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113th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE                          
 2d Session                                                     113-249
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                                       Calendar No. 549


                     GOLD STAR FATHERS ACT OF 2014

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                S. 2323

  TO AMEND CHAPTER 21 OF TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE, TO PROVIDE THAT 
 FATHERS OF CERTAIN PERMANENTLY DISABLED OR DECEASED VETERANS SHALL BE 
  INCLUDED WITH MOTHERS OF SUCH VETERANS AS PREFERENCE ELIGIBLES FOR 
                     TREATMENT IN THE CIVIL SERVICE




                August 26, 2014.--Ordered to be printed

     Filed, under authority of the order of the Senate of August 5 
                   (legislative day, August 1), 2014
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                  THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware, Chairman
CARL LEVIN, Michigan                 TOM COBURN, Oklahoma
MARK L. PRYOR, Arkansas              JOHN McCAIN, Arizona
MARY L. LANDRIEU, Louisiana          RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin
CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri           ROB PORTMAN, Ohio
JON TESTER, Montana                  RAND PAUL, Kentucky
MARK BEGICH, Alaska                  MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming
TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin             KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire
HEIDI HEITKAMP, North Dakota

                  Gabrielle A. Batkin, Staff Director
               John P. Kilvington, Deputy Staff Director
                    Mary Beth Schultz, Chief Counsel
                  Katherine C. Sybenga, Senior Counsel
               Keith B. Ashdown, Minority Staff Director
         Christopher J. Barkley, Minority Deputy Staff Director
               Andrew C. Dockham, Minority Chief Counsel
           Jennifer E. White, Minority Legislative Assistant
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk


                                                       Calendar No. 549
113th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE                          
 2d Session                                                     113-249

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



 
                     GOLD STAR FATHERS ACT OF 2014

                                _______
                                

                August 26, 2014.--Ordered to be printed

     Filed, under authority of the order of the Senate of August 5 
                   (legislative day, August 1), 2014

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Carper, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2323]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 2323) to amend 
chapter 21 of title 5, United States Code, to provide that 
fathers of certain permanently disabled or deceased veterans 
shall be included with mothers of such veterans as preference 
eligibles for treatment in the civil service, having considered 
the same, reports favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and Need for the Legislation..........................2
III. Legislative History..............................................3
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................3
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................3
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................4
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............4

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    Under current statute, mothers of certain permanently 
disabled or deceased veterans receive a preference in obtaining 
appointment to the civil service if such mothers are widowed, 
divorced, or separated, or also if they are married to a 
husband who is permanently disabled. S. 2323 would extend 
eligibility for the preference to include fathers along with 
mothers and to include unmarried mothers or fathers along with 
those who are widowed, divorced, or separated.

              II. Background and Need for the Legislation

    Veterans of the Armed Forces have been given preference in 
gaining appointment to federal employment since the Civil War 
era, and veterans' preference in its current form was enacted 
in the Veterans' Preference Act of 1944.\1\ Generally, veterans 
who are disabled or who served on active duty during specified 
wartimes or military campaigns are entitled to have an 
additional 5 or 10 points added to their civil service 
examination score, giving them a preference for obtaining 
appointment to federal jobs in the civil service from 
competitive lists, and also receive a preference in retention 
in the civil service during a reduction in force.\2\ The 1944 
Act also provided a preference in obtaining civil service 
appointment to wives of disabled veterans and to widows of 
deceased veterans.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\See U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM): Veterans 
Services, VetGuide, http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/veterans-
services/vet-guide/, last visited August 15, 2014.
    \2\See 5 U.S.C. Sec. 2108 and Sec. 3309 regarding veterans' 
preference in civil service hiring and 5 U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 3501-3502 
regarding veterans' preference in a reduction in force.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In January 1948, Congress extended the hiring preference to 
widowed, divorced, or legally separated mothers of veterans who 
died in active duty in wartime or who suffer from a service-
connected permanent and total disability.\3\ In reporting the 
legislation, the House Committee on Post Office and Civil 
Service explained--
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Public Law 80-396 (1948).

        It is the opinion of this committee that the debt of 
        gratitude owed by the United States to the widowed 
        mothers of ex-servicemen who lost their lives on active 
        duty, and to the widowed mothers of ex-servicemen who 
        are permanently and totally disabled, is immeasurable, 
        but such widowed mothers warrant the same consideration 
        now given to wives and unmarried widows of certain ex-
        servicemen.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, Report to accompany 
H.R. 1426, Extending Veterans' Preference Benefits to Widowed Mothers 
of Certain Ex-Servicemen, H.R. Rep. No. 697, 80th Congress, 1st Session 
(June 25, 1947).

