WASHINGTON, DC -- Congressman Mike Michaud, Ranking Member of the Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Health, has spoken on the House floor in support of a bipartisan bill he's a cosponsor of that would give veterans more information about their education opportunities before they use their GI Bill benefits. The "Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act" (H.R. 4057), which includes a number of other provisions important to veterans, passed the House today by voice vote.
The text of Michaud's floor statement.
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today as a cosponsor and strong supporter of this bill.
"Each section of it makes important changes that will improve the care and services we provide our veterans. I'm especially proud that it creates a comprehensive educational outreach policy; recognizes that military service meets the standards of many civilian job certifications; and that it establishes an Open Burn Pit Registry.
"All three of these provisions are the result of the hard work of veterans and their advocates. I had many meetings with veterans who not only identified the issues addressed by H.R. 4057, but also provided solutions.
"In my time serving on the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, I've always appreciated that it was one place in Congress where bipartisan efforts got things done. I'm pleased that this tradition continues with the passage of this bill.
"I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 4057, and I yield back the remainder of my time."
SECTION-BY-SECTION: Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act (H.R. 4057)
Section 1, Comprehensive Policy on Providing Education Information to Veterans -- would require the VA to develop a comprehensive policy to improve outreach to veterans and to improve the transparency of information related to institutions of higher learning. The section would also prevent the VA from approving any educational institution if the institution provides incentive payment based directly or indirectly on success in securing enrollments or financial aid for individuals engaged in student recruiting.
Section 2, State Consideration of Military Training in Granting Certain State Certifications and Licenses as a Condition on the Receipt of Funds for Veterans Employment and Training -- would require States that receives grants or contracts for veteran employment and training to provide information to the Department of Labor describing how a state would treat military education and training towards a state's licensing or certification requirements for certain occupations: nursing assistant, registered nurse, certified nursing assistant, emergency medical technician and commercial driver's license.
Section 3, Conditions on the Award of Per Diem Payments by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for the Provision of Housing or Services to Homeless Veterans -- would require recipients of VA per diem payments to certify that the building where the entity provides housing or services is in compliance with the Life Safety Code, the International Fire Code, and other state and local codes relevant to the operations and level of care provided.
Section 4, Establishment of Open Burn Pit Registry -- would require the VA to establish and maintain an open burn pit registry for eligible individuals and require the VA to enter into an agreement with an independent scientific organization to develop a report on the effectiveness of actions taken to collect and maintain information on the health effects of burn pit exposure.
Section 5, Performance Awards in Senior Executive Services -- would require the VA to limit the amount paid in performance awards to senior staff.