H.R.2433 - Health Care for Veterans of Project 112/Project SHAD Act of 2003108th Congress (2003-2004)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Rodriguez, Ciro D. [D-TX-28] (Introduced 06/11/2003)|
|Committees:||House - Veterans' Affairs | Senate - Veterans' Affairs|
|Committee Reports:||H. Rept. 108-213|
|Latest Action:||Senate - 09/11/2003 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs. (All Actions)|
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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.