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115th Congress   }                                   {  Rept. 115-974
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session      }                                   {         Part 1

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



 
          DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY VETERANS' HEALTH INITIATIVE ACT

                                _______
                                

 September 25, 2018.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

     Mr. Smith of Texas, from the Committee on Science, Space, and 
                  Technology, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 6398]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 6398) to authorize the Department 
of Energy to conduct collaborative research with the Department 
of Veterans Affairs in order to improve healthcare services for 
veterans in the United States, 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
Committee Statement and Views....................................     3
Section-by-Section...............................................     7
Explanation of Amendments........................................     8
Committee Consideration..........................................     8
Correspondence...................................................     9
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................    11
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................    11
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............    11
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................    11
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................    11
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................    11
Unfunded Mandate Statement.......................................    11
Earmark Identification...........................................    12
Committee Estimate...............................................    12
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...    12

    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 ``Department of Energy Veterans' Health 
Initiative Act''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) Department.--The term ``Department'' means the Department 
        of Energy.
          (2) National laboratory.--The term ``National Laboratory'' 
        has the meaning given that term in section 2 of the Energy 
        Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 15801).
          (3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        Energy.

SEC. 3. PURPOSES.

  The purposes of this Act are to advance Department of Energy 
expertise in artificial intelligence and high performance computing in 
order to improve health outcomes for veteran populations by--
          (1) supporting basic research through the application of 
        artificial intelligence, high performance computing, modeling 
        and simulation, machine learning, and large scale data 
        analytics to identify and solve outcome-defined challenges in 
        the health sciences;
          (2) maximizing the impact of health and genomics data 
        provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as 
        other sources, on science, innovation, and health care outcomes 
        through the use and advancement of artificial intelligence and 
        high-performance computing capabilities of the Department of 
        Energy;
          (3) promoting collaborative research through the 
        establishment of partnerships to improve data sharing between 
        Federal agencies, National Laboratories, institutions of higher 
        education, and nonprofit institutions;
          (4) establishing multiple scientific computing user 
        facilities to house and provision available data to foster 
        transformational outcomes; and
          (5) driving the development of technology to improve 
        artificial intelligence, high performance computing, and 
        networking relevant to mission applications of the Department 
        of Energy, including modeling, simulation, machine learning, 
        and advanced data analytics.

SEC. 4. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY VETERANS HEALTH RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary shall establish and carry out a 
research program in artificial intelligence and high performance 
computing, focused on the development of tools to solve big data 
challenges associated with veteran's healthcare, and to support the 
efforts of the Department of Veterans Affairs to identify potential 
health risks and challenges utilizing data on long term healthcare, 
health risks, and genomic data collected from veteran populations. The 
Secretary shall carry out this program through a competitive, merit-
reviewed process, and consider applications from National Laboratories, 
institutions of higher education, multi-institutional collaborations, 
and other appropriate entities.
  (b) Program Components.--In carrying out the program established 
under subsection (a), the Secretary may--
          (1) conduct basic research in modeling and simulation, 
        machine learning, large scale data analytics, and predictive 
        analysis in order to develop novel or optimized algorithms for 
        prediction of disease treatment and recovery;
          (2) develop methods to accommodate large data sets with 
        variable quality and scale, and to provide insight and models 
        for complex systems;
          (3) develop new approaches and maximize the use of algorithms 
        developed through artificial intelligence, machine learning, 
        data analytics, natural language processing, modeling and 
        simulation, and develop new algorithms suitable for high 
        performance computing systems and large biomedical data sets;
          (4) advance existing and construct new data enclaves capable 
        of securely storing data sets provided by the Department of 
        Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, and other sources; and
          (5) promote collaboration and data sharing between National 
        Laboratories, research entities, and user facilities of the 
        Department by providing the necessary access and secure data 
        transfer capabilities.
  (c) Coordination.--In carrying out the program required under 
subsection (a), the Secretary is authorized to--
          (1) enter into a memorandum of understanding in order to 
        carry out a reimbursable agreement with the Department of 
        Veterans Affairs and other entities in order to maximize the 
        effectiveness of Department of Energy research and development 
        to improve veterans' healthcare; and
          (2) consult with the Department of Veterans Affairs and other 
        Federal agencies as appropriate.
  (d) Report.--Not later than two years after the date of the enactment 
of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the 
House of Representatives, and the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate, a 
report detailing the effectiveness of--
          (1) the interagency coordination between each Federal agency 
        involved in the research program carried out under this 
        section;
          (2) collaborative research achievements of the program; and
          (3) potential opportunities to expand the technical 
        capabilities of the Department.
  (e) Funding.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall devote 
$27,000,000 to carry out this section during fiscal years 2019 through 
2023, subject to the availability of appropriations, to come from 
amounts made available for medical and prosthetic research. This 
section shall be carried out using funds otherwise appropriated by law 
after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 5. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, DATA ANALYTICS, AND COMPUTATIONAL 
                    RESEARCH PILOT PROGRAM.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary shall carry out a pilot program to 
develop tools for big data analytics by utilizing data sets generated 
by Federal agencies, institutions of higher education, nonprofit 
research organizations, and industry in order to advance artificial 
intelligence technologies to solve complex, big data challenges. The 
Secretary shall carry out this program through a competitive, merit-
reviewed process, and consider applications from National Laboratories, 
institutions of higher education, multi-institutional collaborations, 
and other appropriate entities.
  (b) Program Components.--In carrying out the pilot program 
established under subsection (a), the Secretary may--
          (1) establish a cross-cutting research initiative to prevent 
        duplication and coordinate research efforts in artificial 
        intelligence and data analytics across the Department;
          (2) conduct basic research in modeling and simulation, 
        artificial intelligence, machine learning, large scale data 
        analytics, natural language processing, and predictive analysis 
        in order to develop novel or optimized predictive algorithms 
        suitable for high performance computing systems and large 
        biomedical data sets;
          (3) develop multivariate optimization models to accommodate 
        large data sets with variable quality and scale in order to 
        visualize complex systems;
          (4) establish multiple scientific computing user facilities 
        to serve as data enclaves capable of securely storing data sets 
        created by Federal agencies, institutions of higher education, 
        nonprofit organizations, or industry at National Laboratories; 
        and
          (5) promote collaboration and data sharing between National 
        Laboratories, research entities, and user facilities of the 
        Department by providing the necessary access and secure data 
        transfer capabilities.
  (c) Report.--Not later than two years after the date of the enactment 
of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee 
on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate a report evaluating the 
effectiveness of the pilot program under subsection (a), including 
basic research discoveries achieved in the course of the program and 
potential opportunities to expand the technical capabilities of the 
Department through the development of artificial intelligence and data 
analytics technologies.
  (d) Funding.--For purposes of carrying out this section, the 
Secretary of Energy shall devote $52,000,000 to carry out this section, 
which shall include $26,000,000 for each fiscal years 2019 and 2020, 
subject to the availability of appropriations. This section shall be 
carried out using funds otherwise appropriated by law after the date of 
enactment of this Act.

SEC. 6. SPENDING LIMITATION.

  No additional funds are authorized to be appropriated to carry out 
this Act and the amendments made by this Act, and this Act and such 
amendments shall be carried out using amounts otherwise available for 
such purpose.

                     Committee Statement and Views


                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    H.R. 6398, the ``Department of Energy Veterans' Health 
Initiative Act,'' was introduced by Science Subcommittee on 
Environment Vice Chairman Ralph Norman. The purpose of H.R. 
6398 is to authorize the Department of Energy (DOE, or the 
Department) to conduct collaborative research with the 
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in order to solve complex, 
big data challenges focused on veterans' health care and basic 
science.
    This bill also authorizes a two-year, cross-cutting 
research pilot program to advance research in artificial 
intelligence, data analytics, and computational research. This 
pilot program will support DOE's efforts to improve the 
analysis and interpretation of big data challenges in order to 
meet the nuclear security, energy, and science mission goals of 
the Department.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    DOE funds basic research in high performance computing, 
artificial intelligence, modeling and simulation, machine 
learning, and large-scale data analytics across the DOE 
national lab system. The Department also owns research 
infrastructure, including the world's fastest supercomputers, 
and can provide tools and technical expertise in support of 
industry, academia, and other federal agencies' efforts to 
solve complex technology challenges.
    The VA healthcare system offers one example of a complex 
data set that could benefit from support and analysis provided 
through the DOE national lab system. Through its voluntary data 
collection program entitled the Million Veteran Program (MVP), 
the VA has collected detailed health information and genomic 
data on over 600,000 veterans. MVP was established in order to 
examine how genomic variation influences the progression of 
disease and response to different treatments.
    The VA, however, lacks the tools to effectively analyze 
this complex data. In order to maximize the potential for 
analysis, DOE and the VA have partnered together to plan a 
joint research venture that will benefit both agencies. The 
partnership combines the healthcare and genomic data generated 
through MVP with DOE's world-leading high-performance computing 
and data analytics capabilities.
    The combined MVP CHAMPION (Million Veterans Program 
Computational Health Analytics for Medical Precision to Improve 
Outcomes Now) initiative will allow DOE and the VA to establish 
a scientific computing environment that will not only house, 
protect, and provide MVP data to researchers within the DOE 
national lab system, but also facilitate the development of big 
data analytical tools to foster transformational science across 
the DOE mission. Through the development and application of 
complex computer models that detect patterns in the VA's data, 
DOE will be able to identify potential causes and warning signs 
of various diseases. This analysis could lead to information 
that could potentially transform the healthcare the VA offers 
to veterans, particularly through early diagnoses or developing 
more effective treatment mechanisms.
    Further, the MVP will provide enhanced health data through 
the collection of genetic, lifestyle, military exposure, and 
health information about veterans that can be used to 
understand how genes and environment affect health and illness.
    This program will also benefit DOE basic research needs by 
providing a large data set from which to develop computing 
tools, technologies, and techniques that can be applied to 
DOE's core mission research. In order to further the 
capabilities achieved through the partnership with the VA, DOE 
has also established a stand-alone artificial intelligence and 
big data initiative to explore broader applications of these 
computing techniques within the DOE core mission.
    H.R. 6398 is designed to act on the assessments of the DOE, 
the VA and the scientific community. Based on the 
recommendations provided in the April 2017 report, ``VA-DOE 
Joint Workshop for MVP-CHAMPION,'' this legislation directs DOE 
to conduct collaborative research with the VA by establishing a 
formal program to leverage the Department's expertise in high 
performance computing in order to analyze VA-provided health 
and genomics data. The bill provides DOE the authority to 
conduct basic research to develop algorithms and optimization 
models suited to analyzing large biomedical data sets, and to 
establish data enclaves to securely store and transmit data 
provided by the VA.
    H.R. 6398 also establishes a pilot program within DOE to 
implement a cross-cutting research initiative in artificial 
intelligence, data analytics, and computational research. This 
pilot program will support DOE's efforts to improve the 
analysis and interpretation of big data challenges in order to 
meet the nuclear security, energy, and science mission goals of 
the Department. The bill provides the Secretary the authority 
to establish user facilities that can serve as secure data 
enclaves, in order to accommodate and analyze large data sets 
and visualize complex systems.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    On January 30, 2018, the Committee held a hearing titled, 
``Department of Energy: Management and Priorities.'' Witnesses 
were: The Honorable Paul Dabbar, Under Secretary for Science, 
U.S. Department of Energy; and the Honorable Mark Menezes, 
Under Secretary of Energy, U.S. Department of Energy.
    On March 14, 2018, the Committee held a hearing titled, 
``National Laboratories: World-Leading Innovation in Science.'' 
Witnesses were: Dr. Mark Peters, Director, Idaho National 
Laboratory; Dr. Susan Seestrom, Advanced Science and Technology 
Associate Laboratory Director and Chief Research Officer, 
Sandia National Laboratory; Dr. Mary E. Maxon, Associate 
Laboratory Director for Biosciences, Lawrence Berkeley National 
Laboratory; Dr. Chi-Chang Kao, Director, Stanford Linear 
Accelerator Center, National Accelerator Laboratory; and Dr. 
Paul Kearns, Director, Argonne National Laboratory.
    On May 9, 2018, the Committee held a hearing titled, ``An 
Overview of the Budget Proposal for the Department of Energy 
for Fiscal Year 2019.'' The witness was the Honorable Rick 
Perry, Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy.
    On May 22, 2018, the Research and Technology Subcommittee 
and the Energy Subcommittee held a hearing titled, ``Empowering 
U.S. Veterans Through Technology.'' Witnesses were: Dr. Dimitri 
Kusnezov, Chief Scientist, National Nuclear Security 
Administration, U.S. Department of Energy; Mr. Christopher 
Meek, Founder and Chairman, SoldierStrong; Ms. Martha 
MacCallum, Advisory Board Member, SoldierStrong; Mr. John 
Wordin, President and Founder, Project Hero; and Dr. Matthew J. 
Major, Research Health Scientist and Assistant Professor of 
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Northwestern University.
    On June 26, 2018, the Research and Technology Subcommittee 
and the Energy Subcommittee held a hearing titled, ``Artificial 
Intelligence--With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.'' 
Witnesses were: Dr. Jaime Carbonell, Director, Language 
Technologies Institute, and Allen Newell Professor, School of 
Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University; Dr. Tim Persons, 
Chief Scientist, U.S. Government Accountability Office; Mr. 
Greg Brockman, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, OpenAI; 
and Dr. Fei-Fei Li, Chairperson of the Board and Co-Founder, 
AI4ALL.
    On July 12, 2018, the Energy Subcommittee and the Research 
and Technology Subcommittee held a hearing titled, ``Big Data 
Challenges and Advanced Computing Solutions.'' Witnesses were: 
Dr. Bobby Kasthuri, Researcher, Argonne National Laboratory and 
Assistant Professor at The University of Chicago; Dr. Katherine 
Yelick, Associate Laboratory Director for Computing Sciences, 
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Professor at The 
University of California, Berkeley; Dr. Matthew Nielsen, 
Principal Scientist, Industrial Outcomes Optimization, GE 
Global Research; and Dr. Anthony Rollett, U.S. Steel Professor 
of Materials Science and Engineering, Carnegie Mellon 
University.
    On July 17, 2018, Representative Ralph Norman introduced 
H.R. 6398, which was referred primarily to the Committee on 
Science, Space, and Technology.
    On July 18, 2018, the Committee on Science, Space, and 
Technology approved and ordered reported H.R. 6398, the 
``Department of Energy Veterans' Health Initiative Act,'' as 
amended, by voice vote.

                            COMMITTEE VIEWS

Department of Energy Veterans' Health Research Initiative

    The Committee recognizes that high performance computing 
(HPC) modeling supports nearly every area of technological 
advancement and encourages DOE to develop next generation 
computing facilities through its Advanced Scientific Computing 
Research (ASCR) program within the DOE Office of Science. In 
addition to world class supercomputing user facilities, the 
Department hosts a number of strategic computational 
partnerships like the Scientific Discovery through Advanced 
Computing (SciDAC) program, the Energy Sciences Network 
(ESnet), and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing 
Center (NERSC). With these capabilities, DOE has a specific 
research capability and mission need to address big data 
challenges, and is also uniquely positioned to advance 
artificial intelligence and machine learning-based approaches 
to solving these challenges.
    The Committee calls for the use of the Department's unique 
computing capabilities and infrastructure to support 
comprehensive research in data analytics related to veterans' 
healthcare and services. The Committee finds that further 
collaboration between DOE and VA can provide significant 
benefits to both parties, particularly in addressing the needs 
of U.S. veteran populations and improving the already robust 
computing capabilities of the Department.

Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, and Computational Research 
        Pilot Program

    The Committee finds that DOE should continue its efforts in 
computer science and supporting research fields to address 
other big data challenges, and accordingly authorizes a pilot 
program to implement a DOE cross-cutting research initiative in 
artificial intelligence, data analytics, and computational 
research. The Committee recommends that the Department continue 
to expand its core capabilities in these areas, and apply 
computing techniques developed through its partnership with the 
VA to other significant big data challenges.
    Due to the broad applications possible in basic science 
research, applied energy research, and within the nuclear 
stockpile stewardship mission at DOE, the Committee recommends 
funding for this pilot program be provided equally from the 
Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security 
Administration (NNSA). In the delivery of the report required 
in Section 5 of this legislation, the Committee recommends that 
the Department provide recommendations on ways to expand this 
pilot program, including potential federal agencies who could 
benefit from the application of similar data-driven computing 
techniques.

                           Section-by-Section


Sec. 1. Short title

    This section establishes the short title for the bill as 
the ``Department of Energy Veterans' Health Initiative Act.''

Sec. 2. Definitions

    This section defines the terms ``Department,'' ``National 
Laboratory,'' and ``Secretary.''

Sec. 3. Purposes

    This section establishes that the purpose of the Act is to 
use DOE expertise in artificial intelligence and high 
performance computing to improve health outcomes for veterans 
and maximize the impact of VA health and genomics data by 
supporting basic research in artificial intelligence, high 
performance computing, modeling and simulation, machine 
learning, and large scale data analytics to identify and solve 
outcome-defined challenges in health sciences. This section 
also promotes collaboration through data sharing between 
federal agencies, national laboratories, institutions of higher 
learning, and nonprofit institutions, and encourages the 
establishment of scientific computing user facilities to house, 
protect, and provide available data.

Section 4. Department of Energy veterans health research and 
        development

    This section statutorily establishes a comprehensive 
research program in artificial intelligence and high-
performance computing to develop tools to solve big data 
challenges associated with veterans' healthcare through a 
partnership between DOE and the VA. This section also 
authorizes key areas of research, including the development of 
novel or optimized predictive algorithms, models to accommodate 
large data sets with complex biomedical data, and secure data 
transfer capabilities. It also authorizes the construction and 
improvement of data enclaves for secure data storage.
    This section authorizes the DOE Secretary to enter into a 
memorandum of understanding with the VA and other entities to 
maximize research and development to improve veterans' 
healthcare. The Secretary is also required to submit a report 
evaluating the effectiveness of the interagency coordination 
between each agency involved, the research achievements, and 
the potential opportunities to expand the technical 
capabilities of the Department to relevant congressional 
committees no later than two years after the date of enactment.
    This section authorizes the VA to provide a total of 
$27,000,000 to be used to carry out this section during fiscal 
years 2019 through 2023.

Sec. 5. Artificial intelligence, data analytics, and computational 
        research pilot program

    This section establishes a DOE pilot program to advance 
artificial intelligence technologies to solve complex, big data 
challenges by utilizing data sets generated by Federal 
agencies, institutions of higher education, nonprofit research 
organizations, and industry.
    This section authorizes the DOE Secretary to establish a 
cross-cutting research program to coordinate research efforts 
across the Department, including the development of novel or 
optimized predictive algorithms, models to accommodate large 
data sets, and secure data transfer and storage capabilities. 
The Secretary is also required to submit a report evaluating 
the effectiveness of the pilot program, the research 
achievements, and the potential opportunities to expand the 
technical capabilities of the Department to the relevant 
congressional committees no later than two years after the date 
of enactment.
    This section authorizes the Department of Energy to provide 
a total of $52,000,000 to carry out the activities in this 
section, with $26,000,000 authorized for each of fiscal years 
2019 and 2020.

Sec. 6. Spending limitation

    This section states that no additional funds are authorized 
to be appropriated to carry out this Act and the amendments 
made by this Act, and requires that this Act and such 
amendments be carried out using amounts otherwise available for 
such purpose.

                       Explanation of Amendments

    A manager's amendment offered by Representative Neal Dunn 
was adopted by the Committee. The amendment made technical 
changes to the bill.

                        Committee Consideration

    On July 18, 2018, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered reported favorably the bill, H.R. 6398, as amended, by 
voice vote, a quorum being present.


              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch where the bill relates to the terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations. 
This bill establishes a collaborative research program between 
DOE and the VA in order to solve complex, big data challenges 
focused on veterans' health care and basic science. As such 
this bill does not relate to employment or access to public 
services and accommodations.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    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

    H.R. 6398 establishes a collaborative research program 
between DOE and the VA in order to solve complex, big data 
challenges focused on veterans' health care and basic science. 
This bill also authorizes a two-year, cross-cutting research 
pilot program to advance research in artificial intelligence, 
data analytics, and computational research at DOE.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H.R. 6398 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

    The Committee estimates that enacting H.R. 6398 does not 
direct the completion of any specific rule makings within the 
meaning of 5 U.S.C. 551.

                     Federal Advisory Committee Act

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not establish 
or authorize the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the definition of 5 U.S.C. App., Section 5(b).

                       Unfunded Mandate Statement

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandate Reform Act, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement as to 
whether the provisions of the reported include unfunded 
mandates. In compliance with this requirement the Committee has 
received a letter from the Congressional Budget Office included 
herein.

                         Earmark Identification

    H.R. 6398 does not include any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI.

                           Committee Estimate

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs that would be incurred in carrying out 
H.R. 6398. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) of that rule provides 
that this requirement does not apply when the Committee has 
included in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the 
bill prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act.

     Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements 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 following cost estimate for H.R. 6398 from the Director of 
Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 25, 2018.
Hon. Lamar Smith,
Chairman, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 6398, the 
Department of Energy Veterans' Health Initiative Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Janani 
Shankaran.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H,R, 6398--Department of Energy Veterans' Health Initiative Act

    Summary: H.R. 6398 would require $79 million in 
appropriated funds to be used by the Department of Energy (DOE) 
to carry out a pilot program on big data analytics and for the 
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and DOE to conduct 
collaborative research on veterans' healthcare issues. CBO 
estimates implementing H.R. 6398 would cost $76 million over 
the 2019-2023 period, assuming the availability of those 
appropriated amounts.
    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. 6398 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    H.R. 6398 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary effect of H.R. 6398 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of the legislation fall within budget functions 250 
(general science, space, and technology) and 700 (veterans 
benefits and services).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                      ----------------------------------------------------------
                                                        2018    2019    2020    2021    2022    2023   2019-2023
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 INCREASES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
 
Department of Energy:
    Estimated Authorization Level....................       0      26      26       0       0       0        52
    Estimated Outlays................................       0      14      22      12       4       0        52
Department of Veterans Affairs:
    Estimated Authorization Level....................       0       6       6       5       5       5        27
    Estimated Outlays................................       0       4       5       5       5       5        24
    Total:
        Estimated Authorization Level................       0      32      32       5       5       5        79
        Estimated Outlays............................       0      18      27      17       9       5        76
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes the 
legislation will be enacted near the end of 2018 and that the 
necessary amounts will be available each year as specified. 
Estimated outlays are based on historical spending patterns for 
the affected activities.
    Section 6 of the bill states that no additional funds are 
authorized to be appropriated by H.R. 6398. In CBO's view, 
however, when a law imposes a new requirement on an agency 
(such as preparing a plan or completing a study), complying 
with that new requirement would entail the use of resources, 
and the cost of carrying out that requirement would be the 
amount of resources used. Because the requirements in this bill 
would apply to future fiscal years, for which appropriations 
have not yet been determined--they could, in fact, influence 
the amount of budget authority available to the agency in the 
future. Even if future funding was not affected, the agency 
would have to spend appropriated resources on that new activity 
instead of spending them to carry out other responsibilities.

Department of Energy

    Section 5 would authorize appropriations of $52 million to 
be used over the 2019-2020 period for DOE to carry out a pilot 
program to advance the use of artificial intelligence for big 
data analytics. H.R. 6398 also would direct DOE to submit a 
report to the Congress evaluating the effectiveness of that 
pilot program. CBO estimates that implementing section 5 would 
cost $52 million over the 2019-2023 period.

Department of Veterans Affairs

    Section 4 would authorize appropriations of $27 million to 
be used by VA and DOE to implement a collaborative research 
program to analyze large-scale health and genomic data over the 
2019-2023 period. The bill does not specify the amount for each 
year, so CBO assumes that between $5 million to $6 million 
would be used each year. In 2017, VA initiated plans to partner 
with DOE to use the high-performance computing capabilities at 
DOE's national laboratories to identify health trends using 
genomic data from more than 600,000 veteran volunteers. VA 
spent $6 million in 2017 for such efforts.
    Under the bill, VA would reimburse DOE for research 
expenses associated with the program. The bill also would 
require DOE to submit a report to the Congress on those 
collaborative efforts. CBO estimates that implementing section 
4 would cost $24 million over the 2019-2023 period.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Increase in long-term direct spending and deficits: CBO 
estimates that enacting H.R. 6398 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    Mandates: H.R. 6398 contains no intergovernmental or 
private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Janani Shankaran 
(Department of Energy), Ann Futrell (Department of Veterans 
Affairs); Mandates: Jon Sperl.
    Estimate reviewed by: Kim P. Cawley, Chief, Natural and 
Physical Resources Cost Estimates Unit; Sarah Jennings, Chief, 
Defense, International Affairs & Veterans Affairs Cost 
Estimates Unit; H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant Director 
for Budget Analysis.

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