Text: H.R.2433 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (09/11/2003)

 
[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 2433 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

  1st Session
                                H. R. 2433


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           September 11, 2003

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

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
 To amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of 
   Veterans Affairs to provide veterans who participated in certain 
  Department of Defense chemical and biological warfare testing with 
health care for their illness without requirement for proof of service-
                  connection, 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 ``Health Care for Veterans of Project 
112/Project SHAD Act of 2003''.

SEC. 2. PROVISION OF HEALTH CARE TO VETERANS WHO PARTICIPATED IN 
              CERTAIN DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL 
              WARFARE TESTING.

    Section 1710(e) of title 38, United States Code, is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by adding at the end the following 
        new subparagraph:
    ``(E) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), a veteran who participated 
in a test conducted by the Department of Defense Deseret Test Center as 
part of a program for chemical and biological warfare testing from 1962 
through 1973 (including the program designated as `Project Shipboard 
Hazard and Defense (SHAD)' and related land-based tests) is eligible 
for hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care under 
subsection (a)(2)(F) for any illness, notwithstanding that there is 
insufficient medical evidence to conclude that such illness is 
attributable to such testing.''.
            (2) in paragraph (2)(B), by striking out ``paragraph (1)(C) 
        or (1)(D)'' and inserting ``subparagraph (C), (D), or (E) of 
        paragraph (1)''; and
            (3) in paragraph (3)--
                    (A) by striking ``and'' at the end of subparagraph 
                (B);
                    (B) by striking the period at the end of 
                subparagraph (C) and inserting ``; and''; and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following new 
                subparagraph:
            ``(D) in the case of care for a veteran described in 
        paragraph (1)(E), after December 31, 2005.''.

SEC. 3. IMPROVEMENTS TO THE RETENTION AND RECRUITMENT OF HEALTH CARE 
              PROFESSIONALS.

    (a) Promotion Standards for Health Care Personnel.--Subsection (c) 
of 7403 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by striking 
``Promotions'' and inserting ``Consistent with subsection (a) of 
section 7422 of this title, and notwithstanding subsection (b) of that 
section, promotions''.
    (b) Promotions for Nurses Who Do Not Have Baccalaureate Degrees.--
Such section is further amended by adding at the end the following new 
subsection:
    ``(h) In a case in which a registered nurse has accomplished the 
performance elements required for promotion to the next grade, the lack 
of a baccalaureate degree in nursing shall not be a bar to promotion to 
that grade, and in such a case the registered nurse shall not be denied 
a promotion on that basis.''.

SEC. 4. ADDITIONAL PAY FOR SATURDAY TOURS OF DUTY FOR ADDITIONAL HEALTH 
              CARE WORKERS IN THE VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION.

    (a) In General.--Section 7454(b) of title 38, United States Code, 
is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
    ``(3) Employees appointed under section 7408 of this title shall be 
entitled to additional pay on the same basis as provided for nurses in 
section 7453(c) of this title.''.
    (b) Applicability.--The amendment made by subsection (a) shall 
apply with respect to pay periods beginning on or after the date of the 
enactment of this Act.

SEC. 5. COVERAGE OF EMPLOYEES OF VETERANS' CANTEEN SERVICE UNDER 
              ADDITIONAL EMPLOYMENT LAWS.

    (a) Coverage.--Paragraph (5) of section 7802 of title 38, United 
States Code, is amended by inserting before the semicolon a period and 
the following: ``An employee appointed under this section may be 
considered for appointment to a Department position in the competitive 
service in the same manner that a Department employee in the 
competitive service is considered for transfer to such position. An 
employee of the Service who is appointed to a Department position in 
the competitive service under the authority of the preceding sentence 
may count toward the time-in-service requirement for a career 
appointment in such position any previous period of employment in the 
Service''.
    (b) Technical Amendments.--Such section is further amended--
            (1) by striking the semicolon at the end of each of 
        paragraphs (1) through (10) and inserting a period;
            (2) by striking ``The Secretary '' and all that follows 
        through ``(1) establish,'' and inserting ``(a) Locations for 
        Canteens.--The Secretary shall establish,'';
            (3) by redesignating paragraphs (2) through (11) as 
        subsections (b) through (k), respectively, and by realigning 
        those subsections (as so redesignated) so as to be flush to the 
        left margin;
            (4) in subsection (b) (as so redesignated), by inserting 
        ``Warehouses and Storage Depots.--The Secretary shall'' before 
        ``establish'';
            (5) in subsection (c) (as so redesignated), by inserting 
        ``Space, Buildings, and Structures.--The Secretary shall'' 
        before ``furnish'';
            (6) in subsection (d) (as so redesignated), by inserting 
        ``Equipment, Services, and Utilities.--The Secretary shall'' 
        before ``transfer'';
            (7) in subsection (e) (as so redesignated and as amended by 
        subsection (a)), by inserting ``Personnel.--The Secretary 
        shall'' before ``employ'';
            (8) in subsection (f) (as so redesignated), by inserting 
        ``Contracts and Agreements.--The Secretary shall'' before 
        ``make all'';
            (9) in subsection (g) (as so redesignated), by inserting 
        ``Prices.--The Secretary shall'' before ``fix the'';
            (10) in subsection (h) (as so redesignated), by inserting 
        ``Gifts and Donations.--The Secretary may'' before ``accept'';
            (11) in subsection (i) (as so redesignated), by inserting 
        ``Rules and Regulations.--The Secretary shall'' before ``make 
        such'';
            (12) in subsection (j) (as so redesignated), by inserting 
        ``Delegation.--The Secretary may'' before ``delegate such''; 
        and
            (13) in subsection (k) (as so redesignated), by inserting 
        ``Authority To Cash Checks, Etc.--The Secretary may'' before 
        ``authorize''.

            Passed the House of Representatives September 10, 2003.

            Attest:

                                                 JEFF TRANDAHL,

                                                                 Clerk.