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116th Congress     }                                   {        Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session       }                                   {       116-117

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



 
           BOOSTING RATES OF AMERICAN VETERAN EMPLOYMENT ACT

                                _______
                                

 June 18, 2019.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Takano, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2109]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 2109) to amend title 38, United States Code, to 
authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in awarding a 
contract for the procurement of goods or services, to give a 
preference to offerors that employ veterans, having considered 
the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommend that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

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

                          Purpose and Summary

    To amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in awarding a contract for the 
procurement of goods or services, to give a preference to 
offerors that employ veterans was introduced by Representative 
Kathleen Rice, along with Representative Paul Cook on April 4, 
2019. H.R. 2109 authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 
when awarding federal contracts, to give preference to 
companies that have high concentrations of full-time veteran 
employees, which will reward contractors that actively hire 
veterans and create an incentive for others to do the same.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) establishes long-
term contracts with private businesses for medical equipment, 
supplies, services, and more. Currently, the VA gives 
preference for these contracts to veteran-owned small 
businesses, but not to businesses that actively employ 
veterans.
    H.R. 2109 would allow the VA to consider the proportion of 
veterans employed on a full-time basis by a prospective 
contractor when awarding federal contracts. In addition, H.R. 
2109 would not impose any additional costs or burdens on 
taxpayers, and it provides oversight of VA contractors by 
allowing the debarment of any company that knowingly 
misrepresents the number or proportion of veterans they employ.
    H.R. 2109 provides oversight of VA contractors by allowing 
debarment, at the discretion of the VA Secretary, of those who 
intentionally misrepresent their proportion of veteran 
employees.
    The intent of the legislation is to incentivize businesses, 
both large and small, to focus on and improve their veteran 
hiring and retention practices. The Committee recommends that 
H.R. 2109, and the newly created Sec. 8129 titled ``Preference 
for offerors employing veterans,'' shall not be construed as a 
separate procurement strategy to Sec. 8128 and may only be 
taken into consideration by VA as part of the tiered 
evaluations process.

                                Hearings

    For the purposes of section 103(i) of H. Res. 6 of the 
116th Congress--the following hearings and meetings were used 
to develop or consider H.R. 2109.
    On April 9, 2019, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
conducted a legislative hearing on various bills introduced 
during the 116th Congress, including H.R. 2109.
    The following witnesses testified:
          Ms. Margarita Devlin, Principal Deputy Under 
        Secretary for Benefits, Veterans Benefits 
        Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 
        Ms. Ashlynne Haycock, Deputy Policy Director, Education 
        Support Services, Tragedy Assistance Program for 
        Survivors (TAPS). Mr. Patrick Murray, Deputy Director, 
        National Legislative Service, The Veterans of Foreign 
        Wars. Mr. John Kamin, Credentialing and Education 
        Policy Associate, National Veterans Employment and 
        Education Division, The American Legion. Ms. Rebecca 
        Burgess, Program Manager Citizenship Project, American 
        Enterprise Institute.
    Statements for the record were submitted by:
          Disabled American Veterans

                       Subcommittee Consideration

    On May 1, 2019, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
met in an open markup session, a quorum being present, and 
ordered H.R. 2109 reported favorably to the Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs by voice vote.
    During the May 1, 2019 consideration, the Subcommittee 
considered H.R. 2109 as introduced. No amendments were offered.

                        Committee Consideration

    On May 8, 2019, the Committee on Veterans' Affairs met in 
an open markup session, a quorum being present, and ordered 
H.R. 2109 reported favorably to the House of Representatives by 
voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the recorded 
votes on the motion to report the legislation and amendments 
thereto. There were no recorded votes taken on amendments or in 
connection with ordering H.R. 2109 reported to the House. A 
motion by Ranking Member Phil Roe of Tennessee to report H.R. 
2109 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's performance 
goals and objectives are to authorize the Department of 
Veterans Affairs' the ability to give preference to companies 
with high concentration of veteran employees when awarding 
Department contracts.

   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. 2109 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. 
2196 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. 2196 provided by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974:
    According to the Congressional Budget Office estimate, 
because H.R. 2109 would allow VA to earmark money to contract 
with employers of veterans but would not affect the underlying 
costs of administering VA programs, CBO estimates that 
implementing the provision would not affect the federal budget, 
and not have direct spending nor spending subject to 
appropriation.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, May 15, 2019.
Hon. Mark Takano,
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. 2109, the BRAVE 
Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Logan Smith.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

    [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>]
    

    H.R. 2109 would permit the Department of Veterans Affairs 
(VA) to give preference to firms that employ veterans when it 
awards contracts for goods and services. The bill also would 
establish penalties for firms that misrepresent the veteran 
status of employees when bidding on VA contracts. Under current 
law, VA can give preference to firms that are owned or 
controlled by veterans, and the department must set goals for 
the number of contracts awarded to such businesses.
    Because the bill would allow VA to earmark money to 
contract with employers of veterans but would not affect the 
underlying costs of administering VA programs, CBO estimates 
that implementing the provision would not affect the federal 
budget.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Logan Smith. The 
estimate was reviewed by Leo Lex, Deputy Assistant Director for 
Budget Analysis.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates regarding H.R. 2109 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. 
2109.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to Article I, section 8 of the United States 
Constitution, H.R. 2109 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. 2109 does not relate to the 
terms and conditions of employment or access to public services 
or accommodations within the legislative branch.

              Statement on 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. 2109 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 clause 3(c)(5) of rule XIII, the Committee 
estimates that H.R. 2109 contains no directed rule making that 
would require the Secretary to prescribe regulations.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation

    Section 1: Short Title: ``Boosting Rates of American 
Veteran Employment Act or BRAVE Act''
    Section 2: Authorizes the Secretary to give a preference to 
those employers which employ veterans on a full time basis. 
This preference shall be determined by the percentage of full 
time employers who are veterans. Also sets penalties for 
misrepresentation of the number of veterans.

         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 (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 VI--ACQUISITION AND DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


   CHAPTER 81--ACQUISITION AND OPERATION OF HOSPITAL AND DOMICILIARY 
    FACILITIES; PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY; ENHANCED-USE LEASES OF REAL 
                                PROPERTY


      SUBCHAPTER I--ACQUISITION AND OPERATION OF MEDICAL FACILITIES

Sec.
8101. Definitions.

                  SUBCHAPTER II--PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY

     * * * * * * *
8129. Preference for offerors employing veterans.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER II--PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 8129. Preference for offerors employing veterans

  (a) Preference.--In awarding a contract for the procurement 
of goods or services, the Secretary may give a preference to 
offerors that employ veterans on a full-time basis. The 
Secretary shall determine such preference based on the 
percentage of the full-time employees of the offeror who are 
veterans.
  (b) Enforcement Penalties for Misrepresentation.--(1) Any 
offeror that is determined by the Secretary to have willfully 
and intentionally misrepresented the veteran status of the 
employees of the offeror for purposes of subsection (a) may be 
debarred from contracting with the Department for a period of 
not less than five years.
  (2) If the Secretary carries out a debarment under paragraph 
(1), the Secretary shall commence debarment action against the 
offeror by not later than 30 days after determining that the 
offeror willfully and intentionally misrepresented the veteran 
status of the employees of the offeror as described in 
paragraph (1) and shall complete debarment actions against such 
offeror by not later than 90 days after such determination.
  (3) The debarment of an offeror under paragraph (1) includes 
the debarment of all principals in the offeror for a period of 
not less than five years.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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