Text: H.R.4889 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (12/19/2007)


110th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 4889


To amend title 38, United States Code, to recodify as part of that title chapter 1607 of title 10, United States Code.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

December 19, 2007

Mr. Filner introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To amend title 38, United States Code, to recodify as part of that title chapter 1607 of title 10, United States Code.

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 Guard and Reserves Are Fighting Too Act of 2008”.

SEC. 2. RECODIFICATION IN TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE, OF CERTAIN EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS FOR MEMBERS OF THE RESERVE COMPONENTS.

(a) In general.—Part III of title 38, United States Code, is amended by inserting after chapter 32 the following new chapter:


“3301. Purpose.

“3302. Educational assistance program.

“3303. Eligibility for educational assistance.

“3304. Time limit for use of entitlement.

“3305. Termination of assistance.

“3306. Administration of program.

§ 3301. Purpose

“The purpose of this chapter is to provide educational assistance to members of the reserve components called or ordered to active service in response to a war or national emergency declared by the President or Congress, in recognition of the sacrifices that those members make in answering the call to duty.

§ 3302. Educational assistance program

“(a) Program Establishment.—The Secretary of each military department, under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, shall establish and maintain a program as prescribed in this chapter to provide educational assistance to members of the Ready Reserve of the Armed Forces under the jurisdiction of the Secretary concerned.

“(b) Authorized Education Programs.—Educational assistance may be provided under this chapter for pursuit of any program of education that is an approved program of education for purposes of chapter 30 of this title.

“(c) Benefit Amount.—(1) The educational assistance program established under subsection (a) shall provide for payment by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs of an educational assistance allowance to each member entitled to educational assistance under this chapter who is pursuing a program of education authorized under subsection (b).

“(2) The educational assistance allowance provided under this chapter shall be based on the applicable percent under paragraph (4) to the applicable rate provided under section 3015 of this title for a member whose entitlement is based on completion of an obligated period of active duty of three years.

“(3) The educational assistance allowance provided under this section for a person who is undertaking a program for which a reduced rate is specified in chapter 30 of this title, that rate shall be further adjusted by the applicable percent specified in paragraph (4).

“(4) The adjusted educational assistance allowance under paragraph (2) or (3), as applicable, shall be—

“(A) 40 percent in the case of a member of a reserve component who performed active service for 90 consecutive days but less than one continuous year;

“(B) 60 percent in the case of a member of a reserve component who performed active service for one continuous year but less than two continuous years; or

“(C) 80 percent in the case of a member of a reserve component who performed active service for two continuous years or more.

“(d) Maximum Months of Assistance.—(1) Subject to section 3695 of this title, the maximum number of months of educational assistance that may be provided to any member under this chapter is 36 (or the equivalent thereof in part-time educational assistance).

“(2)(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter or chapter 36 of this title, any payment of an educational assistance allowance described in subparagraph (B) shall not—

“(i) be charged against the entitlement of any individual under this chapter; or

“(ii) be counted toward the aggregate period for which section 3695 of this title limits an individual's receipt of assistance.

“(B) The payment of the educational assistance allowance referred to in subparagraph (A) is the payment of such an allowance to the individual for pursuit of a course or courses under this chapter if the Secretary of Veterans Affairs finds that the individual—

“(i) had to discontinue such course pursuit as a result of being ordered to serve on active duty under section 12301(a), 12301(d), 12301(g), 12302, or 12304 of title 10; and

“(ii) failed to receive credit or training time toward completion of the individual's approved educational, professional, or vocational objective as a result of having to discontinue, as described in clause (i), the individual's course pursuit.

“(C) The period for which, by reason of this subsection, an educational assistance allowance is not charged against entitlement or counted toward the applicable aggregate period under section 3695 of this title shall not exceed the portion of the period of enrollment in the course or courses for which the individual failed to receive credit or with respect to which the individual lost training time, as determined under subparagraph (B)(ii).

“(e) Availability of Assistance for Licensing and Certification Tests.—(1) Subject to paragraph (3), the amount of educational assistance payable under this chapter for a licensing or certification test described in section 3452(b) of this title is the lesser of $2,000 or the fee charged for the test.

“(2) The number of months of entitlement charged in the case of any individual for such licensing or certification test is equal to the number (including any fraction) determined by dividing the total amount of educational assistance paid such individual for such test by the full-time monthly institutional rate of educational assistance which, but for paragraph (1), such individual would otherwise be paid under subsection (c).

“(3) In no event shall payment of educational assistance under this subsection for such a test exceed the amount of the individual’s available entitlement under this chapter.

“(f) Flight Training.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may approve the pursuit of flight training (in addition to a course of flight training that may be approved under section 3680A(b) of this title) by an individual entitled to educational assistance under this chapter if—

“(1) such training is generally accepted as necessary for the attainment of a recognized vocational objective in the field of aviation;

“(2) the individual possesses a valid private pilot certificate and meets, on the day the member begins a course of flight training, the medical requirements necessary for a commercial pilot certificate; and

“(3) the flight school courses meet Federal Aviation Administration standards for such courses and are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and the State approving agency.

§ 3303. Eligibility for educational assistance

“(a) Eligibility.—On or after September 11, 2001, a member of a reserve component is entitled to educational assistance under this chapter if the member—

“(1) served on active duty in support of a contingency operation for 90 consecutive days or more; or

“(2) in the case of a member of the Army National Guard of the United States or Air National Guard of the United States, performed full time National Guard duty under section 502(f) of title 32 for 90 consecutive days or more when authorized by the President or Secretary of Defense for the purpose of responding to a national emergency declared by the President and supported by Federal funds.

“(b) Disabled Members.—Notwithstanding the eligibility requirements in subsection (a), a member who was ordered to active service as prescribed under subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) but is released from duty before completing 90 consecutive days because of an injury, illness or disease incurred or aggravated in the line of duty shall be entitled to educational assistance under this chapter at the rate prescribed in section 3302(c)(4)(A) of this title.

“(c) Written Notification.—(1) Each member who becomes entitled to educational assistance under subsection (a) shall be given a statement in writing prior to release from active service that summarizes the provisions of this chapter and stating clearly and prominently the substance of section 3305 of this title as such section may apply to the member.

“(2) At the request of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Secretary of the military department concerned shall transmit a notice of entitlement for each such member to that Secretary.

“(d) Bar From Dual Eligibility.—A member who qualifies for educational assistance under this chapter may not receive credit for such service under both the program established by chapter 30 of this title and the program established by this chapter but shall make an irrevocable election (in such form and manner as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may prescribe) as to the program to which such service is to be credited.

“(e) Bar From Duplication of Educational Assistance Allowance.—(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), an individual entitled to educational assistance under this chapter who is also eligible for educational assistance under subchapter I of this chapter, chapter 30, 31, 32, or 35 of this title, or under the Hostage Relief Act of 1980 (Public Law 96–449; 5 U.S.C. 5561 note) may not receive assistance under more than one such programs and shall elect (in such form and manner as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may prescribe) under which program the member elects to receive educational assistance.

“(2) The restriction on duplication of educational assistance under paragraph (1) does not apply to the entitlement of educational assistance under section 16131(i) of title 10.

§ 3304. Time limit for use of entitlement

“(a) Duration of Entitlement.—Except as provided in subsection (b), a member remains entitled to educational assistance under this chapter while serving—

“(1) in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve, in the case of a member called or ordered to active service while serving in the Selected Reserve; or

“(2) in the Ready Reserve, in the case of a member ordered to active duty while serving in the Ready Reserve (other than the Selected Reserve).

“(b) Duration of Entitlement for Disabled Members.—(1) In the case of a person who is separated from the Ready Reserve because of a disability which was not the result of the individual's own willful misconduct incurred on or after the date on which such person became entitled to educational assistance under this chapter, such person's entitlement to educational assistance expires at the end of the 10-year period beginning on the date on which such person became entitled to such assistance.

“(2) The provisions of subsections (d) and (f) of section 3031 of this title shall apply to the period of entitlement prescribed by paragraph (1).

