Text: H.R.6416 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 114-315 (12/16/2016)

 
[114th Congress Public Law 315]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 1535]]

  JEFF MILLER AND RICHARD BLUMENTHAL VETERANS HEALTH CARE AND BENEFITS 
                         IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2016

[[Page 130 STAT. 1536]]

Public Law 114-315
114th Congress

                                 An Act


 
 To amend title 38, United States Code, to make certain improvements in 
  the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and for 
         other purposes. <<NOTE: Dec. 16, 2016 -  [H.R. 6416]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Jeff Miller and 
Richard Blumenthal Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 
2016. 38 USC 101 note.>> 
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Jeff Miller and 
Richard Blumenthal Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 
2016''.
    (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.

                TITLE I--DISABILITY COMPENSATION MATTERS

Sec. 101. Expedited payment of survivors' benefits.
Sec. 102. Board of Veterans' Appeals video hearings.
Sec. 103. Requirement that Secretary of Veterans Affairs publish the 
           average time required to adjudicate early-filed and later-
           filed appeals.
Sec. 104. Comptroller General review of claims processing performance of 
           regional offices of Veterans Benefits Administration.
Sec. 105. Report on staffing levels at regional offices of Department of 
           Veterans Affairs under National Work Queue.
Sec. 106. Inclusion in annual budget submission of information on 
           capacity of Veterans Benefits Administration to process 
           benefits claims.
Sec. 107. Report on plans of Secretary of Veterans Affairs to reduce 
           inventory of non-rating workload; sense of Congress regarding 
           Monday Morning Workload Report.
Sec. 108. Annual report on progress in implementing Veterans Benefits 
           Management System.
Sec. 109. Improvements to authority for performance of medical 
           disabilities examinations by contract physicians.
Sec. 110. Independent review of process by which Department of Veterans 
           Affairs assesses impairments that result from traumatic brain 
           injury for purposes of awarding disability compensation.
Sec. 111. Reports on claims for disability compensation.
Sec. 112. Sense of Congress regarding American veterans disabled for 
           life.
Sec. 113. Sense of Congress on submittal of information relating to 
           claims for disabilities incurred or aggravated by military 
           sexual trauma.

      TITLE II--UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS

Sec. 201. Extension of temporary increase in number of judges on United 
           States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
Sec. 202. Life insurance program relating to judges of United States 
           Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
Sec. 203. Voluntary contributions to enlarge survivors' annuity.
Sec. 204. Selection of chief judge of United States Court of Appeals for 
           Veterans Claims.

              TITLE III--BURIAL BENEFITS AND OTHER MATTERS

Sec. 301. Expansion of eligibility for headstones, markers, and 
           medallions.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1537]]

Sec. 302. Expansion of Presidential Memorial Certificate program.
Sec. 303. Department of Veterans Affairs study on matters relating to 
           burial of unclaimed remains of veterans in national 
           cemeteries.
Sec. 304. Study on provision of interments in veterans' cemeteries 
           during weekends.
Sec. 305. Honoring as veterans certain persons who performed service in 
           the reserve components of the Armed Forces.

     TITLE IV--EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE AND VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION

Sec. 401. Clarification of eligibility for Marine Gunnery Sergeant John 
           David Fry Scholarship.
Sec. 402. Approval of courses of education and training for purposes of 
           the vocational rehabilitation program of the Department of 
           Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 403. Authority to prioritize vocational rehabilitation services 
           based on need.
Sec. 404. Reports on progress of students receiving Post-9/11 
           Educational Assistance.
Sec. 405. Recodification and improvement of election process for Post-9/
           11 Educational Assistance Program.
Sec. 406. Work-study allowance.
Sec. 407. Centralized reporting of veteran enrollment by certain groups, 
           districts, and consortiums of educational institutions.
Sec. 408. Role of State approving agencies.
Sec. 409. Modification of requirements for approval for purposes of 
           educational assistance provided by Department of Veterans 
           Affairs of programs designed to prepare individuals for 
           licensure or certification.
Sec. 410. Criteria used to approve courses.
Sec. 411. Compliance surveys.
Sec. 412. Modification of reductions in reporting fee multipliers for 
           payments by Secretary of Veterans Affairs to educational 
           institutions.
Sec. 413. Composition of Veterans' Advisory Committee on Education.
Sec. 414. Survey of individuals using their entitlement to educational 
           assistance under the educational assistance programs 
           administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 415. Department of Veterans Affairs provision of information on 
           articulation agreements between institutions of higher 
           learning.
Sec. 416. Retention of entitlement to educational assistance during 
           certain additional periods of active duty.
Sec. 417. Technical amendment relating to in-state tuition rate for 
           individuals to whom entitlement is transferred under all-
           volunteer force educational assistance program and post-9/11 
           educational assistance.
Sec. 418. Study on the effectiveness of veterans transition efforts.

             TITLE V--SMALL BUSINESS AND EMPLOYMENT MATTERS

Sec. 501. Modification of treatment under contracting goals and 
           preferences of Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 502. Longitudinal study of job counseling, training, and placement 
           service for veterans.
Sec. 503. Limitation on administrative leave for employees of Department 
           of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 504. Required coordination between Directors for Veterans' 
           Employment and Training with State departments of labor and 
           veterans affairs.

                      TITLE VI--HEALTH CARE MATTERS

                        Subtitle A--Medical Care

Sec. 601. Requirement for advance appropriations for the Medical 
           Community Care account of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 602. Improved access to appropriate immunizations for veterans.
Sec. 603. Priority of medal of honor recipients in health care system of 
           Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 604. Requirement that Department of Veterans Affairs collect 
           health-plan contract information from veterans.
Sec. 605. Mental health treatment for veterans who served in classified 
           missions.
Sec. 606. Examination and treatment by Department of Veterans Affairs 
           for emergency medical conditions and women in labor.

               Subtitle B--Veterans Health Administration

Sec. 611. Time period covered by annual report on Readjustment 
           Counseling Service.
Sec. 612. Annual report on Veterans Health Administration and furnishing 
           of hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1538]]

Sec. 613. Expansion of qualifications for licensed mental health 
           counselors of the Department of Veterans Affairs to include 
           doctoral degrees.
Sec. 614. Modification of hours of employment for physicians employed by 
           the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 615. Repeal of compensation panels to determine market pay for 
           physicians and dentists.
Sec. 616. Clarification regarding liability for breach of agreement 
           under Department of Veterans Affairs Employee Incentive 
           Scholarship Program.
Sec. 617. Extension of period for increase in graduate medical education 
           residency positions at medical facilities of the Department 
           of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 618. Report on public access to research by Department of Veterans 
           Affairs.
Sec. 619. Authorization of certain major medical facility projects of 
           the Department of Veterans Affairs.

                       Subtitle C--Toxic Exposure

Sec. 631. Definitions.
Sec. 632. National Academy of Medicine assessment on research relating 
           to the descendants of individuals with toxic exposure.
Sec. 633. Advisory board on research relating to health conditions of 
           descendants of veterans with toxic exposure while serving in 
           the Armed Forces.
Sec. 634. Research relating to health conditions of descendants of 
           veterans with toxic exposure while serving in the Armed 
           Forces.

                     TITLE VII--HOMELESSNESS MATTERS

           Subtitle A--Access of Homeless Veterans to Benefits

Sec. 701. Expansion of definition of homeless veteran for purposes of 
           benefits under the laws administered by the Secretary of 
           Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 702. Authorization to furnish certain benefits to homeless veterans 
           with discharges or releases under other than honorable 
           conditions.
Sec. 703. Waiver of minimum period of continuous active duty in Armed 
           Forces for certain benefits for homeless veterans.
Sec. 704. Training of personnel of the Department of Veterans Affairs 
           and grant recipients.
Sec. 705. Regulations.
Sec. 706. Effective date.

                 Subtitle B--Other Homelessness Matters

Sec. 711. Increased per diem payments for transitional housing 
           assistance that becomes permanent housing for homeless 
           veterans.
Sec. 712. Program to improve retention of housing by formerly homeless 
           veterans and veterans at risk of becoming homeless.
Sec. 713. Establishment of National Center on Homelessness Among 
           Veterans.
Sec. 714. Requirement for Department of Veterans Affairs to assess 
           comprehensive service programs for homeless veterans.
Sec. 715. Report on outreach relating to increasing the amount of 
           housing available to veterans.

                        TITLE VIII--OTHER MATTERS

Sec. 801. Department of Veterans Affairs construction reforms.
Sec. 802. Technical and clerical amendments.

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 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.

                TITLE I--DISABILITY COMPENSATION MATTERS

SEC. 101. EXPEDITED PAYMENT OF SURVIVORS' BENEFITS.

    (a) <<NOTE: 38 USC 5101.>>  In General.--Section 5101(a)(1) is 
amended--
            (1) by striking ``A specific'' and inserting ``(A) Except as 
        provided in subparagraph (B), a specific''; and

[[Page 130 STAT. 1539]]

            (2) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

    ``(B)(i) <<NOTE: Determination. Records.>>  The Secretary may pay 
benefits under chapters 13 and 15 and sections 2302, 2307, and 5121 of 
this title to a survivor of a veteran who has not filed a formal claim 
if the Secretary determines that the record contains sufficient evidence 
to establish the entitlement of the survivor to such benefits.

    ``(ii) <<NOTE: Notifications.>>  For purposes of this subparagraph 
and section 5110 of this title, the earlier of the following dates shall 
be treated as the date of the receipt of the survivor's application for 
benefits described in clause (i):
            ``(I) <<NOTE: Certification.>>  The date on which the 
        survivor of a veteran (or the representative of such a survivor) 
        notifies the Secretary of the death of the veteran through a 
        death certificate or other relevant evidence that establishes 
        entitlement to survivors' benefits identified in clause (i).
            ``(II) The head of any other department or agency of the 
        Federal Government notifies the Secretary of the death of the 
        veteran.

    ``(iii) In notifying the Secretary of the death of a veteran as 
described in clause (ii)(I), the survivor (or the representative of such 
a survivor) may submit to the Secretary additional documents relating to 
such death without being required to file a formal claim.''.
    (b) Report.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 1 year after the date of the 
        enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall 
        submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and 
        the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of 
        Representatives a report on benefits paid pursuant to covered 
        claims.
            (2) Contents.--The report under paragraph (1) shall include 
        the following:
                    (A) The number of covered claims adjudicated during 
                the 1-year period preceding the date of the report, 
                disaggregated by the following:
                          (i) Claims in which the claimant was entitled 
                      to benefits under chapters 13 or 15 or sections 
                      2302, 2307, or 5121 of title 38, United States 
                      Code, on the basis of the claimant's status as the 
                      spouse of a deceased veteran.
                          (ii) Claims in which the claimant was entitled 
                      to such benefits on the basis of the claimant's 
                      status as the child of a deceased veteran.
                          (iii) Claims in which the claimant was 
                      entitled to such benefits on the basis of the 
                      claimant's status as the parent of a deceased 
                      veteran.
                    (B) The number of covered claims during such period 
                for which such benefits were not awarded, disaggregated 
                by clauses (i) through (iii) of subparagraph (A).
                    (C) A comparison of the accuracy and timeliness of 
                covered claims adjudicated during such period with 
                noncovered claims filed by survivors of a veteran.
                    (D) The findings of the Secretary with respect to 
                adjudicating covered claims.
                    (E) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>>  Such 
                recommendations as the Secretary may have for 
                legislative or administrative action to improve the 
                adjudication of claims submitted to the Secretary for 
                benefits

[[Page 130 STAT. 1540]]

                under chapters 13 and 15 and sections 2302, 2307, and 
                5121 of title 38, United States Code.
            (3) Covered claim defined.--In this subsection, the term 
        ``covered claim'' means a claim covered by section 5101(a)(1)(B) 
        of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a).

    (c) <<NOTE: Applicability. 38 USC 5101 note.>>  Effective Date.--The 
amendments made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to claims for 
benefits based on a death occurring on or after the date of the 
enactment of this Act.
SEC. 102. BOARD OF VETERANS' APPEALS VIDEO HEARINGS.

    Section 7107 <<NOTE: 38 USC 7107.>>  is amended--
            (1) in subsection (d), by amending paragraph (1) to read as 
        follows:

    ``(1)(A)(i) <<NOTE: Determinations.>>  Upon request for a hearing, 
the Board shall determine, for purposes of scheduling the hearing for 
the earliest possible date, whether a hearing before the Board will be 
held at its principal location or at a facility of the Department or 
other appropriate Federal facility located within the area served by a 
regional office of the Department.

    ``(ii) The Board shall also determine whether to provide a hearing 
through the use of the facilities and equipment described in subsection 
(e)(1) or by the appellant personally appearing before a Board member or 
panel.
    ``(B)(i) <<NOTE: Notification.>>  The Board shall notify the 
appellant of the determinations of the location and type of hearing made 
under subparagraph (A).

    ``(ii) Upon notification, the appellant may request a different 
location or type of hearing as described in such subparagraph.
    ``(iii) If so requested, the Board shall grant such request and 
ensure that the hearing is scheduled at the earliest possible date 
without any undue delay or other prejudice to the appellant.''; and
            (2) in subsection (e), by amending paragraph (2) to read as 
        follows:

    ``(2) Any hearing provided through the use of the facilities and 
equipment described in paragraph (1) shall be conducted in the same 
manner as, and shall be considered the equivalent of, a personal 
hearing.''.
SEC. 103. REQUIREMENT THAT SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS PUBLISH 
                        THE AVERAGE TIME REQUIRED TO ADJUDICATE 
                        EARLY-FILED AND LATER-FILED APPEALS.

    (a) Publication Requirement.--
            (1) <<NOTE: Public information.>>  In general.--On an 
        ongoing basis, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall make 
        available to the public the following:
                    (A) The average length of time to adjudicate an 
                early-filed appeal.
                    (B) The average length of time to adjudicate a 
                later-filed appeal.
            (2) <<NOTE: Time period. Applicability.>>  Effective date.--
        Paragraph (1) shall take effect on the date that is 1 year after 
        the date of the enactment of this Act and shall apply until the 
        date that is 3 years after the date of the enactment of this 
        Act.

    (b) Report.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 39 months after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to

[[Page 130 STAT. 1541]]

        the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the 
        Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a 
        report on whether publication pursuant to subsection (a)(1) has 
        had an effect on the number of early-filed appeals filed.
            (2) Contents.--The report required by paragraph (1) shall 
        include the following:
                    (A) The number of appeals and early-filed appeals 
                that were filed during the 1-year period ending on the 
                effective date specified in subsection (a)(2).
                    (B) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  The number of appeals 
                and early-filed appeals that were filed during the 1-
                year period ending on the date that is 2 years after the 
                effective date specified in subsection (a)(2).

    (c) <<NOTE: Deadlines.>>  Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) Appeal.--The term ``appeal'' means a notice of 
        disagreement filed pursuant to section 7105(a) of title 38, 
        United States Code, in response to notice of the result of an 
        initial review or determination regarding a claim for a benefit 
        under a law administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
            (2) Early-filed.--The term ``early-filed'' with respect to 
        an appeal means that the notice of disagreement was filed not 
        more than 180 days after the date of mailing of the notice of 
        the result of the initial review or determination described in 
        paragraph (1).
            (3) Later-filed.--The term ``later-filed'' with respect to 
        an appeal means the notice of disagreement was filed more than 
        180 days after the date of mailing of the notice of the result 
        of the initial review or determination described in paragraph 
        (1).
SEC. 104. COMPTROLLER GENERAL REVIEW OF CLAIMS PROCESSING 
                        PERFORMANCE OF REGIONAL OFFICES OF 
                        VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION.

    (a) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Review Required.--Not later than 15 months 
after the effective date specified in subsection (e), the Comptroller 
General of the United States shall complete a review of the regional 
offices of the Veterans Benefits Administration to help the Veterans 
Benefits Administration achieve more consistent performance in the 
processing of claims for disability compensation.

    (b) Elements.--The review required by subsection (a) shall include 
the following:
            (1) An identification of the following:
                    (A) The factors, including management practices, 
                that distinguish higher performing regional offices from 
                other regional offices with respect to claims for 
                disability compensation.
                    (B) The best practices employed by higher performing 
                regional offices that distinguish the performance of 
                such offices from other regional offices.
                    (C) Such other management practices or tools as the 
                Comptroller General determines could be used to improve 
                the performance of regional offices.
            (2) <<NOTE: Assessment.>>  An assessment of the 
        effectiveness of communication with respect to the processing of 
        claims for disability compensation between the regional offices 
        and veterans service organizations and caseworkers employed by 
        Members of Congress.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1542]]

    (c) Report.--Not later than 15 months after the effective date 
specified in subsection (e), the Comptroller General shall submit to the 
Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a report on the 
results of the review completed under subsection (a).
    (d) Veterans Service Organization Defined.--In this section, the 
term ``veterans service organization'' means any organization recognized 
by the Secretary for the representation of veterans under section 5902 
of title 38, United States Code.
    (e) Effective Date.--This section shall take effect on the date that 
is 270 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
SEC. 105. <<NOTE: Criteria. Procedures.>>  REPORT ON STAFFING 
                        LEVELS AT REGIONAL OFFICES OF DEPARTMENT 
                        OF VETERANS AFFAIRS UNDER NATIONAL WORK 
                        QUEUE.

    Not later than 15 months after the date of the enactment of this 
Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to the Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs 
of the House of Representatives a report on the criteria and procedures 
that the Secretary will use to determine appropriate staffing levels at 
the regional offices of the Department under the National Work Queue for 
the distribution of the claims processing workload.
SEC. 106. <<NOTE: 38 USC 303 note.>>  INCLUSION IN ANNUAL BUDGET 
                        SUBMISSION OF INFORMATION ON CAPACITY OF 
                        VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION TO 
                        PROCESS BENEFITS CLAIMS.

    (a) <<NOTE: President.>>  In General.--Along with the supporting 
information included in the budget submitted to Congress by the 
President pursuant to section 1105(a) of title 31, United States Code, 
the President shall include information on the capacity of the Veterans 
Benefits Administration to process claims for benefits under the laws 
administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, including information 
described in subsection (b), during the fiscal year covered by the 
budget with which the information is submitted.

    (b) Information Described.--The information described in this 
subsection is the following:
            (1) <<NOTE: Estimate.>>  An estimate of the average number 
        of claims for benefits under the laws administered by the 
        Secretary, excluding such claims completed during mandatory 
        overtime, that a single full-time equivalent employee of the 
        Administration should be able to process in a year, based on the 
        following:
                    (A) A time and motion study that the Secretary shall 
                conduct on the processing of such claims.
                    (B) Such other information relating to such claims 
                as the Secretary considers appropriate.
            (2) A description of the actions the Secretary will take to 
        improve the processing of such claims.
            (3) <<NOTE: Assessment.>>  An assessment of the actions 
        identified by the Secretary under paragraph (2) in the previous 
        year and an identification of the effects of those actions.

    (c) <<NOTE: Applicability.>>  Effective Date.--This section shall 
apply with respect to any budget submitted as described in subsection 
(a) with respect to any fiscal year after fiscal year 2018.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1543]]

SEC. 107. REPORT ON PLANS OF SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO 
                        REDUCE INVENTORY OF NON-RATING WORKLOAD; 
                        SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING MONDAY MORNING 
                        WORKLOAD REPORT.

    (a) Report.--Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment 
of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to the 
Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a report that details 
the plans of the Secretary to reduce the inventory of work items listed 
in the Monday Morning Workload Report under End Products 130, 137, 173, 
290, 400, 600, 607, 690, 930, and 960.
    (b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs should include in each Monday Morning 
Workload Report published by the Secretary the following:
            (1) With respect to each regional office of the Department 
        of Veterans Affairs, the following:
                    (A) The number of fully developed claims for 
                benefits under the laws administered by the Secretary 
                that have been received.
                    (B) The number of claims described in subparagraph 
                (A) that are pending a decision.
                    (C) The number of claims described in subparagraph 
                (A) that have been pending a decision for more than 125 
                days.
            (2) Enhanced information on appeals of decisions relating to 
        claims for benefits under the laws administered by the Secretary 
        that are pending, including information contained in the reports 
        of the Department entitled ``Appeals Pending'' and ``Appeals 
        Workload By Station''.
SEC. 108. ANNUAL REPORT ON PROGRESS IN IMPLEMENTING VETERANS 
                        BENEFITS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM.

    (a) In General.--Not later than each of 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years 
after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs shall submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate 
and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a 
report on the progress of the Secretary in implementing the Veterans 
Benefits Management System.
    (b) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>>  Contents.--Each report required by 
subsection (a) shall include the following:
            (1) <<NOTE: Assessment.>>  An assessment of the current 
        functionality of the Veterans Benefits Management System.
            (2) Recommendations submitted to the Secretary by employees 
        of the Department of Veterans Affairs who are involved in 
        processing claims for benefits under the laws administered by 
        the Secretary, including veterans service representatives, 
        rating veterans service representatives, and decision review 
        officers, for such legislative or administrative action as the 
        employees consider appropriate to improve the processing of such 
        claims.
            (3) Recommendations submitted to the Secretary by veterans 
        service organizations who use the Veterans Benefits Management 
        System for such legislative or administrative action as the 
        veterans service organizations consider appropriate to improve 
        such system.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1544]]

    (c) Veterans Service Organization Defined.--In this section, the 
term ``veterans service organization'' means any organization recognized 
by the Secretary for the representation of veterans under section 5902 
of title 38, United States Code.
SEC. 109. IMPROVEMENTS TO AUTHORITY FOR PERFORMANCE OF MEDICAL 
                        DISABILITIES EXAMINATIONS BY CONTRACT 
                        PHYSICIANS.

    (a) Licensure of Contract Physicians.--
            (1) Temporary authority.--Section 704 of the Veterans 
        Benefits Act of 2003 (38 U.S.C. 5101 note) is amended--
                    (A) by redesignating subsection (d) as subsection 
                (e); and
                    (B) by inserting after subsection (c) the following 
                new subsection (d):

    ``(d) Licensure of Contract Physicians.--
            ``(1) In general.--Notwithstanding any law regarding the 
        licensure of physicians, a physician described in paragraph (2) 
        may conduct an examination pursuant to a contract entered into 
        under subsection (b) at any location in any State, the District 
        of Columbia, or a Commonwealth, territory, or possession of the 
        United States, so long as the examination is within the scope of 
        the authorized duties under such contract.
            ``(2) Physician described.--A physician described in this 
        paragraph is a physician who--
                    ``(A) has a current unrestricted license to practice 
                the health care profession of the physician;
                    ``(B) is not barred from practicing such health care 
                profession in any State, the District of Columbia, or a 
                Commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United 
                States; and
                    ``(C) is performing authorized duties for the 
                Department of Veterans Affairs pursuant to a contract 
                entered into under subsection (b).''.
            (2) Pilot program.--Section 504 of the Veterans' Benefits 
        Improvement Act of 1996 (38 U.S.C. 5101 note) is amended--
                    (A) by redesignating subsections (c) and (d) as 
                subsections (d) and (e), respectively; and
                    (B) by inserting after subsection (b) the following 
                new subsection (c):

    ``(c) Licensure of Contract Physicians.--
            ``(1) In general.--Notwithstanding any law regarding the 
        licensure of physicians, a physician described in paragraph (2) 
        may conduct an examination pursuant to a contract entered into 
        under subsection (a) at any location in any State, the District 
        of Columbia, or a Commonwealth, territory, or possession of the 
        United States, so long as the examination is within the scope of 
        the authorized duties under such contract.
            ``(2) Physician described.--A physician described in this 
        paragraph is a physician who--
                    ``(A) has a current unrestricted license to practice 
                the health care profession of the physician;
                    ``(B) is not barred from practicing such health care 
                profession in any State, the District of Columbia, or a 
                Commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United 
                States; and

[[Page 130 STAT. 1545]]

                    ``(C) is performing authorized duties for the 
                Department of Veterans Affairs pursuant to a contract 
                entered into under subsection (a).''.
SEC. 110. INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF PROCESS BY WHICH DEPARTMENT OF 
                        VETERANS AFFAIRS ASSESSES IMPAIRMENTS THAT 
                        RESULT FROM TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY FOR 
                        PURPOSES OF AWARDING DISABILITY 
                        COMPENSATION.

    (a) Agreement.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall 
        seek to enter into an agreement with the National Academies of 
        Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to perform the services 
        covered by this section.
            (2) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Timing.--The Secretary shall seek 
        to enter into the agreement described in paragraph (1) not later 
        than 9 months after the date of the enactment of this Act.

    (b) Comprehensive Review.--
            (1) In general.--Under an agreement between the Secretary 
        and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and 
        Medicine under this section, the National Academies of Sciences, 
        Engineering, and Medicine shall conduct a comprehensive review 
        of examinations furnished by the Department of Veterans Affairs 
        to individuals who submit claims to the Secretary for 
        compensation under chapter 11 of title 38, United States Code, 
        for traumatic brain injury to assess the impairments of such 
        individuals relating to such injury.
            (2) <<NOTE: Determinations.>>  Elements.--The comprehensive 
        review carried out pursuant to paragraph (1) shall include the 
        following:
                    (A) A determination of the adequacy of the tools and 
                protocols used by the Department to provide examinations 
                described in paragraph (1).
                    (B) A determination of which credentials are 
                necessary for health care specialists and providers to 
                perform such portions of such examinations that relate 
                to an assessment of all disabling effects.
            (3) Group of experienced health care providers.--In carrying 
        out the comprehensive review pursuant to paragraph (1), the 
        National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine shall 
        convene a group of relevant experts, including experts in 
        clinical neuropsychology, psychiatry, physiatry, neurosurgery, 
        and neurology.

    (c) Report.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 540 days after the date on 
        which the Secretary enters into an agreement under subsection 
        (a)(1), the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on 
        Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a 
        report on the comprehensive review conducted under this section.
            (2) Elements.--The report submitted under paragraph (1) 
        shall include the following:
                    (A) The findings of the National Academies of 
                Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine with respect to the 
                comprehensive review conducted under this section.
                    (B) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>>  Such 
                recommendations for legislative or administrative action 
                as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and 
                Medicine may have for the improvement of the 
                adjudication of claims described in subsection (b)(1).

[[Page 130 STAT. 1546]]

    (d) Alternate Contract Organization.--
            (1) In general.--If the Secretary is unable within the 
        period prescribed in subsection (a)(2) to enter into an 
        agreement described in subsection (a)(1) with the National 
        Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on terms 
        acceptable to the Secretary, the Secretary shall seek to enter 
        into such an agreement with another appropriate organization 
        that--
                    (A) is not part of the Government;
                    (B) operates as a not-for-profit entity; and
                    (C) has expertise and objectivity comparable to that 
                of the Health and Medicine Division of the National 
                Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
            (2) Treatment.--If the Secretary enters into an agreement 
        with another organization as described in paragraph (1), any 
        reference in this section to the National Academies of Sciences, 
        Engineering, and Medicine shall be treated as a reference to the 
        other organization.
SEC. 111. REPORTS ON CLAIMS FOR DISABILITY COMPENSATION.

    (a) Report on Reasonably Raised Claims.--Not later than 540 days 
after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the 
Senate and House of Representatives a report on the policies of the 
Department of Veterans Affairs with respect to processing reasonably 
raised unrelated claims. Such report shall include--
            (1) any statistics on how frequently such unrelated claims 
        are identified by the Secretary;
            (2) how frequently the Secretary notifies claimants about 
        potential unrelated claims; and
            (3) how often the claimant later submits a claim for the 
        condition described by the unrelated claim.

    (b) <<NOTE: Time periods.>>  Annual Reports on Complete and 
Incomplete Claims.--During the 5-year period beginning on the date of 
the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committees 
on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives annual 
reports on complete and incomplete claims for disability compensation 
submitted to the Secretary. Each such report shall include, for the 1-
year period covered by the report--
            (1) the total number of claims submitted to the Secretary;
            (2) the total number of incomplete claims submitted to the 
        Secretary;
            (3) the total number of complete claims submitted to the 
        Secretary;
            (4) the total number of forms indicating an intent to file a 
        claim for benefits submitted to the Secretary;
            (5) the total number of electronically filed claims 
        submitted to the Secretary;
            (6) the total number of fully developed claims submitted to 
        the Secretary;
            (7) the total number of claims submitted to the Secretary 
        that are not complete claims but that the Secretary treats as a 
        request by the claimant for a form to file a claim; and
            (8) of the total number of claims identified under paragraph 
        (7), the percent for which the Secretary notified the claimant 
        of the need to file a complete claim.

    (c) Definitions.--In this section:

[[Page 130 STAT. 1547]]

            (1) The term ``claimant'' has the meaning given such term in 
        section 5100 of title 38, United States Code, and includes a 
        representative of a claimant.
            (2) The term ``reasonably raised unrelated claim'' means a 
        claim for disability compensation under the laws administered by 
        the Secretary of Veterans Affairs that, in addition to the 
        condition for which such claim is made, includes evidence of a 
        separate condition that is not specifically identified as part 
        of the claim but may be inferred or logically placed at issue 
        upon a sympathetic reading of the claim and the record developed 
        with respect to that claim.
SEC. 112. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING AMERICAN VETERANS DISABLED 
                        FOR LIFE.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
            (1) There are at least 4,200,000 veterans currently living 
        with service-connected disabilities.
            (2) As a result of their service, many veterans are 
        permanently disabled throughout their lives and in many cases 
        must rely on the support of their families and friends when 
        these visible and invisible burdens become too much to bear 
        alone.
            (3) October 5, which is the anniversary of the dedication of 
        the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, has been 
        recognized as an appropriate day on which to honor American 
        veterans disabled for life each year.

    (b) Sense of Congress.--Congress--
            (1) expresses its appreciation to the men and women left 
        permanently wounded, ill, or injured as a result of their 
        service in the Armed Forces;
            (2) supports the annual recognition of American veterans 
        disabled for life each year; and
            (3) encourages the American people to honor American 
        veterans disabled for life each year with appropriate programs 
        and activities.
SEC. 113. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON SUBMITTAL OF INFORMATION RELATING 
                        TO CLAIMS FOR DISABILITIES INCURRED OR 
                        AGGRAVATED BY MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA.

    (a) In General.--It is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs should submit to Congress information on the covered 
claims submitted to the Secretary during each fiscal year, including the 
information specified in subsection (b).
    (b) Elements.--The information specified in this subsection with 
respect to each fiscal year is the following:
            (1) The number of covered claims submitted to or considered 
        by the Secretary during such fiscal year.
            (2) Of the covered claims under paragraph (1), the number 
        and percentage of such claims--
                    (A) submitted by each sex;
                    (B) that were approved, including the number and 
                percentage of such approved claims submitted by each 
                sex; and
                    (C) that were denied, including the number and 
                percentage of such denied claims submitted by each sex.
            (3) Of the covered claims under paragraph (1) that were 
        approved, the number and percentage, listed by each sex, of 
        claims assigned to each rating percentage of disability.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1548]]

            (4) Of the covered claims under paragraph (1) that were 
        denied--
                    (A) the three most common reasons given by the 
                Secretary under section 5104(b)(1) of title 38, United 
                States Code, for such denials; and
                    (B) the number of denials that were based on the 
                failure of a veteran to report for a medical 
                examination.
            (5) The number of covered claims that, as of the end of such 
        fiscal year, are pending and, separately, the number of such 
        claims on appeal.
            (6) The average number of days that covered claims take to 
        complete beginning on the date on which the claim is submitted.
            (7) A description of the training that the Secretary 
        provides to employees of the Veterans Benefits Administration 
        specifically with respect to covered claims, including the 
        frequency, length, and content of such training.

    (c) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) The term ``covered claims'' means claims for disability 
        compensation submitted to the Secretary based on a mental health 
        condition alleged to have been incurred or aggravated by 
        military sexual trauma.
            (2) The term ``military sexual trauma'' shall have the 
        meaning specified by the Secretary for purposes of this section 
        and shall include ``sexual harassment'' (as so specified).

      TITLE II--UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS

SEC. 201. EXTENSION OF TEMPORARY INCREASE IN NUMBER OF JUDGES ON 
                        UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR 
                        VETERANS CLAIMS.

    (a) <<NOTE: 38 USC 7253 note.>>  In General.--Section 7253(i)(2) is 
amended by striking ``January 1, 2013'' and inserting ``January 1, 
2021''.

    (b) Report.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than June 30, 2020, the chief 
        judge of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims 
        shall submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate 
        and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of 
        Representatives a report on the temporary expansions of the 
        Court under section 7253 of title 38, United States Code.
            (2) Contents.--The report required by paragraph (1) shall 
        include the following:
                    (A) <<NOTE: Assessment.>>  An assessment of the 
                effect of the expansions on ensuring appeals are handled 
                in a timely manner.
                    (B) A description of the ways in which the 
                complexity levels of the appeals acted on by the Court 
                may have changed based on service during recent 
                conflicts compared to those based on service from 
                previous eras.
                    (C) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tion.>>  A recommendation on 
                whether the number of judges should be adjusted at the 
                end of the temporary expansion period, including 
                statistics, projections, trend analyses, and other 
                information to support the recommendation.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1549]]

SEC. 202. LIFE INSURANCE PROGRAM RELATING TO JUDGES OF UNITED 
                        STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS 
                        CLAIMS.

    (a) <<NOTE: 38 USC 7281.>>  In General.--Section 7281 is amended by 
adding at the end the following:

    ``(j) For purposes of chapter 87 of title 5, a judge who is in 
regular active service and a judge who is retired under section 7296 of 
this title or under chapter 83 or 84 of title 5 shall be treated as an 
employee described in section 8701(a)(5) of title 5.
    ``(k) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Court may pay 
on behalf of its judges, who are age 65 or older, any increase in the 
cost of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance imposed after April 24, 
1999, including any expenses generated by such payments, as authorized 
by the chief judge of the Court in a manner consistent with such payment 
authorized by the Judicial Conference of the United States pursuant to 
section 604(a)(5) of title 28.''.
    (b) <<NOTE: Applicability. 38 USC 7281 note.>>  Effective Date.--The 
amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to any payment 
made on or after the first day of the first applicable pay period 
beginning on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.
SEC. 203. VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS TO ENLARGE SURVIVORS' ANNUITY.

    Section 7297 is amended by adding at the end the following new 
subsection:
    ``(p)(1) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  A covered judge who makes an 
election under subsection (b) may purchase, in 3-month increments, up to 
an additional year of service credit for each year of Federal judicial 
service completed, under the terms set forth in this section.

    ``(2) <<NOTE: Definition.>>  In this subsection, the term `covered 
judge' means any of the following:
            ``(A) A judge in regular active service.
            ``(B) A retired judge who is a recall-eligible retired judge 
        pursuant to subsection (a) of section 7257 of this title.
            ``(C) A retired judge who would be a recall-eligible retired 
        judge pursuant to subsection (a) of section 7257 but for--
                    ``(i) meeting the aggregate recall service 
                requirements under subsection (b)(3) of such section; or
                    ``(ii) being permanently disabled as described by 
                subsection (b)(4) of such section.''.
SEC. 204. SELECTION OF CHIEF JUDGE OF UNITED STATES COURT OF 
                        APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS.

    (a) In General.--Section 7253(d) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1)--
                    (A) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``and'';
                    (B) by redesignating subparagraph (B) as 
                subparagraph (C); and
                    (C) by inserting after subparagraph (A) the 
                following new subparagraph (B):
            ``(B) have at least 3 years remaining in term of office; 
        and''; and
            (2) by amending paragraph (2) to read as follows:

    ``(2)(A) In any case in which there is no judge of the Court in 
regular active service who meets the requirements under paragraph (1), 
the judge of the Court in regular active service who

[[Page 130 STAT. 1550]]

is senior in commission and meets subparagraph (A) or (B) and 
subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) shall act as the chief judge.
    ``(B) In any case under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph in which 
there is no judge of the Court in regular active service who meets 
subparagraph (A) or (B) and subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1), the judge 
of the Court in regular active service who is senior in commission and 
meets subparagraph (C) shall act as the chief judge.''.
    (b) <<NOTE: Effective date. 38 USC 7253 note.>>  Applicability.--The 
amendments made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to the 
selection of a chief judge occurring on or after January 1, 2020.

              TITLE III--BURIAL BENEFITS AND OTHER MATTERS

SEC. 301. EXPANSION OF ELIGIBILITY FOR HEADSTONES, MARKERS, AND 
                        MEDALLIONS.

    Section 2306(d) <<NOTE: 38 USC 2306.>>  is amended--
            (1) by striking paragraph (4) and inserting the following 
        new paragraph:

    ``(4)(A) In lieu of furnishing a headstone or marker under this 
subsection to a deceased individual described in subparagraph (B), the 
Secretary may furnish, upon request, a medallion or other device of a 
design determined by the Secretary to signify the deceased individual's 
status as a veteran, to be attached to a headstone or marker furnished 
at private expense.
    ``(B) A deceased individual described in this subsection is an 
individual who--
            ``(i) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  served in the Armed Forces on 
        or after April 6, 1917; and
            ``(ii) is eligible for a headstone or marker furnished under 
        paragraph (1) (or would be so eligible but for the date of the 
        death of the individual).''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    ``(5)(A) In carrying out this subsection with respect to a deceased 
individual described in subparagraph (C), the Secretary shall furnish, 
upon request, a headstone or marker under paragraph (1) or a medallion 
under paragraph (4) that signifies the deceased's status as a medal of 
honor recipient.
    ``(B) If the Secretary furnished a headstone, marker, or medallion 
under paragraph (1) or (4) for a deceased individual described in 
subparagraph (C) that does not signify the deceased's status as a medal 
of honor recipient, the Secretary shall, upon request, replace such 
headstone, marker, or medallion with a headstone, marker, or medallion, 
as the case may be, that so signifies the deceased's status as a medal 
of honor recipient.
    ``(C) A deceased individual described in this subparagraph is a 
deceased individual who--
            ``(i) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  served in the Armed Forces on 
        or after April 6, 1917;
            ``(ii) is eligible for a headstone or marker furnished under 
        paragraph (1) or a medallion furnished under paragraph (4) (or 
        would be so eligible for such headstone, marker, or medallion 
        but for the date of the death of the individual); and
            ``(iii) was awarded the medal of honor under section 3741, 
        6241, or 8741 of title 10 or section 491 of title 14 (including 
        posthumously).

[[Page 130 STAT. 1551]]

    ``(D) <<NOTE: Definition.>>  In this paragraph, the term `medal of 
honor recipient' means an individual who is awarded the medal of honor 
under section 3741, 6241, or 8741 of title 10 or section 491 of title 
14.''.
SEC. 302. EXPANSION OF PRESIDENTIAL MEMORIAL CERTIFICATE PROGRAM.

    (a) <<NOTE: 38 USC 112.>>  In General.--Section 112(a) is amended by 
striking ``veterans,'' and all that follows through ``service,'' and 
inserting the following: ``persons eligible for burial in a national 
cemetery by reason of any of paragraphs (1), (2), (3), or (7) of section 
2402(a) of this title,''.

    (b) <<NOTE: 38 USC 112 note.>>  Application.--The amendment made by 
subsection (a) shall apply with respect to the death of a person 
eligible for burial in a national cemetery by reason of paragraph (1), 
(2), (3), or (7) of section 2402(a) of title 38, United States Code, 
occurring before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act.
SEC. 303. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS STUDY ON MATTERS RELATING 
                        TO BURIAL OF UNCLAIMED REMAINS OF VETERANS 
                        IN NATIONAL CEMETERIES.

    (a) Study and Report Required.--Not later than 1 year after the 
effective date specified in subsection (d), the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs shall--
            (1) complete a study on matters relating to the interring of 
        unclaimed remains of veterans in national cemeteries under the 
        control of the National Cemetery Administration; and
            (2) submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the 
        Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of 
        Representatives a report on the findings of the Secretary with 
        respect to the study required under paragraph (1).

    (b) <<NOTE: Assessment.>>  Matters Studied.--The matters studied 
under subsection (a)(1) shall include the following:
            (1) Determining the scope of issues relating to unclaimed 
        remains of veterans, including an estimate of the number of 
        unclaimed remains of veterans.
            (2) Assessing the effectiveness of the procedures of the 
        Department of Veterans Affairs for working with persons or 
        entities having custody of unclaimed remains to facilitate 
        interment of unclaimed remains of veterans in national 
        cemeteries under the control of the National Cemetery 
        Administration.
            (3) Assessing State and local laws that affect the ability 
        of the Secretary to inter unclaimed remains of veterans in 
        national cemeteries under the control of the National Cemetery 
        Administration.
            (4) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>>  Developing recommendations 
        for such legislative or administrative action as the Secretary 
        considers appropriate.

    (c) Methodology.--
            (1) <<NOTE: Estimate.>>  Number of unclaimed remains.--In 
        estimating the number of unclaimed remains of veterans under 
        subsection (b)(1), the Secretary may review such subset of 
        applicable entities as the Secretary considers appropriate, 
        including a subset of funeral homes and coroner offices that 
        possess unclaimed veterans remains.
            (2) Assessment of state and local laws.--In assessing State 
        and local laws under subsection (b)(3), the Secretary may assess 
        such sample of applicable State and local laws as the Secretary 
        considers appropriate in lieu of reviewing all applicable State 
        and local laws.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1552]]

    (d) Effective Date.--This section shall take effect on the date that 
is 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act.
SEC. 304. STUDY ON PROVISION OF INTERMENTS IN VETERANS' CEMETERIES 
                        DURING WEEKENDS.

    (a) Study.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall 
        conduct a study on the feasibility and the need for providing 
        increased interments in veterans' cemeteries on Saturdays and 
        Sundays to meet the needs of surviving family members to 
        properly honor the deceased.
            (2) Matters included.--The study under paragraph (1) shall 
        include the following:
                    (A) The number of requests made for interments in 
                veterans' cemeteries on a Saturday or a Sunday since 
                January 1, 2007.
                    (B) The number of requests identified under 
                subparagraph (A) that were granted.
                    (C) <<NOTE: Estimate.>>  An estimate of the number 
                of families that, since January 1, 2007, would have 
                selected a weekend interment if such an interment would 
                have been offered.
                    (D) <<NOTE: Review.>>  A review of the practices 
                relating to weekend interments among non-veterans' 
                cemeteries, including private and municipal cemeteries.
                    (E) A comparison of the costs to veterans' 
                cemeteries with respect to providing regular interments 
                only during weekdays and such costs for providing 
                regular interments during the weekdays and at least 1 
                weekend day.
                    (F) Any other information the Secretary determines 
                appropriate.
            (3) Consultation.--In carrying out the study under paragraph 
        (1), the Secretary shall consult with the following:
                    (A) Veterans who are eligible to be interred in a 
                veterans' cemetery.
                    (B) Family members of a deceased individual interred 
                in a veterans' cemetery.
                    (C) Veterans service organizations.
                    (D) Associations representing cemetery and funeral 
                home professionals.
                    (E) The heads of agencies of State governments 
                relating to veterans affairs.
                    (F) The directors of the veterans' cemeteries.
                    (G) Any other person the Secretary determines 
                appropriate.

    (b) <<NOTE: Deadline. Reports.>>  Submission.--Not later than 180 
days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall 
submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the House of 
Representatives and the Senate a report on the study conducted under 
subsection (a).

    (c) Veterans' Cemeteries Defined.--In this section, the term 
``veterans' cemeteries'' means the cemeteries of the National Cemetery 
Administration, veterans' cemeteries owned by a State, and veterans' 
cemeteries owned by a tribal organization.
SEC. 305. <<NOTE: 38 USC 101 note.>>  HONORING AS VETERANS CERTAIN 
                        PERSONS WHO PERFORMED SERVICE IN THE 
                        RESERVE COMPONENTS OF THE ARMED FORCES.

    Any person who is entitled under chapter 1223 of title 10, United 
States Code, to retired pay for nonregular service or, but

[[Page 130 STAT. 1553]]

for age, would be entitled under such chapter to retired pay for 
nonregular service shall be honored as a veteran but shall not be 
entitled to any benefit by reason of this honor.

     TITLE IV--EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE AND VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION

SEC. 401. CLARIFICATION OF ELIGIBILITY FOR MARINE GUNNERY SERGEANT 
                        JOHN DAVID FRY SCHOLARSHIP.

    (a) In General.--Section 701(d) of the Veterans Access, Choice, and 
Accountability Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-146; 128 Stat. 1796; 38 
U.S.C. 3311 note) is amended to read as follows:
    ``(d) <<NOTE: Effective date.>>  Applicability.--
            ``(1) In general.--The amendments made by this section shall 
        apply with respect to a quarter, semester, or term, as 
        applicable, commencing on or after January 1, 2015.
            ``(2) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  Deaths that occurred between 
        september 11, 2001, and december 31, 2005.--For purposes of 
        section 3311(f)(2) of title 38, United States Code, any member 
        of the Armed Forces who died during the period beginning on 
        September 11, 2001, and ending on December 31, 2005, is deemed 
        to have died on January 1, 2006.''.

    (b) Election on Receipt of Certain Benefits.--Section 3311(f) 
is <<NOTE: 38 USC 3311.>>  amended--
            (1) in paragraph (3), by striking ``A surviving spouse'' and 
        inserting ``Except as provided in paragraph (4), a surviving 
        spouse'';
            (2) by redesignating paragraph (4) as paragraph (5); and
            (3) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following new 
        paragraph (4):
            ``(4) Exception for certain elections.--
                    ``(A) In general.--An election made under paragraph 
                (3) by a spouse described in subparagraph (B) may not be 
                treated as irrevocable if such election occurred before 
                the date of the enactment of this paragraph.
                    ``(B) Eligible surviving spouse.--A spouse described 
                in this subparagraph is an individual--
                          ``(i) who is entitled to assistance under 
                      subsection (a) pursuant <<NOTE: Time period.>> to 
                      paragraph (9) of subsection (b); and
                          ``(ii) who was the spouse of a member of the 
                      Armed Forces who died during the period beginning 
                      on September 11, 2001, and ending on December 31, 
                      2005.''.

    (c) Technical Amendment.--Paragraph (5) of subsection (f) of section 
3311, as redesignated by subsection (b)(2), is amended by striking 
``that paragraph'' and inserting ``paragraph (9) of subsection (b)''.
SEC. 402. APPROVAL OF COURSES OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING FOR 
                        PURPOSES OF THE VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION 
                        PROGRAM OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS 
                        AFFAIRS.

    (a) In General.--Section 3104(b) is amended by adding at the end the 
following new sentences: ``To the maximum extent practicable, a course 
of education or training may be pursued by a veteran as part of a 
rehabilitation program under this chapter only if the course is approved 
for purposes of chapter 30 or 33 of this title. <<NOTE: Waiver 
authority.>>  The Secretary may waive the requirement under the

[[Page 130 STAT. 1554]]

preceding sentence to the extent the Secretary determines 
appropriate.''.

    (b) <<NOTE: Applicability. 38 USC 3104 note.>>  Effective Date.--The 
amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to a course of 
education or training pursued by a veteran who first begins a program of 
rehabilitation under chapter 31 of title 38, United States Code, on or 
after the date that is 1 year after the date of the enactment of this 
Act.
SEC. 403. AUTHORITY TO PRIORITIZE VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION 
                        SERVICES BASED ON NEED.

    Section 3104, as amended by section 402, <<NOTE: 38 USC 3104.>>  is 
further amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ``(c)(1) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  The Secretary shall have the 
authority to administer this chapter by prioritizing the provision of 
services under this chapter based on need, as determined by the 
Secretary. <<NOTE: Evaluation.>>  In evaluating need for purposes of 
this subsection, the Secretary shall consider disability ratings, the 
severity of employment handicaps, qualification for a program of 
independent living, income, and any other factor the Secretary 
determines appropriate.

    ``(2) <<NOTE: Deadline. Plan.>>  Not later than 90 days before 
making any changes to the prioritization of the provision of services 
under this chapter as authorized under paragraph (1), the Secretary 
shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and 
House of Representatives a plan describing such changes.''.
SEC. 404. REPORTS ON PROGRESS OF STUDENTS RECEIVING POST-9/11 
                        EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter III of chapter 33 is amended--
            (1) in section 3325(c)--
                    (A) in paragraph (2), by striking ``and'' after the 
                semicolon;
                    (B) by redesignating paragraph (3) as paragraph (4); 
                and
                    (C) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following 
                new paragraph (3):
            ``(3) the information received by the Secretary under 
        section 3326 of this title; and''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new section:
``Sec. 3326. <<NOTE: 38 USC 3326.>>  Report on student progress

    ``As a condition of approval under chapter 36 of this title of a 
course offered by an educational institution (as defined in section 3452 
of this title), each year, each educational institution (as so defined) 
that received a payment in that year on behalf of an individual entitled 
to educational assistance under this chapter shall submit to the 
Secretary such information regarding the academic progress of the 
individual as the Secretary may require.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter <<NOTE: 38 USC prec. 3301.>>  is amended by adding at the 
end the following new item:

``3326. Report on student progress.''.

    (c) <<NOTE: 38 USC 3325 note.>>  Effective Date.--The amendments 
made by this section shall take effect on the date that is 1 year after 
the date of the enactment of this Act.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1555]]

SEC. 405. RECODIFICATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF ELECTION PROCESS FOR 
                        POST-9/11 EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter III of chapter 33, as amended by section 
404, is further amended by adding at the end the following new section:
``Sec. 3327. <<NOTE: 38 USC 3327.>>  Election to receive 
                  educational assistance

    ``(a) Individuals Eligible To Elect Participation in Post-9/11 
Educational Assistance.--An individual may elect to receive educational 
assistance under this chapter if such individual--
            ``(1) <<NOTE: Eligibility date.>>  as of August 1, 2009--
                    ``(A) is entitled to basic educational assistance 
                under chapter 30 of this title and has used, but retains 
                unused, entitlement under that chapter;
                    ``(B) is entitled to educational assistance under 
                chapter 107, 1606, or 1607 of title 10 and has used, but 
                retains unused, entitlement under the applicable 
                chapter;
                    ``(C) is entitled to basic educational assistance 
                under chapter 30 of this title but has not used any 
                entitlement under that chapter;
                    ``(D) is entitled to educational assistance under 
                chapter 107, 1606, or 1607 of title 10 but has not used 
                any entitlement under such chapter;
                    ``(E) is a member of the Armed Forces who is 
                eligible for receipt of basic educational assistance 
                under chapter 30 of this title and is making 
                contributions toward such assistance under section 
                3011(b) or 3012(c) of this title; or
                    ``(F) is a member of the Armed Forces who is not 
                entitled to basic educational assistance under chapter 
                30 of this title by reason of an election under section 
                3011(c)(1) or 3012(d)(1) of this title; and
            ``(2) as of the date of the individual's election under this 
        paragraph, meets the requirements for entitlement to educational 
        assistance under this chapter.

    ``(b) <<NOTE: Effective date.>>  Cessation of Contributions Toward 
GI Bill.--Effective as of the first month beginning on or after the date 
of an election under subsection (a) of an individual described by 
paragraph (1)(E) of that subsection, the obligation of the individual to 
make contributions under section 3011(b) or 3012(c) of this title, as 
applicable, shall cease, and the requirements of such section shall be 
deemed to be no longer applicable to the individual.

    ``(c) Revocation of Remaining Transferred Entitlement.--
            ``(1) Election to revoke.--If, on the date an individual 
        described in paragraph (1)(A) or (1)(C) of subsection (a) makes 
        an election under that subsection, a transfer of the entitlement 
        of the individual to basic educational assistance under section 
        3020 of this title is in effect and a number of months of the 
        entitlement so transferred remain unutilized, the individual may 
        elect to revoke all or a portion of the entitlement so 
        transferred that remains unutilized.
            ``(2) Availability of revoked entitlement.--Any entitlement 
        revoked by an individual under this subsection shall no longer 
        be available to the dependent to whom transferred, but shall be 
        available to the individual instead for educational

[[Page 130 STAT. 1556]]

        assistance under chapter 33 of this title in accordance with the 
        provisions of this section.
            ``(3) Availability of unrevoked entitlement.--Any 
        entitlement described in paragraph (1) that is not revoked by an 
        individual in accordance with that paragraph shall remain 
        available to the dependent or dependents concerned in accordance 
        with the current transfer of such entitlement under section 3020 
        of this title.

    ``(d) Post-9/11 Educational Assistance.--
            ``(1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2) and except as 
        provided in subsection (e), an individual making an election 
        under subsection (a) shall be entitled to educational assistance 
        under this chapter in accordance with the provisions of this 
        chapter, instead of basic educational assistance under chapter 
        30 of this title, or educational assistance under chapter 107, 
        1606, or 1607 of title 10, as applicable.
            ``(2) Limitation on entitlement for certain individuals.--In 
        the case of an individual making an election under subsection 
        (a) who is described by paragraph (1)(A) of that subsection, the 
        number of months of entitlement of the individual to educational 
        assistance under this chapter shall be the number of months 
        equal to--
                    ``(A) the number of months of unused entitlement of 
                the individual under chapter 30 of this title, as of the 
                date of the election, plus
                    ``(B) the number of months, if any, of entitlement 
                revoked by the individual under subsection (c)(1).

    ``(e) Continuing Entitlement to Educational Assistance Not Available 
Under Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program.--
            ``(1) In general.--In the event educational assistance to 
        which an individual making an election under subsection (a) 
        would be entitled under chapter 30 of this title, or chapter 
        107, 1606, or 1607 of title 10, as applicable, is not authorized 
        to be available to the individual under the provisions of this 
        chapter, the individual shall remain entitled to such 
        educational assistance in accordance with the provisions of the 
        applicable chapter.
            ``(2) Charge for use of entitlement.--The utilization by an 
        individual of entitlement under paragraph (1) shall be 
        chargeable against the entitlement of the individual to 
        educational assistance under this chapter at the rate of 1 month 
        of entitlement under this chapter for each month of entitlement 
        utilized by the individual under paragraph (1) (as determined as 
        if such entitlement were utilized under the provisions of 
        chapter 30 of this title, or chapter 107, 1606, or 1607 of title 
        10, as applicable).

    ``(f) Additional Post-9/11 Assistance for Members Having Made 
Contributions Toward GI Bill.--
            ``(1) Additional assistance.--In the case of an individual 
        making an election under subsection (a) who is described by 
        subparagraph (A), (C), or (E) of paragraph (1) of that 
        subsection, the amount of educational assistance payable to the 
        individual under this chapter as a monthly stipend payable under 
        paragraph (1)(B) of section 3313(c) of this title, or under 
        paragraphs (2) through (7) of that section (as applicable), 
        shall be the

[[Page 130 STAT. 1557]]

        amount otherwise payable as a monthly stipend under the 
        applicable paragraph increased by the amount equal to--
                    ``(A) the total amount of contributions toward basic 
                educational assistance made by the individual under 
                section 3011(b) or 3012(c) of this title, as of the date 
                of the election, multiplied by
                    ``(B) the fraction--
                          ``(i) the numerator of which is--
                                    ``(I) the number of months of 
                                entitlement to basic educational 
                                assistance under chapter 30 of this 
                                title remaining to the individual at the 
                                time of the election; plus
                                    ``(II) the number of months, if any, 
                                of entitlement under chapter 30 of this 
                                title revoked by the individual under 
                                subsection (c)(1); and
                          ``(ii) the denominator of which is 36 months.
            ``(2) Months of remaining entitlement for certain 
        individuals.--In the case of an individual covered by paragraph 
        (1) who is described by subsection (a)(1)(E), the number of 
        months of entitlement to basic educational assistance remaining 
        to the individual for purposes of paragraph (1)(B)(i)(II) shall 
        be 36 months.
            ``(3) Timing of payment.--The amount payable with respect to 
        an individual under paragraph (1) shall be paid to the 
        individual together with the last payment of the monthly stipend 
        payable to the individual under paragraph (1)(B) of section 
        3313(c) of this title, or under paragraphs (2) through (7) of 
        that section (as applicable), before the exhaustion of the 
        individual's entitlement to educational assistance under this 
        chapter.

    ``(g) Continuing Entitlement to Additional Assistance for Critical 
Skills or Specialty and Additional Service.--An individual making an 
election under subsection (a)(1) who, at the time of the election, is 
entitled to increased educational assistance under section 3015(d) of 
this title, or section 16131(i) of title 10, or supplemental educational 
assistance under subchapter III of chapter 30 of this title, shall 
remain entitled to such increased educational assistance or supplemental 
educational assistance in the utilization of entitlement to educational 
assistance under this chapter, in an amount equal to the quarter, 
semester, or term, as applicable, equivalent of the monthly amount of 
such increased educational assistance or supplemental educational 
assistance payable with respect to the individual at the time of the 
election.
    ``(h) Alternative Election by Secretary.--
            ``(1) <<NOTE: Effective date. Determination.>>  In 
        general.--In the case of an individual who, on or after January 
        1, 2017, submits to the Secretary an election under this section 
        that the Secretary determines is clearly against the interests 
        of the individual, or who fails to make an election under this 
        section, the Secretary may make an alternative election on 
        behalf of the individual that the Secretary determines is in the 
        best interests of the individual.
            ``(2) <<NOTE: Time period. Effective date.>>  Notice.--If 
        the Secretary makes an election on behalf of an individual under 
        this subsection, the Secretary shall notify the individual by 
        not later than seven days after making such election and shall 
        provide the individual with a 30-day period, beginning on the 
        date of the individual's receipt of such notice, during which 
        the individual may modify or revoke

[[Page 130 STAT. 1558]]

        the election made by the Secretary on the individual's behalf. 
        The Secretary <<NOTE: Statement.>>  shall include, as part of 
        such notice, a clear statement of why the alternative election 
        made by the Secretary is in the best interests of the individual 
        as compared to the election submitted by the individual. The 
        Secretary shall provide the notice required under this paragraph 
        by electronic means whenever possible.

    ``(i) Irrevocability of Elections.--An election under subsection (a) 
or (c)(1) is irrevocable.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter, as amended by section 404, <<NOTE: 38 USC prec. 3301.>>  
is further amended by adding at the end the following new item:

``3327. Election to receive educational assistance.''.

    (c) Conforming Repeal.--Subsection (c) of section 5003 of the Post-
9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-252; 38 
U.S.C. 3301 note) is hereby repealed.
SEC. 406. <<NOTE: Time period.>>  WORK-STUDY ALLOWANCE.

    Section 3485(a)(4) <<NOTE: 38 USC 3485.>>  is amended by striking 
``June 30, 2013'' each place it appears and inserting ``June 30, 2013, 
or the period beginning on June 30, 2017, and ending on June 30, 2022''.
SEC. 407. CENTRALIZED REPORTING OF VETERAN ENROLLMENT BY CERTAIN 
                        GROUPS, DISTRICTS, AND CONSORTIUMS OF 
                        EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS.

    (a) In General.--Section 3684(a) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by inserting ``32, 33,'' after 
        ``31,''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    ``(4) <<NOTE: Definition.>>  For purposes of this subsection, the 
term `educational institution' may include a group, district, or 
consortium of separately accredited educational institutions located in 
the same State that are organized in a manner that facilitates the 
centralized reporting of the enrollments in such group, district, or 
consortium of institutions.''.

    (b) <<NOTE: Applicability. 38 USC 3684 note.>>  Effective Date.--The 
amendments made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to reports 
submitted on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.
SEC. 408. ROLE OF STATE APPROVING AGENCIES.

    (a) Approval of Certain Courses.--Section 3672(b)(2)(A) is amended 
by striking ``the following'' and all that follows through the colon and 
inserting the following: ``a program of education is deemed to be 
approved for purposes of this chapter if a State approving agency, or 
the Secretary when acting in the role of a State approving agency, 
determines that the program is one of the following programs:''.
    (b) Approval of Other Courses.--Section 3675 of such title is 
amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)(1)--
                    (A) by striking ``The Secretary or a State approving 
                agency'' and inserting ``A State approving agency, or 
                the Secretary when acting in the role of a State 
                approving agency,''; and
                    (B) by striking ``offered by proprietary for-profit 
                educational institutions'' and inserting ``not covered 
                by section 3672 of this title''; and

[[Page 130 STAT. 1559]]

            (2) in subsection (b)--
                    (A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by 
                striking ``the Secretary or the State approving agency'' 
                and inserting ``the State approving agency, or the 
                Secretary when acting in the role of a State approving 
                agency,''; and
                    (B) in paragraph (1), by striking ``the Secretary or 
                the State approving agency'' and inserting ``the State 
                approving agency, or the Secretary when acting in the 
                role of a State approving agency''.
SEC. 409. MODIFICATION OF REQUIREMENTS FOR APPROVAL FOR PURPOSES 
                        OF EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROVIDED BY 
                        DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS OF PROGRAMS 
                        DESIGNED TO PREPARE INDIVIDUALS FOR 
                        LICENSURE OR CERTIFICATION.

    (a) Approval of Nonaccredited Courses.--Subsection (c) of section 
3676 <<NOTE: 38 USC 3676.>>  is amended--
            (1) by redesignating paragraph (14) as paragraph (16); and
            (2) by inserting after paragraph (13) the following new 
        paragraphs:
            ``(14) In the case of a course designed to prepare an 
        individual for licensure or certification in a State, the 
        course--
                    ``(A) meets all instructional curriculum licensure 
                or certification requirements of such State; and
                    ``(B) in the case of a course designed to prepare an 
                individual for licensure to practice law in a State, is 
                accredited by an accrediting agency or association 
                recognized by the Secretary of Education under subpart 2 
                of part H of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 
                1965 (20 U.S.C. 1099b).
            ``(15) In the case of a course designed to prepare an 
        individual for employment pursuant to standards developed by a 
        board or agency of a State in an occupation that requires 
        approval, licensure, or certification, the course--
                    ``(A) meets such standards; and
                    ``(B) in the case of a course designed to prepare an 
                individual for licensure to practice law in a State, is 
                accredited by an accrediting agency or association 
                recognized by the Secretary of Education under subpart 2 
                of part H of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 
                1965 (20 U.S.C. 1099b).''.

    (b) Exceptions.--Such section is further amended by adding at the 
end the following new subsection:
    ``(f)(1) <<NOTE: Waiver authority. Determination.>>  The Secretary 
may waive the requirements of paragraph (14) or (15) of subsection (c) 
in the case of a course of education offered by an educational 
institution (either accredited or not accredited) if the Secretary 
determines all of the following:
            ``(A) The educational institution is not accredited by an 
        agency or association recognized by the Secretary of Education.
            ``(B) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  The course did not meet the 
        requirements of such paragraph at any time during the 2-year 
        period preceding the date of the waiver.
            ``(C) The waiver furthers the purposes of the educational 
        assistance programs administered by the Secretary or would 
        further the education interests of individuals eligible for 
        assistance under such programs.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1560]]

            ``(D) The educational institution does not provide any 
        commission, bonus, or other incentive payment based directly or 
        indirectly on success in securing enrollments or financial aid 
        to any persons or entities engaged in any student recruiting or 
        admission activities or in making decisions regarding the award 
        of student financial assistance, except for the recruitment of 
        foreign students residing in foreign countries who are not 
        eligible to receive Federal student assistance.

    ``(2) <<NOTE: Deadline. Notification.>>  Not later than 30 days 
after the date on which the Secretary issues a waiver under paragraph 
(1), the Secretary shall submit to Congress notice of such waiver and a 
justification for issuing such waiver.''.

    (c) <<NOTE: 38 USC 3675.>>  Approval of Accredited Courses.--Section 
3675(b)(3) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``and (3)'' and inserting ``(3), (14), (15), 
        and (16)''; and
            (2) by inserting before the period at the end the following: 
        ``(or, with respect to such paragraphs (14) and (15), the 
        requirements under such paragraphs are waived pursuant to 
        subsection (f)(1) of section 3676 of this title)''.

    (d) Approval of Accredited Standard College Degree Programs Offered 
at Public or Not-For-Profit Educational Institutions.--Section 
3672(b)(2) is amended--
            (1) in subparagraph (A)(i), by striking ``An accredited'' 
        and inserting ``Except as provided in subparagraph (C), an 
        accredited''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

    ``(C) A course that is described in both subparagraph (A)(i) of this 
paragraph and in paragraph (14) or (15) of section 3676(c) of this title 
shall not be deemed to be approved for purposes of this chapter unless--
            ``(i) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  a State approving agency, or 
        the Secretary when acting in the role of a State approving 
        agency, determines that the course meets the applicable criteria 
        in such paragraphs; or
            ``(ii) <<NOTE: Waiver.>>  the Secretary issues a waiver for 
        such course under section 3676(f)(1) of this title.''.

    (e) Disapproval of Courses.--Section 3679 is amended by adding at 
the end the following new subsection:
    ``(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the 
Secretary or the applicable State approving agency shall disapprove a 
course of education described in paragraph (14) or (15) of section 
3676(c) of this title unless the educational institution providing the 
course of education--
            ``(1) <<NOTE: Public information.>>  publicly discloses any 
        conditions or additional requirements, including training, 
        experience, or examinations, required to obtain the license, 
        certification, or approval for which the course of education is 
        designed to provide preparation; and
            ``(2) <<NOTE: Regulations.>>  makes each disclosure required 
        by paragraph (1) in a manner that the Secretary considers 
        prominent (as specified by the Secretary in regulations 
        prescribed for purposes of this subsection).''.

    (f) <<NOTE: 38 USC 3672 note.>>  Applicability.--If after enrollment 
in a course of education that is subject to disapproval by reason of an 
amendment made by this section, an individual pursues one or more 
courses of education at the same educational institution while remaining 
continuously enrolled (other than during regularly scheduled breaks 
between courses, semesters, or terms) at that institution, any course

[[Page 130 STAT. 1561]]

so pursued by the individual at that institution while so continuously 
enrolled shall not be subject to disapproval by reason of such 
amendment.
SEC. 410. CRITERIA USED TO APPROVE COURSES.

    (a) <<NOTE: Consultation. Determination. 38 USC 3676.>>  
Nonaccredited Courses.--Paragraph (16) of section 3676(c), as 
redesignated by section 409, is amended by inserting before the period 
the following: ``if the Secretary, in consultation with the State 
approving agency and pursuant to regulations prescribed to carry out 
this paragraph, determines such criteria are necessary and treat public, 
private, and proprietary for-profit educational institutions 
equitably''.

    (b) <<NOTE: Effective dates. 38 USC 3676 note.>>  Accredited 
Courses.--Section 3675(b)(3) is amended by striking ``and (3)'' and 
inserting ``(3), and (14)''.

    (c) Application.--The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply 
with respect to--
            (1) criteria developed pursuant to paragraph (16) of 
        subsection (c) of section 3676 of title 38, United States Code, 
        on or after January 1, 2013; and
            (2) an investigation conducted under such subsection that is 
        covered by a reimbursement of expenses paid by the Secretary of 
        Veterans Affairs to a State pursuant to section 3674 of such 
        title on or after October 1, 2015.
SEC. 411. COMPLIANCE SURVEYS.

    (a) In General.--Section 3693 is amended--
            (1) by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following 
        new subsection (a):

    ``(a)(1) Except as provided in subsection (b), the Secretary shall 
conduct an annual compliance survey of educational institutions and 
training establishments offering one or more courses approved for the 
enrollment of eligible veterans or persons if at least 20 such veterans 
or persons are enrolled in any such course. The Secretary shall--
            ``(A) design the compliance surveys to ensure that such 
        institutions or establishments, as the case may be, and approved 
        courses are in compliance with all applicable provisions of 
        chapters 30 through 36 of this title;
            ``(B) survey each such educational institution and training 
        establishment not less than once during every 2-year period; and
            ``(C) assign not fewer than 1 education compliance 
        specialist to work on compliance surveys in any year for each 40 
        compliance surveys required to be made under this section for 
        such year.

    ``(2) <<NOTE: Consultation. Deadlines.>>  The Secretary, in 
consultation with the State approving agencies, shall--
            ``(A) annually determine the parameters of the surveys 
        required under paragraph (1); and
            ``(B) not later than September 1 of each year, make 
        available to the State approving agencies a list of the 
        educational institutions and training establishments that will 
        be surveyed during the fiscal year following the date of making 
        such list available.''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ``(c) In this section, the terms `educational institution' and 
`training establishment' have the meanings given such terms in section 
3452 of this title.''.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1562]]

    (b) Conforming Amendments.--Subsection (b) of such section is 
amended--
            (1) by striking ``subsection (a) of this section for an 
        annual compliance survey'' and inserting ``subsection (a)(1) for 
        a compliance survey'';
            (2) by striking ``institution'' and inserting ``educational 
        institution or training establishment''; and
            (3) by striking ``institution's demonstrated record of 
        compliance'' and inserting ``record of compliance of such 
        institution or establishment''.
SEC. 412. <<NOTE: Time period. Effective date. Applicability. 38 
                        USC 3684 note.>>  MODIFICATION OF 
                        REDUCTIONS IN REPORTING FEE MULTIPLIERS 
                        FOR PAYMENTS BY SECRETARY OF VETERANS 
                        AFFAIRS TO EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS.

    (a) Through September 25, 2017.--During the period beginning on the 
date of the enactment of this Act and ending on September 25, 2017, the 
second sentence of section 3684(c) of title 38, United States Code, 
shall be applied--
            (1) by substituting ``$6'' for ``$12''; and
            (2) by substituting ``$12'' for ``$15''.

    (b) September 26, 2017, Through September 25, 2026.--During the 
period beginning on September 26, 2017, and ending on September 25, 
2026, the second sentence of such section shall be applied--
            (1) by substituting ``$7'' for ``$12''; and
            (2) by substituting ``$12'' for ``$15''.

    (c) Conforming Amendment.--Section 406 of the Department of Veterans 
Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-175; 38 U.S.C. 
3684 note), as amended by the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring 
Authorities Act of 2016, is amended by striking ``During the three-year 
period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act'' and 
inserting ``During the period beginning on the date of the enactment of 
this Act and ending on the day before the date of the enactment of the 
Jeff Miller and Richard Blumenthal Veterans Health Care and Benefits 
Improvement Act of 2016''.
SEC. 413. COMPOSITION OF VETERANS' ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON 
                        EDUCATION.

    Section 3692(a) <<NOTE: 38 USC 3692.>>  is amended in the second 
sentence by striking ``veterans representative of World War II'' and all 
that follows through the period at the end of that sentence and 
inserting the following: ``a representative sample of veterans and other 
individuals who have used, or may in the future use, educational 
assistance benefits administered by the Secretary.''.
SEC. 414. SURVEY OF INDIVIDUALS USING THEIR ENTITLEMENT TO 
                        EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE UNDER THE 
                        EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS 
                        ADMINISTERED BY THE SECRETARY OF VETERANS 
                        AFFAIRS.

    (a) <<NOTE: Deadlines. Contracts.>>  Survey Required.--By not later 
than 270 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary 
of Veterans Affairs shall enter into a contract with a non-government 
entity for the conduct of a survey of a statistically valid sample of 
individuals who have used or are using their entitlement to educational 
assistance under chapters 30, 32, 33, and 35 of title 38, United States 
Code, to pursue a program of education or training. The contract shall 
provide that--

[[Page 130 STAT. 1563]]

            (1) not later than 1 month before the collection of data 
        under the survey begins, the survey shall be submitted to the 
        Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of 
        Representatives;
            (2) the non-government entity shall complete the survey and 
        submit to the Secretary the results of the survey by not later 
        than 180 days after entering into the contract; and
            (3) the survey shall be conducted by electronic means and by 
        any other means the non-government entity determines 
        appropriate.

    (b) Information To Be Collected.--The contract under subsection (a) 
shall provide that the survey shall be designed to collect the following 
types of information about each individual surveyed, where applicable:
            (1) Demographic information, including the highest level of 
        education completed by the individual, the military occupational 
        specialty or specialties of the individual while serving on 
        active duty as a member of the Armed Forces or as a member of 
        the National Guard or of a Reserve Component of the Armed 
        Forces, and whether the individual has a service-connected 
        disability.
            (2) The opinion of the individual regarding participation in 
        the transition assistance program under section 1144 of title 
        10, United States Code, and the effectiveness of the program, 
        including instruction on the use of the benefits under laws 
        administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
            (3) The resources the individual used to help the 
        individual--
                    (A) decide to use the individual's entitlement to 
                educational assistance to enroll in a program of 
                education or training; and
                    (B) choose the program of education or training the 
                individual pursued.
            (4) The individual's goal when the individual enrolled in 
        the program of education or training.
            (5) The nature of the individual's experience with the 
        education benefits processing system of the Department of 
        Veterans Affairs.
            (6) The nature of the individual's experience with the 
        school certifying official of the educational institution where 
        the individual pursued the program of education or training who 
        processed the individual's claim.
            (7) Any services or benefits the educational institution or 
        program of education or training provided to veterans while the 
        individual pursued the program of education or training.
            (8) The type of educational institution at which the 
        individual pursued the program of education or training.
            (9) Whether the individual completed the program of 
        education or training or the number of credit hours completed by 
        the individual as of the time of the survey, and, if applicable, 
        any degree or certificate obtained by the individual for 
        completing the program.
            (10) The employment status of the individual and whether 
        such employment status differs from the employment status of the 
        individual prior to enrolling in the program of education or 
        training.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1564]]

            (11) Whether the individual is or was enrolled in a program 
        of education on a full-time or part-time basis.
            (12) The opinion of the individual on the effectiveness of 
        the educational assistance program of the Department of Veterans 
        Affairs under which the individual was entitled to educational 
        assistance.
            (13) Whether the individual was ever entitled to a 
        rehabilitation under chapter 31 of title 38, United States Code, 
        and whether the individual participated in such a program.
            (14) A description of any circumstances that prevented the 
        individual from using the individual's entitlement to 
        educational assistance to pursue a desired career path or 
        degree.
            (15) Whether the individual is using the individual's 
        entitlement to educational assistance to pursue a program of 
        education or training or has transferred such an entitlement to 
        a dependent.
            (16) Such other matters as the Secretary determines 
        appropriate.

    (c) Report.--Not later than 90 days after receiving the results of 
the survey required under this section, the Secretary shall submit to 
the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of 
Representatives a report on the results of the survey and any 
recommendations of the Secretary relating to such results. Such report 
shall also include an unedited version of the results of the survey 
submitted by the non-government entity that conducted the survey.
SEC. 415. <<NOTE: 38 USC 3067A.>>  DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 
                        PROVISION OF INFORMATION ON ARTICULATION 
                        AGREEMENTS BETWEEN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER 
                        LEARNING.

    (a) Information.--Department of Veterans Affairs counselors who 
provide educational or vocational counseling services pursuant to 
section 3697A of title 38, United States Code, shall provide to any 
eligible individual who requests such counseling services information 
about the articulation agreements of each institution of higher learning 
in which the individual is interested.
    (b) Certification of Eligibility.--When the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs provides to an individual a certification of eligibility for 
educational assistance provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, 
the Secretary shall also include detailed information on such 
educational assistance, including information on requesting education 
counseling services and on articulation agreements.
    (c) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) The term ``institution of higher learning'' has the 
        meaning given such term in section 3452(f) of title 38, United 
        States Code.
            (2) The term ``articulation agreement'' has the meaning 
        given such term in section 486A of the Higher Education Act of 
        1965 (Public Law 89-329; 20 U.S.C. 1093a).

    (d) Deadline for Implementation.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
shall implement this section not later than 90 days after the date of 
the enactment of this Act.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1565]]

SEC. 416. RETENTION OF ENTITLEMENT TO EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE 
                        DURING CERTAIN ADDITIONAL PERIODS OF 
                        ACTIVE DUTY.

    (a) Educational Assistance Allowance.--Section 16131(c)(3)(B)(i) of 
title 10, United States Code, <<NOTE: 10 USC 16131.>> is amended by 
striking ``or 12304'' and inserting ``12304, 12304a, or 12304b''.

    (b) Expiration Date.--Section 16133(b)(4) of such title is amended 
by striking ``or 12304'' and inserting ``12304, 12304a, or 12304b''.
SEC. 417. TECHNICAL AMENDMENT RELATING TO IN-STATE TUITION RATE 
                        FOR INDIVIDUALS TO WHOM ENTITLEMENT IS 
                        TRANSFERRED UNDER ALL-VOLUNTEER FORCE 
                        EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AND POST-9/
                        11 EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE.

    (a) Technical Amendment.--Subparagraph (B) of section 
3679(c)(2) <<NOTE: 38 USC 3679.>> is amended to read as follows:
                    ``(B) An individual who is entitled to assistance 
                under--
                          ``(i) section 3311(b)(9) of this title; or
                          ``(ii) section 3319 of this title by virtue of 
                      the individual's relationship to--
                                    ``(I) a veteran described in 
                                subparagraph (A); or
                                    ``(II) a member of the uniformed 
                                services described in section 3319(b) of 
                                this title who is serving on active 
                                duty.''.

    (b) <<NOTE: Coordination. Evaluation.>>  Applicability.--The 
amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to a course, 
semester, or term that begins after July 1, 2017.
SEC. 418. STUDY ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF VETERANS TRANSITION 
                        EFFORTS.

    (a) Study.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in coordination with 
the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Defense, shall carry out a 
study to evaluate programs to assist veterans of the Armed Forces in 
their transition to civilian life. <<NOTE: Determination.>> Such study 
shall be designed to determine the effectiveness of current programs, 
especially in regards to the unique challenges faced by women veterans, 
veterans with disabilities, Native American veterans (including Alaska 
Native veterans and Native Hawaiian veterans), veterans who are 
residents of a territory of the United States, veterans who are part of 
the indigenous population of a territory of the United States, and other 
groups of minority veterans identified by the Secretaries, including 
whether such programs--
            (1) effectively address the challenges veterans face in 
        pursuing higher education, especially the challenges faced by 
        such groups of minority veterans;
            (2) effectively address the challenges such veterans face 
        entering the civilian workforce and in translating experience 
        and skills from military service to the job market; and
            (3) effectively address the challenges faced by the families 
        of such veterans transitioning to civilian life.

    (b) Report.--Not later than 540 days after the date of the enactment 
of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of 
Representatives a report regarding the findings and recommendations of 
the study required under subsection (a).

[[Page 130 STAT. 1566]]

    (c) Prohibition on Authorization of Appropriations.--No additional 
funds are authorized to carry out the requirements of this section. Such 
requirements shall be carried out using amounts otherwise authorized.

             TITLE V--SMALL BUSINESS AND EMPLOYMENT MATTERS

SEC. 501. MODIFICATION OF TREATMENT UNDER CONTRACTING GOALS AND 
                        PREFERENCES OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS 
                        AFFAIRS.

    (a) <<NOTE: 38 USC 8127.>>  In General.--Subsection (h) of section 
8127 is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (3), by striking ``rated as'' and all that 
        follows through ``disability.'' and inserting a period; and
            (2) in paragraph (2), by amending subparagraph (C) to read 
        as follows:
            ``(C) <<NOTE: Time periods.>>  The date that--
                    ``(i) in the case of a surviving spouse of a veteran 
                with a service-connected disability rated as 100 percent 
                disabling or who dies as a result of a service-connected 
                disability, is 10 years after the date of the veteran's 
                death; or
                    ``(ii) in the case of a surviving spouse of a 
                veteran with a service-connected disability rated as 
                less than 100 percent disabling who does not die as a 
                result of a service-connected disability, is 3 years 
                after the date of the veteran's death.''.

    (b) <<NOTE: Applicability. Contracts. 38 USC 8127 note.>>  Effective 
Date.--The amendments made by subsection (a) shall take effect on the 
date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and 
shall apply with respect to contracts awarded on or after such date.
SEC. 502. LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF JOB COUNSELING, TRAINING, AND 
                        PLACEMENT SERVICE FOR VETERANS.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 41 is amended by adding at the end the 
following new section:
``Sec. 4115. <<NOTE: 38 USC 3415.>>  Longitudinal study of job 
                  counseling, training, and placement service for 
                  veterans

    ``(a) <<NOTE: Contracts.>>  Study Required.--(1) The Secretary shall 
enter into a contract with a non-government entity to conduct a 
longitudinal study of a statistically valid sample of each of the groups 
of individuals described in paragraph (2). <<NOTE: Time period.>> The 
contract shall provide for the study of each such group over a period of 
at least 5 years.

    ``(2) The groups of individuals described in this paragraph are the 
following:
            ``(A) Veterans who have received intensive services.
            ``(B) Veterans who did not receive intensive services but 
        who otherwise received services under this chapter.
            ``(C) Veterans who did not seek or receive services under 
        this chapter.

    ``(3) The study required by this subsection shall include the 
collection of the following information for each individual who 
participates in the study:
            ``(A) The average number of months such individual served on 
        active duty.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1567]]

            ``(B) The disability ratings of such individual.
            ``(C) Any unemployment benefits received by such individual.
            ``(D) The average number of months such individual was 
        employed during the year covered by the report.
            ``(E) The average annual starting and ending salaries of any 
        such individual who was employed during the year covered by the 
        report.
            ``(F) The average annual income of such individual.
            ``(G) The average total household income of such individual 
        for the year covered by the report.
            ``(H) The percentage of such individuals who own their 
        principal residences.
            ``(I) The employment status of such individual.
            ``(J) In the case of such an individual who received 
        services under this chapter, whether the individual believes 
        that any service provided by a disabled veterans' outreach 
        program specialist or local veterans' employment representative 
        helped the individual to become employed.
            ``(K) In the case of such an individual who believes such a 
        service helped the individual to become employed, whether--
                    ``(i) the individual retained the position of 
                employment for a period of 1 year or longer; and
                    ``(ii) the individual believes such a service helped 
                the individual to secure a higher wage or salary.
            ``(L) The conditions under which such individual was 
        discharged or released from the Armed Forces.
            ``(M) Whether such individual has used any educational 
        assistance to which the individual is entitled under this title.
            ``(N) Whether such individual has participated in a 
        rehabilitation program under chapter 31 of this title.
            ``(O) Whether such individual had contact with a One-Stop 
        Career Center employee while attending a workshop or job fair 
        under the Transition GPS Program of the Department of Defense.
            ``(P) Demographic information about such individual.
            ``(Q) Such other information as the Secretary determines 
        appropriate.

    ``(b) Annual Report.--(1) By not later than July 1 of each year 
covered by the study required under subsection (a), the Secretary shall 
submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the 
Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a report 
on the outcomes of the study during the preceding year.
    ``(2) The Secretary shall include in each report submitted under 
paragraph (1) the following:
            ``(A) Information with respect to job fairs attended by One-
        Stop Career Center employees at which the employees had contact 
        with a veteran, including, for the year preceding the year in 
        which the report is submitted, the following:
                    ``(i) The number of job fairs attended by One-Stop 
                Career Center employees at which the employees had 
                contact with a veteran.
                    ``(ii) The number of veterans contacted at each such 
                job fair.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1568]]

            ``(B) Such information as the Secretary determines is 
        necessary to determine the long-term outcomes of the individuals 
        in the groups described in subsection (a)(2).''.

    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter is <<NOTE: 38 USC prec. 4100.>> amended by adding at the 
end the following new item:

``4115. Longitudinal study of job counseling, training, and placement 
           service for veterans.''.

SEC. 503. LIMITATION ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE FOR EMPLOYEES OF 
                        DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) Limitation.--
            (1) In general.--Chapter 7 is amended by inserting after 
        section 715 the following new section:
``Sec. 717. <<NOTE: 38 USC 717.>>  Limitation on administrative 
                leave

    ``(a) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  In General.--Except as provided in 
subsection (b), the Secretary may not place any covered individual on 
administrative leave, or any other type of paid non-duty status without 
charge to leave, for more than a total of 14 days during any 365-day 
period.

    ``(b) <<NOTE: Explanation.>>  Waiver.--The Secretary may waive the 
limitation under subsection (a) and extend the administrative leave or 
other paid non-duty status without charge to leave of a covered 
individual placed on such leave or status under subsection (a) if the 
Secretary submits to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate 
and House of Representatives a detailed explanation of the reasons the 
individual was placed on administrative leave or other paid non-duty 
status without charge to leave and the reasons for the extension of such 
leave or status. Such explanation shall include the job title and grade 
of the covered individual and the location where the individual is 
employed.

    ``(c) <<NOTE: Definition.>>  Covered Individual.--In this section, 
the term `covered individual' means an employee of the Department--
            ``(1) who is subject to an investigation for purposes of 
        determining whether such individual should be subject to any 
        disciplinary action under this title or title 5; or
            ``(2) against whom any disciplinary action is proposed or 
        initiated under this title or title 5.''.
            (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of such chapter <<NOTE: 38 USC prec. 701.>> is amended 
        by inserting after the item relating to section 715 the 
        following new item:

``717. Limitation on administrative leave.''.

    (b) <<NOTE: Time period. Effective date. 38 USC 717 note.>>  
Application.--Section 717 of title 38, United States Code, as added by 
subsection (a)(1), shall apply with respect to any 365-day period 
beginning on or after the date of enactment of this Act.
SEC. 504. REQUIRED COORDINATION BETWEEN DIRECTORS FOR VETERANS' 
                        EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING WITH STATE 
                        DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR AND VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) <<NOTE: 38 USC 4103.>>  In General.--Section 4103 is amended by 
adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ``(c) Coordination With State Departments of Labor and Veterans 
Affairs.--Each Director for Veterans' Employment and Training for a 
State shall coordinate the Director's activities under

[[Page 130 STAT. 1569]]

this chapter with the State department of labor and the State department 
of veterans affairs.''.
    (b) <<NOTE: 38 USC 4103 note.>>  Effective Date.--Subsection (c) of 
such section, as added by subsection (a), shall take effect on the date 
that is 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act.

                      TITLE VI--HEALTH CARE MATTERS

                        Subtitle A--Medical Care

SEC. 601. REQUIREMENT FOR ADVANCE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE MEDICAL 
                        COMMUNITY CARE ACCOUNT OF THE DEPARTMENT 
                        OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) <<NOTE: 38 USC 117.>>  In General.--Section 117(c) is amended by 
adding at the end the following new paragraph:
            ``(7) Veterans Health Administration, Medical Community 
        Care.''.

    (b) Conforming Amendment.--Section 1105(a)(37) of title 31, United 
States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new 
subparagraph:
                    ``(G) Veterans Health Administration, Medical 
                Community Care.''.

    (c) <<NOTE: Effective date.>>  Applicability.--The amendments made 
by this section shall apply to fiscal years beginning on and after 
October 1, 2017.
SEC. 602. IMPROVED ACCESS TO APPROPRIATE IMMUNIZATIONS FOR 
                        VETERANS.

    (a) Inclusion of Recommended Adult Immunizations as Medical 
Services.--
            (1) Covered benefit.--Subparagraph (F) of section 1701(9) is 
        amended to read as follows:
                    ``(F) immunizations against infectious diseases, 
                including each immunization on the recommended adult 
                immunization schedule at the time such immunization is 
                indicated on that schedule;''.
            (2) Recommended adult immunization schedule defined.--
        Section 1701 is amended by adding at the end the following new 
        paragraph:
            ``(10) The term `recommended adult immunization schedule' 
        means the schedule established (and periodically reviewed and, 
        as appropriate, revised) by the Advisory Committee on 
        Immunization Practices established by the Secretary of Health 
        and Human Services and delegated to the Centers for Disease 
        Control and Prevention.''.

    (b) Inclusion of Recommended Adult Immunizations in Annual Report.--
Section 1704(1)(A) is amended--
            (1) in clause (i), by striking ``and'' at the end;
            (2) in clause (ii), by striking the period at the end and 
        inserting ``; and''; and
            (3) by inserting after clause (ii) the following new clause:
                          ``(iii) to provide veterans each immunization 
                      on the recommended adult immunization schedule at 
                      the time such immunization is indicated on that 
                      schedule.''.

    (c) Report to Congress.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 2 years after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

[[Page 130 STAT. 1570]]

        shall submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate 
        and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of 
        Representatives a report on the development and implementation 
        by the Department of Veterans Affairs of quality measures and 
        metrics, including targets for compliance, to ensure that 
        veterans receiving medical services under chapter 17 of title 
        38, United States Code, receive each immunization on the 
        recommended adult immunization schedule at the time such 
        immunization is indicated on that schedule.
            (2) Recommended adult immunization schedule defined.--In 
        this subsection, the term ``recommended adult immunization 
        schedule'' has the meaning given that term in section 1701(10) 
        of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a)(2).

    (d) <<NOTE: 38 USC 1701 note.>>  Rule of Construction.--Nothing in 
this section or the amendments made by this section may be construed to 
require a veteran to receive an immunization that the veteran does not 
want to receive.
SEC. 603. PRIORITY OF MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS IN HEALTH CARE 
                        SYSTEM OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) Enrollment Priority.--
            (1) <<NOTE: 38 USC 1705.>>  In general.--Section 1705(a) is 
        amended--
                    (A) in paragraph (1), by striking the period at the 
                end and inserting the following: ``and veterans who were 
                awarded the medal of honor under section 3741, 6241, or 
                8741 of title 10 or section 491 of title 14.''; and
                    (B) in paragraph (3), by striking ``veterans who 
                were awarded the medal of honor under section 3741, 
                6241, or 8741 of title 10 or section 491 of title 14,''.
            (2) <<NOTE: 38 USC 1705 note.>>  Application.--The priority 
        of enrollment of medal of honor recipients in the system of 
        annual patient enrollment established and operated under section 
        1705(a) of such title, as amended by paragraph (1), shall apply 
        to each such recipient, regardless of the date on which the 
        medal is awarded.

    (b) Eligibility.--Section 1710(a)(2)(D) is amended by inserting 
after ``war'' the following: ``, who was awarded the medal of honor 
under section 3741, 6241, or 8741 of title 10 or section 491 of title 
14,''.
    (c) Extended Care Services.--Section 1710B(c)(2) is amended--
            (1) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``or'';
            (2) in subparagraph (C), by striking the period at the end 
        and inserting ``; or''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
            ``(D) to a veteran who was awarded the medal of honor under 
        section 3741, 6241, or 8741 of title 10 or section 491 of title 
        14.''.

    (d) Copayment for Medications.--Section 1722A(a)(3) is amended--
            (1) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``or'';
            (2) in subparagraph (C), by striking the period at the end 
        and inserting ``; or''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

[[Page 130 STAT. 1571]]

            ``(D) to a veteran who was awarded the medal of honor under 
        section 3741, 6241, or 8741 of title 10 or section 491 of title 
        14.''.
SEC. 604. REQUIREMENT THAT DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS COLLECT 
                        HEALTH-PLAN CONTRACT INFORMATION FROM 
                        VETERANS.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter I of chapter 17 is amended by inserting 
after section 1705 the following new section:
``Sec. 1705A. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1705A.>>  Management of health care: 
                    information regarding health-plan contracts

    ``(a) In General.--(1) Any individual who seeks hospital care or 
medical services under this chapter shall provide to the Secretary such 
current information as the Secretary may require to identify any health-
plan contract under which such individual is covered.
    ``(2) The information required to be provided to the Secretary under 
paragraph (1) with respect to a health-plan contract shall include, as 
applicable, the following:
            ``(A) The name of the entity providing coverage under the 
        health-plan contract.
            ``(B) If coverage under the health-plan contract is in the 
        name of an individual other than the individual required to 
        provide information under this section, the name of the policy 
        holder of the health-plan contract.
            ``(C) The identification number for the health-plan 
        contract.
            ``(D) The group code for the health-plan contract.

    ``(b) Action To Collect Information.--The Secretary may take such 
action as the Secretary considers appropriate to collect the information 
required under subsection (a).
    ``(c) Effect on Services From Department.--The Secretary may not 
deny any services under this chapter to an individual solely due to the 
fact that the individual fails to provide information required under 
subsection (a).
    ``(d) Health-Plan Contract Defined.--In this section, the term 
`health-plan contract' has the meaning given that term in section 
1725(f) of this title.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
chapter 17 <<NOTE: 38 USC prec. 1701.>> is amended by inserting after 
the item relating to section 1705 the following new item:

``1705A. Management of health care: information regarding health-plan 
           contracts.''.

SEC. 605. MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT FOR VETERANS WHO SERVED IN 
                        CLASSIFIED MISSIONS.

    (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that veterans 
who experience combat-related mental health wounds should have 
immediate, appropriate, and consistent access to comprehensive mental 
health care.
    (b) In General.--Subchapter II of chapter 17 is amended by adding at 
the end the following new section:
``Sec. 1720H. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1720H.>>  Mental health treatment for 
                    veterans who served in classified missions

    ``(a) <<NOTE: Procedures.>>  Establishment of Standards.--(1) The 
Secretary shall establish standards and procedures to ensure that each 
eligible veteran may access mental health care furnished by the 
Secretary

[[Page 130 STAT. 1572]]

in a manner that fully accommodates the obligation of the veteran to not 
improperly disclose classified information.

    ``(2) <<NOTE: Consultation.>>  In establishing standards and 
procedures under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consult with the 
Secretary of Defense to ensure that such standards and procedures are 
consistent with the policies on classified information of the Department 
of Defense.

    ``(3) <<NOTE: Guidance.>>  The Secretary shall disseminate guidance 
to employees of the Veterans Health Administration, including mental 
health professionals, on the standards and procedures established under 
paragraph (1) and how to best engage eligible veterans during the course 
of mental health treatment with respect to classified information.

    ``(b) Identification.--In carrying out this section, the Secretary 
shall ensure that a veteran may elect to identify as an eligible veteran 
on an appropriate form.
    ``(c) Definitions.--In this section:
            ``(1) The term `classified information' means any 
        information or material that has been determined by an official 
        of the United States pursuant to law to require protection 
        against unauthorized disclosure for reasons of national 
        security.
            ``(2) The term `eligible veteran' means a veteran who--
                    ``(A) is eligible to receive health care furnished 
                by the Department under this title;
                    ``(B) is seeking mental health treatment; and
                    ``(C) in the course of serving in the Armed Forces, 
                participated in a sensitive mission or served in a 
                sensitive unit.
            ``(3) The term `sensitive mission' means a mission of the 
        Armed Forces that, at the time at which an eligible veteran 
        seeks treatment, is classified.
            ``(4) The term `sensitive unit' has the meaning given that 
        term in section 130b(c)(4) of title 10.''.

    (c) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter <<NOTE: 38 USC prec. 1701.>> is amended by inserting after 
the item relating to section 1720G the following new item:

``1720H. Mental health treatment for veterans who served in classified 
           missions.''.

SEC. 606. EXAMINATION AND TREATMENT BY DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS 
                        AFFAIRS FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL CONDITIONS 
                        AND WOMEN IN LABOR.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter VIII of chapter 17 is amended by 
inserting after section 1784 the following new section:
``Sec. 1784A. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1784A.>>  Examination and treatment 
                    for emergency medical conditions and women in 
                    labor

    ``(a) In General.--In the case of a hospital of the Department that 
has an emergency department, if any individual comes to the hospital or 
the campus of the hospital and a request is made on behalf of the 
individual for examination or treatment for a medical condition, the 
hospital must provide for an appropriate medical screening examination 
within the capability of the emergency department, including ancillary 
services routinely available to the emergency department, to determine 
whether or not an emergency medical condition exists.
    ``(b) <<NOTE: Informed consent.>>  Necessary Stabilizing Treatment 
for Emergency Medical Conditions and Labor.--(1) If any individual comes 
to a hospital of the Department that has an emergency department

[[Page 130 STAT. 1573]]

or the campus of such a hospital and the hospital determines that the 
individual has an emergency medical condition, the hospital must provide 
either--
            ``(A) within the staff and facilities available at the 
        hospital, for such further medical examination and such 
        treatment as may be required to stabilize the medical condition; 
        or
            ``(B) for transfer of the individual to another medical 
        facility in accordance with subsection (c).

    ``(2) A hospital is deemed to meet the requirement of paragraph 
(1)(A) with respect to an individual if the hospital offers the 
individual the further medical examination and treatment described in 
that paragraph and informs the individual (or a person acting on behalf 
of the individual) of the risks and benefits to the individual of such 
examination and treatment, but the individual (or a person acting on 
behalf of the individual) refuses to consent to the examination and 
treatment. The hospital shall take all reasonable steps to secure the 
written informed consent of the individual (or person) to refuse such 
examination and treatment.
    ``(3) A hospital is deemed to meet the requirement of paragraph 
(1)(B) with respect to an individual if the hospital offers to transfer 
the individual to another medical facility in accordance with subsection 
(c) and informs the individual (or a person acting on behalf of the 
individual) of the risks and benefits to the individual of such 
transfer, but the individual (or a person acting on behalf of the 
individual) refuses to consent to the transfer. The hospital shall take 
all reasonable steps to secure the written informed consent of the 
individual (or person) to refuse such transfer.
    ``(c) Restricting Transfers Until Individual Stabilized.--(1) If an 
individual at a hospital of the Department has an emergency medical 
condition that has not been stabilized, the hospital may not transfer 
the individual unless--
            ``(A)(i) the individual (or a legally responsible person 
        acting on behalf of the individual), after being informed of the 
        obligations of the hospital under this section and of the risk 
        of transfer, requests, in writing, transfer to another medical 
        facility;
            ``(ii) <<NOTE: Certification.>>  a physician of the 
        Department has signed a certification that, based upon the 
        information available at the time of transfer, the medical 
        benefits reasonably expected from the provision of appropriate 
        medical treatment at another medical facility outweigh the 
        increased risks to the individual and, in the case of labor, to 
        the unborn child from effecting the transfer; or
            ``(iii) <<NOTE: Consultation.>>  if a physician of the 
        Department is not physically present in the emergency department 
        at the time an individual is transferred, a qualified medical 
        person (as defined by the Secretary for purposes of this 
        section) has signed a certification described in clause (ii) 
        after a physician of the Department, in consultation with the 
        person, has made the determination described in such clause, and 
        subsequently countersigns the certification; and
            ``(B) the transfer is an appropriate transfer to that 
        facility.

    ``(2) <<NOTE: Summary.>>  A certification described in clause (ii) 
or (iii) of paragraph (1)(A) shall include a summary of the risks and 
benefits upon which the certification is based.

    ``(3) For purposes of paragraph (1)(B), an appropriate transfer to a 
medical facility is a transfer--

[[Page 130 STAT. 1574]]

            ``(A) in which the transferring hospital provides the 
        medical treatment within its capacity that minimizes the risks 
        to the health of the individual and, in the case of a woman in 
        labor, the health of the unborn child;
            ``(B) in which the receiving facility--
                    ``(i) has available space and qualified personnel 
                for the treatment of the individual; and
                    ``(ii) has agreed to accept transfer of the 
                individual and to provide appropriate medical treatment;
            ``(C) in which the transferring hospital sends to the 
        receiving facility all medical records (or copies thereof) 
        available at the time of the transfer relating to the emergency 
        medical condition for which the individual has presented, 
        including--
                    ``(i) observations of signs or symptoms;
                    ``(ii) preliminary diagnosis;
                    ``(iii) treatment provided;
                    ``(iv) the results of any tests; and
                    ``(v) the informed written request or certification 
                (or copy thereof) provided under paragraph (1)(A);
            ``(D) in which the transfer is effected through qualified 
        personnel and transportation equipment, including the use of 
        necessary and medically appropriate life support measures during 
        the transfer; and
            ``(E) that meets such other requirements as the Secretary 
        considers necessary in the interest of the health and safety of 
        the individual or individuals transferred.

    ``(d) Payment to the Department.--The Secretary shall charge for any 
care or services provided under this section in accordance with billing 
and reimbursement authorities available to the Secretary under other 
provisions of law.
    ``(e) Definitions.--In this section:
            ``(1) The term `campus' means, with respect to a hospital of 
        the Department--
                    ``(A) the physical area immediately adjacent to the 
                main buildings of the hospital;
                    ``(B) other areas and structures that are not 
                strictly contiguous to the main buildings but are 
                located not more than 250 yards from the main buildings; 
                and
                    ``(C) any other areas determined by the Secretary to 
                be part of the campus of the hospital.
            ``(2) The term `emergency medical condition' means--
                    ``(A) a medical condition manifesting itself by 
                acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe 
                pain) such that the absence of immediate medical 
                attention could reasonably be expected to result in--
                          ``(i) placing the health of the individual 
                      (or, with respect to a pregnant woman, the health 
                      of the woman or her unborn child) in serious 
                      jeopardy;
                          ``(ii) serious impairment to bodily functions; 
                      or
                          ``(iii) serious dysfunction of any bodily 
                      organ or part; or
                    ``(B) in the case of a pregnant woman, a stage of 
                labor that a medical provider determines indicates--
                          ``(i) that there is inadequate time to effect 
                      a safe transfer to another hospital before 
                      delivery; or
                          ``(ii) that transfer may pose a threat to the 
                      health or safety of the woman or the unborn child.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1575]]

            ``(3)(A) The term `to stabilize' means--
                    ``(i) with respect to an emergency medical condition 
                described in paragraph (2)(A), to provide such medical 
                treatment of the condition as may be necessary to 
                assure, within reasonable medical probability, that no 
                material deterioration of the condition is likely to 
                result from or occur during the transfer of the 
                individual from a facility; or
                    ``(ii) with respect to an emergency medical 
                condition described in paragraph (2)(B), to deliver 
                (including the placenta).
            ``(B) The term `stabilized' means--
                    ``(i) with respect to an emergency medical condition 
                described in paragraph (2)(A), that no material 
                deterioration of the condition is likely, within 
                reasonable medical probability, to result from or occur 
                during the transfer of the individual from a facility; 
                or
                    ``(ii) with respect to an emergency medical 
                condition described in paragraph (2)(B), that the woman 
                has delivered (including the placenta).
            ``(4) The term `transfer' means the movement (including the 
        discharge) of an individual outside the facilities of a hospital 
        of the Department at the direction of any person employed by (or 
        affiliated or associated, directly or indirectly, with) the 
        hospital, but does not include such a movement of an individual 
        who--
                    ``(A) has been declared dead; or
                    ``(B) leaves the facility without the permission of 
                any such person.''.

    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
chapter 17 <<NOTE: 38 USC prec. 1701.>> is amended by inserting after 
the item relating to section 1784 the following new item:

``1784A. Examination and treatment for emergency medical conditions and 
           women in labor.''.

               Subtitle B--Veterans Health Administration

SEC. 611. TIME PERIOD COVERED BY ANNUAL REPORT ON READJUSTMENT 
                        COUNSELING SERVICE.

    Section 7309(e)(1) <<NOTE: 38 USC 7309.>>  is amended by striking 
``calendar year'' and inserting ``fiscal year''.
SEC. 612. ANNUAL REPORT ON VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION AND 
                        FURNISHING OF HOSPITAL CARE, MEDICAL 
                        SERVICES, AND NURSING HOME CARE.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter II of chapter 73 is amended by adding at 
the end the following new section:
``Sec. 7330B. <<NOTE: 38 USC 7330B.>>  Annual report on Veterans 
                    Health Administration and furnishing of 
                    hospital care, medical services, and nursing 
                    home care

    ``(a) Report Required.--Not later than March 1 of each of years 2018 
through 2022, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Veterans' 
Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the 
House of Representatives a report on,

[[Page 130 STAT. 1576]]

for the calendar year preceding the calendar year during which the 
report is submitted--
            ``(1) the furnishing of hospital care, medical services, and 
        nursing home care under the laws administered by the Secretary; 
        and
            ``(2) the administration of the furnishing of such care and 
        services by the Veterans Health Administration.

    ``(b) <<NOTE: Evaluations.>>  Elements.--Each report required by 
subsection (a) shall include each of the following for the year covered 
by the report:
            ``(1) An evaluation of the effectiveness of the Veterans 
        Health Administration in increasing the access of veterans to 
        hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care furnished 
        by the Secretary for which such veterans are eligible.
            ``(2) An evaluation of the effectiveness of the Veterans 
        Health Administration in improving the quality of health care 
        provided to veterans, without increasing the costs incurred for 
        such health care by the Federal Government or veterans, 
        including relevant information for each medical center and 
        Veterans Integrated Service Network of the Department set forth 
        separately.
            ``(3) <<NOTE: Assessment.>>  An assessment of--
                    ``(A) the workload of physicians and other employees 
                of the Veterans Health Administration;
                    ``(B) patient demographics and utilization rates;
                    ``(C) physician compensation;
                    ``(D) the productivity of physicians and other 
                employees of the Veterans Health Administration;
                    ``(E) the percentage of hospital care, medical 
                services, and nursing home care provided to veterans in 
                facilities of the Department and in non-Department 
                facilities and any changes in such percentages compared 
                to the year preceding the year covered by the report;
                    ``(F) pharmaceutical prices; and
                    ``(G) third-party health billings owed to the 
                Department, including the total amount of such billings 
                and the total amount collected by the Department, set 
                forth separately for claims greater than $1,000 and for 
                claims equal to or less than $1,000.

    ``(c) Definitions.--In this section, the terms `hospital care', 
`medical services', `nursing home care', `facilities of the Department', 
and `non-Department facilities' have the meanings given those terms in 
section 1701 of this title.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
chapter 73 <<NOTE: 38 USC prec. 7301.>> is amended by inserting after 
the item relating to section 7330A the following new item:

``7330B. Annual report on Veterans Health Administration and furnishing 
           of hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care.''.

SEC. 613. EXPANSION OF QUALIFICATIONS FOR LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH 
                        COUNSELORS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS 
                        AFFAIRS TO INCLUDE DOCTORAL DEGREES.

    Section 7402(b)(11)(A) <<NOTE: 38 USC 7402.>>  is amended by 
inserting ``or doctoral degree'' after ``master's degree''.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1577]]

SEC. 614. MODIFICATION OF HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT FOR PHYSICIANS 
                        EMPLOYED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS 
                        AFFAIRS.

    Section 7423(a) <<NOTE: 38 USC 7423.>>  of title 38, United States 
Code, is amended--
            (1) by striking ``(a) The hours'' and inserting ``(a)(1) 
        Except as provided in paragraph (2), the hours''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    ``(2)(A) Upon the advance written request of a covered physician, 
the Secretary may modify the hours of employment for a physician 
appointed in the Administration under any provision of this chapter on a 
full-time basis to be more or less than 80 hours in a biweekly pay 
period, subject to the requirements in subparagraph (B). For the purpose 
of determining pay, such a physician shall be deemed to have a biweekly 
schedule of 80 hours of employment.
    ``(B) A physician with an irregular work schedule established under 
subparagraph (A) shall be obligated to account for at least 2,080 hours 
of employment (through performance of work or use of leave or paid time 
off) in a calendar year.
    ``(C) The Secretary may prescribe regulations to implement this 
paragraph, including regulations making adjustments to address the 
annual hours requirement for physicians who are covered by this 
paragraph for only a portion of a calendar year.''.
SEC. 615. REPEAL OF COMPENSATION PANELS TO DETERMINE MARKET PAY 
                        FOR PHYSICIANS AND DENTISTS.

    Section 7431(c) is amended--
            (1) by striking paragraph (4);
            (2) by redesignating paragraphs (5), (6), and (7) as 
        paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), respectively; and
            (3) in paragraph (6), as so redesignated, by striking 
        ``under paragraph (6)'' and inserting ``under paragraph (5)''.
SEC. 616. CLARIFICATION REGARDING LIABILITY FOR BREACH OF 
                        AGREEMENT UNDER DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS 
                        AFFAIRS EMPLOYEE INCENTIVE SCHOLARSHIP 
                        PROGRAM.

    Section 7675(b)(1)(E) is amended by striking ``In the case of a 
participant who is a part-time student, the'' and inserting ``The''.
SEC. 617. EXTENSION OF PERIOD FOR INCREASE IN GRADUATE MEDICAL 
                        EDUCATION RESIDENCY POSITIONS AT MEDICAL 
                        FACILITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS 
                        AFFAIRS.

    (a) In General.--Paragraph (2) of section 301(b) of the Veterans 
Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-146; 38 
U.S.C. 7302 note) is amended--
            (1) in the paragraph heading, by striking ``Five-year'' and 
        inserting ``Ten-year''; and
            (2) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``5-year period'' and 
        inserting ``10-year period''.

    (b) Report.--Paragraph (3)(A) of such section is amended by striking 
``2019'' and inserting ``2024''.
SEC. 618. REPORT ON PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESEARCH BY DEPARTMENT OF 
                        VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) In General.--Not later than each of 180 days and 1 year after 
the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
shall submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the 
Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a report 
on increasing public access to scientific

[[Page 130 STAT. 1578]]

publications and digital data from research funded by the Department of 
Veterans Affairs.
    (b) Elements.--Each report submitted under subsection (a) shall 
include the following:
            (1) An identification of the location or locations in which 
        the public will be able to access the results of research funded 
        by the Department, whether on an Internet website of the 
        Department or through another source.
            (2) A description of the progress made by the Department in 
        meeting public access requirements set forth in the notice 
        entitled ``Policy and Implementation Plan for Public Access to 
        Scientific Publications and Digital Data from Research Funded by 
        the Department of Veterans Affairs'' (80 Fed. Reg. 60751), 
        including the following:
                    (A) Compliance of Department investigators with 
                requirements relating to ensuring that research funded 
                by the Department is accessible by the public.
                    (B) Ensuring data management plans of the Department 
                include provisions for long-term preservation of the 
                scientific data resulting from research funded by the 
                Department.
            (3) An explanation of the factors used to evaluate the merit 
        of data management plans of research funded by the Veterans 
        Health Administration.
            (4) An explanation of the process of the Department in 
        effect that enables stakeholders to petition a change to the 
        embargo period for a specific field and the factors considered 
        during such process.
SEC. 619. AUTHORIZATION OF CERTAIN MAJOR MEDICAL FACILITY PROJECTS 
                        OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may carry out the 
following major medical facility projects, with each project to be 
carried out in an amount not to exceed the amount specified for that 
project:
            (1) Seismic, life safety, and utilities upgrades and 
        expansion of clinical services in Reno, Nevada, in an amount not 
        to exceed $213,800,000.
            (2) Seismic corrections to the mental health and community 
        living center in Long Beach, California, in an amount not to 
        exceed $317,300,000.

    (b) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2017 
or the year in which funds are appropriated for the Construction, Major 
Projects, account $531,100,000 for the projects authorized in subsection 
(a).
    (c) Limitation.--The projects authorized in subsection (a) may only 
be carried out using--
            (1) funds appropriated for fiscal year 2017 or the year in 
        which funds are appropriated for the Construction, Major 
        Projects, account pursuant to the authorization of 
        appropriations in subsection (b);
            (2) funds available for Construction, Major Projects, for a 
        fiscal year before fiscal year 2017 that remain available for 
        obligation;

[[Page 130 STAT. 1579]]

            (3) funds available for Construction, Major Projects, for a 
        fiscal year after fiscal year 2017 that remain available for 
        obligation;
            (4) funds appropriated for Construction, Major Projects, for 
        fiscal year 2017 for a category of activity not specific to a 
        project;
            (5) funds appropriated for Construction, Major Projects, for 
        a fiscal year before fiscal year 2017 for a category of activity 
        not specific to a project; and
            (6) funds appropriated for Construction, Major Projects, for 
        a fiscal year after fiscal year 2017 for a category of activity 
        not specific to a project.

                       Subtitle C--Toxic Exposure

SEC. 631. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1116 note.>>  DEFINITIONS.

    In this subtitle:
            (1) Armed forces.--The term ``Armed Forces'' means the 
        United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast 
        Guard.
            (2) Descendant.--The term ``descendant'' means, with respect 
        to an individual, the biological child or grandchild of that 
        individual.
            (3) Toxic exposure.--The term ``toxic exposure'' means a 
        condition in which an individual inhaled or ingested an agent 
        determined to be hazardous to the health of the individual or 
        the agent came in contact with the skin or eyes of the 
        individual in a manner that could be hazardous to the health of 
        the individual.
            (4) Veteran.--The term ``veteran'' has the meaning given 
        that term in section 101 of title 38, United States Code.
SEC. 632. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1116 note.>>  NATIONAL ACADEMY OF 
                        MEDICINE ASSESSMENT ON RESEARCH RELATING 
                        TO THE DESCENDANTS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH 
                        TOXIC EXPOSURE.

    (a) In General.--
            (1) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Agreement.--Not later than 180 days 
        after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of 
        Veterans Affairs shall seek to enter into an agreement with the 
        National Academy of Medicine under which the National Academy of 
        Medicine conducts an assessment on scientific research relating 
        to the descendants of individuals with toxic exposure.
            (2) Alternate organization.--
                    (A) In general.--If the Secretary is unable within 
                the period prescribed in paragraph (1) to enter into an 
                agreement described in such paragraph with the National 
                Academy of Medicine on terms acceptable to the 
                Secretary, the Secretary shall seek to enter into such 
                an agreement with another appropriate organization 
                that--
                          (i) is not part of the Federal Government;
                          (ii) operates as a not-for-profit entity; and
                          (iii) has expertise and objectivity comparable 
                      to that of the National Academy of Medicine.
                    (B) Treatment.--If the Secretary enters into an 
                agreement with another organization as described in 
                subparagraph (A), any reference in this section to the 
                National

[[Page 130 STAT. 1580]]

                Academy of Medicine shall be treated as a reference to 
                the other organization.

    (b) Elements.--The assessment conducted pursuant to the agreement 
entered into under subsection (a) shall include the following:
            (1) <<NOTE: Review.>>  A scientific review of the scientific 
        literature regarding toxicological and epidemiological research 
        on descendants of individuals with toxic exposure.
            (2) An assessment of areas requiring further scientific 
        study relating to the descendants of veterans with toxic 
        exposure.
            (3) An assessment of the scope and methodology required to 
        conduct adequate scientific research relating to the descendants 
        of individuals with toxic exposure, including--
                    (A) the types of individuals to be studied, 
                including veterans with toxic exposure and the 
                descendants of those veterans;
                    (B) the number of veterans and descendants described 
                in subparagraph (A) to be studied;
                    (C) the potential alternatives for participation in 
                such a study, including whether it would be necessary 
                for participants to travel in order to participate;
                    (D) the approximate amount of time and resources 
                needed to prepare and conduct the research; and
                    (E) the appropriate Federal agencies to participate 
                in the research, including the Department of Defense and 
                the Department of Veterans Affairs.
            (4) The establishment of categories, including definitions 
        for each such category, to be used in assessing the evidence 
        that a particular health condition is related to toxic exposure, 
        such as--
                    (A) sufficient evidence of a causal relationship;
                    (B) sufficient evidence of an association;
                    (C) limited or suggestive evidence of an 
                association;
                    (D) inadequate or insufficient evidence to determine 
                whether an association exists; and
                    (E) limited or suggestive evidence of no 
                association.
            (5) <<NOTE: Analysis.>>  An analysis of--
                    (A) the feasibility of conducting scientific 
                research to address the areas that require further study 
                as described under paragraph (2);
                    (B) the value and relevance of the information that 
                could result from such scientific research; and
                    (C) for purposes of conducting further research, the 
                feasibility and advisability of accessing additional 
                information held by a Federal agency that may be 
                sensitive.
            (6) An identification of a research entity or entities 
        with--
                    (A) expertise in conducting research on health 
                conditions of descendants of individuals with toxic 
                exposure; and
                    (B) an ability to conduct research on those health 
                conditions to address areas requiring further scientific 
                study as described under paragraph (2).

    (c) Report.--The agreement entered into under subsection (a) shall 
require the National Academy of Medicine to submit, not later than 2 
years after entering into such agreement, to the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs, the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

[[Page 130 STAT. 1581]]

of the Senate, and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of 
Representatives--
            (1) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>>  the results of the 
        assessment conducted pursuant to such agreement, including such 
        recommendations as the National Academy of Medicine considers 
        appropriate regarding the scope and methodology required to 
        conduct adequate scientific research relating to the descendants 
        of veterans with toxic exposure; and
            (2) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  a determination regarding 
        whether the results of such assessment indicate that it is 
        feasible to conduct further research regarding health conditions 
        of descendants of veterans with toxic exposure, including an 
        explanation of the basis for the determination.

    (d) Certification.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 90 days after receiving the 
        results of the assessment and determination under subsection 
        (c), the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Veterans' 
        Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of 
        the House of Representatives a certification of the 
        understanding of the Secretary, based on such results and 
        determination, regarding the feasibility of conducting further 
        research regarding health conditions of descendants of veterans 
        with toxic exposure that is expressed by such results and 
        determination.
            (2) Basis for certification.--The certification submitted 
        under paragraph (1) shall include an explanation of the basis 
        for the certification.
SEC. 633. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1116 note.>>  ADVISORY BOARD ON RESEARCH 
                        RELATING TO HEALTH CONDITIONS OF 
                        DESCENDANTS OF VETERANS WITH TOXIC 
                        EXPOSURE WHILE SERVING IN THE ARMED 
                        FORCES.

    (a) <<NOTE: Certification. Deadline.>>  Establishment.--Unless the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs certifies under section 632(d) that the 
results of the assessment and determination under section 632(c) 
indicate that it is not feasible to conduct further research regarding 
health conditions of descendants of veterans with toxic exposure, not 
later than 180 days after receiving such results and determination, the 
Secretary shall establish an advisory board (in this section referred to 
as the ``Advisory Board'') to advise the Secretary in the selection of a 
research entity or entities under section 634, advise such entity or 
entities in conducting research under such section, and advise the 
Secretary with respect to the activities of such entity or entities 
under such section.

    (b) Membership.--
            (1) <<NOTE: Consultation.>>  Composition.--The Secretary, in 
        consultation with the National Academy of Medicine, the Director 
        of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and 
        such other heads of Federal agencies as the Secretary determines 
        appropriate--
                    (A) shall select not more than 13 voting members of 
                the Advisory Board, of whom--
                          (i) not less than two shall be members of 
                      organizations exempt from taxation under section 
                      501(c)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;
                          (ii) not less than two shall be descendants of 
                      veterans with toxic exposure while serving as 
                      members of the Armed Forces; and

[[Page 130 STAT. 1582]]

                          (iii) not less than seven shall be health 
                      professionals, scientists, or academics who are 
                      not employees of the Federal Government and have 
                      expertise in--
                                    (I) birth defects;
                                    (II) developmental disabilities;
                                    (III) epigenetics;
                                    (IV) public health;
                                    (V) the science of environmental 
                                exposure or environmental exposure 
                                assessment;
                                    (VI) the science of toxic 
                                substances; or
                                    (VII) medical and research ethics; 
                                and
                    (B) may select not more than two nonvoting members 
                who are employees of the Federal Government and who are 
                otherwise described in subparagraph (A)(iii).
            (2) Chair.--The Secretary shall select a Chair from among 
        the members of the Advisory Board selected under paragraph 
        (1)(A).
            (3) Terms.--
                    (A) In general.--Each member of the Advisory Board 
                shall serve a term of 2 or 3 years as determined by the 
                Secretary.
                    (B) Reappointment.--At the end of the term of a 
                member of the Advisory Board, the Secretary may reselect 
                the member for another term, except that no member may 
                serve more than 4 consecutive terms.

    (c) Duties.--The Advisory Board shall--
            (1) advise the Secretary in the selection of a research 
        entity or entities to conduct research under section 634 from 
        among those identified under section 632(b)(6);
            (2) advise such entity or entities and assess the activities 
        of such entity or entities in conducting such research;
            (3) develop a research strategy for such entity or entities 
        based on, but not limited to, the results of the assessment 
        conducted under section 632;
            (4) advise the Secretary with respect to the activities of 
        such entity or entities under section 634;
            (5) submit recommendations to be included by such entity or 
        entities in the report under section 634(d)(2)(C); and
            (6) not less frequently than semiannually, meet with the 
        Secretary and representatives of such entity or entities on the 
        research conducted by such entity or entities under section 634.

    (d) Meetings.--The Advisory Board shall meet at the call of the 
Chair, but not less frequently than semiannually.
    (e) Compensation.--The members of the Advisory Board shall serve 
without compensation.
    (f) Expenses.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall determine the 
appropriate expenses of the Advisory Board.
    (g) Personnel.--
            (1) In general.--The Chair may, without regard to the civil 
        service laws and regulations, appoint an executive director of 
        the Advisory Board, who shall be a civilian employee of the 
        Department of Veterans Affairs, and such other personnel as may 
        be necessary to enable the Advisory Board to perform its duties.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1583]]

            (2) Approval.--The appointment of an executive director 
        under paragraph (1) shall be subject to approval by the Advisory 
        Board.
            (3) Compensation.--The Chair may fix the compensation of the 
        executive director and other personnel without regard to the 
        provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of 
        title 5, United States Code, except that the rate of pay for the 
        executive director and other personnel may not exceed the rate 
        payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 
        of such title.
SEC. 634. <<NOTE: 38 USC 1116 note.>>  RESEARCH RELATING TO HEALTH 
                        CONDITIONS OF DESCENDANTS OF VETERANS WITH 
                        TOXIC EXPOSURE WHILE SERVING IN THE ARMED 
                        FORCES.

    (a) <<NOTE: Certification. Deadline. Consultation. Contracts.>>  In 
General.--Unless the Secretary of Veterans Affairs certifies under 
section 632(d) that the results of the assessment and determination 
under section 632(c) indicate that it is not feasible to conduct further 
research regarding health conditions of descendants of veterans with 
toxic exposure, not later than 1 year after receiving such results and 
determination, the Secretary shall (in consultation with the advisory 
board established under section 633 (in this section referred to as the 
``Advisory Board'')) enter into an agreement with one or more research 
entities identified under section 632(b)(6) (excluding an entity of the 
Department of Veterans Affairs) to conduct research on health conditions 
of descendants of veterans with toxic exposure while serving as members 
of the Armed Forces (in this section referred to as the ``research 
entity or entities'').

    (b) Research.--
            (1) In general.--To the extent included in the research 
        strategy developed by the Advisory Board under section 
        633(c)(3), the research entity or entities shall conduct 
        research on health conditions of descendants of veterans with 
        toxic exposure while serving as members of the Armed Forces.
            (2) Studies.--In conducting research under paragraph (1), 
        the research entity or entities may study any veteran, at the 
        election of the veteran, identified under section 632(b)(3)(A) 
        as a type of individual to be studied in order to conduct 
        adequate scientific research relating to the descendants of 
        veterans with toxic exposure.
            (3) Categorization.--In conducting research under paragraph 
        (1), the research entity or entities shall assess, using the 
        categories established under section 632(b)(4), the extent to 
        which a health condition of a descendant of a veteran is related 
        to the toxic exposure of the veteran while serving as a member 
        of the Armed Forces.

    (c) Availability of Records.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of 
        Veterans Affairs, and the head of each Federal agency identified 
        under section 632(b)(3)(E) shall make available to the research 
        entity or entities records held by the Department of Veterans 
        Affairs, the Department of Defense, the Armed Forces, that 
        Federal agency, or any other source under the jurisdiction of 
        any such Federal agency or the Armed Forces, as appropriate, 
        that the research entity or entities determine are necessary to 
        carry out this section.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1584]]

            (2) Mechanism for access.--The Secretary of Veterans 
        Affairs, the Secretary of Defense, and the head of each Federal 
        agency identified under section 632(b)(3)(E) shall jointly 
        establish a mechanism for access by the research entity or 
        entities to records made available under paragraph (1).

    (d) Annual Report.--
            (1) <<NOTE: Consultation.>>  In general.--Not later than 1 
        year after commencing the conduct of research under this 
        section, and not later than September 30 each year thereafter, 
        each research entity with which the Secretary has entered into 
        an agreement under subsection (a) shall, in consultation with 
        the Advisory Board, submit to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 
        the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate, and the 
        Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a 
        report on the functions of such entity under this section during 
        the year preceding the submittal of the report.
            (2) Elements.--Each report submitted under paragraph (1) 
        shall include the following:
                    (A) <<NOTE: Summary.>>  A summary of the research 
                efforts that have been completed during the year 
                preceding the submittal of the report and that are 
                ongoing as of the date of the submittal of the report.
                    (B) A description of any findings made during such 
                year in carrying out such research efforts.
                    (C) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>>  Recommendations 
                for administrative or legislative action made by the 
                Advisory Board based on such findings, which may include 
                recommendations for further research under this section.
            (3) <<NOTE: Records.>>  Upon request.--Upon the request of 
        any organization exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(19) 
        of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, the Secretary of Veterans 
        Affairs may transmit to such organization a copy of a report 
        received by the Secretary under paragraph (1).

                     TITLE VII--HOMELESSNESS MATTERS

           Subtitle A--Access of Homeless Veterans to Benefits

SEC. 701. EXPANSION OF DEFINITION OF HOMELESS VETERAN FOR PURPOSES 
                        OF BENEFITS UNDER THE LAWS ADMINISTERED BY 
                        THE SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    Section 2002 <<NOTE: 38 USC 2002.>>  is amended--
            (1) by striking ``In this chapter'' and inserting ``(a) In 
        General.--In this chapter'';
            (2) by striking ``in section 103(a) of the McKinney-Vento 
        Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11302(a))'' and inserting 
        ``in subsection (a) or (b) of section 103 of the McKinney-Vento 
        Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11302)''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following:

    ``(b) Veteran Defined.--(1) Notwithstanding section 101(2) of this 
title and except as provided in paragraph (2), for purposes of sections 
2011, 2012, 2013, 2044, and 2061 of this title, the term `veteran' means 
a person who served in the active military,

[[Page 130 STAT. 1585]]

naval, or air service, regardless of length of service, and who was 
discharged or released therefrom.
    ``(2) For purposes of paragraph (1), the term `veteran' excludes a 
person who--
            ``(A) received a dishonorable discharge from the Armed 
        Forces; or
            ``(B) was discharged or dismissed from the Armed Forces by 
        reason of the sentence of a general court-martial.''.
SEC. 702. AUTHORIZATION TO FURNISH CERTAIN BENEFITS TO HOMELESS 
                        VETERANS WITH DISCHARGES OR RELEASES UNDER 
                        OTHER THAN HONORABLE CONDITIONS.

    Section 5303(d) <<NOTE: 38 USC 5303.>>  is amended--
            (1) by striking ``not apply to any war-risk insurance, 
        Government (converted) or National Service Life Insurance 
        policy.'' and inserting the following: ``not apply to the 
        following:
            ``(1) Any war-risk insurance, Government (converted) or 
        National Service Life Insurance policy.''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
            ``(2) Benefits under section 2011, 2012, 2013, 2044, or 2061 
        of this title (except for benefits for individuals discharged or 
        dismissed from the Armed Forces by reason of the sentence of a 
        general court-martial).''.
SEC. 703. WAIVER OF MINIMUM PERIOD OF CONTINUOUS ACTIVE DUTY IN 
                        ARMED FORCES FOR CERTAIN BENEFITS FOR 
                        HOMELESS VETERANS.

    Section 5303A(b)(3) is amended--
            (1) by redesignating subparagraphs (F) and (G) as 
        subparagraphs (G) and (H), respectively; and
            (2) by inserting after subparagraph (E) the following new 
        subparagraph (F):
            ``(F) to benefits under section 2011, 2012, 2013, 2044, or 
        2061 of this title;''.
SEC. 704. <<NOTE: 38 USC 2002 note.>>  TRAINING OF PERSONNEL OF 
                        THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AND 
                        GRANT RECIPIENTS.

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall conduct a program of 
training and education to ensure that the following persons are aware of 
and implement this title and the amendments made by this subtitle:
            (1) Personnel of the Department of Veterans Affairs who are 
        supporting or administering a program under chapter 20 of title 
        38, United States Code.
            (2) Recipients of grants or other amounts for purposes of 
        carrying out such a program.
SEC. 705. <<NOTE: Deadline. 38 USC 2002 note.>>  REGULATIONS.

    Not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall prescribe regulations, including 
such modifications to section 3.12 of title 38, Code of Federal 
Regulations (or any successor regulation), as the Secretary considers 
appropriate, to ensure that the Department of Veterans Affairs is in 
full compliance with this title and the amendments made by this 
subtitle.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1586]]

SEC. 706. <<NOTE: Applicability. 38 USC 2002 note.>>  EFFECTIVE 
                        DATE.

    This subtitle and the amendments made by this subtitle shall apply 
to individuals seeking benefits under chapter 20 of title 38, United 
States Code, before, on, and after the date of the enactment of this 
Act.

                 Subtitle B--Other Homelessness Matters

SEC. 711. INCREASED PER DIEM PAYMENTS FOR TRANSITIONAL HOUSING 
                        ASSISTANCE THAT BECOMES PERMANENT HOUSING 
                        FOR HOMELESS VETERANS.

    Section 2012(a)(2) <<NOTE: 38 USC 2012.>>  is amended--
            (1) by redesignating subparagraphs (B) through (D) as 
        subparagraphs (C) through (E), respectively;
            (2) in subparagraph (C), as redesignated, by striking ``in 
        subparagraph (D)'' and inserting ``in subparagraph (E)'';
            (3) in subparagraph (D), as redesignated, by striking 
        ``under subparagraph (B)'' and inserting ``under subparagraph 
        (C)'';
            (4) in subparagraph (E), as redesignated, by striking ``in 
        subparagraphs (B) and (C)'' and inserting ``in subparagraphs (C) 
        and (D)'';
            (5) in subparagraph (A)--
                    (A) by striking ``The rate'' and inserting ``Except 
                as otherwise provided in subparagraph (B), the rate''; 
                and
                    (B) by striking ``under subparagraph (B)'' and all 
                that follows and inserting ``under subparagraph (C).''; 
                and
            (6) by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following new 
        subparagraph (B):

    ``(B)(i) Except as provided in clause (ii), in no case may the rate 
determined under this paragraph exceed the rate authorized for State 
homes for domiciliary care under subsection (a)(1)(A) of section 1741 of 
this title, as the Secretary may increase from time to time under 
subsection (c) of that section.
    ``(ii) In the case of services furnished to a homeless veteran who 
is placed in housing that will become permanent housing for the veteran 
upon termination of the furnishing of such services to such veteran, the 
maximum rate of per diem authorized under this section is 150 percent of 
the rate authorized for State homes for domiciliary care under 
subsection (a)(1)(A) of section 1741 of this title, as the Secretary may 
increase from time to time under subsection (c) of that section.''.
SEC. 712. PROGRAM TO IMPROVE RETENTION OF HOUSING BY FORMERLY 
                        HOMELESS VETERANS AND VETERANS AT RISK OF 
                        BECOMING HOMELESS.

    (a) Program Required.--
            (1) In general.--Subchapter II of chapter 20 is amended--
                    (A) <<NOTE: 38 USC 2014.>>  by redesignating section 
                2013 as section 2014; and
                    (B) by inserting after section 2012 the following 
                new section 2013:
``Sec. 2013. <<NOTE: 38 USC 2013.>>  Program to improve retention 
                  of housing by formerly homeless veterans and 
                  veterans at risk of becoming homeless

    ``(a) Program Required.--The Secretary shall carry out a program 
under which the Secretary shall provide case management

[[Page 130 STAT. 1587]]

services to improve the retention of housing by veterans who were 
previously homeless and are transitioning to permanent housing and 
veterans who are at risk of becoming homeless.
    ``(b) Grants.--(1) The Secretary shall carry out the program through 
the award of grants.
    ``(2)(A) In awarding grants under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall 
give priority to organizations that demonstrate a capability to provide 
case management services as described in subsection (a), particularly 
organizations that are successfully providing or have successfully 
provided transitional housing services using amounts provided by the 
Secretary under sections 2012 and 2061 of this title.
    ``(B) In giving priority under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall 
give extra priority to an organization described in such subparagraph 
that--
            ``(i) voluntarily stops receiving amounts provided by the 
        Secretary under sections 2012 and 2061 of this title; and
            ``(ii) converts a facility that the organization used to 
        provide transitional housing services into a facility that the 
        organization uses to provide permanent housing that meets 
        housing quality standards established under section 8(o)(8)(B) 
        of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 
        1437f(o)(8)(B)).

    ``(C) In any case in which a facility, with respect to which a 
person received a grant for construction, rehabilitation, or acquisition 
under section 2011 of this title, is converted as described in 
subparagraph (B)(ii), such conversion shall be considered to have been 
carried out pursuant to the needs of the Department and such person 
shall not be considered in noncompliance with the terms of such grant by 
reason of such conversion.''.
            (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of such chapter <<NOTE: 38 USC prec. 2001.>> is 
        amended by striking the item relating to section 2013 and 
        inserting the following new items:

``2013. Program to improve retention of housing by formerly homeless 
           veterans and veterans at risk of becoming homeless.
``2014. Authorization of appropriations.''.

    (b) <<NOTE: Deadline. 38 USC 2013 note.>>  Regulations.--Not later 
than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary 
of Veterans Affairs shall prescribe regulations to carry out section 
2013 of such title, as added by subsection (a)(1)(B).

    (c) Report.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than June 1, 2020, the Secretary 
        shall submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate 
        and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of 
        Representatives a report on the program required by section 2013 
        of such title, as added by subsection (a)(1)(B).
            (2) Contents.--The report submitted under paragraph (1) 
        shall include assessments of the following:
                    (A) The percentage of veterans who received case 
                management services under the program who were able to 
                retain permanent housing by the end of the program, 
                disaggregated by each recipient of a grant under such 
                section.
                    (B) The percentage of veterans who received case 
                management services under the program who were not in 
                permanent housing at the end of the program, 
                disaggregated by housing status and reason for failing 
                to retain permanent housing under the program.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1588]]

                    (C) The use by veterans, who received case 
                management services under the program, of housing 
                assistance furnished by the Department of Veterans 
                Affairs, including a comparison of the use of such 
                assistance by such veterans before and after receiving 
                such services.
                    (D) An assessment of the employment status of 
                veterans who received case management services under the 
                program, including a comparison of the employment status 
                of such veterans before and after receiving such 
                services.
SEC. 713. ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL CENTER ON HOMELESSNESS AMONG 
                        VETERANS.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter VII of chapter 20 is amended by adding 
at the end the following new section:
``Sec. 2067. <<NOTE: 38 USC 2067.>>  National Center on 
                  Homelessness Among Veterans

    ``(a) In General.--(1) The Secretary shall establish and operate a 
center to carry out the functions described in subsection (b).
    ``(2) The center established under paragraph (1) shall be known as 
the `National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans'.
    ``(3) To the degree practicable, the Secretary shall operate the 
center established under paragraph (1) independently of the other 
programs of the Department that address homelessness among veterans.
    ``(b) Functions.--The functions described in this subsection are as 
follows:
            ``(1) To carry out and promote research into the causes and 
        contributing factors to veteran homelessness.
            ``(2) To assess the effectiveness of programs of the 
        Department to meet the needs of homeless veterans.
            ``(3) To identify and disseminate best practices with regard 
        to housing stabilization, income support, employment assistance, 
        community partnerships, and such other matters as the Secretary 
        considers appropriate with respect to addressing veteran 
        homelessness.
            ``(4) To integrate evidence-based and best practices, 
        policies, and programs into programs of the Department for 
        homeless veterans and veterans at risk of homelessness and to 
        ensure that the staff of the Department and community partners 
        can implement such practices, policies, and programs.
            ``(5) To serve as a resource center for, and promote and 
        seek to coordinate the exchange of information regarding, all 
        research and training activities carried out by the Department 
        and by other Federal and non-Federal entities with respect to 
        veteran homelessness.''.

    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter 20 <<NOTE: 38 USC prec. 2001.>> is amended by inserting 
after the item relating to section 2066 the following new item:

``2067. National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans.''.

SEC. 714. <<NOTE: 38 USC 2011 note.>>  REQUIREMENT FOR DEPARTMENT 
                        OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO ASSESS 
                        COMPREHENSIVE SERVICE PROGRAMS FOR 
                        HOMELESS VETERANS.

    (a) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  In General.--Not later than 1 year after 
the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
shall--
            (1) assess and measure the capacity of programs for which 
        entities receive grants under section 2011 of title 38, United

[[Page 130 STAT. 1589]]

        States Code, or per diem payments under section 2012 or 2061 of 
        such title; and
            (2) assess such programs with respect to--
                    (A) how well they achieve their stated goals at a 
                national level;
                    (B) placements in permanent housing;
                    (C) placements in employment; and
                    (D) increases in the regular income of participants 
                in the programs.

    (b) Assessment at National and Local Levels.--In assessing and 
measuring under subsection (a)(1), the Secretary shall develop and use 
tools to examine the capacity of programs described in such subsection 
at both the national and local level in order to assess the following:
            (1) Whether sufficient capacity exists to meet the needs of 
        homeless veterans in each geographic area.
            (2) Whether existing capacity meets the needs of the 
        subpopulations of homeless veterans located in each geographic 
        area.
            (3) The amount of capacity that recipients of grants under 
        sections 2011 and 2061 and per diem payments under section 2012 
        of such title have to provide services for which the recipients 
        are eligible to receive per diem under section 2012(a)(2)(B)(ii) 
        of title 38, United States Code, as added by section 711(6).

    (c) Consideration of Other Resources.--In assessing and measuring 
programs under subsection (a)(1), the Secretary shall consider the 
availability to such programs of resources made available to such 
programs and to homeless veterans, including resources provided by the 
Department of Veterans Affairs and by entities other than the 
Department.
    (d) Use of Information.--The Secretary shall use the information 
collected under this section as follows:
            (1) To set specific goals to ensure that programs described 
        in subsection (a) are effectively serving the needs of homeless 
        veterans.
            (2) To assess whether programs described in subsection (a) 
        are meeting goals set under paragraph (1).
            (3) To inform funding allocations for programs described in 
        subsection (a).
            (4) To improve the referral of homeless veterans to programs 
        described in subsection (a).

    (e) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date on which the 
assessment required by subsection (a) is completed, the Secretary shall 
submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the 
Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a report 
on such assessment and such recommendations for legislative and 
administrative action as the Secretary may have to improve the programs 
and per diem payments described in subsection (a).
SEC. 715. REPORT ON OUTREACH RELATING TO INCREASING THE AMOUNT OF 
                        HOUSING AVAILABLE TO VETERANS.

    Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to the Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban 
Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

[[Page 130 STAT. 1590]]

and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives 
a report describing and assessing the outreach conducted by the 
Secretary to realtors, landlords, property management companies, and 
developers to educate them about the housing needs of veterans and the 
benefits of having veterans as tenants.

                        TITLE VIII--OTHER MATTERS

SEC. 801. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS CONSTRUCTION REFORMS.

    (a) Application of Industry Standards; Assistance.--Section 
8103 <<NOTE: 38 USC 8103.>> is amended by adding at the end the 
following new subsections:

    ``(f) To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall use 
industry standards, standard designs, and best practices in carrying out 
the construction of medical facilities.
    ``(g) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  The Secretary shall ensure that each 
employee of the Department with responsibilities, as determined by the 
Secretary, relating to the infrastructure construction or alteration of 
medical facilities, including such construction or alteration carried 
out pursuant to contracts or agreements, undergoes a program of ongoing 
professional training and development. Such program shall be designed to 
ensure that employees maintain adequate expertise relating to industry 
standards and best practices for the acquisition of design and 
construction services. The Secretary may provide the program under this 
subsection directly or through a contract or agreement with a non-
Federal entity or with a non-Department Federal entity.''.

    (b) Forensic Audits of Certain Projects.--Subsection (c) of section 
8104 is amended--
            (1) by striking ``Not less than 30 days'' and inserting 
        ``(1) Not less than 30 days''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    ``(2) The Secretary shall--
            ``(A) <<NOTE: Contracts.>>  enter into a contract or 
        agreement with an appropriate non-department Federal entity with 
        the ability to conduct forensic audits on medical facility 
        projects for the conduct of an external forensic audit of the 
        expenditures relating to any major medical facility or super 
        construction project for which the total expenditures exceed the 
        amount requested in the initial budget request for the project 
        submitted to Congress under section 1105 of title 31 by more 
        than 25 percent; and
            ``(B) <<NOTE: Colorado.>>  enter into a contract or 
        agreement with an appropriate non-department Federal entity with 
        the ability to conduct forensic audits on medical facility 
        projects for the conduct of an external audit of the medical 
        center construction project in Aurora, Colorado.''.

    (c) Use of Amounts From Bid Savings.--Subsection (d)(2)(B) of such 
section is amended--
            (1) by redesignating clauses (ii) and (iii) as clauses (iii) 
        and (iv), respectively;
            (2) by inserting after clause (i) the following new clause 
        (ii):
            ``(ii) If the major construction project that is the source 
        of the bid savings is not complete--

[[Page 130 STAT. 1591]]

                    ``(I) the amount already obligated by the Department 
                or available in the project reserve for such project;
                    ``(II) the percentage of such project that has been 
                completed; and
                    ``(III) the amount available to the Department to 
                complete such project.''; and
            (3) in clauses (iii) and (iv), as redesignated by paragraph 
        (1), strike ``amounts'' and inserting ``bid savings amounts'' 
        both places it appears.

    (d) Quarterly Report on Super Construction Projects.--
            (1) In general.--At the end of subchapter I of chapter 81 
        add the following new section:
``Sec. 8120. <<NOTE: 38 USC 8120.>>  Quarterly report on super 
                  construction projects

    ``(a) Quarterly Reports Required.--Not later than 30 days after the 
last day of each fiscal quarter the Secretary shall submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of 
Representatives a report on the super construction projects carried out 
by the appropriate non-Department Federal entity described in section 
8103(e)(1) of this title during such quarter. Each such report shall 
include, for each such project--
            ``(1) the budgetary and scheduling status of the project, as 
        of the last day of the quarter covered by the report; and
            ``(2) the actual cost and schedule variances of the project, 
        as of such day, compared to the planned cost and schedules for 
        the project.

    ``(b) Super Construction Project Defined.--In this section, the term 
`super construction project' has the meaning given such term in section 
8103(e)(3) of this title.''.
            (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of such chapter <<NOTE: 38 USC prec. 8101.>> is 
        amended by adding at the end of the items relating to such 
        subchapter the following new item:

``8120. Quarterly report on super construction projects.''.

SEC. 802. TECHNICAL AND CLERICAL AMENDMENTS.

    Title 38, United States Code, is amended as follows:
            (1) In section 735(a)(5), <<NOTE: 38 USC 735.>>  by striking 
        ``(Public Law 104-191)'' and inserting ``(Public Law 104-191; 42 
        U.S.C. 1320d-2 note)''.
            (2) In the table of sections at the beginning of chapter 17, 
        by <<NOTE: 38 USC prec. 1701.>> striking the items relating to 
        sections 1710D and 1710E and inserting the following new items:

``1710D. Traumatic brain injury: comprehensive program for long-term 
           rehabilitation.
``1710E. Traumatic brain injury: use of non-Department facilities for 
           rehabilitation.''.

            (3) In section 1710(e)(1)(F), by inserting a comma after 
        ``1953''.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1592]]

            (4) In section 7412(b), <<NOTE: 38 USC 7412.>>  by striking 
        ``under paragraph (1)'' and inserting ``under subsection (a)''.

    Approved December 16, 2016.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 6416:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 162 (2016):
            Dec. 6, considered and passed House.
            Dec. 9, considered and passed Senate.

                                  <all>