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112th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     112-646

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

 
   AMENDING TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE, TO DIRECT THE SECRETARY OF 
VETERANS AFFAIRS TO DEVELOP A COMPREHENSIVE POLICY TO IMPROVE OUTREACH 
 AND TRANSPARENCY TO VETERANS AND MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES THROUGH 
 THE PROVISION OF INFORMATION ON INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING, AND 
                           FOR OTHER PURPOSES

                                _______
                                

 September 10, 2012.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Miller of Florida, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4057]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 4057) to amend title 38, United States Code, to 
direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to develop a 
comprehensive policy to improve outreach and transparency to 
veterans and members of the Armed Forces through the provision 
of information on institutions of higher learning, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill as 
amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Amendment........................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................     5
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     6
Hearings.........................................................    11
Subcommittee Consideration.......................................    12
Committee Consideration..........................................    13
Committee Votes..................................................    13
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................    13
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............    13
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures    14
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits.............................    14
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................    14
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................    14
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................    17
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................    17
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................    17
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................    17
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................    17
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............    19

                               Amendment

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. COMPREHENSIVE POLICY ON PROVIDING EDUCATION INFORMATION TO 
                    VETERANS.

  (a) Comprehensive Policy Required.--
          (1) In general.--Chapter 36 of title 38, United States Code, 
        is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

``Sec. 3698. Comprehensive policy on providing education information to 
                    veterans

  ``(a) Comprehensive Policy Required.--The Secretary shall develop a 
comprehensive policy to improve outreach and transparency to veterans 
and members of the Armed Forces through the provision of information on 
institutions of higher learning.
  ``(b) Scope.--In developing the policy required by subsection (a), 
the Secretary shall include each of the following elements:
          ``(1) The most effective way to inform individuals of the 
        educational and vocational counseling provided under section 
        3697A of this title.
          ``(2) A centralized way to track and publish feedback from 
        students and State approving agencies regarding the quality of 
        instruction and accreditation, recruiting practices, and post-
        graduation employment placement of institutions of higher 
        learning.
          ``(3) The merit of and the manner in which a State approving 
        agency shares with 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 et seq.) information regarding the State approving 
        agency's evaluation of an institution of higher learning.
          ``(4) The manner in which information regarding institutions 
        of higher learning is provided to individuals participating in 
        the Transition Assistance Program under section 1144 of title 
        10.
          ``(5) The most effective way to provide veterans and members 
        of the Armed Forces with information regarding postsecondary 
        education and training opportunities available to the veteran 
        or member.
  ``(c) Postsecondary Education Information.--(1) The Secretary shall 
ensure that the information provided pursuant to subsection (b)(5) 
includes--
          ``(A) an explanation of the different types of accreditation 
        available to educational institutions and programs of 
        education;
          ``(B) a description of Federal student aid programs; and
          ``(C) for each institution of higher learning, for the most 
        recent academic year for which information is available--
                  ``(i) whether the institution is public, private 
                nonprofit, or proprietary for-profit;
                  ``(ii) the name of the national or regional 
                accrediting agency that accredits the institution, 
                including the contact information used by the agency to 
                receive complaints from students;
                  ``(iii) information on the State approving agency, 
                including the contact information used by the agency to 
                receive complaints from students;
                  ``(iv) whether the institution participates in 
                programs under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 
                1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.);
                  ``(v) the tuition and fees;
                  ``(vi) the median amount of debt from Federal student 
                loans under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 
                1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.) held by students at 
                institution;
                  ``(vii) the cohort default rate, as defined in 
                section 435(m) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 
                U.S.C. 1085(m)), of the institution;
                  ``(viii) the enrollment rates, graduation rates, and 
                retention rates;
                  ``(ix) for each program of education offered by the 
                institution that is designed to prepare a student for 
                an occupation that requires a licensure or 
                certification test offered by a Federal, State, or 
                local government or has other preconditions or 
                requirements, the degree to which the program prepares 
                the student for the particular occupation;
                  ``(x) whether the institution provides students with 
                technical support, academic support, and other support 
                services, including career counseling and job 
                placement; and
                  ``(xi) whether the institution accepts academic 
                credit by students who are transferring to the 
                institution, including credits awarded by a proprietary 
                for-profit institution.
  ``(2) To the extent possible, the Secretary shall provide the 
information described in paragraph (1) by including hyperlinks on the 
Internet website of the Department to other websites that contain such 
information in a form that is comprehensive and easily understood by 
veterans, members, and other individuals.
  ``(d) Definitions.--In this section:
          ``(1) The term `institution of higher learning' has the 
        meaning given that term in section 3452(f) of this title.
          ``(2) The term `postsecondary education and training 
        opportunities' means any postsecondary program of education, 
        including apprenticeships and on-job training, for which the 
        Secretary of Veterans Affairs provides assistance to a veteran 
        or member of the Armed Forces.''.
          (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of such chapter is amended by adding after the item 
        relating to section 3697A the following new item:

``3698. Comprehensive policy on providing education information to 
veterans.''.

  (b) Prohibition on Inducements.--Section 3696 of title 38, United 
States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new 
subsection:
  ``(e) The Secretary shall not approve an educational institution if 
the educational institution provides 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.''.
  (c) Survey.--In developing the policy required by section 3698(a) of 
title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), the Secretary 
shall conduct a market survey to determine the availability of the 
following:
          (1) A commercially available off-the-shelf online tool that 
        allows a veteran or member of the Armed Forces to assess 
        whether the veteran or member is academically ready to engage 
        in postsecondary education and training opportunities and 
        whether the veteran or member would need any remedial 
        preparation before beginning such opportunities.
          (2) A commercially available off-the-shelf online tool that 
        provides a veteran or member of the Armed Forces with a list of 
        providers of postsecondary education and training opportunities 
        based on criteria selected by the veteran or member.
  (d) Report.--Not later than 90 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, the Committee 
on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives, and the 
Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate a 
report that includes--
          (1) a description of the policy developed by the Secretary 
        under section 3698(a) of title 38, United States Code, as added 
        by subsection (a);
          (2) a plan of the Secretary to implement such policy; and
          (3) the results of the survey conducted under subsection (b), 
        including whether the Secretary plans to implement the tools 
        described in such subsection.
  (e) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) The term ``commercially available off-the-shelf'' has the 
        meaning given that term in section 104 of title 41, United 
        States Code.
          (2) The term ``postsecondary education and training 
        opportunities'' means any postsecondary program of education, 
        including apprenticeships and on-job training, for which the 
        Secretary of Veterans Affairs provides assistance to a veteran 
        or member of the Armed Forces.

