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114th Congress    }                                     {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                     {      114-812

======================================================================
 
 TO AMEND TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE, TO EXPAND THE ELIGIBILITY FOR 
   HEADSTONES, MARKERS, AND MEDALLIONS FURNISHED BY THE SECRETARY OF 
VETERANS AFFAIRS FOR DECEASED INDIVIDUALS WHO WERE AWARDED THE MEDAL OF 
               HONOR AND ARE BURIED IN PRIVATE CEMETERIES

                                _______
                                

 November 14, 2016.--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. 4757]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 4757) to amend title 38, United States Code, to 
expand the eligibility for headstones, markers, and medallions 
furnished by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for deceased 
individuals who were awarded the Medal of Honor and are buried 
in private cemeteries, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon with amendments and recommend that the bill 
as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Amendment........................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................     3
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     3
Hearings.........................................................     4
Subcommittee Consideration.......................................     4
Subcommittee Votes...............................................
Committee Consideration..........................................     5
Committee Votes..................................................     5
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     5
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     5
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.....................................     9
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     9
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     9
Statement on Duplication of Federal Programs.....................     9
Disclosure of Directed Rulemaking................................     9
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     9
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............    10

                               Amendment

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

SECTION 1. EXPANSION OF ELIGIBILITY FOR HEADSTONES, MARKERS, AND 
                    MEDALLIONS FOR MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS.

  Section 2306(d) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding 
at the end the following new paragraph:
  ``(5)(A) In carrying out this subsection with respect to a deceased 
individual described in subparagraph (C), the Secretary shall furnish, 
upon request, a headstone or marker under paragraph (1) or a medallion 
under paragraph (4) that signifies the deceased's status as a Medal of 
Honor recipient.
  ``(B) If the Secretary furnished a headstone, marker, or medallion 
under paragraph (1) or (4) for a deceased individual described in 
subparagraph (C) that does not signify the deceased's status as a Medal 
of Honor recipient, the Secretary shall, upon request, replace such 
headstone, marker, or medallion with a headstone, marker, or medallion, 
as the case may be, that so signifies the deceased's status as a Medal 
of Honor recipient.
  ``(C) A deceased individual described in this subparagraph is a 
deceased individual who--
          ``(i) served in the Armed Forces on or after April 6, 1917;
          ``(ii) is eligible for a headstone or marker furnished under 
        paragraph (1) or a medallion furnished under paragraph (4) (or 
        would be so eligible for such headstone, marker, or medallion 
        but for the date of the death of the individual); and
          ``(iii) was awarded the Medal of Honor (including 
        posthumously).''.

SEC. 2. EXPANSION OF PRESIDENTIAL MEMORIAL CERTIFICATE PROGRAM.

  (a) In General.--Section 112(a) of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended by inserting after ``conditions,'' the following: ``persons 
eligible for burial in a national cemetery by reason of paragraph (2), 
(3), or (7) of section 2402(a) of this title,''.
  (b) Application.--The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply 
with respect to the death of a person eligible for burial in a national 
cemetery by reason of paragraph (2), (3), or (7) of section 2402(a) of 
title 38, United States Code, occurring before, on, or after the date 
of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 3. TRANSPORTATION OF DECEASED VETERANS TO VETERANS' CEMETERIES.

  (a) In General.--Subsection (a) of section 2308 of title 38, United 
States Code, is amended to read as follows:
  ``(a) In General.--(1) The Secretary may pay, in addition to any 
amount paid pursuant to section 2302 or 2307 of this title, the cost of 
transportation of the deceased veteran described in paragraph (1) or 
(2) of subsection (b) for burial in a national cemetery or a covered 
veterans' cemetery. Such payment shall not exceed the cost of 
transportation to the national cemetery nearest the veteran's last 
place of residence in which burial space is available.
  ``(2) The Secretary may pay, in addition to any amount paid pursuant 
to section 2302 or 2307 of this title, the cost of transportation of 
the deceased veteran described in subsection (b)(3) for burial in a 
national cemetery. Such payment shall not exceed the cost of 
transportation to the national cemetery nearest the veteran's last 
place of residence in which burial space is available.''.
  (b) Covered Veterans' Cemetery Defined.--Section 2308 of such title 
is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
  ``(c) Covered Veterans' Cemetery Defined.--In this section, the term 
`covered veterans' cemetery' means, with respect to a deceased veteran 
described in subsection (b), a veterans' cemetery owned by a State or a 
tribal organization (as defined in section 3765(4) of this title) in 
which the deceased veteran is eligible to be buried.''.
  (c) Conforming Amendment.--Section 2308 of such title is amended in 
the section heading by adding at the end the following: ``or a 
veterans' cemetery''.
  (d) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
chapter 23 of such title is amended by striking the item relating to 
section 2308 and inserting the following new item:

``2308. Transportation of deceased veteran to a national cemetery or a 
veterans' cemetery.''.

    Amend the title so as to read:
    A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to expand 
certain benefits related to the burial of deceased veterans, 
and for other purposes.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 4757 was introduced by Representative Jeff Miller of 
Florida on March 16, 2016. H.R. 4757, as amended, was ordered 
to be favorably reported to the full House on September 21, 
2016. H.R. 4757, as amended, incorporates text of H.R. 4757, as 
well as provisions from H.R. 4758, as amended, and H.R. 4759, 
all introduced by Representative Jeff Miller of Florida.
    H.R. 4757, as amended, would (1) allow the Department of 
Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide a headstone, marker, or 
medallion for deceased veterans who were awarded the Medal of 
Honor; (2) establish that families of certain deceased members 
of the National Guard and Reserve would be eligible to receive 
a Presidential Memorial Certificate; and (3) authorize VA to 
pay the cost of transportation of deceased veterans for burial 
in the nearest veterans' cemetery owned by a State or tribal 
organization in which the deceased veteran is eligible to be 
buried.

                  Background and Need for Legislation


Section 1--Expansion of eligibility for headstones, markers, and 
        medallions for Medal of Honor recipients

    Current law prohibits the Secretary from furnishing a 
distinctive headstone, marker, or medallion for Medal of Honor 
recipients who are buried in private cemeteries. This bill 
would expand the Secretary's authorization to provide special 
markers for the graves of those who have received the nation's 
highest award for valor and who are not laid to rest in 
national cemeteries.
    Such headstone, marker, or medallion would be provided on 
request for deceased Medal of Honor recipients who served in 
the Armed Forces on or after April 6, 1917, the date the United 
States entered World War I. The bill limits the special markers 
for deceased Medal of Honor recipients who served on or after 
April 6, 1917, to help protect antique headstones and preserve 
the vista of historic cemeteries.

Section 2--Expansion of Presidential Memorial Certificate program

    VA sends a Presidential Memorial Certificate that expresses 
the nation's recognition and gratitude of military service to 
the family members of a deceased veteran. The law limits 
Presidential Memorial Certificates to the families of those who 
served in the regular armed services, or National Guard and 
Reserve members who were called to active duty.
    This section would expand eligibility for a Presidential 
Memorial Certificate to certain members of the Reserve 
component of the Armed Forces, and the Army National Guard or 
the Air National Guard. Under H.R. 4757, as amended, an 
individual would be eligible for such Presidential Memorial 
Certificate if he or she is eligible for interment or inurnment 
in national cemeteries, regardless of the individual's date of 
death.

Section 3--Transportation of deceased veterans to veterans' cemeteries

    Current law only allows VA to pay the cost of transporting 
the remains of a deceased veteran to the nearest open national 
cemetery. This provision would prevent families of deceased 
veterans from being financially penalized if they choose to lay 
their loved one to rest in a State or tribal veterans' 
cemetery, rather than in a national cemetery.
    This section would authorize VA to pay the costs associated 
with transporting the remains of a deceased veteran to the 
State or tribal veterans' cemetery nearest to the deceased 
veteran's last residence, if the veteran is eligible to be 
buried in such State or tribal cemetery. The bill limits such 
payment to no more than the cost of transportation to an open 
national cemetery nearest to the veteran's last place of 
residence.

                                Hearings

    On April 13, 2016, the Subcommittee on Disability 
Assistance and Memorial Affairs conducted a legislative hearing 
on various bills introduced during the 114th Congress, 
including H.R. 4757, H.R. 4758, and H.R. 4759, all of which are 
included in H.R. 4757, as amended. The following witnesses 
testified:

          The Honorable Jeff Miller of Florida, U.S. House of 
        Representatives; the Honorable Corrine Brown of 
        Florida, U.S. House of Representatives; The Honorable 
        Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania, U.S. House of 
        Representatives; The Honorable Mia Love of Utah, U.S. 
        House of Representatives; Mr. David R. McLenachen, 
        Deputy Under Secretary for Disability Assistance, 
        Veterans Benefits Administration, U.S. Department of 
        Veterans Affairs, accompanied by: Mr. Matt Sullivan, 
        Deputy Under Secretary of Finance and Planning and CFO, 
        National Cemetery Administration, U.S. Department of 
        Veterans Affairs; Mr. Patrick K. Hallinan, Executive 
        Director, Army National Military Cemeteries, Department 
        of the Army; Mr. Carl Blake, Associate Executive 
        Director for Government Relations, Paralyzed Veterans 
        of America; Mr. Aleks Morosky, Deputy Director, 
        National Legislative Service, Veterans of Foreign Wars 
        of the United States; Mr. Paul R. Varela, Assistant 
        National Legislative Director, Disabled American 
        Veterans; Ms. Elizabeth Davis, Advocate for Survivors' 
        Benefits; and Mr. Edward G. Lilley, Team Leader for 
        Health Policy, National Veterans Affairs and 
        Rehabilitation Division, The American Legion.

    A statement for the record was submitted by the following:

          Mr. John Rowan, National President, Vietnam Veterans 
        of America.

                       Subcommittee Consideration

    On May 11, 2016, the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance 
and Memorial Affairs met in open markup session, a quorum being 
present, and ordered H.R. 4757, as amended, favorably forwarded 
to the full Committee by voice vote. During consideration of 
H.R. 4757, the following amendment in the nature of a 
substitute was considered:

          An Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute offered by 
        Ms. Titus of Nevada, which added a provision requiring 
        the Secretary of the Army to reserve 100 in-ground 
        burial plost at Arlington National Cemetery for 
        individuals who have been awarded the Medal of Honor. 
        This provision would terminate on the date in which the 
        Secretary of the Army submits a report to Congress 
        regarding the capacity of Arlington National Cemetery. 
        The Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute was 
        agreeded to by voice vote.

                        Committee Consideration

    On September 21, 2016, the full Committee met in open 
markup session, a quorum being present, and ordered H.R. 4757, 
as amended, favorably reported 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 was 
        offered by Representative Jeff Miller of Florida, which 
        removed the provision requiring the Secretary of the 
        Army to reserve 100 in-ground burial plots at Arlington 
        National Cemetery for individuals who have been awarded 
        the Medal of Honor. The Amendment in the Nature of a 
        Substitute also incorporated the text of H.R. 4757, as 
        introduced; H.R. 4758, as amended; and, H.R. 4759. The 
        Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute was agreed to 
        by voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, there were no recorded votes 
taken on amendments or in connection with ordering H.R. 4757, 
as amended, reported to the House. A motion by Acting Ranking 
Member Mark Tankano to report H.R. 4757,as amended, 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 establishes the 
following performance goals and objectives for this 
legislation:

          The Secretary will use this authority to furnish, 
        upon request, a headstone, marker, or medallion that 
        signifies a deceased veteran's status as Medal of Honor 
        recipient for such veterans who are buried in a private 
        cemetery; expand the eligibility for Presidental 
        Memorial Certificates; and pay the cost of 
        transportation of a deceased veteran to the nearest 
        national veterans' cemetery, nearest State veterans' 
        cemetery, or nearest tribal cemetery.

   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. 4757, 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. 
4757, 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. 4757, 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, October 13, 2016.
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. 4757, a bill to 
amend title 38, United States Code, to expand certain benefits 
related to the burial of deceased veterans, and for other 
purposes.
    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. 4757--A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to expand 
        certain benefits related to the burial of deceased veterans, 
        and for other purposes

    Summary: H.R. 4757 would modify burial programs 
administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and 
would make certain deceased veterans eligible for Presidential 
Memorial Certificates. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 4757 
would increase direct spending by $36 million over the 2017-
2026 period. Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting 
the legislation would affect direct spending. Enacting the bill 
would not affect revenues.
    In addition, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would 
have discretionary costs totaling less than $500,000 over the 
2017-2021 period; that spending would be subject to the 
availability of appropriated funds.
    CBO estimates that enacting the legislation would not 
increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits by more than 
$5 billion in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods 
beginning in 2027.
    H.R. 4757 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary effect of H.R. 4757 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--
                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   2025   2026  2017-2021  2017-2026
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              INCREASES IN DIRECT SPENDINGa
 
Estimated Budget Authority..................................      1      3      3      3      4      4      4      4      4      5        15         36
Estimated Outlays...........................................      1      3      3      3      4      4      4      4      4      5        15         36
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.
aIn addition to the changes in direct spending shown above, implementing H.R. 4757 would have discretionary costs totaling less than $500,000 over the
  2017-2021 period.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
4757 will be enacted before the end of calendar year 2016, that 
appropriations will reflect the estimated changes each year, 
and that outlays will follow historical spending patterns for 
the affected programs.

Direct spending

    Two provisions in H.R. 4757 would affect direct spending by 
modifying burial benefits for veterans. CBO estimates that 
enacting H.R. 4757 would increase direct spending by $36 
million over the 2017-2026 period.
    Transportation of Deceased Veterans to Cemeteries. Section 
3 would allow VA to pay for the costs of transporting the 
remains of deceased veterans to state or tribal cemeteries up 
to the amount it would cost to transport those remains to the 
nearest national cemetery. Under current law, VA may pay the 
costs for transporting the remains of deceased veterans to the 
nearest national cemetery.
    Over the 2011-2014 period, VA paid to transport the remains 
of about 20 percent of the veterans who were buried in national 
cemeteries. The average amount paid for that service in 2015 
was about $600. CBO expects that, under this provision, 
requests for payment of transportation costs to state or tribal 
cemeteries would be made at a similar rate and that the average 
cost would be the same.
    The number of veterans buried in state or tribal cemeteries 
grew from 21,300 in 2011 to 23,200 in 2014. CBO expects that 
rate of growth to continue over the 2017-2026 period and 
estimates that the number of such burials will increase from 
24,600 in 2017 to 31,900 in 2026. CBO expects that VA would pay 
to transport remains for about 20 percent of those burials, or 
about 4,900 in 2017 increasing to about 6,400 in 2026. The 
average cost of transporting a veteran's remains grew from $565 
in 2011 to $601 in 2015 and CBO estimates a similar rate of 
growth in the average cost over the 2017-2026 period, leading 
to an average cost of transport per veteran of $762 in 2026.
    On that basis, CBO estimates that enacting section 3 would 
increase direct spending by $36 million over the 2017-2026 
period.
    Burial Markers for Medal of Honor Recipients. Section 1 
would make all Medal of Honor recipients who died after April 
6, 1917, eligible for a headstone, marker, or medallion that 
signifies the veteran's status as a recipient of the Medal of 
Honor. Because of the small number of individuals who would be 
made eligible under section 4 (about 1,100) and the small 
average cost per headstone, marker, or medallion (about $200 
for a headstone or marker and $34 for a medallion in 2015), CBO 
estimates that enacting section 1 would increase direct 
spending by less than $500,000 over the 2017-2026 period.

Spending subject to appropriation

    Section 2 would make certain deceased veterans who served 
in the National Guard or Reserves eligible to receive a 
Presidential Memorial Certificate. According to VA, the average 
cost in 2015 for a Presidential Memorial Certificate was $1. 
The application rate of those currently eligible for the 
certificate is quite low. On that basis, CBO estimates that the 
cost for implementing section 2 would be less than $500,000 
over the 2017-2021 period; such spending would be subject to 
the availability of appropriated funds.
    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. The net changes in outlays that are subject to those 
pay-as-you-go procedures are shown in the following table.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                       By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   2025   2026  2017-2021  2017-2026
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 NET INCREASE OR DECREASE (-) IN THE [ON-BUDGET] DEFICIT
 
Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Impact..............................      1      3      3      3      4      4      4      4      4      5        15         36
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.

    Increase in long-term direct spending and deficits: CBO 
estimates that enacting the legislation would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits by more than $5 billion 
in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 
2027.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 4757 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would not affect the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    Previous CBO estimate: On September 9, 2016, CBO 
transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 4782, the Veterans' 
Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2016, as ordered 
reported by the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs on May 18, 
2016. H.R. 4757 contains sections that are similar to sections 
3, 4, and 5 of H.R. 4782 and the estimated costs for those 
provisions are the same.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Dwayne M. Wright; 
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Jon Sperl; 
Impact on the Private Sector: Paige Piper/Bach.
    Estimate 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. 4757, 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. 
4757, as amended.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to Article I, section 8 of the United States 
Constitution, H.R. 4757, as amended, 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 H.R. 4757, as amended, 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. 4757, as amended, 
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. 4757, as amended, contains no 
directed rule making that would require the Secretary to 
prescribe regulations.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1--Expansion of eligibility for headstones, markers, and 
        medallions for Medal of Honor recipients

    Section 1 would authorize VA to provide a distinctive 
headstone, marker, or medallion to adorn the gravesites of 
Medal of Honor recipients who served in the Armed Forces on or 
after April 6, 1917.

Section 2-- Expansion of Presidential Memorial Certificate program

    Section 2(a) would expand eligibility for a Presidential 
Memorial Certificate to members of the Reserve component of the 
Armed Forces, and the Army National Guard or the Air National 
Guard who are eligible to be buried in a national cemetery.
    Section 2(b) would establish that this Section would apply 
with respect to the death of an eligible person occurring 
before, on, or after the date of enactment of this Act.

Section 3--Transportation of deceased veterans to veterans' cemeteries

    Section 3(a) would authorize VA to pay the cost of 
transporting the remains of a deceased veteran to a covered 
veterans' cemetery. Such payment would not exceed the cost of 
transportation to the national cemetery nearest to the 
veteran's last place of residence in which burial space is 
available.
    Section 3(b) would define covered veterans' cemetery as a 
cemetery owned by a State or tribal organization, in which the 
deceased veteran is eligible to be buried.
    Section 3(c) would provide a conforming amendment.
    Section 3(d) would provide a clerical amendment.

         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):

         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, 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. 112. Presidential memorial certificate program

  (a) At the request of the President the Secretary may conduct 
a program for honoring the memory of deceased veterans, 
discharged under honorable conditions, persons eligible for 
burial in a national cemetery by reason of paragraph (2), (3), 
or (7) of section 2402(a) of this title, and persons who died 
in the active military, naval, or air service, by preparing and 
sending to eligible recipients a certificate bearing the 
signature of the President and expressing the country's 
grateful recognition of the deceased individual's service in 
the Armed Forces. The award of a certificate to one eligible 
recipient will not preclude authorization of another 
certificate if a request is received from some other eligible 
recipient.
  (b) For the purpose of this section an ``eligible recipient'' 
means the next of kin, a relative or friend upon request, or an 
authorized service representative acting on behalf of such 
relative or friend.
  (c) A certificate may not be furnished under the program 
under subsection (a) on behalf of a deceased person described 
in section 2411(b) of this title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART II--GENERAL BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                      CHAPTER 23--BURIAL BENEFITS

Sec.
2301. Flags.
     * * * * * * *
[2308. Transportation of deceased veteran to a national cemetery.]
2308. Transportation of deceased veteran to a national cemetery or a 
          veterans' cemetery.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 2306. Headstones, markers, and burial receptacles

  (a) The Secretary shall furnish, when requested, appropriate 
Government headstones or markers at the expense of the United 
States for the unmarked graves of the following:
  (1) Any individual buried in a national cemetery or in a post 
cemetery.
  (2) Any individual eligible for burial in a national cemetery 
(but not buried there), except for those persons or classes of 
persons enumerated in section 2402(a)(4), (5), and (6) of this 
title.
  (3) Soldiers of the Union and Confederate Armies of the Civil 
War.
  (4) Any individual described in section 2402(a)(5) of this 
title who is buried in a veterans' cemetery owned by a State.
  (5) Any individual who at the time of death was entitled to 
retired pay under chapter 1223 of title 10 or would have been 
entitled to retired pay under that chapter but for the fact 
that the person was under 60 years of age.
  (b)(1) The Secretary shall furnish, when requested, an 
appropriate memorial headstone or marker for the purpose of 
commemorating an eligible individual whose remains are 
unavailable. Such a headstone or marker shall be furnished for 
placement in a national cemetery area reserved for that purpose 
under section 2403 of this title, a veterans' cemetery owned by 
a State, or, in the case of a veteran, in a State, local, or 
private cemetery.
  (2) For purposes of paragraph (1), an eligible individual is 
any of the following:
          (A) A veteran.
          (B) The spouse or surviving spouse of a veteran.
          (C) An eligible dependent child of a veteran.
  (3) For purposes of paragraph (1), the remains of an 
individual shall be considered to be unavailable if the 
individual's remains--
          (A) have not been recovered or identified;
          (B) were buried at sea, whether by the individual's 
        own choice or otherwise;
          (C) were donated to science; or
          (D) were cremated and the ashes scattered without 
        interment of any portion of the ashes.
  (4) For purposes of this subsection:
          (A) The term ``veteran'' includes an individual who 
        dies in the active military, naval, or air service.
          (B) The term ``surviving spouse'' includes a 
        surviving spouse who had a subsequent remarriage.
  (5) For purposes of this section, the term ``eligible 
dependent child'' means a child--
          (A) who is under 21 years of age, or under 23 years 
        of age if pursuing a course of instruction at an 
        approved educational institution; or
          (B) who is unmarried and became permanently 
        physically or mentally disabled and incapable of self-
        support before reaching 21 years of age, or before 
        reaching 23 years of age if pursuing a course of 
        instruction at an approved educational institution.
  (c) A headstone or marker furnished under subsection (a), 
(b), or (d) of this section may be of any material, including 
but not limited to marble, granite, bronze, or slate, requested 
by the person entitled to request such headstone or marker if 
the material requested is determined by the Secretary (1) to be 
cost effective, and (2) in a case in which the headstone or 
marker is to be placed in a national cemetery, to be 
aesthetically compatible with the area of the cemetery in which 
it is to be placed.
  (d)(1) The Secretary shall furnish, when requested, an 
appropriate Government headstone or marker at the expense of 
the United States for the grave of an individual described in 
paragraph (2) or (5) of subsection (a) who is buried in a 
private cemetery, notwithstanding that the grave is marked by a 
headstone or marker furnished at private expense. Such a 
headstone or marker may be furnished only if the individual 
making the request for the Government headstone or marker 
certifies to the Secretary that the headstone or marker will be 
placed on the grave for which the headstone or marker is 
requested, or, if placement on the grave is impossible or 
impracticable, as close as possible to the grave within the 
grounds of the cemetery in which the grave is located.
  (2) Any headstone or marker furnished under this subsection 
shall be delivered by the Secretary directly to the cemetery 
where the grave is located or to a receiving agent for delivery 
to the cemetery.
  (3) The headstone or marker furnished under this subsection 
shall be the headstone or marker selected by the individual 
making the request from among all the headstones and markers 
made available by the Government for selection.
  (4) In lieu of furnishing a headstone or marker under this 
subsection, the Secretary may furnish, upon request, a 
medallion or other device of a design determined by the 
Secretary to signify the deceased's status as a veteran, to be 
attached to a headstone or marker furnished at private expense.
  (5)(A) In carrying out this subsection with respect to a 
deceased individual described in subparagraph (C), the 
Secretary shall furnish, upon request, a headstone or marker 
under paragraph (1) or a medallion under paragraph (4) that 
signifies the deceased's status as a Medal of Honor recipient.
  (B) If the Secretary furnished a headstone, marker, or 
medallion under paragraph (1) or (4) for a deceased individual 
described in subparagraph (C) that does not signify the 
deceased's status as a Medal of Honor recipient, the Secretary 
shall, upon request, replace such headstone, marker, or 
medallion with a headstone, marker, or medallion, as the case 
may be, that so signifies the deceased's status as a Medal of 
Honor recipient.
  (C) A deceased individual described in this subparagraph is a 
deceased individual who--
          (i) served in the Armed Forces on or after April 6, 
        1917;
          (ii) is eligible for a headstone or marker furnished 
        under paragraph (1) or a medallion furnished under 
        paragraph (4) (or would be so eligible for such 
        headstone, marker, or medallion but for the date of the 
        death of the individual); and
          (iii) was awarded the Medal of Honor (including 
        posthumously).
  (e)(1) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall provide an 
outer burial receptacle for each new grave in an open cemetery 
under the control of the National Cemetery Administration in 
which remains are interred in a casket. The Secretary of the 
Army may provide an outer burial receptacle for such a grave in 
the Arlington National Cemetery.
  (2) The use of outer burial receptacles in a cemetery under 
the control of the National Cemetery Administration or in the 
Arlington National Cemetery shall be in accordance with 
regulations or procedures approved by the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs or Secretary of the Army, respectively.
  (3) Regulations or procedures under paragraph (2) may specify 
that--
          (A) an outer burial receptacle other than a grave 
        liner be provided in lieu of a grave liner at the 
        election of the survivors of the interred veteran; and
          (B) if an outer burial receptacle other than a grave 
        liner is provided in lieu of a grave liner upon an 
        election of such survivors, such survivors be 
        required--
                  (i) to pay the amount by which the cost of 
                the outer burial receptacle exceeds the cost of 
                the grave liner that would otherwise have been 
                provided in the absence of the election; and
                  (ii) to pay the amount of the administrative 
                costs incurred by the Secretary (or, with 
                respect to Arlington National Cemetery, the 
                Secretary of the Army) in providing the outer 
                burial receptacle in lieu of such grave liner.
  (4) Regulations or procedures under paragraph (2) may provide 
for the use of a voucher system, or other system of 
reimbursement approved by the Secretary (or, with respect to 
Arlington National Cemetery, the Secretary of the Army), for 
payment for outer burial receptacles other than grave liners 
provided under such regulations or procedures.
  (f) The Secretary may furnish a casket or urn, of such 
quality as the Secretary considers appropriate for a dignified 
burial, for burial in a national cemetery of a deceased veteran 
in any case in which the Secretary--
          (1) is unable to identify the veteran's next of kin, 
        if any; and
          (2) determines that sufficient resources for the 
        furnishing of a casket or urn for the burial of the 
        veteran in a national cemetery are not otherwise 
        available.
  (g)(1) When the Secretary has furnished a headstone or marker 
under subsection (a) for the unmarked grave of an individual, 
the Secretary shall, if feasible, add a memorial inscription to 
that headstone or marker rather than furnishing a separate 
headstone or marker under that subsection for the surviving 
spouse or eligible dependent child of such individual.
  (2) When the Secretary has furnished a memorial headstone or 
marker under subsection (b) for purposes of commemorating a 
veteran or an individual who died in the active military, 
naval, or air service, the Secretary shall, if feasible, add a 
memorial inscription to that headstone or marker rather than 
furnishing a separate memorial headstone or marker under that 
subsection for the surviving spouse or eligible dependent child 
of such individual.
  (h)(1) A headstone or marker may not be furnished under 
subsection (a) for the unmarked grave of a person described in 
section 2411(b) of this title.
  (2) A memorial headstone or marker may not be furnished under 
subsection (b) for the purpose of commemorating a person 
described in section 2411(b) of this title.
  (3) A headstone or marker may not be furnished under 
subsection (d) for the grave of a person described in section 
2411(b) of this title.
  (4) A casket or urn may not be furnished under subsection (f) 
for burial of a person described in section 2411(b) of this 
title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 2308. Transportation of deceased veteran to a national cemetery  
                    or a veterans' cemetery

  [(a) In General.--The Secretary may pay, in addition to any 
amount paid pursuant to section 2302 or 2307 of this title, the 
cost of transportation of the deceased veteran described in 
subsection (b) for burial in a national cemetery. Such payment 
shall not exceed the cost of transportation to the national 
cemetery nearest the veteran's last place of residence in which 
burial space is available.]
  (a) In General.--(1) The Secretary may pay, in addition to 
any amount paid pursuant to section 2302 or 2307 of this title, 
the cost of transportation of the deceased veteran described in 
paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (b) for burial in a national 
cemetery or a covered veterans' cemetery. Such payment shall 
not exceed the cost of transportation to the national cemetery 
nearest the veteran's last place of residence in which burial 
space is available.
  (2) The Secretary may pay, in addition to any amount paid 
pursuant to section 2302 or 2307 of this title, the cost of 
transportation of the deceased veteran described in subsection 
(b)(3) for burial in a national cemetery. Such payment shall 
not exceed the cost of transportation to the national cemetery 
nearest the veteran's last place of residence in which burial 
space is available.
  (b) Deceased Veteran Described.--A deceased veteran described 
in this subsection is any of the following veterans:
          (1) A veteran who dies as the result of a service-
        connected disability.
          (2) A veteran who dies while in receipt of disability 
        compensation (or who but for the receipt of retirement 
        pay or pension under this title, would have been 
        entitled to compensation).
          (3) A veteran whom the Secretary determines is 
        eligible for funeral expenses under section 2302 of 
        this title by virtue of the Secretary determining that 
        the veteran has no next of kin or other person claiming 
        the body of such veteran pursuant to subsection 
        (a)(2)(A) of such section.
  (c) Covered Veterans' Cemetery Defined.--In this section, the 
term ``covered veterans' cemetery'' means, with respect to a 
deceased veteran described in subsection (b), a veterans' 
cemetery owned by a State or a tribal organization (as defined 
in section 3765(4) of this title) in which the deceased veteran 
is eligible to be buried.

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