H.R.4036 - Persian Gulf War Veterans Health Act of 1998105th Congress (1997-1998)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Shays, Christopher [R-CT-4] (Introduced 06/11/1998)|
|Committees:||House - Veterans' Affairs|
|Latest Action:||06/11/1998 Referred to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. (All Actions)|
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Text: H.R.4036 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Bill Information (Except Text)
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Introduced in House (06/11/1998)
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[Congressional Bills 105th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 4036 Introduced in House (IH)] 105th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 4036 To amend title 38, United States Code, to establish certain presumptions of service connection for veterans who served in the Persian Gulf War, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES June 11, 1998 Mr. Shays (for himself, Mr. Towns, Mr. Snowbarger, Mr. Sanders, Mr. Gilman, Ms. Norton, Mr. Burton of Indiana, Mr. Metcalf, Mr. McHugh, Mr. Allen, Mr. Lantos, Mr. Barrett of Wisconsin, Mr. McIntosh, Ms. Stabenow, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Pappas, Mr. Souder, Mr. Waxman, Mr. Kucinich, Mr. Kennedy of Massachusetts, Mr. Davis of Virginia, Mrs. Johnson of Connecticut, and Mr. Upton) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To amend title 38, United States Code, to establish certain presumptions of service connection for veterans who served in the Persian Gulf War, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Persian Gulf War Veterans Health Act of 1998''. SEC. 2. PRESUMPTION OF SERVICE CONNECTION FOR ILLNESSES ASSOCIATED WITH SERVICE IN THE PERSIAN GULF DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR. (a) In General.--(1) Subchapter II of chapter 11 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ``Sec. 1118. Presumptions of service connection for illnesses associated with service in the Persian Gulf during the Persian Gulf War ``(a)(1) For purposes of section 1110 of this title, and subject to section 1113 of this title, each illness described in paragraph (2) or identified pursuant to subsection (b) shall be considered to have been incurred in or aggravated by service referred to in that paragraph, notwithstanding that there is no record of evidence of such illness during the period of such service. ``(2) An illness referred to in paragraph (1) is any diagnosed or undiagnosed illness that-- ``(A) the Secretary determines in regulations prescribed under this section to warrant a presumption of service connection by reason of having a positive association with exposure to a biological, chemical, or other toxic agent or environmental or wartime hazard known or presumed to be associated with service in the Armed Forces in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the period beginning on August 2, 1990, and ending on December 31, 1991; and ``(B) becomes manifest in a Persian Gulf War veteran who by reason of service in Southwest Asia during the period beginning on August 2, 1990, and ending on December 31, 1991, was exposed to such agent or hazard. ``(3) For purposes of this subsection, a Persian Gulf War veteran who has an illness described in paragraph (2) shall be presumed to have been exposed by reason of such service to the agent or hazard associated with the illness in the regulations prescribed under this subsection unless there is conclusive evidence to establish that the veteran was not exposed to the agent or hazard by reason of such service. ``(b)(1) The Secretary shall enter into a contract with an appropriate independent scientific body to establish a panel for the purpose of reviewing the medical and scientific literature to identify those diseases and illnesses epidemiologically, medically, or scientifically associated with exposure of humans or animals to any of the materials specified in subsection (c). The panel shall be composed of non-Government scientific experts representing, at minimum, the disciplines of toxicology, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, chemistry, epidemiology, medicine, and public health. ``(2) The Secretary shall require that the panel submit to the Secretary, not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this section, a report, based upon the review under paragraph (1), identifying such diseases and illnesses. ``(3) Upon submission to the Secretary of the report under paragraph (2), each disease or illness identified in the report that becomes manifest in a Persian Gulf War veteran shall be presumed to be service-connected. ``(4) There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $1,000,000 to carry out this subsection. ``(5) The specification of presumed exposures in subsection (c) shall be updated as information develops confirming the exposure of Persian Gulf War veterans or members of their families to additional chemical, biological, radiological, or other genotoxic or infectious materials. The Secretary shall periodically enter into a contract as described in paragraph (1) for the purposes of identifying and confirming such exposures. Upon submission to the Secretary of a report pursuant to such a contract, the Secretary shall add each disease or illness identified in the report that becomes manifest in a Persian Gulf War veteran to those diseases and illnesses that are presumed under this section to be service-connected. ``(c) Presumption of Exposure.--Each Persian Gulf War veteran shall be presumed to have been exposed to the following potentially hazardous materials: ``(1) The following organophosphorous pesticides: ``(A) Chlorpyrifos. ``(B) Diazinon. ``(C) Dichlorvos. ``(D) Malathion. ``(2) The following carbamate pesticides: ``(A) Proxpur. ``(B) Carbaryl. ``(C) Methomyl. ``(3) The following carbamate used as nerve agent prophylaxis: ``(A) Pyridostigmine bromide. ``(4) The following chlorinated dydrocarbon and other pesticides and repellents: ``(A) Lindane. ``(B) Pyrethroids. ``(C) Rodenticides (bait). ``(D) Repellent (DEET). ``(5) The following low-level nerve agents and precursors compounds: ``(A) Sarin. ``(B) Tabun. ``(6) The following other synthetic chemical compounds: ``(A) Low-level mustard agents. ``(B) VOCs. ``(C) Hydrazine. ``(D) Red fuming nitric acid. ``(E) Solvents. ``(F) Uranium. ``(7) The following ionizing radiation: ``(A) Depleted uranium. ``(B) Microwave. ``(C) RF radiation. ``(8) The following environmental particulates and pollutants: ``(A) Hydrogen sulfide. ``(B) Oil fire byproducts. ``(C) Diesel heater fumes. ``(D) Sand micro-particles. ``(9) Diseases endemic to the region (including the following): ``(A) Leishmaniasis. ``(B) Sandfly fever. ``(C) Pathogenic escherechia coli. ``(D) Shigellosis. ``(E) Malaria. ``(10) Time compressed administration of multiple live, ``attenuated,'' and toxoid vaccines. ``(d) For purposes of this section: ``(1) The term `Persian Gulf War veteran' means a veteran who served on active duty in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the period beginning on August 2, 1990, and ending on December 31, 1991. ``(2) The term `non-Government scientific expert' means an individual who is a scientific expert who (A) is not employed by the United States, and (B) received less than 15 percent of income during the preceding 12 months from federally funded research activities.''. (2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1117 the following new item: ``1118. Presumptions of service connection for illnesses associated with service in the Persian Gulf during the Persian Gulf War.''. (b) Conforming Amendments.--Section 1113 of title 38, United States Code, is amended-- (1) by striking out ``or 1117'' each place it appears and inserting in lieu thereof ``1117, or 1118''; and (2) in subsection (a), by striking out ``or 1116'' and inserting in lieu thereof ``, 1116, or 1118''. SEC. 3. PLAN FOR MEDICAL SURVEILLANCE OF PERSIAN GULF WAR VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES. (a) Plan for Contract To Establish Independent Review Panel.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to Congress a plan to contract with an appropriate independent scientific body to establish a panel, to be composed of non-Government scientific experts (as defined in section 1118(d)(2) of title 38, United States Code, as added by section 2), for the purpose of reviewing the statistical occurrence of both diagnosed and undiagnosed illnesses and symptoms among veterans of the Persian Gulf War and their families. (b) Criteria and Plan for Review.--The criteria and a plan for such review shall be established by the panel and shall be submitted by the panel to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the chairman and ranking minority party member of the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the House of Representatives. SEC. 4. PLAN FOR PERMANENT EXPERT ADVISORY GROUP ON CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL, AND RADIOLOGICAL DEFENSE. Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to Congress a plan for the establishment of a permanent expert advisory group to be composed of individuals capable of providing expert advice both to the President and the congressional defense and intelligence committees on the adequacy of current United States chemical, biological, and radiological defense technologies, procurement practices, and doctrine to defend the Armed Forces against both the immediate and chronic consequences of acute and sub-acute exposures to chemical, biological, radiological, or other genotoxic battlefield materials. <all>