education Assistance Payments.--An individual who receives a payment of
educational assistance under chapter 30, 31, 32, 34, or 35 of this title
or chapter 1606 or 1607 of title 10 for a month in which the individual
is enrolled in a course of education leading to a doctoral degree in
information security is not eligible to receive financial assistance
under this section for that month.

``Sec. 7903. Education debt reduction program

``(a) Authority.--Subject to the availability of appropriations, the
Secretary may establish an education debt reduction program under which
the Secretary shall make education debt reduction payments under this
section to qualified individuals eligible under subsection (b) for the
purpose of reimbursing such individuals for payments by such individuals
of principal and interest on loans described in paragraph (2) of that
subsection.

[[Page 3463]]
120 STAT. 3463

``(b) Eligibility.--An individual is eligible to participate in the
program under this section if the individual--
``(1) has completed a doctoral degree in computer science or
electrical or computer engineering at an accredited institution
of higher education during the five-year period preceding the
date on which the individual is hired;
``(2) is an employee of the Department who serves in a
position related to information security (as determined by the
Secretary); and
``(3) owes any amount of principal or interest under a loan,
the proceeds of which were used by or on behalf of that
individual to pay costs relating to a doctoral degree in
computer science or electrical or computer engineering at an
accredited institution of higher education.

``(c) Amount of Assistance.--(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the
amount of education debt reduction payments made to an individual under
this section may not exceed $82,500 over a total of five years, of which
not more than $16,500 of such payments may be made in each year.
``(2) The total amount payable to an individual under this section
for any year may not exceed the amount of the principal and interest on
loans referred to in subsection (b)(3) that is paid by the individual
during such year.
``(d) Payments.--(1) The Secretary shall make education debt
reduction payments under this section on an annual basis.
``(2) The Secretary shall make such a payment--
``(A) on the last day of the one-year period beginning on
the date on which the individual is accepted into the program
established under subsection (a); or
``(B) in the case of an individual who received a payment
under this section for the preceding fiscal year, on the last
day of the one-year period beginning on the date on which the
individual last received such a payment.

``(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, education debt
reduction payments under this section shall not be considered as income
or resources in determining eligibility for, or the amount of benefits
under, any Federal or federally assisted program.
``(e) Performance Requirement.--The Secretary may make education
debt reduction payments to an individual under this section for a year
only if the Secretary determines that the individual maintained an
acceptable level of performance in the position or positions served by
the individual during the year.
``(f) Notification of Terms of Provision of Payments.--The Secretary
shall provide to an individual who receives a payment under this section
notice in writing of the terms and conditions that apply to such a
payment.
``(g) Covered Costs.--For purposes of subsection (b)(3), costs
relating to a course of education or training include--
``(1) tuition expenses; and
``(2) all other reasonable educational expenses, including
fees, books, and laboratory expenses.

``Sec. 7904. Preferences in awarding financial assistance

``In awarding financial assistance under this chapter, the Secretary
shall give a preference to qualified individuals who are otherwise
eligible to receive the financial assistance in the following order of
priority:

[[Page 3464]]
120 STAT. 3464

``(1) Veterans with service-connected disabilities.
``(2) Veterans.
``(3) Persons described in section 4215(a)(1)(B) of this
title.
``(4) Individuals who received or are pursuing degrees at
institutions designated by the National Security Agency as
Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance
Education.
``(5) Citizens of the United States.

``Sec. 7905. Requirement of honorable discharge for veterans receiving
assistance

``No veteran shall receive financial assistance under this chapter
unless the veteran was discharged from the Armed Forces under honorable
conditions.

``Sec. 7906. Regulations

``The Secretary shall prescribe regulations for the administration
of this chapter.

``Sec. 7907. Termination

``The authority of the Secretary to make a payment under this
chapter shall terminate on July 31, 2017.''.
(2) Clerical amendments.--The tables of chapters at the
beginning of title 38, and of part V of title 38, are each
amended by inserting after the item relating to chapter 78 the
following new item:

``79. Information Security Education Assistance Program..........7901''.

(b) GAO Report.--Not later than three years after the date of the
enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to Congress
a report on the scholarship and education debt reduction programs under
chapter 79 of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a).
(c)  NOTE: 38 USC 7902 note.  Applicability of Scholarships.--
Section 7902 of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection
(a), may only apply with respect to financial assistance provided for an
academic semester or term that begins on or after August 1, 2007.

TITLE X--OTHER MATTERS

SEC.  NOTE: 38 USC 303 note.  1001. NOTICE TO CONGRESSIONAL VETERANS
COMMITTEES OF CERTAIN TRANSFERS OF FUNDS.

To the extent that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs is required or
directed, under any provision of law, to provide written notice to any
committee of Congress other than the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of
the Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of
Representatives on the transfer of appropriations from one account to
any other account, the Secretary shall also transmit such notice to the
Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on
Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives.

SEC. 1002. CLARIFICATION OF CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES COVERED BY CERTAIN
PROVISIONS OF LAW.

(a) Payment of Pension During Confinement in Penal Institutions.--
Section 1505(a)  NOTE: 38 USC 1505.  is amended by striking ``or local



[[Page 3465]]
120 STAT. 3465

penal institution'' and inserting ``local, or other penal institution or
correctional facility''.
(b) Allowances for Training and Rehabilitation for Veterans With
Service-Connected Disabilities.--Section  NOTE: 38 USC
3108.  3108(g)(1) is amended by striking ``or local penal institution''
and inserting ``local, or other penal institution or correctional
facility''.

(c) Educational Assistance Benefits for Post-Vietnam Era Veterans.--
Section 3231(d)(1) is amended by striking ``or local penal institution''
and inserting ``local, or other penal institution or correctional
facility''.
(d) Computation of Educational Assistance Allowances for Veterans
Generally.--Section 3482(g)(1) is amended by striking ``or local penal
institution'' and inserting ``local, or other penal institution or
correctional facility''.
(e) Computation of Educational Assistance Allowance for Survivors
and Dependents.--Section 3532(e) is amended by striking ``or local penal
institution'' and inserting ``local, or other penal institution or
correctional facility''.
(f) Limitation on Payment of Compensation and Dependency and
Indemnity Compensation.--Section 5313 is amended by striking ``or local
penal institution'' each place it appears and inserting ``local, or
other penal institution or correctional facility''.
(g) Limitation on Payment of Clothing Allowance.--Section 5313A is
amended by striking ``or local penal institution'' and inserting
``local, or other penal institution or correctional facility''.

SEC. 1003. EXTENSION OF AUTHORITY FOR HEALTH CARE FOR PARTICIPATION IN
DOD CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WARFARE TESTING.

Section 1710(e)(3)(D) is amended by striking ``December 31, 2005''
and inserting ``December 31, 2007''.

SEC. 1004. TECHNICAL AND CLERICAL AMENDMENTS.

(a) Title 38, United States Code.--
(1) Citation correction.--Section 1718(c)(2) is amended by
inserting ``of 1938'' after ``Act''.
(2) Citation correction.--Section 1785(b)(1) is amended by
striking ``Robert B.'' and inserting ``Robert T.''.
(3) Punctuation correction.--Section 2002(1) is amended by
inserting a closing parenthesis before the period at the end.
(4) Punctuation correction.--Section 2011(a)(1)(C) is
amended by inserting a period at the end.
(5) Cross reference correction.--Section 2041(a)(3)(A)(i) is
amended by striking ``under this chapter'' and inserting
``established under section 3722 of this title''.
(6) Citation correction.--Section 8111(b)(1) is amended by
striking ``into the strategic'' and all that follows through
``and Results Act of 1993'' and inserting ``into the strategic
plan of each Department under section 306 of title 5 and the
performance plan of each Department under section 1115 of title
31''.
(7) Repeal of obsolete text.--Section 8111 is further
amended--
(A) in subsection (d)(2), by striking ``effective
October 1, 2003,''; and
(B) in subsection (e)(2)--

[[Page 3466]]
120 STAT. 3466

(i) in the second sentence, by striking
``shall be implemented no later than October 1,
2003, and''; and
(ii) in the third sentence, by striking ``,
following implementation of the schedule,''.
(8) Citation correction.--Section
8111A(a)(2)(B)(i)  NOTE: 38 USC 8111A.  is amended by striking
``Robert B.'' and inserting ``Robert T.''.

(b)  NOTE: Effective date.  Public Law 107-296.--Effective as of
November 25, 2002, section 1704(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002
(Public Law 107-296; 116 Stat. 2315)  NOTE: 38 USC 101 note.  is
amended--
(1)  NOTE: 38 USC 101.  by striking ``101(25)(d)'' and
inserting ``101(25)(D)''; and
(2)  NOTE: 38 USC 3011.  by striking
``3011(a)(1)(A)(ii)(II)'' and inserting
``3011(a)(1)(A)(ii)(III)''.

SEC. 1005. CODIFICATION OF COST-OF-LIVING ADJUSTMENT PROVIDED IN PUBLIC
LAW 109-361.

(a) Veterans' Disability Compensation.--Section 1114 is amended--
(1) in subsection (a), by striking ``$112'' and inserting
``$115'';
(2) in subsection (b), by striking ``$218'' and inserting
``$225'';
(3) in subsection (c), by striking ``$337'' and inserting
``$348'';
(4) in subsection (d), by striking ``$485'' and inserting
``$501'';
(5) in subsection (e), by striking ``$690'' and inserting
``$712'';
(6) in subsection (f), by striking ``$873'' and inserting
``$901'';
(7) in subsection (g), by striking ``$1,099'' and inserting
``$1,135'';
(8) in subsection (h), by striking ``$1,277'' and inserting
``$1,319'';
(9) in subsection (i), by striking ``$1,436'' and inserting
``$1,483'';
(10) in subsection (j), by striking ``$2,393'' and inserting
``$2,471'';
(11) in subsection (k)--
(A) by striking ``$87'' both places it appears and
inserting ``$89''; and
(B) by striking ``$2,977'' and ``$4,176'' and
inserting ``$3,075'' and ``$4,313'', respectively;
(12) in subsection (l), by striking ``$2,977'' and inserting
``$3,075'';
(13) in subsection (m), by striking ``$3,284'' and inserting
``$3,392'';
(14) in subsection (n), by striking ``$3,737'' and inserting
``$3,860'';
(15) in subsections (o) and (p), by striking ``$4,176'' each
place it appears and inserting ``$4,313'';
(16) in subsection (r)--
(A) in paragraph (1), by striking ``$1,792'' and
inserting ``$1,851''; and
(B) in paragraph (2), by striking ``2,669'' and
inserting ``$2,757''; and
(17) in subsection (s), by striking ``$2,678'' and inserting
``$2,766''.

[[Page 3467]]
120 STAT. 3467

(b) Additional Compensation for Dependents.--Section
1115(1)  NOTE: 38 USC 1115.  is amended--
(1) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``$135'' and inserting
``$139'';
(2) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``$233'' and ``$68''
and inserting ``$240'' and ``$70'', respectively;
(3) in subparagraph (C), by striking ``$91'' and ``$68'' and
inserting ``$94'' and ``$70'', respectively;
(4) in subparagraph (D), by striking ``$109'' and inserting
``$112'';
(5) in subparagraph (E), by striking ``$257'' and inserting
``$265''; and
(6) in subparagraph (F), by striking ``$215'' and inserting
``$222''.

(c) Clothing Allowance for Certain Disabled Veterans.--Section 1162
is amended by striking ``$641'' and inserting ``$662''.
(d) Dependency and Indemnity Compensation for Surviving Spouses.--
(1) New law dic.--Subsection (a) of section 1311 is
amended--
(A) in paragraph (1), by striking ``$1,033'' and
inserting ``$1,067''; and
(B) in paragraph (2), by striking ``$221'' and
inserting ``$228''.
(2) Old law dic.--The table in paragraph (3) of such
subsection is amended to read as follows:



Pay grade                          Monthly rate                   Pay grade          Monthly rate

E-1..................................  $1,067                            W-4....................          $1,276
E-2..................................  $1,067                            O-1....................          $1,128
E-3..................................  $1,067                            O-2....................          $1,165
E-4..................................  $1,067                            O-3....................          $1,246
E-5..................................  $1,067                            O-4....................          $1,319
E-6..................................  $1,067                            O-5....................          $1,452
E-7..................................  $1,104                            O-6....................          $1,637
E-8..................................  $1,165                            O-7....................          $1,768
E-9..................................  $1,2151                           O-8....................          $1,941
W-1..................................  $1,128                            O-9....................          $2,076
W-2..................................  $1,172                            O-10...................         $2,2762
W-3..................................  $1,207                            .......................  ..............

1 If the veteran served as Sergeant Major of the Army, Senior Enlisted Advisor of the Navy, Chief Master
Sergeant of the Air Force, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, or Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast
Guard, at the applicable time designated by section 1302 of this title, the surviving spouse's rate shall be
$1,312.
2 If the veteran served as Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chief of Staff of the Army,
Chief of Naval Operations, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Commandant of the Marine Corps, or Commandant of
the Coast Guard, at the applicable time designated by section 1302 of this title, the surviving spouse's rate
shall be $2,443.

(3) Additional dic for children or disability.--Such section
is further amended--
(A) in subsection (b), by striking ``$257'' and
inserting ``$265'';

[[Page 3468]]
120 STAT. 3468

(B) in subsection (c), by striking ``$257'' and
inserting ``$265''; and
(C) in subsection (d), by striking ``$122'' and
inserting ``$126''.

(e) Dependency and Indemnity Compensation for Children.--
(1) DIC when no surviving spouse.--Section
1313(a)  NOTE: 38 USC 1313.  is amended--
(A) in paragraph (1), by striking ``$438'' and
inserting ``$452'';
(B) in paragraph (2), by striking ``$629'' and
inserting ``$649'';
(C) in paragraph (3), by striking ``$819'' and
inserting ``$846''; and
(D) in paragraph (4), by striking ``$819'' and
``$157'' and inserting ``$846'' and ``$162'',
respectively.
(2) Supplemental dic for certain children.--Section 1314 is
amended--
(A) in subsection (a), by striking ``$257'' and
inserting ``$265'';
(B) in subsection (b), by striking ``$438'' and
inserting ``$452''; and
(C) in subsection (c), by striking ``$218'' and
inserting ``$225''.

SEC. 1006. COORDINATION OF PROVISIONS WITH VETERANS PROGRAMS EXTENSION
ACT OF 2006.

(a) Earlier Enactment of This Act.--If this Act is enacted before
the Veterans Programs Extension Act of 2006 is enacted into law, the
Veterans Programs Extension Act of 2006, and the amendments made by that
Act, shall not take effect.
(b)  NOTE: 38 USC 101 note, 101 et seq.  Earlier Enactment of
Veterans Programs Extension Act of 2006.--If this Act is enacted after
the enactment of the Veterans Programs Extension Act of 2006, then as of
the date of the enactment of this Act, the Veterans Programs Extension
Act of 2006 and the amendments made by that Act shall be deemed for all
purposes not to have taken effect and the Veterans Programs Extension
Act of 2006 and the amendments made by that Act shall cease to be in
effect.

Approved December 22, 2006.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 3421 (H.R. 5815):
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 109-643 accompanying H.R. 5815 (Comm. on Veterans'
Affairs).
SENATE REPORTS: No. 109-328 (Comm. on Veterans' Affairs).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 152 (2006):
Sept. 26, considered and passed Senate.
Dec. 8, considered and passed House, amended. Senate
concurred in House amendments.