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111th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     111-625

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


 
 AMENDING TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE, TO DEEM CERTAIN SERVICE IN THE 
RESERVE COMPONENTS AS ACTIVE SERVICE FOR PURPOSES OF LAWS ADMINISTERED 
                  BY THE SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

                                _______
                                

 September 28, 2010.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Filner, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3787]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 3787) to amend title 38, United States Code, to deem 
certain service in the Reserve components as active service for 
purposes of laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
with amendments and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Amendment........................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
Subcommittee Consideration.......................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     4
Committee Votes..................................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     4
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     4
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     4
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits.............................     4
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     4
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     4
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     5
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     5
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     5
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     6
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     6
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............     6

                               Amendment

    The amendments are as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. PROVISION OF VETERANS STATUS UNDER LAW BY HONORING CERTAIN 
                    MEMBERS THE RESERVE COMPONENTS AS VETERANS.

  (a) In General.--Chapter 1 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended by inserting after section 107 the following new section:

``Sec. 107A. Honoring as veterans certain persons who performed service 
                    in the reserve components

  ``Any person who is entitled under chapter 1223 of title 10 to 
retired pay for nonregular service or, but 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 solely by 
reason of this section.''.
  (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 
107 the following new item:

``107A. Honoring as veterans certain persons who performed service in 
the reserve components.''.

  Amend the title so as to read:

    A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to recognize 
the service in the reserve components of certain persons by 
honoring them with status as veterans under law.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 3787 was introduced on October 8, 2009, by 
Representative Timothy J. Walz of Minnesota. H.R. 3787, as 
amended, would create a new section under title 38, United 
States Code, to allow persons who, except for age, are entitled 
to retired pay for non-regular service to be acknowledged as 
veterans for honorary purposes. The bill would extend the 
honorary veteran status to National Guard and Reserve members 
who qualify for retirement after 20 years, but were never 
activated long enough to meet current statutory requirements in 
order to attain veteran status. While providing honorary 
status, the bill would specifically exclude these individuals 
from any entitlements under title 38, United States Code, based 
on this Act unless already specified under current law.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The National Guard and Reserve perform an invaluable role 
and are an important component of our overall force structure. 
They support the active duty component by responding in times 
of national emergency, stand ready to be called to active duty 
service and to deploy to overseas missions in times of need.
    Currently, if members of the National Guard and Reserve 
have not served a qualifying period of active duty service, 
they are not considered to be veterans under Federal law.
    The Committee, while recognizing that it is responsible for 
overseeing the laws relating to the provision of Federal 
benefits for veterans, believes that steadfast service of 20 
years in the National Guard and Reserve, even absent qualifying 
Federal service, deserves recognition of the service and 
sacrifice of these men and women. This legislation is intended 
to recognize that, like their counterparts in the active duty 
component, Guard and Reserve members volunteered to serve their 
country and were available for activation at any time. The 
Committee believes that providing honorary recognition to these 
individuals is appropriate.
    The sponsor of this legislation, Representative Walz of 
Minnesota, stated eloquently that while it may not seem 
important to be honored as a veteran, for those who wore the 
same uniform, were subject to the same code of military 
justice, received the same training and spent 20 years or more 
being liable for call-up, this lack of honorary recognition 
represents a gross injustice.
    H.R. 3787, as amended, confers honorary veteran status on 
those individuals who are entitled under chapter 1223 of title 
10, United States Code, to retired pay for nonregular services 
or who would be entitled to retired pay but for age. This bill 
does not extend any benefits to these individuals that are not 
already recognized in current law. This bill does not affect in 
any way over a century of doctrine regarding the legal status 
of National Guard and Reserve service while providing honorary 
recognition to certain men and women by allowing qualified 
individuals to proudly call themselves veterans, to participate 
in official Veterans Day events, or offering a hand salute 
during the playing of the National Anthem.

                                Hearings

    On July 1, 2010, the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance 
and Memorial Affairs held a legislative hearing on several 
bills introduced during the 111th Congress, including H.R. 
3787. The following witnesses testified: The Honorable Timothy 
J. Walz of Minnesota; The Honorable Alcee Hastings of Florida; 
The Honorable John H. Adler, of New Jersey; The Honorable Joe 
Donnelly of Indiana; Mr. Richard F. Weidman, Executive Director 
for Policy and Government Affairs, Vietnam Veterans of America; 
Mr. John L. Wilson, Assistant National Legislative Director, 
Disabled American Veterans; Barry A. Searle, Director, Veterans 
Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission, The American Legion; Mr. 
Eric A. Hilleman, Director, National Legislative Service, 
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States; and Mr. Thomas 
Pamperin, Associate Deputy Under Secretary for Policy and 
Program Management, Veterans Benefits Administration, U.S. 
Department of Veterans Affairs accompanied by Mr. Richard J. 
Hipolit, Assistant General Counsel, Office of General Counsel, 
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Those submitting 
statements for the record included: Mr. Michael P. Cline, 
Executive Director, Enlisted Association of the National Guard 
of the United States; Captain Ike Puzon, USN (Ret.), Director 
of Government Affairs--Legislation, Association of the United 
States Navy; the Military Officers Association of America; 
Peter J. Duffy, Deputy Director of Legislation, National Guard 
Association of the United States; the Reserve Officers 
Association of the United States; the Reserve Enlisted 
Association; and Master Sergeant Larry D. Madison, USAF (Ret.), 
Legislative Director, Washington Office, The Retired Enlisted 
Association.

                       Subcommittee Consideration

    On July 27, 2010, the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance 
and Memorial Affairs met in open markup session and ordered 
favorably forwarded to the full Committee H.R. 3787, as 
amended, by voice vote. During consideration of the bill the 
following amendment was considered:
    An amendment in the nature of a substitute by Mrs. 
Halvorson of Illinois to give members of the Guard and Reserve 
the honor of calling themselves veterans was agreed to by voice 
vote.

                        Committee Consideration

    On September 15, 2010, the full Committee met in an open 
markup session, a quorum being present, and ordered H.R. 3787, 
as amended, reported favorably to the House of Representatives, 
by voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report the legislation and amendments thereto. 
There were no record votes taken on amendments or in connection 
with ordering H.R. 3787 reported to the House. A motion by Mr. 
Buyer of Indiana to order H.R. 3787, as amended, reported 
favorably to the House of Representatives was agreed to by 
voice vote.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goals and objectives are reflected in the descriptive portions 
of this report.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee adopts as its 
own the estimate of new budget authority, entitlement 
authority, or tax expenditures or revenues contained in the 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974.

                  Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits

    H.R. 3787 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate on H.R. 
3787 prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate 
for H.R. 3787 provided by the Congressional Budget Office 
pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 27, 2010.
Hon. Bob Filner,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3787, a bill to 
amend title 38, United States Code, to recognize the service in 
the reserve components of certain persons by honoring them with 
status as veterans under law.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Dwayne M. 
Wright.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 3787--A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to recognize 
        the service in the reserve components of certain persons by 
        honoring them with status as veterans under law

    H.R. 3787 would grant the status of honorary veteran to 
certain retired reservists. Individuals who served at least 20 
years in the reserves, are under age 60, and were never called 
to active duty would be eligible for this honorary status. 
Under H.R. 3787, those honorary veterans would not be eligible 
for additional benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs 
based on this new status. Thus, CBO estimates that the bill 
would have no budgetary impact.
    Enacting H.R. 3787 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 3787 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Dwayne M. 
Wright. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates regarding H.R. 3787 prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 423 of the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act would be created by H.R. 
3787.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that the 
Constitutional authority for H.R. 3787 is provided by Article 
I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United States.

                  Applicability to 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.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Provision of veterans status under law by honoring certain 
        members of the reserve components as veterans

    This section would amend title 38, United States Code, by 
creating a new section honoring as veterans, while specifically 
providing no additional benefits, certain persons who performed 
service in the reserve component.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                      TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE


PART I--GENERAL PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                           CHAPTER 1--GENERAL

Sec.
101. Definitions.
     * * * * * * *
107A. Honoring as veterans certain persons who performed service in the 
          reserve components.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 107A. Honoring as veterans certain persons who performed service 
                    in the reserve components

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

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *