Text: S.3177 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (01/09/2020)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 3177 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

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116th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 3177

To provide the Inspector General of the Department of Veterans Affairs 
        testimonial subpoena authority, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                            January 9, 2020

  Mr. Tester (for himself and Mr. Lankford) introduced the following 
 bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' 
                                Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To provide the Inspector General of the Department of Veterans Affairs 
        testimonial subpoena authority, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Strengthening Oversight for Veterans 
Act of 2020''.

SEC. 2. TESTIMONIAL SUBPOENA AUTHORITY OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF THE 
              DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) In General.--Section 312 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(c)(1)(A) In addition to the authority otherwise provided by the 
Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) and in accordance with 
the requirements of this subsection, the Inspector General, in carrying 
out the provisions of this section, may require by subpoena the 
attendance and testimony of witnesses as necessary in the performance 
of the functions assigned to the Inspector General by the Inspector 
General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) and this section, which in the case 
of contumacy or refusal to obey, such subpoena shall be enforceable by 
order of any appropriate district court of the United States.
    ``(B) An Inspector General may not require by subpoena the 
attendance and testimony of any current Federal employees, but may use 
other authorized procedures.
    ``(2) The authority to issue a subpoena under paragraph (1) may not 
be delegated.
    ``(3)(A) If the Inspector General intends to issue a subpoena, the 
Inspector General shall notify the Attorney General of such intent.
    ``(B) Not later than 10 days after the date on which the Attorney 
General is notified pursuant to paragraph (1), the Attorney General may 
object to the issuance of the subpoena if the subpoena will interfere 
with an ongoing investigation and, if the Attorney General makes such 
an objection, the Inspector General may not issue the subpoena.
    ``(C) If the Attorney General does not object to the issuance of 
the subpoena during the 10-day period described in subparagraph (B), 
the Inspector General may issue the subpoena.
    ``(4) Before requiring by subpoena under paragraph (1) the 
attendance and testimony of a witness, the Inspector General shall, to 
the degree practicable--
            ``(A) notify the witness of the intent of the Inspector 
        General to issue the subpoena; and
            ``(B) provide the witness an opportunity to attend and 
        testify voluntarily.
    ``(5) Whenever requiring by subpoena under paragraph (1) the 
attendance and testimony of a witness, the Inspector General shall, to 
the greatest extent practicable, travel to residence of the witness, 
the principal place of business of the witness, or other similar 
location that is in proximity to the residence of the witness.
    ``(6)(A) Along with each semiannual report submitted by the 
Inspector General pursuant to section 5(b) of the Inspector General Act 
of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App. 5(b)), the Inspector General shall include a 
report on the exercise of the authority provided by paragraph (1).
    ``(B) Each report submitted under subparagraph (A) shall include, 
for the most recently completed six-month period, the following:
            ``(i) The number of testimonial subpoenas issued and the 
        number of individuals interviewed pursuant to such subpoenas.
            ``(ii) The number of proposed testimonial subpoenas with 
        respect to which the Attorney General objected under paragraph 
        (3)(B).
            ``(iii) A discussion of any challenges or concerns that the 
        Inspector General has encountered exercising the authority 
        provided by paragraph (1).
            ``(iv) Such other matters as the Inspector General 
        considers appropriate.''.
    (b) Effective Date.--
            (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), 
        subsection (c) of section 312 of title 38, United States Code, 
        as added by subsection (a), shall take effect on the date of 
        the enactment of this Act.
            (2) Semiannual report.--Paragraph (4) of subsection (c) of 
        such section, as so added, shall take effect on the date that 
        is seven months after the first day of the first fiscal year 
        beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act.
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