SEC. 2. STATE CONSIDERATION OF MILITARY TRAINING IN GRANTING CERTAIN 
                    STATE CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES AS A CONDITION ON 
                    THE RECEIPT OF FUNDS FOR VETERANS EMPLOYMENT AND 
                    TRAINING.

  (a) In General.--Section 4102A(c) of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
  ``(9)(A) As a condition of a grant or contract under which funds are 
made available to a State in order to carry out section 4103A or 4104 
of this title for any program year, the Secretary shall require the 
State to disclose to the Secretary in writing the following:
          ``(i) Criteria applicants must satisfy to receive a 
        certification or license described in subparagraph (B) by the 
        State.
          ``(ii) A description of the standard practices of the State 
        for evaluating training received by veterans while serving on 
        active duty in the Armed Forces and evaluating the documented 
        work experience of such veterans during such service for 
        purposes of approving or denying a certification or license 
        described in subparagraph (B).
          ``(iii) Identification of areas in which training and 
        experience described in clause (ii) fails to meet criteria 
        described in clause (i).
  ``(B) A certification or license described in this subparagraph is 
any of the following:
          ``(i) A license to be a nonemergency medical professional.
          ``(ii) A license to be an emergency medical professional.
          ``(iii) Any commercial driver's license.
  ``(C) The Secretary shall share the information the Secretary 
receives under subparagraph (A)(ii) with the Secretary of Defense to 
help the Secretary of Defense improve training for military 
occupational specialties so that individuals who receive such training 
are able to receive a certification or license described in 
subparagraph (B) from a State.
  ``(D) The Secretary shall publish on the Internet website of the 
Department--
          ``(i) any guidance the Secretary gives the Secretary of 
        Defense with respect to carrying out this section; and
          ``(ii) any information the Secretary receives from a State 
        pursuant to subparagraph (A).''.
  (b) Effective Date.--The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply 
with respect to a program year beginning on or after October 1, 2013.

SEC. 3. CONDITIONS ON THE AWARD OF PER DIEM PAYMENTS BY THE SECRETARY 
                    OF VETERANS AFFAIRS FOR THE PROVISION OF HOUSING OR 
                    SERVICES TO HOMELESS VETERANS.

  (a) Condition.--
          (1) In general.--Paragraph (1) of section 2012(c) of title 
        38, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
  ``(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), a per diem payment may not 
be provided under this section to a grant recipient or eligible entity 
unless the entity submits to the Secretary a certification that the 
building where the entity provides such housing or services is in 
compliance with codes relevant to the operations and level of care 
provided, including the most current Life Safety Code or International 
Fire Code and all applicable State and local housing codes, licensing 
requirements, fire and safety requirements, and any other requirements 
in the jurisdiction in which the project is located regarding the 
condition of the structure and the operation of the supportive housing 
or service center.''.
          (2) Effective date.--The amendment made by paragraph (1) 
        shall apply with respect to an application for a per diem 
        payment under section 2012 of title 38, United States Code, 
        submitted on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.
  (b) Annual Report.--Section 2065(b) of title 38, United States Code, 
is amended--
          (1) by redesignating paragraph (6) as paragraph (7); and
          (2) by inserting after paragraph (5) the following new 
        paragraph (6):
          ``(6) The Secretary's evaluation of the safety and 
        accessibility of facilities used to provide programs 
        established by grant recipients or eligible entities under 
        section 2011 and 2012 of this title, including the number of 
        such grant recipients or eligible entities who have submitted a 
        certification under section 2012(c)(1).''.
  (c) Treatment of Current Recipients.--In the case of the recipient of 
a per diem payment under section 2012 of title 38, United States Code, 
that receives such a payment during the year in which this Act is 
enacted, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall require the recipient 
to submit the certification required under section 2012(c)(1) of such 
title, as amended by subsection (a)(1), by not later than two years 
after the date of the enactment of this Act. If the recipient fails to 
submit such certification by such date, the Secretary may not make any 
additional per diem payments to the recipient under such section 2012 
until the recipient submits such certification.

SEC. 4. ESTABLISHMENT OF OPEN BURN PIT REGISTRY.

  (a) Establishment of Registry.--Not later than 180 days after the 
date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
shall--
          (1) establish and maintain an open burn pit registry for 
        eligible individuals who may have been exposed to toxic 
        chemicals and fumes caused by open burn pits;
          (2) include any information in such registry that the 
        Secretary of Veterans Affairs determines necessary to ascertain 
        and monitor the health effects of the exposure of members of 
        the Armed Forces to toxic chemicals and fumes caused by open 
        burn pits;
          (3) develop a public information campaign to inform eligible 
        individuals about the open burn pit registry, including how to 
        register and the benefits of registering; and
          (4) periodically notify eligible individuals of significant 
        developments in the study and treatment of conditions 
        associated with exposure to toxic chemicals and fumes caused by 
        open burn pits.
  (b) Report to Congress.--
          (1) Report by independent scientific organization.--The 
        Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall enter into an agreement 
        with an independent scientific organization to develop a report 
        containing the following:
                  (A) An assessment of the effectiveness of actions 
                taken by the Secretaries to collect and maintain 
                information on the health effects of exposure to toxic 
                chemicals and fumes caused by open burn pits.
                  (B) Recommendations to improve the collection and 
                maintenance of such information.
                  (C) Using established and previously published 
                epidemiological studies, recommendations regarding the 
                most effective and prudent means of addressing the 
                medical needs of eligible individuals with respect to 
                conditions that are likely to result from exposure to 
                open burn pits.
          (2) Submittal to congress.--Not later than 18 months after 
        the date on which the registry under subsection (a) is 
        established, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to 
        Congress the report developed under paragraph (1).
  (c) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) The term ``open burn pit'' means an area of land located 
        in Afghanistan or Iraq that--
                  (A) is designated by the Secretary of Defense to be 
                used for disposing solid waste by burning in the 
                outdoor air; and
                  (B) does not contain a commercially manufactured 
                incinerator or other equipment specifically designed 
                and manufactured for the burning of solid waste.
          (2) The term ``eligible individual'' means any individual 
        who, on or after September 11, 2001--
                  (A) was deployed in support of a contingency 
                operation while serving in the Armed Forces; and
                  (B) during such deployment, was based or stationed at 
                a location where an open burn pit was used.

SEC. 5. PERFORMANCE AWARDS IN THE SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICE.

  For each of fiscal years 2013 through 2017, the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs may not pay more than $1,000,000 in performance awards under 
section 5384 of title 5, United States Code.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 4057 was introduced on February 16, 2012, by 
Representative Gus Bilirakis of Florida. H.R. 4057, as amended, 
incorporates provisions from H.R. 4115, introduced by 
Representative Steve Stivers of Ohio; H.R. 4079, as amended, 
introduced by Representative David McKinley of West Virginia; 
and H.R. 3337, as amended, introduced by Representative Todd 
Akin of Missouri. The bill, as amended, would direct the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs to develop a comprehensive policy 
to improve the outreach efforts of institutions of higher 
learning while providing greater transparency of educational 
information; would require states to consider military training 
in granting certain state certifications and licenses; would 
adjust how grant and per diem payment are paid to homeless 
veteran providers; would create an open burn pit registry for 
veterans of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan; and, would limit 
bonuses for senior executives at the Department of Veterans 
Affairs (VA).

                  Background and Need for Legislation


 SECTION 1--COMPREHENSIVE POLICY ON PROVIDING EDUCATION INFORMATION TO 
                                VETERANS

    During the 112th Congress, there has been a renewed focus 
on the growth of for-profit colleges and alleged predatory 
practices used by some institutions to recruit GI Bill 
recipients under chapter 30, 31, 32, 33, and 35 of title 38, 
U.S.C. While the Committee has received some anecdotal evidence 
of misleading and predatory practices being conducted by some 
schools, there is little empirical evidence to support the 
claims that the for-profit school industry, as a whole, is 
systematically taking advantage of veterans and servicemembers. 
While the Committee acknowledges that there could be some bad 
actors using these predatory practices at for-profit, non-
profit, and public institutions, we believe that the actions of 
a few should not taint an entire industry.
    Instead, the Committee believes that the best tool to make 
the best use of education benefits is to ensure students have 
the appropriate information needed to make decisions about how 
to use their VA education benefits.
    The Committee believes this section of H.R. 4057, as 
amended, will help students make an informed choice. This 
section would require VA to develop a comprehensive policy to 
improve the transparency and dissemination of education 
information to veterans. Implemented effectively, this policy 
would enable veterans to better understand their education 
benefits and to be better informed about which educational 
institutions are most appropriate for them.
    To accomplish these goals, section 1 would require VA to 
research and implement the most effective means of making 
veterans more aware of Chapter 36 Vocational/Educational 
counseling benefits. Although this educational counseling is 
available and is a valuable resource, far too few veterans 
(only 6,656 in FY 2011) take advantage of this one-on-one 
counseling. The Committee hopes that VA would increase the 
awareness of students in regards to this counseling by putting 
a link to Chapter 36 counseling information on the VA online 
application for Chapter 33 benefits and during the application 
process for all VA education benefits.
    Next, section 1 would require that VA consider providing a 
centralized system to track and publish feedback on schools 
from students and State Approving Agencies (SAA). This would 
include assessment of the quality of instruction and 
accreditation, recruiting practices, and post-graduation 
employment placement of institutions of higher learning. In 
providing this complaint forum, students would be able to read 
reports from other students and SAAs about the school. The 
Committee expects that VA would use the centralized process for 
valid complaints, and not, for example, matters that are 
subjective in nature, such as grades. The Committee also 
expects that VA would prohibit anonymous filings to ensure the 
database's legitimacy and to prevent fraudulent complaints. 
Students and agencies must be held accountable for any comments 
that they wish to submit in a public forum such as that 
proposed in this section.
    Section 1 would also address the manner in which SAAs share 
information with accrediting institutions. The policy that 
would be required by this section would require the SAAs to 
share information they gather on schools with accrediting 
agencies. The Committee believes that by working together the 
SAAs and accrediting agencies will be better-equipped to 
address any issues that are occurring at schools and improve 
the experience for students.
    The Committee has found that some veterans are simply not 
aware of the benefits available to them. The policy required 
under section 1 would also encourage VA to increase outreach to 
veterans through the Transition Assistance Programs (TAP). The 
Committee believes that if more emphasis was placed on 
education benefits at TAP, servicemembers would be better 
informed about their benefits before they leave active duty.
    In an effort to offer even more resources that provide 
education information for veterans, section 1 would require VA 
to provide a list of hyperlinks on its website that lead to 
existing websites, such as the U.S. Department of Education's 
College Navigator, that provide consumer information about 
schools. Graduation and retention rates would be required as 
well as the median amount of Federal student loan debt, and 
other information. The Committee notes that the information 
that would be required in most cases is already listed among 
the 272 data types for education institutions listed on the 
College Navigator website. The Committee expects VA to use 
existing websites and not re-create information that is already 
available.
    Section 1 would prohibit inducements of any kind to reward 
recruiting by employees or students. The Committee believes 
that students seeking higher education or training should be 
able to make an informed decision, and should not be influenced 
by those few schools that use deceptive practices to recruit 
veterans. The language in this section that prohibits these 
inducements aligns with similar language in section 487 of the 
Higher Education Act of 1965 (title 20 U.S.C.).
    Under this section, VA would also be required to conduct a 
market survey to identify two commercially available off-the-
shelf software systems. The first system would contain a 
database of institutions that can be narrowed down by the 
user's criteria (such as environment, location, programs 
offered, requirements for graduation and other criteria). Such 
a system would allow students to compare institutions side-by-
side which the Committee believes would help enable more 
informed decisions.
    The second system would provide veterans with the option to 
assess whether they are academically prepared or would need 
remediation before attending post-secondary training. We 
believe such a test will help veterans be successful in the 
education or training program of their choice.
    Finally, section 1 would require VA to report on the 
development and implementation of the comprehensive policy 
required by this section within 90 days of enactment. This 
report would be sent to the House and Senate Committees on 
Veterans' Affairs as well as the House Committee on Education 
and the Workforce and the Senate Committee on Health, 
Education, Labor, and Pensions.

SECTION 2--STATE CONSIDERATION OF MILITARY TRAINING IN GRANTING CERTAIN 
  STATE CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES AS A CONDITION ON THE RECEIPT OF 
               FUNDS FOR VETERANS EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING

    Section 2 would require states to provide information to 
the U.S. Department of Labor describing how their state 
licensing or certification processes for occupations such as 
nursing assistants, registered nurses, certified nursing 
assistants, emergency medical technicians, and commercial 
drivers might grant credit for prior military education and 
training in these fields.
    The Committee believes that this information sharing would 
assist veterans in transferring the skills acquired during 
active duty service to civilian professional opportunities with 
a minimum of additional or repetitive training. The Committee 
believes that the program would encourage states to recognize 
veterans' prior experience and training to ensure that state 
licensing or certification processes are not duplicative of 
education and training veterans have already undergone in the 
military.
    Section 2 would also require that the Department of Labor 
publish the results of its data collection on its website so 
veterans and servicemembers can see how their military training 
does, or does not, lead to a license or credential in a 
particular state. The Department of Labor would also have to 
transfer the data to the Department of Defense to assist in 
determining the feasibility of adjusting in-service training to 
better conform to the licensing and credentialing requirements 
in states. The Committee hopes that by making this information 
available on the internet that states and credentialing bodies 
would adjust licensing and credentialing requirements to 
facilitate recruitment of qualified veterans.

    SECTION 3--CONDITIONS ON THE AWARD OF PER DIEM PAYMENTS BY THE 
SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS FOR THE PROVISION OF HOUSING OR SERVICES 
                          TO HOMELESS VETERANS

    The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates 
that in 2011, approximately 14 percent of all homeless adults 
in the United States were veterans, with approximately 67,494 
veterans homeless on any given night in January 2011 alone. The 
VA provides housing and supportive services to homeless 
veterans through a myriad of programs, including the Homeless 
Provider Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program.
    The GPD Program was authorized as a pilot in P.L. 102-590 
(106 Stat. 5141), the Homeless Veterans Comprehensive Service 
Programs Act of 1992, and was made permanent in P.L. 109-461 
(120 Stat. 3403), the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and 
Information Technology Act of 2006. According to VA, the 
purpose of the program is to promote the development and 
provision of supportive housing and services to homeless 
veterans to assist them in achieving residential stability, 
increased income level and skills, and greater self-
determination.
    Under the grant portion of the program, public entities or 
private nonprofit organizations may apply for capital grants to 
fund up to 65 percent of the cost of acquisition, expansion, or 
remodeling of a building for use as a service center or 
transitional housing facility. Grants may also be used to 
procure vans for outreach and transportation needs. To be 
considered eligible for a grant under this program, 75 percent 
or more of the clients served by the grantee must be veterans. 
Under the per diem portion of the program, grant recipients 
and/or organizations that would be eligible to apply for and 
receive grants are reimbursed for the cost of providing housing 
or supportive services to homeless veterans. Supportive 
services eligible for reimbursement under the GPD Program 
include: outreach activities; food and nutrition services; 
health care; mental health care; substance use counseling; job 
training and placement; and transportation. The maximum per 
diem rate for a supportive housing center is currently set at 
$38.90 per day per veteran. The maximum per diem rate for a 
service center not connected with a supportive housing center 
is currently set at one-eighth of the daily cost of care, not 
to exceed eight hours in any given day or the current VA state 
home rate for domiciliary care.
    Section 2011(b)(5) of title 38, United States Code 
stipulates that VA ensure that entities receiving grants under 
the GPD Program meet fire and safety requirements established 
by VA as well as all applicable state and local codes and 
standards. VA medical center clinicians in each local 
jurisdiction act as liaisons between the Department and the 
GPD-funded entity and are responsible for ensuring compliance 
with this provision. There is no similar requirement for 
recipients of per diem payments under the GPD Program and VA is 
not required to evaluate or report an assessment of the basic 
safety of homeless service providers.
    GPD-funded entities are commonly referred to as 
``residential board and care facilities.'' These facilities are 
defined as a building or portion of a building that is used for 
lodging and/or boarding four or more residents who are not 
related by blood or marriage to the owners or operators of the 
building for the purpose of providing personal care services. 
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that, 
from 2006 to 2010, more than nineteen hundred structure fires 
were reported in facilities of this kind. The fires resulted in 
ten deaths, 61 injuries, and $8 million in property damage.
    To combat these fires, NFPA publishes and recommends the 
use of the Life Safety Code. The Life Safety Code governs the 
annual maintenance of fire extinguishers, exit paths, and other 
issues related to safety of building users in an emergency 
situation. In addition to the Life Safety Code, approximately 
43 states use the International Fire Code (IFC), published by 
the International Code Council (ICC) to govern annual 
maintenance of building safety features. The two codes are 
similar in scope, and equivalent in maintaining a safe building 
environment. However, in a statement for the record provided to 
the Subcommittee on Health the National Association of State 
Fire Marshals reported that some parts of the country have no 
minimum building or fire code requirements and, in states where 
such requirements are present, significant variation exists in 
their use and application.
    While some states and local jurisdictions use the Life 
Safety Code, published by the National Fire Protection 
Association (NFPA), as the code to govern annual maintenance of 
fire extinguishers, exit paths, and other issues related to 
safety of building users in an emergency situation, 43 states 
use the International Fire Code (IFC), published by the 
International Code Council (ICC) to govern annual maintenance 
of building safety features. The two codes, while similar in 
scope, and equivalent in maintaining a safe building 
environment, cannot be enforced simultaneously without 
significant and unnecessary expense. Therefore, allowing use of 
the IFC in the alternative assures the safety of all veterans' 
facilities, while not imposing additional inspection or 
compliance burdens in the 43 states where the IFC is currently 
adopted and enforced.
    Section 3 of H.R. 4057, as amended, would require per diem 
recipients under the VA Homeless Grant and Per Diem Program to 
provide VA with a certification of compliance with all relevant 
fire, safety, and building codes and require VA to include an 
accounting and evaluation of the safety and accessibility of 
facilities used for homeless veterans in the Annual Report on 
Assistance to Homeless Veterans. Existing recipients would have 
two years to certify such compliance.

           SECTION 4--ESTABLISHMENT OF OPEN BURN PIT REGISTRY

    According to the Institute of Medicine, uncontrolled 
burning of waste in pits has been the primary solid waste 
management solution during the conflicts in Iraq and 
Afghanistan. Joint Base Balad, one of the largest military 
bases in Iraq, burned an estimated 100 to 200 tons of waste per 
day in open-air burn pits in 2007. Burn pit usage was 
restricted in 2009 after servicemembers complained of poor 
odor, decreased visibility, and detrimental health effects. The 
potential long-term health effects of burn pit exposure 
continues to cause widespread concern on behalf of 
servicemembers, veterans, and their families.
    In response to these concerns, VA asked the Institute of 
Medicine (IOM) to conduct a study to assess the possible long-
term health effects of burn pit exposure in veterans of Iraq 
and Afghanistan. The IOM study was issued on October 31, 2011. 
Due to complicating factors, including the presence of high 
background levels of ambient pollution from other sources, a 
lack of information regarding the quantity and composition of 
the waste burned in burn pits, and insufficient data on 
exposure to burn pit emissions, the IOM was unable to develop a 
firm conclusion regarding the long-term health effects of burn 
pit exposure. In an April 16, 2012, statement for the record 
for the Subcommittee on Health, the IOM recommended that, 
``[a]long with more efficient data gathering methods, the 
report recommends that a study be conducted that would evaluate 
the health status of servicemembers from their time of 
deployment . . . over many years to determine the incidence of 
chronic diseases, including cancers, that tend to show up 
decades after exposure.''
    VA has long identified a need for the Department to monitor 
possible health risks and understand the long-term consequences 
of exposure to chemical hazards during military service. 
Accordingly, the Department currently operates five 
environmental health registries, including an Agent Orange 
Registry and a Gulf War Registry. VA claims that these 
registries are intended for, `` . . . veterans who may have 
been exposed to certain environmental hazards during military 
service ``and allow the Department to, `` . . . track and 
monitor the health of specific groups of veterans,'' and to `` 
. . . understand and respond to . . . health problems more 
effectively.'' Enrollment in a VA health registry is free and 
voluntary and does not require a veteran to enroll in the VA 
healthcare system. VA's Environmental Health Registry Brochure 
actively encourages all eligible veterans meeting the criteria 
for a registry to enroll and receive an evaluation.
    Section 4 of H.R. 4057, as amended, would require VA to 
establish and maintain an open burn pit registry, to include 
information necessary to ascertain and monitor health effects, 
for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who may have been exposed 
to toxic chemicals and fumes caused by open burn pits during 
deployment; direct VA to develop a public information campaign 
to inform eligible veterans about the registry and periodically 
notify them of significant developments in the study and 
treatment of conditions associated with burn pit exposure; 
require VA to contract with an independent scientific 
organization to develop a report on the effectiveness of 
actions taken to collect and maintain information on the health 
effects of burn pit exposure and submit the completed report to 
Congress.

       SECTION 5--PERFORMANCE AWARDS IN SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICES

    Section 5384 of title 5, United States Code, sets out the 
authority for Federal agencies to allocate performance 
incentives to employees of the Senior Executive Service (SES). 
According to information supplied by VA, 221 SES bonuses were 
awarded in FY 2008 at a total cost of $3,816,330; 219 bonuses 
were awarded in FY 2009 at a total cost of $3,728,536; and 227 
bonuses were awarded in FY 2010 at a total cost of $3,342,100. 
During this tight fiscal climate, it is appropriate that VA 
reevaluate its entire bonus program and exercise restraint in 
its award of them particularly when there is a dubious 
connection between agency performance and bonuses awarded.
    In order to facilitate that reevaluation, section 5 would 
require VA to limit the amount paid in performance awards to 
senior staff to a total of $1 million for the fiscal years of 
2013 to 2017.

                                Hearings

    On March 8, 2012, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
conducted a legislative hearing on various bills introduced 
during the 112th Congress, including H.R. 4057, The Following 
witnesses testified:
    Mr. Richard F. Weidman, Executive Director for Policy and 
Government Affairs, Vietnam Veterans of America; Mr. Ryan M. 
Gallucci, Deputy Director, National Legislative Service, the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States; Mr. Steve L. 
Gonzalez, Assistant Director, National Economic Commission, The 
American Legion; Mr. Jason R. Thigpen, Co-Founder and 
President, Student Veterans Advocacy Group; The Honorable Steve 
Gunderson, President and CEO, Association of Private Sector 
Colleges and Universities (APSCU); Dr. Allen L. Sessoms, 
President, the University of the District of Columbia, on 
behalf of American Association of State Colleges and 
Universities (AASCU); Mr. Curtis L. Coy, Deputy Under Secretary 
for Economic Opportunity, Veterans Benefits Administration, 
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, accompanied by Mr. C. Ford 
Heard, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Procurement 
Policy, Systems and Oversight, Office of Acquisitions, 
Logistics and Construction and Mr. Keith Wilson, Director, 
Education Service, Veterans Benefit Administration; MG Ronald 
G. Young USA (Ret.), Director, Family and Employer Program and 
Policy, U.S. Department of Defense; and Mr. Ismael ``Junior'' 
Ortiz, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Veterans' Employment and 
Training Service, U.S. Department of Labor.
    On April 16, 2012, the Subcommittee on Health held a 
legislative hearing on various bills introduced during the 
112th Congress, including H.R. 3337 and H.R. 4079. The 
following witnesses testified at the hearing:
    The Honorable William Owens, U.S. Representative from the 
23rd District of New York; the Honorable John Barrow, U.S. 
Representative from the 12th District of Georgia; the Honorable 
Jeff Denham, U.S. Representative from the 19th District of 
California; the Honorable Silvestre Reyes, U.S. Representative 
from the 16th District of Texas; the Honorable W. Todd Akin, 
U.S. Representative from the 2nd District of Missouri; the 
Honorable Robert T. Schilling, U.S. Representative from the 
17th District of Illinois; and, the Honorable David B. 
McKinley, U.S. Representative from the 1st District of West 
Virginia; Shane Barker, Senior Legislative Associate for the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars; Adrian Atizado, Assistant National 
Legislative Director for the Disabled American Veterans; Rene 
A. Campos, Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.) and Deputy Director of 
Government Relations for the Military Officers Association of 
America; Ramsey Sulayman, Legislative Associate for the Iraq 
and Afghanistan Veterans of America; and, Ralph Ibson, National 
Policy Director for the Wounded Warrior Project; Robert L. 
Jesse, M.D., Ph.D., the Principal Deputy Under Secretary for 
Health for the Veterans Health Administration for the U.S. 
Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Jesse was accompanied by 
Susan Blauert, the Deputy Assistant General Counsel for the 
Office of General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Veterans 
Affairs. Statements for the record were provided by the 
Institute of Medicine, Burn Pits 360, Humana Government, the 
National Coalition of Homeless Veterans, the National 
Association of State Fire Marshals, the Paralyzed Veterans of 
America, and the American Legion.

                       Subcommittee Consideration

    On June 28, 2012, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
met in an open markup session, a quorum being present, and 
favorably forwarded to the full Committee H.R. 4057, as 
amended, by voice vote. During consideration of the bill the 
following amendment was considered: An amendment in the nature 
of a substitute offered by Ranking Member Braley of Iowa that 
added provisions requiring VA to provide links on its website 
to consumer education information for schools and programs 
approved for GI bill benefits was agreed to by voice vote.
    On June 29, 2012, the Subcommittee on Health met in an open 
markup session, a quorum being present, and favorably forwarded 
to the full Committee H.R. 3337, as amended, and H.R. 4079, as 
amended by voice vote.
    During consideration of H.R. 3337 the following amendment 
was considered and agreed to by voice vote. :
    An amendment offered by Mr. Stearns of Florida that would 
limit the amount that VA would pay in performance awards to 
senior staff to $2 million per year over fiscal years (FYs) 
2013-2017.
    During consideration of H.R. 4079 the following amendment 
was considered and agreed to by voice vote:
    An amendment in the nature of a substitute, offered by Ms. 
Buerkle of New York that would require per diem payment 
recipients under the VA GPD Program to provide VA with a 
certification of compliance with all relevant fire, safety, and 
building codes. It would also require VA to include an 
accounting and evaluation of the safety and accessibility of 
facilities used to provide programs for homeless veterans in 
the Annual Report on Assistance to Homeless Veterans.

                        Committee Consideration

    On July 11, 2012, the full Committee met in an open markup 
session, a quorum being present, and ordered H.R. 4057, as 
amended, reported favorably to the House of Representatives, by 
voice vote. During consideration of the bill, the following 
amendment was considered:
    An amendment in the nature of a substitute, by Mr. 
Bilirakis of Florida that made minor changes to the provisions 
in section 1 relating to education benefits and added sections 
2, 3, 4, and 5 related to licensing and credentialing, grant 
and per diem payments, establishment of a burn pit registry, 
and limitations on executive bonuses at VA. During 
consideration of this amendment Mr. Walz of Minnesota offered 
an amendment to section 2 of the amendment in the nature of a 
substitute to add requirements to the disclosure of information 
on licensing and credentialing gathered by the Secretary of 
Labor, which was agreed to by voice vote. The amendment in the 
nature of a substitute, as amended, was agreed to 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 recorded 
votes on the motion to report the legislation and amendments 
thereto. There were no recorded votes taken on amendments or in 
connection with ordering H.R. 4057, as amended, reported to the 
House. A motion by Ranking Member Bob Filner of California to 
order H.R. 4057, 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. 4057, as amended, 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. 
4057, as amended, 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. 4057, as amended, 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, August 2, 2012.
Hon. Jeff Miller,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4057, a bill to 
amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs to develop a comprehensive policy to improve 
outreach and transparency to veterans and members of the Armed 
Forces through the provision of information on institutions of 
higher learning, and for other purposes.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is William Ma.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 4057--A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the 
        Secretary of Veterans Affairs to develop a comprehensive policy 
        to improve outreach and transparency to veterans and members of 
        the Armed Forces through the provision of information on 
        institutions of higher learning, and for other purposes

    Summary: H.R. 4057 would require the Department of Veterans 
Affairs (VA) to provide information on educational institutions 
to veterans and servicemembers, establish a registry to track 
servicemembers who may have been exposed to toxic chemicals 
caused by open burn pits, and make other changes to programs 
that provide services to veterans. The bill also would limit 
the amount of performance awards VA may pay to senior staff.
    On net, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 4057 would 
reduce discretionary costs by $1 million over the 2013-2017 
period, assuming appropriation actions consistent with the 
bill. Pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply to this legislation 
because it would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    H.R. 4057 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 4057 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 700 
(veterans benefits and services).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2013     2014     2015     2016     2017   2013-2017
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Performance Awards for Senior Executive Staff:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................       -3       -3       -3       -3       -3       -13
    Estimated Outlays...................................       -3       -3       -3       -3       -3       -13
Education Information for Veterans:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................        4        1        1        1        1         8
    Estimated Outlays...................................        3        1        1        1        1         7
State Certifications and Licensing:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................        0        2        *        *        *         3
    Estimated Outlays...................................        0        1        1        *        *         3
Open Burn Pit Registry:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................        1        1        *        *        *         2
    Estimated Outlays...................................        1        1        *        *        *         2
    Total Changes:
        Estimated Authorization Level...................        2        1       -2       -2       -2         0
        Estimated Outlays...............................        1        0       -1       -2       -2       -1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.
* = less than $500,000.

    Basis of estimate: This estimate is based on information 
from VA and the Department of Labor (DOL). For the purposes of 
this estimate, CBO assumes that the bill will be enacted near 
the beginning of fiscal year 2013, that annual appropriations 
acts consistent with this bill will be enacted, and that 
outlays will follow historical patterns for similar and 
existing programs.

Performance awards for senior executive staff

    Section 5 would limit the total amount that VA could pay in 
performance awards to senior staff to $1 million per year over 
the 2013-2017 period. In recent years, VA paid slightly less 
than $4 million annually for performance awards. Assuming that 
similar amounts would be provided under current law going 
forward, CBO estimates that implementing section 5 would reduce 
discretionary costs for pay and performance by $13 million over 
the 2013-2017 period, assuming appropriations actions 
consistent with the bill.

Education information for Veterans

    Section 1 would require VA to develop a policy to improve 
outreach efforts to those veterans and servicemembers using, or 
seeking to use, their education benefits and to provide those 
individuals with detailed information on educational 
institutions. VA also would be required to conduct a market 
survey of online applications that would allow veterans to 
assess their academic preparedness to pursue postsecondary 
education and training opportunities and provide those veterans 
with a list of providers of such opportunities.
    Based on information from VA, CBO estimates that VA would 
have to hire four additional full-time employees and develop an 
information technology (IT) system to implement those 
provisions. CBO estimate that hiring those employees, 
developing and maintaining the IT system, and conducting the 
outreach would cost $7 million over the 2013-2017 period, 
assuming appropriation of the estimated amounts.

State certifications and licensing

    Under section 2, to qualify for grants from DOL to provide 
employment services to veterans, states would have to submit to 
DOL their standards for issuing certifications or licenses to 
veterans who served in certain medical and transportation 
occupations while on active duty. In addition, the states would 
be required to include an explanation of how they evaluate the 
training and work experience received by those veterans. Upon 
receipt, DOL would have to publish that information on its Web 
site and share it with the Department of Defense.
    Based on information from DOL, CBO estimates that DOL would 
have to develop an IT system and utilize about four full-time 
employees to manage, and make available via the Internet, the 
information that would be provided by the states. CBO estimates 
that implementing section 2 would cost $3 million over the 
2013-2017 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary 
amounts.

Open burn pit registry

    Section 4 would require VA, not later than 180 days after 
enactment, to establish an open burn pit registry for 
servicemembers who may have been exposed to toxic chemicals 
from burn pits while deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan. The 
registry would provide information on the health impacts from 
exposure to such toxins. This bill also would require VA to 
develop a campaign to make the public aware of the registry. 
Based on information about existing registries established by 
VA, CBO estimates that the start-up and maintenance costs for 
the registry and an associated public awareness campaign would 
amount to $1 million in 2013 and $2 million over the 2013-2017 
period, assuming the availability of appropriated funds.

Grants for homeless Veterans

    Section 3 would require recipients of certain grants to 
certify to VA that they comply with all state, local, and 
federal requirements relevant to their operations and the level 
of care provided to homeless veterans (for example, fire and 
safety regulations). Under current law, grantees are already 
required to meet such regulations but are not required to 
provide certification. CBO estimates the discretionary costs 
would not be significant (less than $500,000) over the 2013-
2017 period, assuming the availability of the necessary funds, 
and would reflect VA's cost to update the grant criteria and 
review compliance documents.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Estimated impact on state, local, and tribal governments: 
H.R. 4057 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in 
UMRA. As a condition of federal assistance, the bill would 
prohibit public institutions of higher education from providing 
bonuses or incentive payments to admissions or recruiting 
personnel related to enrollment or financial aid awards. In 
addition, the bill would require states to certify the safety 
of facilities where assistance is provided to veterans and to 
provide DOL with standards for licensing commercial drivers and 
medical professionals in a state. Any costs incurred by those 
governments would result from complying with grant conditions.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: H.R. 4057 contains 
no new private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Ann Futrell, William 
Ma, and Dwayne Wright; Impact on State, Local, and Tribal 
Governments: Lisa Ramirez-Branum; Impact on the Private Sector: 
Elizabeth Bass.
    Estimate 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. 4057, as amended, 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. 
4057, as amended.

                 Statement of Constitutional Authority

    Pursuant to Article I, Section 8 of the United States 
Constitution, the reported bill is authorized by Congress' 
power to ``provide for the common Defense and general Welfare 
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. Comprehensive policy on providing education information to 
        veterans

    Section 1(a) would amend chapter 36 of title 38, U.S.C. to 
add a new section that would require the VA to develop a 
comprehensive policy to improve outreach to veterans and to 
improve the transparency of information related to institutions 
of higher learning. The policy would require VA to address the 
following matters: the most effective way for VA to determine 
how to make veterans aware of education counseling under 
Chapter 36; a ``centralized'' way to publish assessments and 
complaints from veterans including feedback from veterans and 
State Approving Agencies; the merit and manner in which State 
Approving Agencies share information with accrediting 
institutions; the manner in which servicemembers are informed 
through the Transition Assistance Programs (TAP) about 
information on education benefits; and the best way to inform 
veterans and servicemembers about post-secondary education and 
training.
    This section would also require that as part of this 
policy, VA would provide links on the Department's website to 
the appropriate websites that include the following information 
regarding schools and programs approved for GI Bill benefits: 
types of accreditation available to schools; a description of 
Federal student aid programs; whether an institution is public, 
non-profit, or for-profit; name of the accrediting body that 
accredits the institution; how students could contact State 
Approving Agencies to file complaints; whether an institution 
participates in Title IV (Higher Ed Act) programs; tuition and 
fees; the median amount of federal student loan debt that the 
average student incurs while attending the institution, 
enrollment and graduation data; the degree to which an 
institution's programs prepare a student to take Federal, state 
and local tests for licensure or certification in their area of 
study; the types of student support services offered by the 
institution, and a description of their policy regarding 
transfer of academic credits, including those from for-profit 
schools.
    Section 1(b) would amend the law to prohibit inducements of 
any kind to reward for recruiting by employees or students.
    Section 1(c) would require VA to determine the availability 
of commercial-off-the-shelf software to assist students in 
choosing an academic institution. It would also require VA to 
determine the availability of commercial-off-the-shelf software 
to assist students in determining readiness for post-secondary 
education and training.
    Section 1(d) would require VA to provide to Congress within 
90 days of enactment a report on development of the policy and 
its implementation.

Section 2. State consideration of military training in granting certain 
        State certifications and licenses as a condition on the receipt 
        of funds for veterans employment and training

    Section 2(a) would amend 4012A(c) of title 38, U.S.C. to 
require, as a condition of receipt of a grant or contract for 
veteran employment and training, States to provide information 
to DoL describing how a State would treat military education 
and training towards a State's licensing or certification 
requirements for the following occupations: nursing assistant, 
registered nurse, certified nursing assistant, emergency 
medical technician, and commercial driver's license. The 
Department of Labor would have to report on their findings and 
would have to publish them on the Department's internet website 
and to provide much info to DoD.

Section 3. Conditions on the Award of Per Diem payments by the 
        Secretary of Veterans Affairs for the provision of housing or 
        services to homeless veterans

    Section 3(a) of the bill would amend section 2012(c) of 
subchapter I of chapter 20 of title 38, U.S.C. to require 
recipients of VA per diem payments to certify that the building 
where the entity provides housing or services is in compliance 
with the Life Safety Code, the International Fire Code, and 
other state and local codes relevant to the operations and 
level of care provided.
    Section 3(b) of the bill would require VA to submit an 
annual report on the Secretary's evaluation of the safety and 
accessibility of facilities used to provide programs 
established by grant recipients or other eligible entities.
    Section 3(c) of the bill would require current recipients 
of per diem payments under section 2012 of title 38 U.S.C. to 
submit a certification to VA of their compliance with the Life 
Safety Code, the International Fire Code, and other state and 
local codes relevant to the operations and level of care 
provided no later than two years after the date of enactment of 
this Act.

Section 4. Establishment of Open Burn Pit Registry

    Section 4(a) of the bill would require VA to establish and 
maintain an open burn pit registry for eligible individuals; 
include certain information within such registry; develop a 
public information campaign to inform eligible individuals 
about the registry; and, periodically notify them of 
significant developments.
    Section 4(b) of the bill would require VA to enter into an 
agreement with an independent scientific organization to 
develop a report on the effectiveness of actions taken to 
collect and maintain information on the health effects of burn 
pit exposure and submit the report to Congress no later than 18 
months after the date on which the registry under section 4(a) 
of the bill is established.
    Section 4(c) of the bill would define an ``open burn pit'' 
as an area of land located in Iraq or Afghanistan that is 
designated by the Secretary of Defense to be used for disposing 
of solid waste by burning in the outdoor air and does not 
contain a commercially manufactured incinerator or other 
equipment specifically designated and manufactured for the 
burning of solid waste; and, an ``eligible individual'' as any 
individual who, after September 11, 2001, was deployed in 
support of a contingency operation while serving in the Armed 
Forces and, during such deployment, was based or stationed at a 
location where an open burn pit was used.

Section 5. Performance awards in senior executive services

    Section 5 would require VA to limit the amount paid in 
performance awards to senior staff to a total of $1 million for 
each of fiscal years 2013 to 2017.

         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 (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART II--GENERAL BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 20--BENEFITS FOR HOMELESS VETERANS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER II--COMPREHENSIVE SERVICE PROGRAMS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 2012. Per diem payments

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) Life Safety Code.--[(1) Except as provided in paragraph 
(2), a per diem payment may not be provided under this section 
to a grant recipient or eligible entity unless the facilities 
of the grant recipient or eligible entity, as the case may be, 
meet applicable fire and safety requirements under the Life 
Safety Code of the National Fire Protection Association or such 
other comparable fire and safety requirements as the Secretary 
may specify.] (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), a per 
diem payment may not be provided under this section to a grant 
recipient or eligible entity unless the entity submits to the 
Secretary a certification that the building where the entity 
provides such housing or services is in compliance with codes 
relevant to the operations and level of care provided, 
including the most current Life Safety Code or International 
Fire Code and all applicable State and local housing codes, 
licensing requirements, fire and safety requirements, and any 
other requirements in the jurisdiction in which the project is 
located regarding the condition of the structure and the 
operation of the supportive housing or service center.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER VII--OTHER PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 2065. Annual report on assistance to homeless veterans

  (a) * * *
  (b) General Contents of Report.--Each report under subsection 
(a) shall include the following:
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (6) The Secretary's evaluation of the safety and 
        accessibility of facilities used to provide programs 
        established by grant recipients or eligible entities 
        under section 2011 and 2012 of this title, including 
        the number of such grant recipients or eligible 
        entities who have submitted a certification under 
        section 2012(c)(1).
          [(6)] (7) Any other information on those programs and 
        on the provision of such assistance that the Secretary 
        considers appropriate.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART III--READJUSTMENT AND RELATED BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


           CHAPTER 36--ADMINISTRATION OF EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS

                 SUBCHAPTER I--STATE APPROVING AGENCIES

Sec.
3670. Scope of approval.
     * * * * * * *

                 SUBCHAPTER II--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

     * * * * * * *
3698. Comprehensive policy on providing education information to 
          veterans.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER II--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3696. Limitation on certain advertising, sales, and enrollment 
                    practices

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e) The Secretary shall not approve an educational 
institution if the educational institution provides 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.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3698. Comprehensive policy on providing education information to 
                    veterans

  (a) Comprehensive Policy Required.--The Secretary shall 
develop a comprehensive policy to improve outreach and 
transparency to veterans and members of the Armed Forces 
through the provision of information on institutions of higher 
learning.
  (b) Scope.--In developing the policy required by subsection 
(a), the Secretary shall include each of the following 
elements:
          (1) The most effective way to inform individuals of 
        the educational and vocational counseling provided 
        under section 3697A of this title.
          (2) A centralized way to track and publish feedback 
        from students and State approving agencies regarding 
        the quality of instruction and accreditation, 
        recruiting practices, and post-graduation employment 
        placement of institutions of higher learning.
          (3) The merit of and the manner in which a State 
        approving agency shares with 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 et seq.) 
        information regarding the State approving agency's 
        evaluation of an institution of higher learning.
          (4) The manner in which information regarding 
        institutions of higher learning is provided to 
        individuals participating in the Transition Assistance 
        Program under section 1144 of title 10.
          (5) The most effective way to provide veterans and 
        members of the Armed Forces with information regarding 
        postsecondary education and training opportunities 
        available to the veteran or member.
  (c) Postsecondary Education Information.--(1) The Secretary 
shall ensure that the information provided pursuant to 
subsection (b)(5) includes--
          (A) an explanation of the different types of 
        accreditation available to educational institutions and 
        programs of education;
          (B) a description of Federal student aid programs; 
        and
          (C) for each institution of higher learning, for the 
        most recent academic year for which information is 
        available--
                  (i) whether the institution is public, 
                private nonprofit, or proprietary for-profit;
                  (ii) the name of the national or regional 
                accrediting agency that accredits the 
                institution, including the contact information 
                used by the agency to receive complaints from 
                students;
                  (iii) information on the State approving 
                agency, including the contact information used 
                by the agency to receive complaints from 
                students;
                  (iv) whether the institution participates in 
                programs under title IV of the Higher Education 
                Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.);
                  (v) the tuition and fees;
                  (vi) the median amount of debt from Federal 
                student loans under title IV of the Higher 
                Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.) 
                held by students at institution;
                  (vii) the cohort default rate, as defined in 
                section 435(m) of the Higher Education Act of 
                1965 (20 U.S.C. 1085(m)), of the institution;
                  (viii) the enrollment rates, graduation 
                rates, and retention rates;
                  (ix) for each program of education offered by 
                the institution that is designed to prepare a 
                student for an occupation that requires a 
                licensure or certification test offered by a 
                Federal, State, or local government or has 
                other preconditions or requirements, the degree 
                to which the program prepares the student for 
                the particular occupation;
                  (x) whether the institution provides students 
                with technical support, academic support, and 
                other support services, including career 
                counseling and job placement; and
                  (xi) whether the institution accepts academic 
                credit by students who are transferring to the 
                institution, including credits awarded by a 
                proprietary for-profit institution.
  (2) To the extent possible, the Secretary shall provide the 
information described in paragraph (1) by including hyperlinks 
on the Internet website of the Department to other websites 
that contain such information in a form that is comprehensive 
and easily understood by veterans, members, and other 
individuals.
  (d) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) The term ``institution of higher learning'' has 
        the meaning given that term in section 3452(f) of this 
        title.
          (2) The term ``postsecondary education and training 
        opportunities'' means any postsecondary program of 
        education, including apprenticeships and on-job 
        training, for which the Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
        provides assistance to a veteran or member of the Armed 
        Forces.

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    CHAPTER 41--JOB COUNSELING, TRAINING, AND PLACEMENT SERVICE FOR 
VETERANS

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Sec. 4102A. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and 
                    Training; program functions; Regional 
                    Administrators

  (a) * * *

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  (c) Conditions for Receipt of Funds.--(1) * * *

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  (9)(A) As a condition of a grant or contract under which 
funds are made available to a State in order to carry out 
section 4103A or 4104 of this title for any program year, the 
Secretary shall require the State to disclose to the Secretary 
in writing the following:
          (i) Criteria applicants must satisfy to receive a 
        certification or license described in subparagraph (B) 
        by the State.
          (ii) A description of the standard practices of the 
        State for evaluating training received by veterans 
        while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces and 
        evaluating the documented work experience of such 
        veterans during such service for purposes of approving 
        or denying a certification or license described in 
        subparagraph (B).
          (iii) Identification of areas in which training and 
        experience described in clause (ii) fails to meet 
        criteria described in clause (i).
  (B) A certification or license described in this subparagraph 
is any of the following:
          (i) A license to be a nonemergency medical 
        professional.
          (ii) A license to be an emergency medical 
        professional.
          (iii) Any commercial driver's license.
  (C) The Secretary shall share the information the Secretary 
receives under subparagraph (A)(ii) with the Secretary of 
Defense to help the Secretary of Defense improve training for 
military occupational specialties so that individuals who 
receive such training are able to receive a certification or 
license described in subparagraph (B) from a State.
  (D) The Secretary shall publish on the Internet website of 
the Department--
          (i) any guidance the Secretary gives the Secretary of 
        Defense with respect to carrying out this section; and
          (ii) any information the Secretary receives from a 
        State pursuant to subparagraph (A).

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