    The House Post Office and Civil Service Committee further 
explained that it supported the bill ``[a]fter considering . . 
. the moral obligation this Government has to the widowed 
mothers of our ex-servicemen who lost their lives in the 
service of our country, or who were permanently disabled while 
serving their country.''\5\ In 1950, Congress further extended 
the hiring preference to cover mothers of certain deceased or 
permanently disabled service member whose husbands also are 
totally and permanently disabled.\6\ Mothers entitled to the 
preference who pass a civil service examination gain 10 
additional points added to their score.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Id.
    \6\Public Law 81-887 (Dec. 27, 1950). The laws making mothers of 
veterans eligible for hiring preference have been codified at 5 U.S.C. 
Sec. 2108(3)(F)-(G).
    \7\See OPM VetGuide, note 1 above.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The loss suffered by fathers of disabled or deceased 
veterans warrants no less consideration than does the loss 
suffered by mothers, and the debt of gratitude owed by the 
United States to such fathers is equally immeasurable. In the 
approximately six decades since Congress granted the preference 
to mothers of certain veterans, our society and economy have 
undergone profound transformations, and the Nation has become 
far more aware of the importance of equal opportunity and non-
discrimination. In that light, no basis remains for a statute 
that grants preference to mothers of veterans but not to 
fathers of veterans, or that grants preference to veterans' 
parents who are widowed, divorced, or separated, but not to 
those who are otherwise unmarried. S. 2323 would end these 
inequities by extending eligibility for the preference to 
include a father as well as a mother and to include an 
unmarried mother or father along with one who is widowed, 
divorced, or separated.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\This Committee also considered and favorably reported a very 
similar bill in the 111th Congress, S. 3650. See S. Rep. 111-374 (Dec. 
17, 2010).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        III. Legislative History

    On May 13, 2014 Senator Brown introduced S. 2323, which was 
referred to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs Committee. The bill is cosponsored by Senator Wyden.
    The Committee considered S. 2323 at a business meeting on 
July 30, 2014. The legislation was ordered reported favorably 
to the Senate without amendment by a unanimous voice vote. 
Members present for the vote were: Carper, Levin, Pryor, 
Landrieu, McCaskill, Begich, Baldwin, Coburn, Johnson, and 
Ayotte.

                    IV. Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides a short title by which the bill may 
be cited.

Section 2. Preference eligible treatment for fathers of certain 
        permanently disabled or deceased veterans

    5 U.S.C. Sec. 2108(3)(F) and (G) now establish that the 
mothers of certain deceased and totally disabled veterans may 
be eligible for preference in civil service hiring if certain 
conditions are met. Section 2 of S. 2323 would amend 
subparagraphs (F) and (G) so that either parent of a veteran 
can qualify for the preference.
    Also, Sec. 2108(3)(F) and (G) now specify that mothers may 
be eligible for a preference only if, among other conditions, 
they are widowed, divorced, or separated. Section 2 of S. 2323 
would amend subparagraphs (F) and (G) so that a parent who was 
never married may also qualify for a preference.

Section 3. Effective date

    This section provides that the amendment made by the bill 
will take effect 90 days after the date of enactment.

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this bill and determined 
that the bill will have no regulatory impact. The Congressional 
Budget Office states that the bill contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets 
of state, local, or tribal governments.

             VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                                   August 12, 2014.
Hon. Tom Carper,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 2323, the Gold Star 
Fathers Act of 2014.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

S. 2323--Gold Star Fathers Act of 2014

    S. 2323 would expand preferred eligibility for federal jobs 
to the fathers of certain permanently disabled or deceased 
veterans. CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would 
not have any significant effect on the federal budget. Enacting 
the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    Under current law, mothers of certain veterans are eligible 
to claim preferences for civil service positions if their 
children are permanently disabled or deceased. S. 2323 would 
expand that preference to include such veterans' fathers. We 
estimate that the legislation would have no significant 
budgetary effect because, while it would expand the pool of 
people eligible for federal job preferences, it would not 
change the total number of federal jobs available or the 
salaries paid to federal employees.
    S. 2323 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew 
Pickford. The estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

     VII. Changes in Existing Statute Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
S. 2323 as reported are shown as follows (existing law proposed 
to be omitted is enclosed in brackets, new matter is printed in 
italic, and existing law in which no change is proposed is 
shown in roman):

                           UNITED STATES CODE

TITLE 5--GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION AND EMPLOYEES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART III--EMPLOYEES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subpart A--General Provisions

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 21--DEFINITIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 2108--Veteran; disabled veteran; preference eligible

    For the purpose of this title--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (3) ``preference eligible'' means, except as provided 
        in paragraph (4) of this section or section 2108a(c)--
                  (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  [(F) the mother of an individual who lost his 
                life under honorable conditions while serving 
                in the armed forces during a period named by 
                paragraph (1)(A) of this section, if--
                          [(i) her husband is totally and 
                        permanently disabled;
                          [(ii) she is widowed, divorced, or 
                        separated from the father and has not 
                        remarried; or
                          [(iii) she has remarried but is 
                        widowed, divorced, or legally separated 
                        from her husband when preference is 
                        claimed;
                  [(G) the mother of a service-connected 
                permanently and totally disabled veteran, if--
                          [(i) her husband is totally and 
                        permanently disabled;
                          [(ii) she is widowed, divorced, or 
                        separated from the father and has not 
                        remarried; or
                          [(iii) she has remarried but is 
                        widowed, divorced, or legally separated 
                        from her husband when preference is 
                        claimed; and]
                  (F) the parent of an individual who lost his 
                or her life under honorable conditions while 
                serving in the armed forces during a period 
                named by paragraph (1)(A) of this section, if--
                          (i) the spouse of that parent is 
                        totally and permanently disabled; or
                          (ii) that parent, when preference is 
                        claimed, is unmarried or, if married, 
                        legally separated from his or her 
                        spouse;
                  (G) the parent of a service-connected 
                permanently and totally disabled veteran, if--
                          (i) the spouse of that parent is 
                        totally and permanently disabled; or
                          (ii) that parent, when preference is 
                        claimed, is unmarried or, if married, 
                        legally separated from his or her 
                        spouse; and

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *