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114th Congress    }                                     {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                     {      114-302

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



 
               HONOR AMERICA'S GUARD-RESERVE RETIREES ACT

                                _______
                                

October 21, 2015.--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. 1384]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1384) to amend title 38, United States Code, to 
recognize the service in the reserve components of certain 
persons by honoring them with status as veterans under law, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

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

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 1384, the ``Honor America's Guard-Reserve Retirees 
Act,'' was introduced by Representative Timothy Walz of 
Minnesota on March 16, 2015. H.R. 1384 would provide honorary 
veteran status to those members of the National Guard or 
Reserve who have served for 20 years and do not meet the full 
requirements for veteran status under title 38, United States 
Code.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The National Guard and Reserve components of the United 
States Armed Forces perform an invaluable role and are an 
important part of our overall force structure. They support the 
active duty component of the United States military by 
augmenting active duty forces with both combat and combat 
support units and by responding in times of local and national 
disasters.
    Section 101(2) of title 38, U.S.C., defines a ``veteran'' 
as ``a person who served in the active military, naval, or air 
service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under 
conditions other than dishonorable.'' Generally, persons not 
meeting that definition are ineligible for the full range of 
rights and benefits extended under the law.
    National Guard and Reserve members who completed twenty or 
more years of service wore the same uniform as active duty 
servicemembers, were subject to the same code of military 
justice, received the same training, and were available for 
call-up to active duty service at any time as has been 
demonstrated by the call up of thousands of reserve component 
forces during the first and second Gulf War eras. H.R. 1384 
would confer honorary veteran status on those individuals who 
are entitled under chapter 1223 of title 10, U.S.C., to retired 
pay for nonregular service or who would be entitled to retired 
pay, but for age. Further, this legislation would ensure that 
those who receive the honorary recognition as ``veterans''' 
conferred in the bill would not be entitled to any benefit 
under the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs solely by reason of such recognition.

                                Hearings

    On June 24, 2015, the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance 
and Memorial Affairs conducted a legislative hearing on various 
bills introduced during the 114th Congress, including H.R. 
1384.
    The following witnesses testified:

          The Honorable Bill Johnson, U.S. House of 
        Representatives; Mr. David R. McLenachen, Acting Deputy 
        Under Secretary for Disability Assistance, Veterans 
        Benefits Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans 
        Affairs; Mr. Zachary Hearn, Deputy Director for Claims, 
        Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Division, The 
        American Legion; Mr. Paul R. Varela, Assistant National 
        Legislative Director, Disabled American Veterans; Mr. 
        Aleks Morosky, Deputy Director, National Legislative 
        Service, Veterans of Foreign Wars; Ms. Diane Zumatto, 
        National Legislative Director, AMVETS; and Mr. Chris 
        Neiweem, Legislative Associate, Iraq and Afghanistan 
        Veterans of America.
    Statements for the record were submitted by the following:

          The Honorable Bob Latta, U.S. House of 
        Representative; the Honorable Bill Shuster, U.S. House 
        of Representatives; and, the Paralyzed Veterans of 
        America.

                       Subcommittee Consideration

    On July 9, 2015, the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance 
and Memorial Affairs met in an open markup session, a quorum 
being present, and favorably forwarded H.R. 1384 to the full 
Committee.

                        Committee Consideration

    On September 17, 2015, the full Committee met in an open 
markup session, a quorum being present, and ordered H.R. 1384 
reported favorably to the House of Representatives.

                            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. 1384 reported to the House. A 
motion by Ranking Member Corrine Brown of Florida to report 
H.R. 1384 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 Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee establishes the 
following performance related goals and objectives for this 
legislation:

          The Secretary will use the authority granted by this 
        legislation to honor as a veteran, any person who 
        served our nation and who is entitled to retired pay 
        for nonregular service, or, but for age, would be 
        entitled to retired pay. However, this legislation 
        would not bestow any VA benefits on any individual who 
        is recognized as a veteran based solely on this Act.

   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. 1384 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. 
1384 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. 1384 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, October 13, 2015.
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. 1384, the Honor 
America's Guard-Reserve Retirees Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Dwayne M. 
Wright.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure

H.R. 1384--Honor America's Guard-Reserve Retirees Act

    H.R. 1384 would grant certain retired reservists the status 
of honorary veteran. Individuals who served at least 20 years 
in the reserves and were never called to active duty would be 
eligible for this honorary status. Under H.R. 1384, those 
honorary veterans would not be eligible for additional benefits 
from the Department of Veterans Affairs based on this new 
status. Thus, CBO estimates that the bill would have no 
budgetary impact.
    Enacting H.R. 1384 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 1384 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits more than $5 billion 
in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 
2026. H.R. 1384 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 Dwayne M. 
Wright. The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates regarding H.R. 1384 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. 
1384.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    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.

              Statement on Duplication of Federal Programs

    Pursuant to section 3(g) of H. Res. 5, 114th Cong. (2015), 
the Committee finds that no provision of H.R. 1384 establishes 
or reauthorizes a program of the Federal Government known to be 
duplicative of another Federal program, a program that was 
included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-
139, or a program related to a program identified in the most 
recent Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.

                   Disclosure of Directed Rulemaking

    Pursuant to section 3(i) of H. Res. 5, 114th Cong. (2015), 
the Committee estimates that H.R. 1384 contains no directed 
rule making that would require the Secretary to prescribe 
regulations.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1--Short title; table of contents

    Section 1 would establish the bill's short title as the 
``Honor America's Guard-Retirees Act''.

Section 2--Provision of status under law by honoring certain members of 
        the reserve components as veterans

    Section 2(a) would honor as a veteran any person entitled 
to retired pay for nonregular service or who would be entitled 
to retired pay, but for age.
    Section 2(b) would clarify that an individual's recognition 
as ``veteran'' under this Act would not entitle that individual 
to VA benefits based solely on that recognition.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

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

                      TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
PART I--GENERAL PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                           CHAPTER 1--GENERAL


Sec.
101. Definitions.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

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

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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

Any person who is entitled under chapter 1223 of title 10 to 
retired pay for nonregular service or, but for age, would be 
entitled under such chapter to retired pay for nonregular 
service shall be honored as a veteran but shall not be entitled 
to any benefit by reason of this section.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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