Text: H.R.44 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

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HR 44 IH
102d CONGRESS
1st Session
 H. R. 44
To provide that certain service of members of the United States merchant
marine during World War II constituted active military service for purposes
of any law administered by the Veterans' Administration and to provide for
the fair implementation of the cargo preference laws of the United States.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
January 3, 1991
Mr. FIELDS (for himself, Mrs. BENTLEY, Mr. LENT, Mr. LAUGHLIN, Mr. SAXTON,
Mr. STAGGERS, Mr. RHODES, Mr. GALLO, Mr. FEIGHAN, Mr. HUGHES, Mr. MILLER,
Mr. RICHARDSON, and Mr. PICKETT) introduced the following bill; which was
referred jointly to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs and Merchant Marine
and Fisheries
A BILL
To provide that certain service of members of the United States merchant
marine during World War II constituted active military service for purposes
of any law administered by the Veterans' Administration and to provide for
the fair implementation of the cargo preference laws of the United States.
  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
  States of America in Congress assembled,
SHORT TITLE
  SECTION 1. This Act may be cited as the `Merchant Mariners Fairness Act
  of 1991'.
SERVICE DEEMED TO BE ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE
  SEC. 2. (a) IN GENERAL- For purposes of section 401(a)(1)(A) of the
  GI Bill Improvement Act of 1977 (38 U.S.C. 106 note), the Secretary of
  Defense is deemed to have determined that qualified service of a member
  of the United States merchant marine, including a vessel crewmember of the
  U.S. Army Transport Service, who served the Armed Forces during World War
  II constituted active military service.
  (b) DETERMINATION OF DISCHARGE STATUS- (1) The Secretary of Defense shall
  issue an honorable discharge under section 401(a)(1)(B) of the GI Bill
  Improvement Act of 1977 to each member of the United States merchant marine
  whose qualified service warrants an honorable discharge.
  (2) Such discharge shall be issued before the end of the one-year period
  beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.
  (c) QUALIFIED SERVICE DEFINED- For purposes of this Act, the term `qualified
  service' means service of a merchant mariner during the period beginning
  December 7, 1941, and ending December 31, 1946, performed while such
  mariner was--
  (1) documented by an officer or employee of the United States authorized
  by law to do so; and
  (2) a crewmember of any vessel which at the time of such service was--
  (A) documented in the United States,
  (B) operated under the flag of the United States in waters other than
  inland waters of the United States, and
  (C)(i) under contract or charter to, or (ii) property of,
the Government of the United States.
PROHIBITION OF RETROACTIVE BENEFITS
  SEC. 3. Benefits shall not be paid to any person as a result of the enactment
  of this Act for any period before the date of the enactment of this Act.
PROCESSING FEES
  SEC. 4. (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of the Department in which the
  Coast Guard is operating shall establish, assess, and collect a fee for
  processing applications for benefits for qualified service in the United
  States merchant marine.
  (2) APPLICATION- A fee established under this subsection shall apply to
  any application for a benefit (including for an increase in a benefit) for
  qualified service in the United States merchant marine, that is received
  after the date of the enactment of this Act by Secretary of the Department
  in which the Coast Guard is operating.
  (3) AMOUNT- The amount of a fee established under this subsection shall
  be $30.
  SEC. 5. CIVILIAN CARGO- Section 901(b) of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936
  (46 U.S.C. App. 1241(b)) is amended by inserting `, or any component
  or ingredient of such equipment, materials, or commodities' after `or
  commodities' each place it appears.