Text: H.R.1911 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (05/22/2003)

 
[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 1911 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

  1st Session
                                H. R. 1911


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                              May 22, 2003

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
 To amend title 38, United States Code, to enhance cooperation and the 
sharing of resources between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the 
                         Department of Defense.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE-DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS JOINT 
              EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.

    (a) Establishment of Joint Committee.--(1) Chapter 3 of title 38, 
United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new 
section:
``Sec. 320. Department of Veterans Affairs-Department of Defense Joint 
              Executive Committee
    ``(a) Joint Executive Committee.--(1) There is established an 
interagency committee to be known as the Department of Veterans 
Affairs-Department of Defense Joint Executive Committee (hereinafter in 
this section referred to as the `Committee').
    ``(2) The Committee is composed of--
            ``(A) the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs and such 
        other officers and employees of the Department of Veterans 
        Affairs as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may designate; and
            ``(B) the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and 
        Readiness and such other officers and employees of the 
        Department of Defense as the Secretary of Defense may 
        designate.
    ``(b) Administrative Matters.--(1) The Deputy Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs and the Under Secretary of Defense shall determine the size and 
structure of the Committee, as well as the administrative and 
procedural guidelines for the operation of the Committee.
    ``(2) The two Departments shall supply appropriate staff and 
resources to provide administrative support and services. Support for 
such purposes shall be provided at a level sufficient for the efficient 
operation of the Committee, including a subordinate Health Executive 
Committee, a subordinate Benefits Executive Committee, and such other 
committees or working groups as considered necessary by the Deputy 
Secretary and Under Secretary.
    ``(c) Recommendations.--(1) The Committee shall recommend to the 
Secretaries strategic direction for the joint coordination and sharing 
efforts between and within the two Departments under section 8111 of 
this title and shall oversee implementation of those efforts.
    ``(2) The Committee shall submit to the two Secretaries and to 
Congress an annual report containing such recommendations as the 
Committee considers appropriate.
    ``(d) Functions.--In order to enable the Committee to make 
recommendations in its annual report under subsection (c)(2), the 
Committee shall do the following:
            ``(1) Review existing policies, procedures, and practices 
        relating to the coordination and sharing of resources between 
        the two Departments.
            ``(2) Identify changes in policies, procedures, and 
        practices that, in the judgment of the Committee, would promote 
        mutually beneficial coordination, use, or exchange of use of 
        services and resources of the two Departments, with the goal of 
        improving the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the 
        delivery of benefits and services to veterans, service members, 
        military retirees and their families through an enhanced 
        Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense 
        partnership.
            ``(3) Identify and assess further opportunities for the 
        coordination and collaboration between the Departments that, in 
        the judgment of the Committee, would not adversely affect the 
        range of services, the quality of care, or the established 
        priorities for benefits provided by either Department.
            ``(4) Review the plans of both Departments for the 
        acquisition of additional resources, especially new facilities 
        and major equipment and technology, in order to assess the 
        potential effect of such plans on further opportunities for the 
        coordination and sharing of resources.
            ``(5) Review the implementation of activities designed to 
        promote the coordination and sharing of resources between the 
        Departments.''.
    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is 
amended by adding at the end the following new item:

``320. Department of Veterans Affairs-Department of Defense Joint 
                            Executive Committee.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendments.--(1) Subsection (c) of section 8111 of 
such title is repealed.
    (2) Such section is further amended--
            (A) in subsection (b)(2), by striking ``subsection (c)'' 
        and inserting ``section 320 of this title'';
            (B) in subsection (d)(1), by striking ``Committee 
        established in subsection (c)'' and inserting ``Department of 
        Veterans Affairs-Department of Defense Joint Executive 
        Committee'';
            (C) in subsection (e)(1), by striking ``Committee under 
        subsection (c)(2)'' and inserting ``Department of Veterans 
        Affairs-Department of Defense Joint Executive Committee with 
        respect to health care resources''; and
            (D) in subsection (f)(2), by striking subparagraphs (B) and 
        (C) and inserting the following:
            ``(B) The assessment of further opportunities identified by 
        the Department of Veterans Affairs-Department of Defense Joint 
        Executive Committee under subsection (d)(3) of section 320 of 
        this title for the sharing of health-care resources between the 
        two Departments.
            ``(C) Any recommendation made by that committee under 
        subsection (c)(2) of that section during that fiscal year.''.
    (c) Technical Amendments.--Subsection (f) of such section is 
further amended by inserting ``(Public Law 107-314)'' in paragraphs 
(3), (4)(A), (4)(B), and (5) after ``for Fiscal Year 2003''.
    (d) Effective Date.--(1) If this Act is enacted before October 1, 
2003--
            (A) section 320 of title 38, United States Code, as added 
        by subsection (a), shall take effect on October 1, 2003; and
            (B) the amendments made by subsections (b) and (c) shall 
        take effect on October 1, 2003, immediately after the amendment 
        made by section 721(a)(1) of the Bob Stump National Defense 
        Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-314; 116 
        2589).
    (2) If this Act is enacted on or after October 1, 2003, the 
amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the 
enactment of this Act.

            Passed the House of Representatives May 21, 2003.

            Attest:

                                                 JEFF TRANDAHL,

                                                                 Clerk.

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