Report text available as:

(PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip?



112th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     112-81

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



 
                 RESTORING GI BILL FAIRNESS ACT OF 2011

                                _______
                                

  May 20, 2011.--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

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1383]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1383) to temporarily preserve higher rates for 
tuition and fees for programs of education at non-public 
institutions of higher learning pursued by individuals enrolled 
in the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program of the 
Department of Veterans Affairs before the enactment of the 
Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 
2010, 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..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     3
Hearings.........................................................     4
Subcommittee Consideration.......................................     5
Committee Consideration..........................................     5
Committee Votes..................................................     5
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     6
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     6
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     6
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits.............................     6
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     6
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     6
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     9
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................    10
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................    10
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................    10
Additional Views.................................................    11

                               AMENDMENT

    The amendment is as follows:

         Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 1383 
                    Offered by Mr. Miller of Florida

  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 
2011''.

SEC. 2. PRESERVATION OF HIGHER RATES FOR TUITION AND FEES FOR PROGRAMS 
                    OF EDUCATION AT NON-PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER 
                    LEARNING PURSUED BY INDIVIDUALS ENROLLED IN SUCH 
                    PROGRAMS PRIOR TO CHANGE IN MAXIMUM AMOUNT.

  (a) In General.--Notwithstanding paragraph (1)(A)(ii) of section 
3313(c) of title 38, United States Code (as amended by the Post-9/11 
Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 (Public Law 
111-377)), the amount payable under that paragraph (or as appropriately 
adjusted under paragraphs (2) through (7) of that section) for tuition 
and fees for pursuit by an individual described in subsection (b) of an 
approved program of education at a non-public institution of higher 
learning during the period beginning on August 1, 2011, and ending on 
July 31, 2014, shall be the lesser of--
          (1) $27,000; or
          (2) the established charges payable for the program of 
        education.
  (b) Covered Individuals.--An individual described in this subsection 
is an individual entitled to educational assistance under chapter 33 of 
title 38, United States Code, who, on or before April 1, 2011, was 
enrolled in a non-public institution of higher learning in a State in 
which--
          (1) the maximum amount of tuition per credit in the 2010-2011 
        academic year, as determined using the table of the Department 
        of Veterans Affairs entitled ``Post-9/11 GI Bill 2010-2011 
        Tuition and Fee In-State Maximums'', published October 27, 2010 
        (75 Fed. Reg. 66193), exceeded $700; and
          (2) the combined amount of tuition and fees for full-time 
        attendance in the program of education in such academic year 
        exceeded $17,500.
  (c) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) The term ``approved program of education'' has the 
        meaning given that term in section 3313(b) of title 38, United 
        States Code.
          (2) The term ``established charges'', with respect to a 
        program of education, means the actual charges (as determined 
        pursuant to regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Veterans 
        Affairs on the basis of a full academic year) for tuition and 
        fees which similarly circumstanced nonveterans enrolled in the 
        program of education would be required to pay.
          (3) The term ``institution of higher learning'' has the 
        meaning given that term in section 3452(f) of title 38, United 
        States Code.

SEC. 3. LIMITATION ON COST OF LIVING INCREASES FOR CERTAIN EDUCATIONAL 
                    ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS 
                    AFFAIRS.

  During the 24-month period beginning on October 1, 2011, the maximum 
amount of the monthly stipend payable under subparagraph (B) of 
paragraph (1) of subsection (c) of section 3313 of title 38, United 
States Code, is the amount payable under clause (i) of such 
subparagraph on August 1, 2011. Upon the expiration on the 24-month 
period, the amount of such monthly stipend shall be the amount 
otherwise authorized under section 3313(c)(1)(B) of title 38, United 
States Code.

                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    H.R. 1383 was introduced on April 6, 2011, by Chairman Jeff 
Miller of Florida. H.R. 1383, as amended, would temporarily 
increase the Post-9/11 GI Bill program's national cap on 
tuition and fees paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs on 
behalf of veterans pursuing programs of education at non-public 
institutions of higher learning from $17,500 to $27,000.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33 of title 38 United States 
Code) was signed into law by President Bush as section 
5003(a)(1) of title V of Public Law 110-252 on June 30, 2008, 
and was effective August 1, 2009. Under the new program, VA 
would pay 100 percent of the maximum in-state undergraduate 
tuition and fees on behalf of a veteran with at least 36 
cumulative months of active duty service since September 11, 
2001. The maximum payment would apply to veterans attending 
both public and private degree-granting institutions of higher 
learning. Veterans with fewer than 36 months of active duty 
would be eligible for a tiered structure of payments that 
reflected a 10 percent reduction in the maximum in-state 
undergraduate tuition and fees for each six months of active 
duty served below the 36-month standard.
    Based on the state rate formula, VA made tuition and fee 
payments in excess of $20,000 per school year for veterans 
attending some private institutions. Many of those students 
will fall under the $17,500 cap set by Public Law 111-377.
    In addition to tuition and fee payments, the new Post-9/11 
GI Bill provides a monthly living stipend. Veterans enrolled 
greater than one half time in a course of study that includes 
at least one traditional classroom-based course during the 
academic period are eligible for a monthly living stipend. The 
stipend is the same amount paid to an E-5 (generally the pay 
grade of a sergeant or petty officer second class) at the 
``with-dependents'' rate in the zip code of the school the 
veteran is attending. For example, a veteran attending the 
University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, receives 
$1,881 per month for the 2010-2011 school year. Veterans 
enrolled in education delivered solely online were not eligible 
for the monthly stipend. Finally, the program also provided a 
$1,000 book stipend per school year.
    Despite these very generous benefits, some tuition and fees 
at some schools, both public and private, exceeded the state-
based formula. To minimize or eliminate veterans' out-of-pocket 
costs, the Post-9/11 GI Bill featured a Yellow Ribbon program 
which authorized VA to share those excess costs with schools on 
a dollar-for-dollar matching basis. The Yellow Ribbon provision 
continues unchanged.
    The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements 
Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-377), which was enacted on January 
4, 2011 made several changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Those 
changes included a reduction of tuition and fee payments for 
veterans attending non-public institutions to an annual maximum 
of $17,500 effective August 1, 2011. P.L. 111-377 also reduced 
tuition and fee payments for non-resident veterans attending 
public institutions at the out-of-state rate to the actual in-
state rate charged by the institution.
    Although the cap of $17,500 a year will be a potential 
increase in payments for veterans in most states, some veterans 
attending non-public schools in New York, Arizona, Michigan, 
New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas, will 
see their tuition and fees payments reduced. Reducing tuition 
and fee payments will force veterans in these states to rely on 
increased Yellow Ribbon contributions by schools or to find 
non-GI Bill resources such as loans, grants, or employment 
income.
    During his May 3, 2011 Subcommittee testimony on H.R. 1383, 
Tom Tarantino, representing the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans 
of America (IAVA) stated; ``IAVA proudly supports H.R. 1383. 
This bill will ensure that a small minority of veterans who, 
due to poorly constructed and confusing tuition and fee 
regulations, would have had their benefits reduced as a result 
of the Post-9/11 GI Bill's expansion . . . ''
    H.R. 1383, as amended, would temporarily increase the cap 
on tuition and fees from $17,500 to $27,000 for three years 
beginning on August 1, 2011, for veterans who were enrolled in 
certain non-public institutions of higher learning before April 
1, 2011. To qualify, the institution's per-credit hour charges 
must exceed $700 and its total tuition and fees must exceed 
$17,500 per academic year.
    The failure to ``grandfather'' affected veterans will 
create an inequity since many of the veterans enrolled in high 
cost schools based on the presumption that they would receive 
at least the highest in-state tuition and fee rate. This 
grandfathering provision would apply to veterans who began 
their enrollments prior to April 1, 2011. Veterans who 
initially enroll after that date would be subject to the 
existing $17,500.
    To meet statutory Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) offset 
requirements, the bill would freeze the monthly living stipend 
for all Post-9/11 participants at the rates in effect for the 
2010-2011 academic year for a period of 24 months beginning 
October 1, 2011. The Committee also notes that among the five 
major veteran service organizations, only the Paralyzed 
Veterans of America opposed the bill during the May 3, 2011 
Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity's hearing on the bill. In 
the past, Congress has used similar offsets when used to 
improve veterans' benefits as is being done in H.R. 1383, as 
amended. For example, Public Law 111-377 saved nearly $4 
billion in veterans benefits by capping tuition and fee 
payments and eliminating monthly living stipend payments during 
semester intervals.

                                HEARINGS

    On May 3, 2011, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
conducted a legislative hearing on various bills introduced 
during the 112th Congress, including H.R. 1383. The following 
witnesses testified: Ms. Christina M. Roof, National Acting 
Legislative Director for AMVETS; Mr. Tom Tarantino, Senior 
Legislative Associate for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of 
America; Mr. Shane Barker, Senior Legislative Associate of 
National Legislative Service for the Veterans of Foreign Wars 
of the United States; Mr. Robert Madden, Assistant Director of 
National Economic Commission for The American Legion; Mr. 
Andrew Connolly of Dubuque, IA; Mr. Keith M. Wilson, Director 
of the Education Service for the Veterans Benefit 
Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, who 
was accompanied by Mr. Jan R. Frye, Deputy Assistant Secretary 
for Acquisitions and Logistics for the U.S. Department of 
Veterans Affairs and Mr. F. John Brizzi, Deputy Assistant 
General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
    Organizations submitting statements for the record 
included: Paralyzed Veterans of America, Gold Star Wives of 
America, National Association of Veteran Program 
Administrators, and the Military Officers Association of 
America.

                       SUBCOMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On March 5, 2011, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
met in an open markup session and ordered favorably forwarded 
to the full Committee H.R. 1383, as amended, by voice vote. 
During consideration of the bill the following amendment in the 
nature of a substitute was considered:
    An amendment in the nature of a substitute by Chairman of 
the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, Marlin Stutzman of 
Indiana, to specify the period during which the freeze on the 
monthly living stipend would take effect (October 1, 2011, 
through September 30, 2013), was agreed to by voice vote.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On May 12, 2011, the full Committee met in an open markup 
session at which time Chairman Jeff Miller of Florida offered 
an amendment in the nature of a substitute. The substitute 
deleted provisions in Section 2 that required the Department of 
Veterans Affairs to make payment for tuition and fees based on 
the maximum in-state undergraduate rate and substituted a 
provision to increase the cap on payment for tuition and fees 
to the actual amount of tuition and fees up to a maximum of 
$27,000 for veterans attending certain private institutions 
whose cost exceed $700 per credit hour and whose total tuition 
and fees exceed $17,500 per school year. The substitute was 
approved 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. Ranking Member Filner of California requested a 
recorded vote on adoption of H.R. 1383, as amended; the 
recorded vote was 13 Members voting in favor of adoption, 6 
Members voting in opposition. The following table reflects the 
vote:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Name                     Yea/Aye   Nay/No     Notes
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Miller, FL, Chairman.................         X  ........  .........
Mr. Bilirakis, FL, Vice Chairman.........  ........  ........     Absent
Mr. Stearns, FL..........................         X  ........  .........
Mr. Lamborn, CO..........................         X  ........  .........
Mr. Roe, TN..............................         X  ........  .........
Mr. Stutzman, IN.........................         X  ........  .........
Mr. Flores, TX...........................         X  ........  .........
Mr. Johnson, OH..........................         X  ........  .........
Mr. Denham, CA...........................         X  ........  .........
Mr. Runyan, NJ...........................         X  ........  .........
Mr. Benishek, MI.........................         X  ........  .........
Ms. Buerkle, NY..........................         X  ........  .........
Mr. Huelskamp, KS........................  ........  ........     Absent
Mr. Filner, CA...........................  ........         X  .........
Ms. Brown, FL............................  ........  ........     Absent
Mr. Reyes, TX............................         X  ........  .........
Mr. Michaud, ME..........................  ........         X  .........
Ms. Sanchez, CA..........................  ........         X  .........
Mr. Braley, IA...........................  ........  ........     Absent
Mr. McNerney, CA.........................  ........         X  .........
Mr. Donnelly, IN.........................  ........         X  .........
Mr. Walz, MN.............................         X  ........  .........
Mr. Barrow, GA...........................  ........  ........     Absent
Mr. Carnahan, MO.........................  ........         X  .........
                                          ------------------------------
    Total................................        13         6
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A motion by Marlin Stutzman of Indiana to order H.R. 1383, 
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. 1383, 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. 
1383, 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. 1383, 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, May 18, 2011.
Hon. Jeff Miller,
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. 1383, the 
Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011.
    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. 1383--Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011

    Summary: H.R. 1383 would modify the amount of education 
benefits payable to certain veterans and qualifying dependents 
for three years, beginning on August 1, 2011. If enacted, CBO 
estimates that, on net, the bill would decrease direct spending 
by $5 million over the 2012-2016 and 2012-2021 periods.
    Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting the 
legislation would affect direct spending. Enacting the bill 
would not affect revenues.
    H.R. 1383 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. 1383 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 700 
(veterans benefits and services).
    Basis of estimate: H.R. 1383 would temporarily modify the 
amount of education benefits payable to certain veterans and 
qualifying dependents using the Post-9/11 GI Bill from August 
1, 2011, through July 31, 2014. This estimate is based on 
information from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the 
National Center for Education Statistics, and the College 
Board. CBO assumes the bill will be enacted near the beginning 
of fiscal year 2012.

                                                        ESTIMATED BUDGETARY EFFECTS OF H.R. 1383
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     2012    2013    2014    2015    2016    2017    2018    2019    2020    2021   2012-2016  2012-2021
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING

Housing Stipend Adjustments:
    Estimated Budget Authority....................      -7     -49       0       0       0       0       0       0       0       0       -56        -56
    Estimated Outlays.............................      -7     -49       0       0       0       0       0       0       0       0       -56        -56
Cap on Tuition and Fees:
    Estimated Budget Authority....................      32      13       6       0       0       0       0       0       0       0        51         51
    Estimated Outlays.............................      32      13       6       0       0       0       0       0       0       0        51         51
Total Changes in Direct Spending:
    Estimated Budget Authority....................      25     -36       6       0       0       0       0       0       0       0        -5         -5
    Estimated Outlays.............................      25     -36       6       0       0       0       0       0       0       0        -5         -5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Housing stipend adjustments

    Beginning August 1, 2011, Public Law 111-377 will delay the 
effective date of the annual increases in housing stipends 
provided to beneficiaries of the Post-9/11 GI Bill from January 
1 to August 1 to coincide with the start of each academic year. 
Those stipend rates will then remain effective throughout that 
entire academic year. Thus, for the 2011-2012 academic year, 
the stipend rates that went into effect on January 1, 2011, 
will remain unchanged through July 31, 2012. Section 3 of H.R. 
1383 would continue those same stipend rates through September 
30, 2013, eliminating the increase that will otherwise go into 
effect on August 1, 2012, and postponing the August 1, 2013, 
increase by two months. The stipend rates would then return to 
the levels that would have been payable if no freeze was 
enacted. Based on information from VA, CBO estimates that 
holding stipend rates flat for an additional 14 months would 
reduce direct spending by $56 million over the 2012-2013 
period.

Cap on tuition and fees

    Beginning August 1, 2011, P.L. 111-377 will limit the 
amount of education assistance payable under the Post-9/11 GI 
Bill for programs at private institutions to the actual cost of 
tuition and fees (net of scholarships and other financial 
assistance) or $17,500, adjusted annually for inflation, 
whichever is less. Prior to the enactment of P.L. 111-377, the 
amount of assistance payable was the actual cost of tuition and 
fees up to the highest in-state tuition and fees charged by a 
public educational institution in the state where the school is 
located.
    Students attending private institutions where tuition and 
fees exceed the $17,500 cap may be eligible for assistance 
under the Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program. 
Institutions entering into Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP) 
agreements with VA agree to cover a portion of the student's 
tuition shortfall. VA then matches the institution's 
contribution to further reduce or eliminate the student's out-
of-pocket expenses. Even with the availability of YRP 
assistance, CBO expects that certain students attending private 
institutions with high tuition and fees will experience 
significant out-of-pocket expenses relative to what they would 
have experienced prior to enactment of P.L. 111-377.
    To protect current beneficiaries under the Post-9/11 GI 
Bill from a mid-stream reduction in education benefits, section 
2 would increase the $17,500 cap to $27,000 through July 31, 
2014. To qualify for the higher cap, those beneficiaries would 
have to be enrolled in a private institution on or before April 
1, 2011:
           Where tuition and fees for full-time 
        attendance exceeded $17,500 during the 2010-2011 
        academic year, and
           That is in a state where a public 
        institution charged in-state students more than $700 
        per credit hour, as determined by the VA, during the 
        2010-2011 academic year.
    Based on information from VA, CBO estimates that about 
4,500 veterans and dependents attending private four-year and 
graduate institutions in Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, New 
York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas would satisfy all 
three conditions.
    Drawing on information from the National Center for 
Education Statistics and the College Board, CBO calculates that 
the average amount of tuition and fees for the 2010-2011 
academic year for bachelor's and master's degrees at private 
institutions is about $27,300 and $24,400, respectively. After 
adjusting for average benefit levels, average attendance rates, 
and the higher YRP threshold, CBO estimates that each 
qualifying beneficiary would receive, on average, about $5,300 
more in education benefits per academic year than they are 
eligible for under current law. Assuming that a percentage of 
the eligible population would either graduate or otherwise 
depart from their respective programs each year, CBO estimates 
that this provision would increase direct spending by $51 
million over the 2012-2021 period.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go 
Act of 2010 establishes budget reporting and enforcement 
procedures for legislation affecting direct spending or 
revenues. CBO estimates that by temporarily modifying the 
amount of education benefits payable to certain veterans and 
qualifying dependents under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, H.R. 1383 
would decrease direct spending for veterans' education 
benefits. The net changes in outlays that are subject to those 
pay-as-you-go procedures are shown in the following table.

           CBO ESTIMATE OF PAY-AS-YOU-GO EFFECTS FOR H.R. 1383 AS ORDERED REPORTED BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS ON MAY 12, 2011
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                              By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                           -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             2011    2012    2013    2014    2015    2016    2017    2018    2019    2020    2021   2011-2016  2011-2021
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       NET INCREASE OR DECREASE (-) IN THE DEFICIT

Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Impact............       0      25     -36       6       0       0       0       0       0       0       0        -5         -5
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 1383 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would not affect the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: William Ma; 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. 1383, 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. 
1383, as amended.

                  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. Short title

    This section would provide the short title of H.R. 1383, as 
amended, as the ``Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011.''

Section 2. Preservation of higher rates for tuition and fees for 
        programs of education at non-public institutions of higher 
        learning pursued by individuals enrolled in such programs prior 
        to changes in the maximum amount

    Section 2 would change the maximum tuition and fees paid on 
behalf of certain veterans attending certain high cost non-
public institutions of higher learning from $17,500 to a 
$27,000 annually. The change would be effective for three years 
beginning with enrollments starting in August 2011 through July 
31, 2014.

Section 3. Limitation of cost-of-living increases for certain 
        educational assistance programs of the Department of Veterans 
        Affairs

    Section 3 provides a PAYGO offset by freezing the amounts 
of monthly stipend paid under 38 USC 3313(c)(1)(B) of title 38, 
United States Code, to Post 9/11 participants at the rate in 
effect on August 1, 2011, for a period of 24 months beginning 
October 1, 2011. Following the 24 month period, the amount of 
monthly stipend would be paid at the level currently in effect.

                 ADDITIONAL VIEWS FOR H.R. 1383 OF THE 
                          HONORABLE BOB FILNER

    While I applaud Chairman Miller's efforts to seek to make 
improvements to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and stand ready to assist 
any efforts in the future I regretfully am unable to support 
this measure in its current form.
    I voted against this measure in Committee because I oppose 
the manner in which the $50 million cost of this bill is paid 
for. This bill seeks to freeze the G.I. Bill housing stipend, a 
stipend relied upon by veterans to assist them in getting a 
college education under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Taking money 
away from veterans will be detrimental for those on shoestring 
budgets who use the housing stipend for rent, transportation 
and other college costs, especially in the face of ever-
increasing energy and food costs.
    I support the concept of assisting all of our veterans to 
receive a college education, but taking from many for the 
benefit of the few is simply the wrong way to pay for this. We 
should help veterans attending the private schools, and private 
schools should also do their part to help veterans. This was 
the premise underlying the creation of the Yellow Ribbon 
program, and I believe that all private schools should sign up 
for this program where the VA will match every dollar that the 
schools contribute.
    The Post 9/11 GI Bill Improvements Act that we passed in 
December last, which was signed into law in January, was passed 
with the full support of Veteran Service Organizations. The 
majority of the VSO's submitted letters of support and strongly 
advocated for the bill which included the $17,500 private 
school tuition cap. Everyone was well aware of the effect of 
the tuition cap and we should not be acting surprised today or 
pretending that it was some unintended consequence. Last year's 
GI Bill updates were agreed upon because they were for the 
greater good of all veterans not just a select few.
    This is why I want to be clear on what this bill does--it 
removes the private school tuition cap and freezes the housing 
stipend for all veterans participating in the Post 9/11 GI Bill 
program across the country.
    If we now oppose the private school tuition cap which was 
agreed to mere months ago, freezing the housing stipend for all 
participants should not be the first place we look for money--
it should be the last place. Veterans have earned this benefit 
so we should let them keep it.
    That this freeze would affect all participants is also why 
I take issue with the Majority's contention that this freeze 
will ``have the least burdensome financial effect on veteran 
students while meeting PAYGO requirements.'' I recognize that 
we often are forced to make tough decisions regarding our 
national priorities, but I believe strongly that meeting our 
obligations to veterans is one of our very highest priorities. 
Again, I ask my colleagues to look elsewhere than the already-
strained student budgets of our veterans. We all should agree 
that a highly educated and well-trained workforce is essential 
for American economic success in the future, and we should be 
doing all we can to encourage our veterans to seek higher 
education. The original GI Bill was the impetus behind the 
creation of a strong and stable middle class, and freezing this 
important benefit does nothing to assist these veterans.
    Finally, I am concerned that enacting this measure may 
result in delayed payments to Post 9/11 GI Bill participants, 
as the Department of Veterans Affairs testified during the 
Subcommittee hearing on this measure. This Committee has worked 
tirelessly in a bipartisan fashion since enactment of the Post 
9/11 GI Bill, holding numerous hearings regarding the VA's 
ability to implement this program, in order to make sure that 
veterans receive these vital benefits.
    Now is not the time to risk payment delays, and now is not 
the time in this current economic environment to freeze the 
benefits accorded to the many in order to benefit the few.

                                                        Bob Filner.