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111th Congress                                            Rept. 111-580
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                      Part 1

======================================================================



 
             APPALACHIAN VETERANS OUTREACH IMPROVEMENT ACT

                                _______
                                

                  July 29, 2010.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Oberstar, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 5226]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 5226) to require the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs and the Appalachian Regional Commission to 
carry out a program of outreach for veterans who reside in 
Appalachia, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that 
the bill do pass.

                       PURPOSE OF THE LEGISLATION

    H.R. 5226, the ``Appalachian Veterans Outreach Improvement 
Act'', directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the 
Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to carry out a program of 
outreach for veterans who reside in the Appalachian region to 
increase their awareness, access, and use of Federal, State, 
and local programs providing compensation and other benefits 
available as a result of service in the Armed Forces.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    H.R. 5226 requires the Secretary of VA and the ARC to carry 
out a program of outreach for veterans who reside in 
Appalachia. The ARC is a regional economic development agency 
representing a unique partnership of Federal, State, and local 
governments. Established by the Appalachian Regional 
Development Act of 1965 (P.L. 89-4), the Commission is 
comprised of the governors of the 13 Appalachian States and a 
Federal co-chairman, appointed by the President. Local 
participation is provided through multi-county local 
development districts with boards made up of elected officials, 
businesspeople, and other local leaders.
    The Appalachian region served by the ARC and its programs 
is 205,000 square-miles, 420 counties, and populated by more 
than 23 million people in all of West Virginia and parts of 12 
other States: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, 
Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, 
South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The Appalachian region 
has a greater percentage of veterans than the U.S. average: 
13.6 percent versus 12.6 percent (2000 U.S. Census). In 
addition, veterans in the region face geographic and resource 
obstacles, such as greater distances to government facilities 
and lack of public transportation options when compared with 
other regions.

                       SUMMARY OF THE LEGISLATION

Section 1. Short title

    This section designates the title of the bill as the 
``Appalachian Veterans Outreach Improvement Act''.

Section 2. Outreach for veterans who reside in Appalachia

    This section requires the Secretary of VA and the ARC to 
carry out a program of outreach in Appalachia to increase the 
access to and awareness of Federal, State, and local programs. 
This section also permits the Secretary to enter into 
agreements with other Federal and State agencies to carry out 
programs of outreach to veterans and authorizes the ARC to 
provide technical assistance, award grants, enter into 
contracts, or provide funding to persons or entities in 
Appalachia for the purpose of increased access and awareness of 
veterans programs.
    This section also permits the Secretary of VA and the ARC 
to provide directly or by contract with nonprofit 
organizations, technical assistance for the purpose of 
increasing the number of veterans receiving Federal, State, and 
local services.
    The Committee believes that the use of the ARC's program 
and administrative infrastructure and long-standing 
relationships in Appalachia for the purposes of increased 
effectiveness and access to veterans programs is advisable. In 
particular, the Committee recommends the utilization of 
nonprofit organizations in the delivery of technical assistance 
to veterans and veteran-owned businesses.
    Finally, the Committee believes that a formal evaluation of 
this program or programs created to implement this Act should 
be included in the ARC's annual Performance and Accountability 
Report.

            LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AND COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On May 5, 2010, Representative Charles A. Wilson introduced 
H.R. 5226.
    On July 1, 2010, the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure met in open session to consider H.R. 5226. The 
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure ordered H.R. 
5226 reported favorably to the House by voice vote with a 
quorum present.

                              RECORD VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires each committee report to include the 
total number of votes cast for and against on each record vote 
on a motion to report and on any amendment offered to the 
measure or matter, and the names of those members voting for 
and against. There were no recorded votes taken in connection 
with consideration of H.R. 5226 or ordering the bill reported. 
A motion to order H.R. 5226 reported favorably to the House was 
agreed to by voice vote with a quorum present.

                      COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                          COST OF LEGISLATION

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee references the report of the Congressional Budget 
Office included in the report.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
performance goals and objectives of this legislation are for 
the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Department of 
Veteran Affairs to collaborate in a program of outreach and 
technical assistance to veterans in Appalachia concerning 
available programs and assistance.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 5226 
from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.
                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 29, 2010.
Hon. James L. Oberstar,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 5226, the 
Appalachian Veterans Outreach Improvement Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Alan Eder 
and Daniel Hoople.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 5226--Appalachian Veterans Outreach Improvement Act

    Summary: H.R. 5226 would require the Department of Veterans 
Affairs (VA) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to 
jointly implement an outreach program to veterans who reside in 
the Appalachian region. The bill would allow VA and ARC to 
enter into agreements with federal and state agencies, provide 
technical assistance, and award grants to increase veterans' 
awareness of and access to federal, state, and local programs 
providing compensation and benefits.
    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 5226 would cost about 
$34 million over the 2011-2015 period, assuming appropriation 
of the necessary amounts. Enacting H.R. 5226 would not affect 
direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures would not apply.
    H.R. 5226 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 5226 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget functions 700 
(veterans' benefits and services) and 450 (community and 
regional development).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                     -----------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                          2011-
                                                        2011      2012      2013      2014      2015      2015
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATIONDepartment of Veterans Affairs:
    Estimated Authorization Level...................         5         7         9         7         5        33
    Estimated Outlays...............................         5         7         9         7         5        33
Appalachian Regional Commission:
    Estimated Authorization Level...................         *         *         *         *         *         1
    Estimated Outlays...............................         *         *         *         *         *         1
    Total Changes:
        Estimated Authorization Level...............         5         7         9         7         5        34
        Estimated Outlays...........................         5         7         9         7         5       34
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.
        * = less than $500,000.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
5226 will be enacted near the end of 2010 and that the 
necessary amounts will be appropriated each year. Estimated 
outlays are based on historical spending patterns for similar 
programs and activities.
    H.R. 5226 would require VA and ARC to implement an outreach 
program to veterans of the Armed Forces residing in the 
Appalachian region. The program would be designed to increase 
veterans' awareness of and access to federal, state, and local 
programs providing compensation and benefits for veterans. The 
bill would allow VA and ARC to enter into agreements with 
federal and state agencies, provide technical assistance, and 
award grants.
    Based on information provided by VA for a similar program, 
CBO estimates that the provisions of the bill affecting the 
agency would cost about $33 million over the 2011-2015 period, 
including grants to conduct the outreach programs for the 13 
states in the Appalachian region. In addition, ARC expects that 
implementing the provisions of H.R. 5226 would require an 
additional staff member and associated travel costs. Based on 
this information, CBO estimates that implementing the 
provisions of the bill would cost ARC about $1 million over the 
2011-2015 period.
    Assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO 
estimates that implementing HR. 5226 would cost $34 million 
over the 2011-2015 period.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 5226 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Alan Eder and Daniel 
Hoople; Impact on state, local; and tribal governments: Melissa 
Merrell; Impact on the Private Sector: Marin Randall.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                     COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XXI

    Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, the Committee is required to include a list 
of congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited 
tariff benefits, as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of 
rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives. H.R. 
5226 does not contain any earmarks, limited tax benefits, or 
limited tariff benefits under clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of 
rule XXI.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, committee reports on a bill or joint 
resolution of a public character shall include a statement 
citing the specific powers granted to the Congress in the 
Constitution to enact the measure. The Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure finds that Congress has the 
authority to enact this measure pursuant to its powers granted 
under article I, section 8 of the Constitution.

                       FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act (P.L. 104-4).

                        PREEMPTION CLARIFICATION

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the 
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state, local, 
or tribal law. The Committee states that H.R. 5226 does not 
preempt any state, local, or tribal law.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act are created by this 
legislation.

                APPLICABILITY TO THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act (P.L. 104-1).

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    H.R. 5226 makes no changes in existing law.