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115th Congress  }                                           {  Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session    }                                           {  115-190

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

 
          VETERANS EXPANDED TRUCKING OPPORTUNITIES ACT OF 2017

                                _______
                                

 June 23, 2017.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Shuster, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2547]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 2547) to expand the Department of 
Veterans Affairs medical professionals who may qualify to 
perform physical examinations on eligible veterans and issue 
medical certificates required for operation of a commercial 
motor vehicle, 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
Purpose of Legislation...........................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
Legislative History and Consideration............................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     3
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     3
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     3
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     4
Advisory of Earmarks.............................................     4
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     5
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     5
Federal Mandate Statement........................................     5
Preemption Clarification.........................................     5
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     5
Applicability of Legislative Branch..............................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis of Legislation.......................     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     6
    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Veterans Expanded Trucking 
Opportunities Act of 2017''.

SEC. 2. MEDICAL CERTIFICATE FOR VETERANS OPERATING COMMERCIAL MOTOR 
                    VEHICLES.

  (a) Qualified Examiners.--Section 5403(d)(2) of the FAST Act (49 
U.S.C. 31149 note; 129 Stat. 1548) is amended to read as follows:
          ``(2) Qualified examiner.--The term `qualified examiner' 
        means an individual who--
                  ``(A) is employed in the Department of Veterans 
                Affairs as an advanced practice nurse, doctor of 
                chiropractic, doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, 
                physician assistant, or other medical professional;
                  ``(B) is licensed, certified, or registered in a 
                State to perform physical examinations;
                  ``(C) is familiar with the standards for, and 
                physical requirements of, an operator required to be 
                medically certified under section 31149 of title 49, 
                United States Code; and
                  ``(D) has never, with respect to such section, been 
                found to have acted fraudulently, including by 
                fraudulently awarding a medical certificate.''.
  (b) Conforming Amendments.--Section 5403 of the FAST Act (49 U.S.C. 
31149 note; 129 Stat. 1548) is amended--
          (1) in subsection (a)--
                  (A) by striking ``physician-approved veteran 
                operator,'' and inserting ``veteran operator approved 
                by a qualified examiner,''; and
                  (B) by striking ``qualified physician'' and inserting 
                ``qualified examiner'';
          (2) in subsection (b)(1)--
                  (A) by striking ``the physician'' and inserting ``the 
                examiner''; and
                  (B) by striking ``qualified physician'' and inserting 
                ``qualified examiner'';
          (3) in subsection (c)--
                  (A) by striking ``qualified physicians'' and 
                inserting ``qualified examiners''; and
                  (B) by striking ``such physicians'' and inserting 
                ``such examiners''; and
          (4) in subsection (d)(1)--
                  (A) in the paragraph heading by striking ``Physician-
                approved veteran operator'' and inserting ``Veteran 
                operator approved by a qualified examiner''; and
                  (B) by striking ``physician-approved veteran 
                operator'' and inserting ``veteran operator approved by 
                a qualified examiner''.
  (c) Rulemaking.--The amendments made by this section shall be 
incorporated into any rulemaking proceeding related to section 5403 of 
the FAST Act (49 U.S.C. 31149 note; 129 Stat. 1548) that is being 
conducted as of the date of enactment of this Act.

                         Purpose of Legislation

    H.R. 2547 expands the number of Department of Veterans 
Affairs (VA) medical professionals who may qualify under an 
alternative process to perform physical examinations on 
eligible veterans and issue medical certificates required for 
operation of a commercial motor vehicle, and for other 
purposes.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act; 
P.L. 114-94) created an alternative process only for VA doctors 
of medicine and doctors of osteopathy to qualify to perform 
physical examinations on eligible veterans and then issue the 
medical certificates required for such veterans to operate a 
commercial motor vehicle.
    H.R. 2547 expands eligibility for the alternative process 
under the FAST Act to all VA medical professionals, including 
advanced practical nurses, doctors of chiropractic, physician 
assistants, and other medical professionals, provided that they 
are authorized by the state in which they are licensed, 
certified, or registered to perform physical examinations, and 
that they meet other requirements.
    This bill ensures that the list of eligible medical 
professionals within the VA matches the list of eligible 
medical professionals that can become certified under the 
traditional Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 
process.

                                Hearings

    No hearings were held on H.R. 2547.

                 Legislative History and Consideration

    On May 18, 2017, Congressman Rob Woodall (R-GA) and 
Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) introduced H.R. 2547.
    On May 24, 2017, the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure met in open session to consider H.R. 2547. 
Congressman Sam Graves (R-MO) offered an amendment to make a 
technical correction to the bill, which was adopted by a voice 
vote. The Committee ordered the bill, as amended, reported 
favorably to the House by a voice vote with a quorum present.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires each committee report to include the 
total number of votes cast for and against on each record vote 
on a motion to report and on any amendment offered to the 
measure or matter, and the names of those members voting for 
and against. There were no recorded votes taken in connection 
with consideration of H.R. 2547.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2547 from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 21, 2017.
Hon. Bill Shuster,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2547, the Veterans 
Expanded Trucking Opportunities Act of 2017.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Ann E. 
Futrell.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 2547--Veterans Expanded Trucking Opportunities Act of 2017

    H.R. 2547 would expand the types of medical professionals 
at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) who could certify 
that veterans meet the physical standards required to operate 
commercial motor vehicles. Currently at VA facilities only 
physicians may perform the physical examinations and issue the 
medical certificates required for commercial driver's licenses 
(CDLs). H.R. 2547 would allow advanced practical nurses, 
chiropractors, physician assistants, and other qualified 
medical professionals to perform those duties.
    According to the Department of Transportation, physicians 
at VA have provided roughly 13,000 medical exams related to 
CDLs over the past two years. CBO expects that expanding the 
number of staff at VA who could issue the medical certificates 
would not lead to additional costs related to exams. Therefore, 
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 2547 would cost less than 
$500,000 over the 2018-2022 period to prepare regulations; any 
such spending would be subject to the availability of 
appropriated funds.
    Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO 
estimates that enacting H.R. 2547 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 2547 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 Ann E. Futrell. 
The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
performance goal and objective of this legislation is to ease 
the transition for our veterans who are reentering civilian 
life.

                          Advisory of Earmarks

    Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, the Committee is required to include a list 
of congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited 
tariff benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of 
rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives. No 
provision in the bill includes an earmark, limited tax benefit, 
or limited tariff benefit under clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of 
rule XXI.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(5) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that no provision 
of H.R. 2547 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 Rule Makings

    Pursuant to section 3(i) of H. Res. 5, 115th Cong. (2017), 
the Committee finds that enacting H.R. 2547 does not direct the 
completion of a specific rule making within the meaning of 
section 551 of title 5, United States Code.

                       Federal Mandate Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act (Public Law 104-4).

                        Preemption Clarification

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the 
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state, local, 
or tribal law. The Committee states that H.R. 2547 does not 
preempt any state, local, or tribal law.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act are created by this 
legislation.

                  Applicability of 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 (Public Law 
104-1).

               Section-by-Section Analysis of Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 is the short title of the bill, which is the 
``Veterans Expanded Trucking Opportunities Act of 2017''.

Section 2. Medical certificate for veterans operating commercial motor 
        vehicles

    Section 2 enables all VA medical professionals, including 
advanced practice nurses, doctors of chiropractic, and 
physician assistants, who are eligible to receive a medical 
examiner certification under the traditional Federal Motor 
Carrier Safety Administration process, to become certified 
under an alternative process. This alternative process was 
established under the FAST Act and could only be used by 
doctors of medicine and doctors of osteopathy at the VA to 
become qualified to perform physical examinations on eligible 
veterans and issue the medical certificates required for such 
veterans to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

         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):

FAST ACT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



DIVISION A--SURFACE TRANSPORTATION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE V--MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subtitle D--Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 5403. MEDICAL CERTIFICATION OF VETERANS FOR COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S 
                    LICENSES.

  (a) In general.--In the case of a [physician-approved veteran 
operator,] veteran operator approved by a qualified examiner, 
the [qualified physician] qualified examiner of such operator 
may, subject to the requirements of subsection (b), perform a 
medical examination and provide a medical certificate for 
purposes of compliance with the requirements of section 31149 
of title 49, United States Code.
  (b) Certification.--The certification described under 
subsection (a) shall include--
          (1) assurances that [the physician] the examiner 
        performing the medical examination meets the 
        requirements of a [qualified physician] qualified 
        examiner under this section; and
          (2) certification that the physical condition of the 
        operator is adequate to enable such operator to operate 
        a commercial motor vehicle safely.
  (c) National Registry of Medical Examiners.--The Secretary, 
in consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, shall 
develop a process for [qualified physicians] qualified 
examiners to perform a medical examination and provide a 
medical certificate under subsection (a) and include [such 
physicians] such examiners on the national registry of medical 
examiners established under section 31149(d) of title 49, 
United States Code.
  (d) Definitions.--In this section, the following definitions 
apply:
          (1)  [Physician-approved veteran operator] Veteran 
        operator approved by a qualified examiner.--The term 
        ``[physician-approved veteran operator] veteran 
        operator approved by a qualified examiner'' means an 
        operator of a commercial motor vehicle who--
                  (A) is a veteran who is enrolled in the 
                health care system established under section 
                1705(a) of title 38, United States Code; and
                  (B) is required to have a current valid 
                medical certificate pursuant to section 31149 
                of title 49, United States Code.
          [(2) Qualified physician.--The term ``qualified 
        physician'' means a physician who--
                  [(A) is employed in the Department of 
                Veterans Affairs;
                  [(B) is familiar with the standards for, and 
                physical requirements of, an operator certified 
                pursuant to section 31149 of title 49, United 
                States Code; and
                  [(C) has never, with respect to such section, 
                been found to have acted fraudulently, 
                including by fraudulently awarding a medical 
                certificate.]
          (2) Qualified examiner.--The term ``qualified 
        examiner'' means an individual who--
                  (A) is employed in the Department of Veterans 
                Affairs as an advanced practice nurse, doctor 
                of chiropractic, doctor of medicine, doctor of 
                osteopathy, physician assistant, or other 
                medical professional;
                  (B) is licensed, certified, or registered in 
                a State to perform physical examinations;
                  (C) is familiar with the standards for, and 
                physical requirements of, an operator required 
                to be medically certified under section 31149 
                of title 49, United States Code; and
                  (D) has never, with respect to such section, 
                been found to have acted fraudulently, 
                including by fraudulently awarding a medical 
                certificate.
          (3) Veteran.--The term ``veteran'' has the meaning 
        given the term in section 101 of title 38, United 
        States Code.
  (e) Statutory Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be 
construed to change any statutory penalty associated with fraud 
or abuse.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *