There is one summary for H.R.908. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (02/06/1991)

Persian Gulf War Veterans Benefits Act of 1991 - Title I: General Veterans Benefits - Amends Federal veterans' benefits provisions to include the Persian Gulf War under the definition of "period of war" for purposes of eligibility for various veterans' benefits for war veterans, their spouses, and their dependents.

Authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide standby inpatient hospital care and medical services to those veterans authorized to receive hospital, nursing home, or domiciliary care and medical treatment within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Authorizes the Secretary to furnish counseling services in any Department facility to any veteran: (1) who is a former prisoner of war; and (2) while in active military service in a theater of combat operations during a period in which hostilities occurred in such theater.

Makes veterans who serve on active duty during the Persian Gulf War for at least 90 days eligible for dental benefits provided to veterans through the Department.

Makes veterans of the Persian Gulf War suffering from war-related psychosis within two years of the end of such War eligible for treatment through the Department for a service-connected disability. Presumes such psychosis to be service-connected for purposes of eligibility for such treatment).

Makes veterans of any war (currently, specified wars and conflicts) eligible for payment for certain drugs and medicine required as a result of being permanently housebound or in need of regular aid and attendance.

Bases the payment of dependency and indemnity compensation to surviving spouses on the age of the surviving spouse, with the amount decreasing as the age increases. States that such amounts shall be based on the pay grades of veterans dying between January 1, 1957, and the last day of the month in which the Persian Gulf War ends if such is larger than the amount provided when based solely upon the age of the surviving spouse.

Increases from $50,000 to $75,000 the amount of life insurance available to veterans under the Servicemen's Group Life Insurance and the Veterans' Group Life Insurance programs. Makes Persian Gulf War veterans eligible for such increased coverage.

Title II: Veterans Education Benefits - Increases the monthly stipend available to members of the all-volunteer active-duty armed forces and the Selected Reserve for educational assistance provided under the Montgomery GI Bill armed forces and veterans' educational assistance programs. Increases such stipend annually by the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for such year.

Directs the Secretary of the military department concerned, and the Secretary of Transportation with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service of the Navy, to provide educational assistance to members of the Selected Reserve who: (1) during the Persian Gulf War, served on active duty for more than 180 days of continuous service; and (2) were discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. States that such educational assistance may be provided for a program of education beyond the baccalaureate degree level.

States that, in the case of a member of the Reserve called to active duty in connection with the Persian Gulf War: (1) the period of such active duty may not be considered in determining the expiration date for eligibility for educational assistance benefits provided under the Montgomery GI Bill; and (2) the member may not be considered to have been separated from the Reserve, for purposes of commencement of the delimiting period for the use of such benefits.

Provides that, in the case of an active-duty or Reserve member student who fails to complete a course of study under the armed forces or veterans' educational assistance programs due to being called to active duty in connection with the Persian Gulf War, both the amount of educational assistance received and the time spent pursuing that course of study will not be counted against such student for purposes of general entitlement under such educational assistance program. Restores the full amount available to such student veteran program. Restores the full amount available to such student veteran as if the interrupted course had not been taken. States that such exclusion shall apply to members of the Selected Reserve pursuing courses of study (and similarly interrupted) under the armed forces educational assistance program.

Title III: Veterans Housing Programs - Entitles each veteran who served on active duty in the Persian Gulf War for 90 days or more to guaranteed veterans' housing loans provided through the Department.

Authorizes the Secretary to provide direct loans for housing purposes to the following veterans: (1) any active-duty or reserve member who meets applicable credit requirements and is unable to obtain a loan from a private lender at the interest rate authorized for guaranteed home loans because of the possibility of service in connection with the Persian Gulf War; and (2) any veteran who applies for such loan within one year after returning from at least 90 days of continual service in the Persian Gulf or within one year after being released from hospitalization incident to such service, is discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, cannot obtain a reasonable loan from a private lender, and meets applicable credit requirements.

Title IV: Military Personnel Benefits - Requires the Secretary of Defense to ensure that the Secretaries of the military departments provide appropriate benefits explanations to reserve members who were called to active duty in connection with the Persian Gulf War and are released from such active duty upon completion of their required service period. Requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to detail Department personnel at each principal site at which such reserve members are released from such duty for preseparation counseling.

Directs the Secretary of Defense to prescribe regulations to allow reserve personnel ordered to active duty in connection with the Persian Gulf War to use commissary and exchange stores during the 180-day period following their release from such duty to the same extent as for active-duty members of the armed forces.

Entitles reserve members called to active duty in connection with the Persian Gulf War to certain transitional health care benefits after release from such active duty until: (1) 60 days after release from such active duty; or (2) the date such member is covered by a health plan sponsored by a private employer.

Title V: Internal Revenue Matters - States that, for purposes of applying the internal revenue laws with respect to the tax liability of individuals performing military service in the Persian Gulf, the period of such services, as well as 60 days thereafter, shall be disregarded in determining whether certain required acts were performed within the required time period as prescribed under the Internal Revenue Code. Includes those hospitalized for injuries attributable to Persian Gulf services under those eligible for such extension. Includes spouses of such personnel, as well as persons in a missing status under such provision.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code relating to the permissible time period before the gain from the sale of a principal residence is recognized for tax purposes to extend such period in the case of a reserve member performing active duty in the armed forces to one year after such member is released from such active duty.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code relating to the exceptions to the ten-percent additional tax on early distributions from qualified retirement plans to add as an exception to such additional tax any distribution from an individual retirement plan if made to a Persian Gulf War reservist during the qualified distribution period. Defines the qualified distribution period for such personnel as the period which: (1) begins on the date such service is first performed; and (2) ends 180 days after termination of such service.

Title VI: Small Business - Veterans Entrepreneurship Promotion Act of 1991 - Defines terms used in this Act. Amends the Small Business Act to direct the President to establish Government-wide goals annually for procurement contracts awarded to small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans, including veterans of the Persian Gulf War. Increases the Government-wide goals for small business participation (including veteran-owned small businesses) from 20 percent to 25 percent of the total value of all prime contract awards for each fiscal year. Mandates that: (1) the Government-wide goal for participation by small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans be at least five percent of such contract and subcontract awards; and (2) certain reports submitted to the Small Business Administration (SBA) and to the Congress include the extent of participation in the Federal procurement process by small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans.

Declares it the policy of the United States to grant small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans the maximum opportunity to participate in the performance of Federal contracts and subcontracts.

Requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration (the Administrator) to implement an outreach and information dissemination program for small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans.

Outlines the parameters of a loan assistance program implemented by the SBA for small businesses owned and controlled by veterans. Requires the Administrator to study and report to the Congress and the President on methods to reduce costs incurred by veterans during the loan application process.

Directs the Administrator to take steps to ensure that small businesses owned by veterans have access to SBA programs providing entrepreneurial training, business development assistance, counseling, and management assistance. Authorizes the SBA to make grants for veterans' outreach programs with governmental and private sector entities.

Mandates the establishment of an interagency working group to develop a comprehensive outreach program for veterans of the Persian Gulf War and veterans affected by reductions in armed forces personnel.

Requires certain Government agencies to collect information on: (1) businesses owned and controlled by veterans; and (2) the number of such businesses that are first-time recipients of Government contracts.

Amends the Small Business Economic Policy Act of 1980 to require the President to report annually to the Congress on small businesses owned and controlled by veterans and by veterans with service-connected disabilities.

Amends the Small Business Act to provide for an Associate Administrator or Veterans Programs who shall be responsible for programs of assistance to small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans. Requires the SBA to enter into negotiations with any Federal agency to perform any specific Government procurement contract through the services of small businesses owned and controlled by veterans. Outlines contracting procedures. Establishes within the SBA a veterans business opportunity and development assistance program to assist exclusively small business concerns eligible under the program's parameters. Vests responsibility for the coordination and formulation of policies relating to Federal assistance to such concerns with the Associate Administrator for Veterans Programs. Restricts an individual's eligibility under the Program to business concerns only.

Establishes a Division of Program Certification and Eligibility in the Office of Veterans Programs.

Requires the Administrator to present an annual program status report to the Congress.

Establishes the National Veterans Business Council to: (1) review Federal and State initiatives relating to business concerns owned by veterans; and (2) report annually to the President and the Congress regarding private and public sector initiatives and multiyear goals for veteran-owned businesses. Terminates the Council three years after its first meeting.

Amends the Small Business Act to authorize appropriations.

Title VII: Other Matters - Repeals a Federal provision containing certain limitations on the payment of unemployment compensation (prohibiting such payment before a certain time period and limiting the aggregate amount of such payment) with respect to discharged or released members of the armed forces.

Makes military personnel called to active duty in the Persian Gulf eligible for the deferment of student loan repayments in the case of loans made under the Higher Education Act of 1965, such deferment lasting during the continuance of such duty. States that such deferment period shall not be counted against the grace period that is available to all individuals with respect to such loans made under such Act.