§ 3305. Termination of assistance

“(a) In General.—Except as provided in subsection (b), educational assistance may not be provided under this chapter, or if being provided under this chapter, shall be terminated—

“(1) if the member is receiving financial assistance under section 2107 of title 10 as a member of the Senior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program; or

“(2) when the member separates from the Ready Reserve, as provided for under section 3304(a)(1) or section 3304(a)(2), as applicable, of this title.

“(b) Exception.—Under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, educational assistance may be provided under this chapter to a member of the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve who incurs a break in service in the Selected Reserve of not more than 90 days if the member continues to serve in the Ready Reserve during and after such break in service.

§ 3306. Administration of program

“(a) Payments.—Payments for educational assistance under this chapter shall be made from funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2010 or any subsequent fiscal year for the payment of readjustment benefits.

“(b) Program Management.—Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the provisions of sections 3470, 3471, 3474, 3476, 3482(g), 3483, and 3485 of this title and the provisions of subchapters I and II of chapter 36 of this title (with the exception of sections 3686(a) and 3687) shall be applicable to the provision of educational assistance under this chapter. The term ‘eligible veteran’ and the term ‘person’, as used in those provisions, shall be deemed for the purpose of the application of those provisions to this chapter to refer to a person eligible for educational assistance under this chapter.”.

(b) Transfer of amounts for benefits accrued before October 1, 2009.—

(1) FISCAL YEAR 2010.—By not later than October 1, 2009, the Secretary of Defense shall transfer to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs from the funds in the Department of Defense Education Benefits Fund under section 2006 of title 10, United States Code, that are attributable to armed forces education liabilities under chapter 1607 of such title that accrue before such date, such funds as may be required by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to make payments with respect to such liabilities during fiscal year 2010. Such amounts shall be deposited into the education account of the Readjustment Benefits Account of the Department of Veterans Affairs and shall be available to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to make payments of educational assistance under chapter 33 of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a).

(2) AGREEMENT FOR SUBSEQUENT FISCAL YEARS.—By not later than October 1, 2009, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall enter into an agreement under which the Secretary of Defense shall transfer to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs all remaining funds in the Department of Defense Education Benefits Fund under section 2006 of title 10, United States Code, that are attributable to armed forces liabilities under chapter 1607 of such title that accrue before such date. Such amounts shall be deposited into the education account of the Readjustment Benefits Account of the Department of Veterans Affairs and shall be available to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to make payments of educational assistance under chapter 33 of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a).

(3) REPORT.—By not later than October 1, 2009, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the congressional defense committees, the Committee on Veterans Affairs of the Senate, and the Committee on Veterans Affairs of the House of Representatives a detailed report on the agreement between the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the status of the transfer of funds described in paragraph (2). Such report shall include the date on which the Secretary of Defense has agreed to complete such transfer.

(c) Clerical amendments.—The tables of chapters at the beginning of title 38, United States Code, and at the beginning of part III of such title, are each amended by inserting after the item relating to chapter 32 the following new item:

“33.  Educational Assistance for Members of the Reserve Components Supporting Contingency Operations and Certain Other Operations .............................
 3301”.


(d) Technical and conforming amendments.—

(1) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS ON BAR ON DUAL ELIGIBILITY FOR BENEFITS.—

(A) Section 3033 of title 38, United States Code, is amended—

(i) in subsection (a)(1), by striking “chapter 31, 32, or 35 of this title, under chapter 106 or 107 of title 10” and inserting “under chapter 31, 32, 33, or 35 of this title, under chapter 107 or 1606 of title 10”; and

(ii) in subsection (c), by striking “chapter 106 of title 10” and inserting “chapter 1606 of title 10”.

(B) Section 3221(f) of such title is amended by striking “chapter 106 of title 10” and inserting “chapter 1606 of title 10”.

(C) Section 3681 of such title is amended—

(i) in subsection (a), by striking “34, 35, or 36 of this title or 106 or 107 of title 10,” and inserting “33, 34, 35, or 36 of this title or chapter 107 or 1606 of title 10”; and

(ii) in subsection (b)—

(I) in paragraph (1), by inserting after “32,” the following: “33,”; and

(II) in paragraph (2), by striking “Chapters 106 and 107” and inserting “Chapters 107 and 1606”.

(2) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS RELATING TO DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE EDUCATION BENEFITS FUND.—

(A) DEFINITION OF ARMED FORCES EDUCATION LIABILITIES.—Paragraph (1) of section 2006(b) of title 10, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

“(1) The term ‘armed forces education liabilities’ means liabilities of the armed forces for benefits under chapter 30 and of title 38 and for Department of Defense benefits under paragraphs (3) and (4) of section 510(e) and chapter 1606 of this title, including funds provided by the Secretary of Homeland Security for education liabilities for the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Department of the Navy.”.

(B) DEFINITION OF NORMAL COST.—Paragraph (2) of such section is amended by striking subparagraph (C) and inserting the following new subparagraph:

“(C) The present value of the future Department of Defense benefits payable from the Fund (including funds from the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating) for educational assistance under chapter 1606 of this title to persons who during such period become entitled to such assistance.”.

(3) ADDITIONAL TECHNICAL AND CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.—

(A) TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE.—

(i) Section 3485 of title 38, United States Code, is amended—

(I) in subsection (a)(4)(E), by striking “or 1607”;

(II) in subsection (b), by striking “chapter 30, 31, 32, or 34 of this title or chapter 1606 or 1607 of title 10,” and inserting “chapter 30, 31, 32, 33, or 34 of this title or chapter 1606 of title 10,”; and

(III) in subsection (e)(1)—

(aa) by striking “, chapter 30, 31, 32, 35, or 36 of this title, or chapter 1606 or 1607 of title 10” and inserting “or chapter 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, or 36 of this title or chapter 1606 of title 10”; and

(bb) by striking “section 2135” and inserting “section 16135”.

(ii) Section 3672(c) of such title is amended—

(I) in paragraph (3)(A), by striking “chapters 30 and 35 of this title” and inserting “chapters 30, 33, and 35 of this title”; and

(II) in paragraph (4), by striking “chapter 30 or 35 of this title” and inserting “chapter 30, 33, or 35 of this title”.

(iii) Section 3674 of such title is amended—

(I) in subsection (a)(1), by striking “chapter 106” and inserting “chapter 1606”; and

(II) in subsection (c), by inserting “33,” after “32,”.

(iv) Section 3680A(d)(1) of such title is amended—

(I) by striking “chapter 106” each place it appears and inserting “chapter 1606”; and

(II) by inserting “, 33” after “32”.

(v) Section 3684A(a)(1) of such title is amended by striking “chapter 30 or 32 of this title or in chapter 106” and inserting “chapter 30, 32, or 33 of this title or in chapter 1606”.

(vi) Section 3688(b) of such title is amended by striking “, chapter 30, 32, or 35 of this title, or chapter 106” and inserting “or chapter 30, 32, 33, or 35 of this title, or chapter 1606”.

(vii) Section 3689 of such title is amended by inserting “33,” after “32,” each place it appears.

(viii) Section 3692 of such title is amended—

(I) in subsection (a), by striking “or 35 of this title” and inserting “33, or 35 of this title”; and

(II) in subsection (b), by striking “, chapters 30, 32, and 35 of this title” and inserting “and chapters 30, 32, 33, and 35 of this title”.

(ix) Section 3695(a) of such title is amended—

(I) by striking paragraph (4) and inserting the following new paragraph (4):

“(4) Chapters 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, and 36 of this title.”; and

(II) in paragraph (5), by striking “1607,”.

(x) Section 3697(a) of such title is amended by striking “chapter 30, 32, 34, or 35 of this title, or chapter 106” and inserting “chapter 30, 32, 33, 34, or 35 of this title or chapter 1606”.

(xi) Section 3697A(b)(1) of such title is amended by striking “or 32 of this title or chapter 106 or 107” and inserting “32, or 33 of this title or chapter 107 or 1606”.

(B) TITLE 10, UNITED STATES CODE.—Section 510(h)(1) of title 10, United States Code, is amended—

(i) in subparagraph (A), by inserting “or chapter 33” after “chapter 30”; and

(ii) in subparagraph (B), by striking “either such chapter” each place it appears and inserting “any such chapter”;

(e) Effective date.—This section and the amendments made by this section shall take effect on October 1, 2009.