Text: H.R.4220 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (12/08/2009)


111th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 4220


To amend title 38, United States Code, to make certain improvements in the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs relating to small business concerns and employment assistance, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

December 8, 2009

Mr. Buyer (for himself, Mr. Moran of Kansas, Mr. Brown of South Carolina, Mr. Miller of Florida, Mr. Boozman, Mr. Bilirakis, Mr. Buchanan, Mr. Roe of Tennessee, Mr. Bilbray, and Mr. Lamborn) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and in addition to the Committees on Education and Labor and Small Business, 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 make certain improvements in the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs relating to small business concerns and employment assistance, 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; table of contents.

(a) Short title.—This Act may be cited as the “Promoting Jobs for Veterans Act of 2009”.

(b) Table of contents.—The table of contents for this Act is as follows:


Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. References to title 38, United States Code.

Sec. 101. Promoting jobs for veterans through the reauthorization and improvement of Department of Veterans Affairs small business loan program.

Sec. 102. Promoting jobs for veterans through the use of sole source contracts by Department of Veterans Affairs for purposes of meeting the contracting goals and preferences of the Department of Veterans Affairs for small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans.

Sec. 103. Promoting jobs for veterans through the treatment of small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans as socially and economically disadvantaged.

Sec. 104. Promoting jobs for veterans through the extension of period of eligibility for certain assistance for small business concerns owned by an individual who is called or ordered to active duty.

Sec. 201. Promoting jobs for veterans through the increase in the amount of subsistence allowance payable to veterans participating in vocational rehabilitation programs.

Sec. 202. Promoting jobs for veterans through the establishment of a vocational rehabilitation internship program.

Sec. 203. Promoting jobs for veterans through the payment of an employment training assistance.

Sec. 204. Promoting jobs for veterans through the payment of an assistance allowance for rural veteran teachers.

Sec. 205. Promoting jobs for veterans through the authorization of appropriations for veterans’ workforce investment programs.

Sec. 206. Promoting jobs for veterans through the promotion of the VetSuccess Internet website.

SEC. 2. References to title 38, United States Code.

Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this Act an amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or a repeal of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other provision of title 38, United States Code.

SEC. 101. Promoting jobs for veterans through the reauthorization and improvement of Department of Veterans Affairs small business loan program.

(a) Reauthorization.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Chapter 37 is amended by striking section 3751.

(2) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.—The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by striking the item relating to section 3751.

(3) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.—Section 3749 is amended by striking subsection (e).

(b) Expansion of eligibility for small business loans.—Chapter 37, as amended by subsection (a), is further amended—

(1) in section 3741—

(A) by striking paragraph (2);

(B) by striking “this subchapter—” and all that follows through “ ‘disabled veteran’” and inserting “this subchapter, the term ‘disabled veteran’”; and

(C) by striking “30 percent” and inserting “10 percent”; and

(2) in section 3742(a)(3)(A), by striking “of the Vietnam era or disabled veterans”.

(c) Repeal of authority To make direct loans.—Chapter 37, as amended by subsections (a) and (b), is further amended—

(1) in section 3742—

(A) in subsection (a)—

(i) in paragraph (2), by striking “(A) loan guaranties, or (B) direct loans” and inserting “loan guarantees”; and

(ii) in paragraph (3)(A), by striking “and that at least 51 percent of a business concern must be owned by disabled veterans in order for such concern to qualify for a direct loan”;

(B) in subsection (b)—

(i) by striking paragraph (1) and redesignating paragraphs (2) through (4) as paragraphs (1) through (3), respectively; and

(ii) in paragraph (2), as so redesignated, by striking “make or”;

(C) in subsection (c), by striking “made or”;

(D) in subsection (d)—

(i) by striking paragraph (2);

(ii) by striking “(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the” and inserting “The”; and

(iii) by striking “make or”; and

(E) in subsection (e)—

(i) in paragraph (1)—

(I) in the first sentence, by striking “or, if the loan was a direct loan made by the Secretary, may suspend such obligation”; and

(II) in the second sentence, by striking “or while such obligation is suspended”;

(ii) by striking “or suspend” each place it appears;

(iii) by striking “or suspension” each place it appears

(iv) by striking “or suspends” each place it appears; and

(v) in paragraph (4)(B), by striking “or suspended”;

(2) in section 3743—

(A) by striking “that is provided a direct loan under this subchapter, or ”;

(B) by striking the comma between “subchapter” and “shall”;

(C) by striking “direct or”; and

(D) by striking “for the amount of such direct loan or, in the case of a guaranteed loan,”;

(3) in section 3746, by striking “made or” both places it appears;

(4) in section 3749(b), by striking “and direct loan”; and

(5) in section 3750, by striking “made or”.

(d) Increase of maximum guaranty amount.—Section 3742(b)(2), as redesignated by subsection (c)(1)(B)(i), is amended by striking “$200,000” and inserting “$500,000”.

(e) Authority To enter into a contract.—Section 3742, as amended by subsection (c), is further amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

“(f) The Secretary shall enter into a contract with an appropriate entity for the purpose of carrying out the program under this subchapter.”.

(f) Authority of Secretary To subsidize interest rates of guaranteed loan.—Section 3745 is amended by striking subsection (b) and inserting the following new subsection (b):

“(b) For any loan guaranteed under this subchapter, the Secretary may pay to the lender such amounts as may be required to reduce the rate of interest payable by the veterans’ small business concern by up to one-half of one percent, except that the rate of interest payable by such concern shall not be less than one-half of one percent.”.

(g) Preference for members of National Guard and Reserves activated in support of Global War on Terrorism.—Section 3748 is amended—

(1) by striking “and, second” and inserting “second”; and

(2) by inserting before the period at the end “, and, third, to veterans’ small business concern in which veterans who, as members of a reserve component, are activated in support of the Global War on Terrorism have a significant ownership interest”.

(h) Authorization of appropriations.—Section 3749(c)(1) is amended by striking “a total of $25,000,000” and inserting “$1,000,000,000 for each fiscal year”.

SEC. 102. Promoting jobs for veterans through the use of sole source contracts by Department of Veterans Affairs for purposes of meeting the contracting goals and preferences of the Department of Veterans Affairs for small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans.

(a) In general.—Section 8127(c) is amended by striking “may” and inserting “shall”.

(b) Deadline for interim policy guidance.—By not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall issue interim policy guidance to carry out the amendment made by subsection (a).

SEC. 103. Promoting jobs for veterans through the treatment of small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans as socially and economically disadvantaged.

Section 8128 is amended—

(1) by redesignating subsection (b) as subsection (c); and

(2) by inserting after subsection (a) the following new subsection:

“(b) Treatment as socially and economically disadvantaged.—The Secretary may evaluate a bid submitted by a small business concern owned and controlled by veterans and award a contract to such a concern on the same basis as the Administrator of the Small Business Administration may evaluate a bid submitted by a socially and economically disadvantaged small business concern and award a contract to such a concern under section 8(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(a)).”.

SEC. 104. Promoting jobs for veterans through the extension of period of eligibility for certain assistance for small business concerns owned by an individual who is called or ordered to active duty.

Section 7(j)(15) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(j)(15)) is amended to read as follows:

“(15)(A) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (10)(C), a small business concern may receive developmental assistance under the Program and contracts under section 8(a) for a total period of not longer than nine years, measured from the date of its certification under the authority of such section, of which—

“(i) no more than four years may be spent in the developmental stage of Program Participation; and

“(ii) no more than five years may be spent in the transitional stage of Program Participation.

“(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), a small business concern that is owned by an individual who is called or ordered to active duty for a period of more than 30 days (as defined in section 101(d)(2) of title 10, United States Code) may receive developmental assistance under the Program and contracts under section 8(a) for a total period of not longer than the sum of—

“(i) 9 years, as measured from the date of the certification of such concern under the authority of such section; and

“(ii) the length of time such individual is called or ordered to active duty for a period of more than 30 days during the 9-year period described in clause (i).”.

SEC. 201. Promoting jobs for veterans through the increase in the amount of subsistence allowance payable to veterans participating in vocational rehabilitation programs.

(a) Increase in subsistence allowance.—Section 3108(b) is amended by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following new paragraph (1):

“(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the Secretary shall determine the subsistence allowance to be paid to a veteran under this chapter. Such amount shall be the greater of the following amounts:

“(A) The amount equal to the amount equal to the monthly amount of the basic allowance for housing payable under section 403 of title 37 for a member of the Armed Forces with dependents in pay grade E–5 residing in the military housing area that encompasses all or the majority portion of the ZIP code area in which the veteran is pursuing the program under this chapter.

“(B) The amount determined by the Secretary in accordance with the following table, which shall be the monthly amount shown in column II, III, IV, or V (whichever is applicable as determined by the veteran’s dependency status) opposite the appropriate type of program being pursued as specified in column I:

“Column I Column II Column III Column IV Column V
Type of program No dependents One dependent Two dependents More than two dependents
The amount in column IV, plus the following for each dependent in excess of two:
Full-time $1,200 $1,500 $1,800 $120
Three-quarter time $900 $1,125 $1,350 $90
Half-time $600 $750 $900 $60”.

(b) Effective date.—The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to a payment made for the third month beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act and each subsequent month.

SEC. 202. Promoting jobs for veterans through the establishment of a vocational rehabilitation internship program.

(a) In general.—Chapter 31 is amended by inserting after section 3116 the following new section:

§ 3116A. Internship program

“(a) Internship program.—The Secretary shall carry out an internship program through which the Secretary shall award internships to up to 2,000 veterans each year in accordance with this section. The recipient of an internship under this section shall be employed in the Veterans Benefits Administration for the duration of the internship.

“(b) Eligibility.—To be eligible to receive an internship under this section a veteran shall have completed a rehabilitation program under this chapter. In awarding internships under this section, the Secretary shall give a preference to a veteran who has completed a program of long-term education or training, as determined by the Secretary.

“(c) Salary; benefits.—(1) Each recipient of an internship under this section shall be paid at a rate determined by the Secretary, except that such rate shall be at least the maximum annual rate of basic pay payable for grade GS–3 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5, United States Code, and shall not exceed the maximum annual rate of basic pay payable for grade GS–5 of such schedule.

“(2) Each such recipient shall be entitled to leave on the same basis as employees of the Department who are paid at the same annual rate, except that such recipient may not be reimbursed for any unused leave at the end of the internship.

“(3) The Secretary shall furnish hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care to each recipient of an internship under this section on the same basis as a veteran described in subsection (B) of paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of section 1710 of this title unless the recipient is eligible for such care and services under subparagraph (A) of such paragraph or under paragraph (1) of such subsection.

“(4) The recipient of an internship under this section may receive an allowance under section 3108 of this title if such recipient is entitled to such an allowance.

“(d) Duration.—No internship under this section shall exceed 12 months in duration.

“(e) Outreach.—The Secretary shall notify each participant in a rehabilitation program under this chapter of the internship program under this section.”.

(b) Clerical amendment.—The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to 3116 the following new item:


“3116A. Internship program.”.

SEC. 203. Promoting jobs for veterans through the payment of an employment training assistance.

(a) In General.—Chapter 36 is amended by inserting after section 3687 the following new section:

§ 3687A. Additional training assistance for unemployed veterans pursuing apprenticeships or other on-job training.

“(a) Monthly training assistance allowance.—A covered veteran shall be paid a monthly training assistance allowance under this section for each month that the veteran is enrolled in a program of apprenticeship described in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of section 3687 of this title or a program of other on-job training described in paragraph (2) of such subsection.

“(b) Amount.—The amount of the monthly training assistance allowance under this section is the amount equal to the monthly amount of the basic allowance for housing payable under section 403 of title 37 for a member of the Armed Forces with dependents in pay grade E–5 residing in the military housing area that encompasses all or the majority portion of the ZIP code area in which the veteran resides.

“(c) Duration.—A covered veteran may receive training assistance under this section for a single period of not more than 12 months.

“(d) Covered veteran defined.—In this section, the term ‘covered veteran’ means a veteran who is—

“(1) unemployed for a period of not less than four consecutive months at the time of applying for training assistance under this section;

“(2) 59 years of age or younger; and

“(3) except as provided under this section, ineligible for education or training assistance under this title.

“(e) Authorization of Appropriations.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $100,000,000 for each fiscal year.”.

(b) Clerical Amendment.—The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item:


“3687A. Additional monthly training assistance allowance for unemployed veterans.”.

(c) Effective date.—Section 3687A of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall apply with respect to months beginning on or after the first day of fiscal year 2011.

SEC. 204. Promoting jobs for veterans through the payment of an assistance allowance for rural veteran teachers.

(a) In general.—Chapter 36 is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

§ 3698. Assistance allowance for rural veteran teachers

“(a) Reducing administrative burden.—The Secretary may pay to a rural veteran teacher a monthly assistance allowance of $500.

“(b) Duration.—The aggregate period for which the Secretary may pay a rural veteran teacher a monthly assistance allowance under subsection (a) may not exceed 24 months.

“(c) Rural veteran teacher defined.—In this section, the term ‘rural veteran teacher’ means a veteran who—

“(1) is discharged from service in the Armed Forces under honorable conditions;

“(2) is employed to teach full-time at an accredited elementary or secondary school that is located in a rural area (as determined by the Bureau of the Census);

“(3) on the date on which the veteran applies for a monthly assistance allowance under subsection (a), is enrolled in an accredited course leading to certification as a teacher; and

“(4) has not been previously employed to teach full-time at an accredited elementary or secondary school.

“(d) Authorization of appropriations.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $25,000,000 for fiscal year 2011 and each fiscal year thereafter.”.

(b) Clerical amendment.—The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 3697A the following new item:


“3698. Assistance allowance for rural veteran teachers.”.

SEC. 205. Promoting jobs for veterans through the authorization of appropriations for veterans’ workforce investment programs.

Section 168 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2913) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

“(c) Authorization of appropriations.—There is authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal year $20,000,000 for programs authorized under this section.”.

SEC. 206. Promoting jobs for veterans through the promotion of the VetSuccess Internet website.

(a) Inclusion of hyperlink.—Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall include on the main page of the Internet website of the Department of Veterans Affairs a new hyperlink with a drop-down menu entitled “Veterans Employment”. The drop-down menu shall include a direct hyperlink to the VetSuccess Internet website, the USA Jobs Internet website, the Job Central website, and any other appropriate employment Internet websites, as determined by the Secretary, especially such websites that focus on jobs for veterans.

(b) Advertisement of Internet website.—Subject to the availability of appropriations for such purpose, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall, in accordance with section 532 of title 38, United States Code, purchase advertising in national media outlets for the purpose of promoting awareness of the VetSuccess Internet website to veterans.

(c) Outreach to veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall conduct outreach to veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom to inform such veterans of the VetSuccess Internet website.

(d) VetSuccess Internet website defined.—In this section, the term “VetSuccess Internet website” means www.vetsuccess.gov or any successor Internet website maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs.