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.
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