Text: H.R.612 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/14/2001)

 
[Congressional Bills 107th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 612 Introduced in House (IH)]







107th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 612

  To amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify the standards for 
     compensation for Persian Gulf veterans suffering from certain 
             undiagnosed illnesses, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           February 14, 2001

Mr. Manzullo (for himself, Mr. Gallegly, and Mr. Shows) introduced the 
following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify the standards for 
     compensation for Persian Gulf veterans suffering from certain 
             undiagnosed illnesses, 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 Illness 
Compensation Act of 2001''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) Although the majority of veterans of the Armed Forces 
        who served in the Persian Gulf War returned from the Southwest 
        Asia theater of operations to normal activities, many of those 
        veterans have experienced a range of unexplained illnesses, 
        including chronic fatigue, muscle and joint pain, loss of 
        concentration, forgetfulness, headache, and rash.
            (2) Those veterans were potentially exposed to a wide range 
        of biological and chemical agents including sand, smoke from 
        oil-well fires, paints, solvents, insecticides, petroleum fuels 
        and their combustion products, organophosphate nerve agents, 
        pyridostigmine bromide, depleted uranium, anthrax and botulinum 
        toxoid vaccinations, and infectious diseases, in addition to 
        other psychological and physiological stresses.
            (3) Section 1117 of title 38, United States Code, enacted 
        on November 2, 1994, by the Persian Gulf War Veterans' Benefits 
        Act (title I of Public Law 103-446), provides for the payment 
        of compensation to Persian Gulf veterans suffering from a 
        chronic disability resulting from an undiagnosed illness (or 
        combination of undiagnosed illnesses) that became manifest to a 
        compensable degree within a period prescribed by regulation.
            (4) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs prescribed 
        regulations under section 1117 of title 38, United States Code, 
        that interpreted that section so as to limit compensation to 
        Persian Gulf veterans with illnesses that ``cannot be 
        attributed to any known clinical diagnosis''.
            (5) In a report dated September 7, 2000, the Institute of 
        Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences indicated that it 
        was not asked to determine whether an identifiable medical 
        syndrome referred to as ``Gulf War Syndrome'' exists and 
        suggested that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in developing 
        a compensation program for Persian Gulf veterans, consider the 
        health effects that may be associated with exposures to 
        specific agents that were present in the Southwest Asia theater 
        of operations during the Persian Gulf War.

SEC. 3. COMPENSATION OF VETERANS OF PERSIAN GULF WAR WHO HAVE CERTAIN 
              ILLNESSES.

    (a) Presumptive Period for Undiagnosed Illnesses Program.--Section 
1117 of title 38, United States Code, is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)(2), by striking ``within the 
        presumptive period prescribed under subsection (b)'' and 
        inserting ``before December 31, 2011, or such later date as the 
        Secretary may prescribe by regulation''; and
            (2) by striking subsection (b).
    (b) Undiagnosed Illnesses.--Such section, as amended by subsection 
(a), is further amended by inserting after subsection (a) the following 
new subsection (b):
    ``(b)(1) For purposes of this section, the term `undiagnosed 
illness' means illness manifested by symptoms or signs the cause, 
etiology, or origin of which cannot be specifically and definitely 
identified, including poorly defined illnesses such as fibromyalgia, 
chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune disorder, and multiple chemical 
sensitivity. The attribution of one or more of the symptoms to a 
disability that is not an undiagnosed illness shall not preclude other 
symptoms from being considered a manifestation of an undiagnosed 
illness.
    ``(2) For purposes of paragraph (1), signs or symptoms that may be 
a manifestation of an undiagnosed illness include the following:
            ``(A) Fatigue.
            ``(B) Unexplained rashes or other dermatological signs or 
        symptoms.
            ``(C) Headache.
            ``(D) Muscle pain.
            ``(E) Joint pain.
            ``(F) Neurologic signs or symptoms.
            ``(G) Neuropsychological signs or symptoms.
            ``(H) Signs or symptoms involving the respiratory system 
        (upper or lower).
            ``(I) Sleep disturbances.
            ``(J) Gastrointestinal signs or symptoms.
            ``(K) Cardiovascular signs or symptoms.
            ``(L) Abnormal weight loss.
            ``(M) Menstrual disorders.''.
    (c) Presumption of Service Connection Program.--Section 1118(a) of 
such title is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
    ``(4) For purposes of this section, the term `undiagnosed illness' 
has the meaning given that term in section 1117(b) of this title.''.
    (d) Effective Date.--(1) For purposes of section 5110(g) of title 
38, United States Code--
            (A) the amendments to section 1117 of title 38, United 
        States Code, made by subsections (a) and (b) shall take effect 
        as of November 2, 1994; and
            (B) the amendment to section 1118 of title 38, United 
        States Code, made by subsection (c) shall take effect as of 
        October 21, 1998.
    (2) The second sentence of section 5110(g) of title 38, United 
States Code, shall not apply in the case of an award, or increased 
award, of compensation pursuant to the amendments made by this section 
if the date of application therefor is not later than one year after 
the date of the enactment of this Act.
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