Text: S.77 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (01/24/2005)

 
[Congressional Bills 109th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 77 Introduced in Senate (IS)]







109th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 S. 77

    To amend titles 10 and 38, United States Code, to improve death 
benefits for the families of deceased members of the Armed Forces, and 
                          for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                            January 24, 2005

 Mr. Sessions (for himself and Mr. Lieberman) introduced the following 
   bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Armed 
                                Services

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
    To amend titles 10 and 38, United States Code, to improve death 
benefits for the families of deceased members of the Armed Forces, 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 ``Honoring Every Requirement of 
Exemplary Service Act of 2005'' or the ``HEROES Act of 2005''.

SEC. 2. DEATH GRATUITY ENHANCEMENTS.

    (a) Deaths From Combat-Related Causes or Causes Incurred in 
Designated Operations or Areas.--
            (1) Amount.--Section 1478 of title 10, United States Code, 
        is amended--
                    (A) in subsection (a), by inserting ``, except as 
                provided in subsection (c)'' after ``$12,000'';
                    (B) by redesignating subsection (c) as subsection 
                (d); and
                    (C) by inserting after subsection (b) the following 
                new subsection (c):
    ``(c) The death gratuity payable under sections 1475 through 1477 
of this title is $100,000 (as adjusted under subsection (d)) in the 
case of a death resulting from wounds, injuries, or illnesses that 
are--
            ``(1) incurred as described in section 1413a(e)(2) of title 
        10; or
            ``(2) incurred in an operation or area designated as a 
        combat operation or a combat zone, respectively, by the 
        Secretary of Defense under section 1967(e)(1)(A) of title 
        38.''.
            (2) Increases consistent with increases in rates of basic 
        pay.--Subsection (d) of such section, as redesignated by 
        paragraph (1)(B), is amended by striking ``amount of the death 
        gratuity in effect under subsection (a)'' and inserting 
        ``amounts of the death gratuities in effect under subsections 
        (a) and (c)''.
            (3) Conforming amendment.--Subsection (a) of such section, 
        as amended by paragraph (1) of this subsection, is further 
        amended by striking ``(as adjusted under subsection (c))'' and 
        inserting ``(as adjusted under subsection (d))''.
    (b) Additional Gratuity for Deaths Before Effective Date.--
            (1) Requirement to pay additional gratuity.--
                    (A) In the case of a member of the Armed Forces 
                described in subparagraph (B), the Secretary of the 
                military department concerned shall pay a death 
                gratuity in accordance with this subsection that is in 
                addition to the death gratuity payable in the case of 
                such death under sections 1475 through 1477 of title 
                10, United States Code.
                    (B) The requirements of this subsection apply in 
                the case of a member of the Armed Forces who died 
                before the date of the enactment of this Act as a 
                direct result of one or more wounds, injuries, or 
                illnesses that--
                            (i) were incurred in the theater of 
                        operations of Operation Enduring Freedom or 
                        Operation Iraqi Freedom; or
                            (ii) were incurred as described in section 
                        1413a(e)(2) of title 10, United States Code, on 
                        or after October 7, 2001.
            (2) Amount.--The amount of the additional death gratuity is 
        $238,000.
            (3) Beneficiaries.--The beneficiary or beneficiaries who 
        are entitled under section 1477 of title 10, United States 
        Code, to receive payment of the regular military death gratuity 
        in the case of the death of a member referred to in paragraph 
        (2) shall be entitled to receive the additional death gratuity 
        payable in such case. If there are two or more such 
        beneficiaries, the portion of the total amount of the 
        additional death gratuity payable to a beneficiary in such case 
        shall be the amount that bears the same ratio to the total 
        amount of the additional death gratuity under paragraph (2) as 
        the amount of the share of the regular military death gratuity 
        payable to that beneficiary bears to the total amount of the 
        regular military death gratuity payable to all such 
        beneficiaries in such case.
            (4) Definitions.--In this subsection:
                    (A) The term ``additional death gratuity'' means 
                the death gratuity provided under paragraph (1).
                    (B) The term ``regular military death gratuity'', 
                means a death gratuity payable under sections 1475 
                through 1477 of title 10 United States Code.

SEC. 3. SERVICEMEMBERS' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE ENHANCEMENTS.

    (a) Increased Maximum Amount Under Servicemembers' Group Life 
Insurance.--Section 1967 of title 38, United States Code, is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)(3)(A), by striking clause (i) and 
        inserting the following new clause:
            ``(i) In the case of a member--
                    ``(I) $400,000 or such lesser amount as the member 
                may elect;
                    ``(II) in the case of a member covered by 
                subsection (e), the amount provided for or elected by 
                the member under subclause (I) plus the additional 
                amount of insurance provided for the member by 
                subsection (e); or
                    ``(III) in the case of a member making an election 
                under paragraph (2)(A) not to be insured under this 
                subchapter, the amount of insurance provided for the 
member by subsection (e).''; and
            (2) in subsection (d), by striking ``$250,000'' and 
        inserting ``$400,000''.
    (b) Additional Amount for Members Serving in Certain Areas or 
Operations.--
            (1) Increased amount.--Section 1967 of such title is 
        further amended--
                    (A) by redesignating subsection (e) as subsection 
                (g); and
                    (B) by inserting after subsection (d) the following 
                new subsection (e):
    ``(e)(1) A member covered by this subsection is any member as 
follows:
            ``(A) Any member who dies as a result of one or more 
        wounds, injuries, or illnesses incurred while serving in an 
        operation or area that the Secretary designates, in writing, as 
        a combat operation or a zone of combat, respectively, for 
        purposes of this subsection.
            ``(B) Any member who formerly served in an operation or 
        area so designated and whose death is determined (under 
        regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense) to be the 
        direct result of injury or illness incurred or aggravated while 
        so serving.
    ``(2) The additional amount of insurance under this subchapter that 
is provided for a member by this subsection is $150,000, except that in 
a case in which the amount provided for or elected by the member under 
subclause (I) of subsection (a)(3)(A) exceeds $250,000, the additional 
amount of insurance under this subchapter that is provided for the 
member by this subsection shall be reduced to such amount as is 
necessary to comply with the limitation in paragraph (3).
    ``(3) The total amount of insurance payable for a member under this 
subchapter may not exceed $400,000.
    ``(4) While a member is serving in an operation or area designated 
as described in paragraph (1), the cost of insurance of the member 
under this subchapter that is attributable to $150,000 of insurance 
coverage shall be contributed as provided in section 1969(b)(2) of this 
title and may not be deducted or withheld from the member's pay.''.
            (2) Funding.--Section 1969(b) of such title is amended--
                    (A) by inserting ``(1)'' after ``(b)''; and
                    (B) by adding at the end the following new 
                paragraph:
    ``(2) For each month for which a member insured under this 
subchapter is serving in an operation or area designated as described 
by paragraph (1)(A) of section 1967(e) of this title, there shall be 
contributed from the appropriation made for active duty pay of the 
uniformed service concerned an amount determined by the Secretary and 
certified to the Secretary concerned to be the cost of Servicemembers' 
Group Life Insurance which is traceable to the cost of providing 
insurance for the member under section 1967 of this title in the amount 
of $150,000.''.
    (c) Conforming Amendment.--Section 1967(a)(2)(A) of such title is 
amended by inserting before the period at the end the following: ``, 
except for insurance provided under paragraph (3)(A)(i)(III)''.
    (d) Coordination With VGLI.--Section 1977(a) of such title is 
amended--
            (1) by striking ``$250,000'' each place it appears and 
        inserting ``$400,000''; and
            (2) by adding at the end of paragraph (1) the following new 
        sentence: ``Any additional amount of insurance provided a 
        member under section 1967(e) of this title may not be treated 
        as an amount for which Veterans' Group Life Insurance shall be 
        issued under this section.''.
    (e) Requirements Regarding Elections of Members to Reduce or 
Decline Insurance.--Section 1967(a) of such title is further amended--
            (1) in paragraph (2), by adding at the end the following 
        new subparagraph:
    ``(C) Pursuant to regulations prescribed by the Secretary of 
Defense, notice of an election of a member not to be insured under this 
subchapter, or to be insured under this subchapter in an amount less 
than the maximum amount provided under paragraph (3)(A)(i)(I), shall be 
provided to the spouse of the member.''; and
            (2) in paragraph (3)--
                    (A) in the matter preceding clause (i), by striking 
                ``and (C)'' and inserting ``, (C), and (D)''; and
                    (B) by adding at the end the following new 
                subparagraphs:
    ``(D) A member with a spouse may not elect not to be insured under 
this subchapter, or to be insured under this subchapter in an amount 
less than the maximum amount provided under subparagraph (A)(i)(I), 
without the written consent of the spouse.''.
    (f) Requirement Regarding Redesignation of Beneficiaries.--Section 
1970 of such title is amended by adding at the end the following new 
subsection:
    ``(j) A member with a spouse may not modify the beneficiary or 
beneficiaries designated by the member under subsection (a) without the 
written consent of the spouse.''.
    (g) Effective Date.--This section and the amendments made by this 
section shall take effect on the first day of the first month that 
begins more than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
                                 <all>

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