Clerk session vote number: 45
Bill summary: Department of Defense Desert Storm Supplemental Authorization and Military Personnel Benefits Act for Fiscal Year 1991 -
Title I: Supplemental Authorization of Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1991 for Operation Desert Storm
- Authorizes supplemental appropriations to the Department of Defense (DOD) for FY 1991 from the balance of the amount in the Defense Cooperation Account (Cooperation Account) on the date of enactment of this Act, as well as any additional amounts credited to such Account
after such date and before October 1, 1992. Requires Cooperation Account funds to be used for: (1) incremental costs associated with Operation Desert Storm; and (2) replenishment of a working capital account created in this title.
Establishes for DOD the Desert Storm Working Capital Account (Capital Account). Authorizes appropriations to the Capital Account for FY 1991. Requires Capital Account funds to be used only for incremental costs associated with Operation Desert Storm, but only to such extent that funds for such use are not available in the Cooperation Account. Requires Cooperation Account funds to replenish funds used from the Capital Account. Requires Capital Account funds to revert to the Treasury after termination of such Account upon the end of the Persian Gulf War, but in no event later than September 30, 1992.
Authorizes funds from both accounts to be made available for transfer by the Secretary of Defense to authorizations made available to DOD or the Coast Guard for FY 1991. Authorizes the Secretary to transfer between appropriation accounts such sums as necessary to defray incremental costs associated with Operation Desert Storm. Requires the Senate and House Armed Services Committees (defense committees) to be notified before such transfers occur. Requires the Comptroller of DOD to submit monthly reports to the defense committees on the cumulative total amounts of such transfers.
Title II: Waiver of Personnel Ceilings Affected by Operation Desert Storm
- Authorizes the Secretary of the military department concerned to waive any military personnel end strength in such department as prescribed in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1991. Allows certain grade strength limitations to be suspended. Requires such Secretary to certify to the defense committees that the exercise of such authority is necessary because of personnel actions relating to Operation Desert Storm. Authorizes additional appropriations to DOD from the Cooperation Account for increases in military personnel costs resulting from the exercise of such waiver and suspension authorities.
Title III: Military Personnel Benefits for Members of the Armed Forces Serving During Operation Desert Storm - Part A: Special, Incentive, and Other Pay and Allowances and Miscellaneous Benefits
- Increases, as of August 1, 1990, the rate of special pay for duty subject to hostile fire or imminent danger. Terminates such increase 180 days after termination of the Persian Gulf War.
Authorizes the payment of active duty special pay to reserve optometrists, veterinarians, nurse anesthetists, and certain other non-physician health care providers called or ordered to active duty in connection with activities in the Persian Gulf. Authorizes the payment of such special pay to such health care providers who are: (1) called or ordered to active duty for less than one year in connection with Operation Desert Storm; or (2) involuntarily retained on active duty.
Entitles survivors of members who die as a result of injury or illness sustained while on active duty during the Persian Gulf War to pay for all accrued leave of such member. (Currently, there are limitations to the authorized build-up of such leave.)
Removes the ceiling on savings deposits for service members carried in a missing person status in connection with Operation Desert Storm.
Allows a retired member of the armed forces who is ordered to return to active duty in connection with Operation Desert Storm to be ordered to such active duty in the highest grade in which the member previously served on active duty. States that a member ordered to active duty in a grade higher than his or her retired grade shall be deemed to have been promoted to such grade.
Establishes a standard death gratuity rate of $6,000 for members of all grades for the period between August 2, 1990, and the termination of the Persian Gulf War.
Entitles reserve members ordered to active duty during the Persian Gulf War for specified periods and their dependents to certain transitional health care benefits and coverage under military health insurance policies normally authorized only for active duty personnel and their dependents. Outlines availability and applicability requirements.
Amends the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1991 to extend to February 15, 1992, the effective date for certain reductions in inpatient mental health services to be implemented under such Act.
Authorizes appropriations from the Cooperation Account as necessary for the pay, allowances, and benefits provided under Part A of this title.
Part B: Family Assistance
- Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to provide assistance to ensure that families of military personnel serving on active duty obtain needed child care services, with special focus on children of personnel serving in the Persian Gulf or otherwise deployed in connection with Operation Desert Shield. Authorizes appropriations from the Cooperation Account for such purpose. States that such funds are in addition to other funds used for child care programs for members of the armed forces.
Authorizes the Secretary to provide assistance to ensure that families of military personnel serving on active duty receive educational assistance and family support services necessary to meet the needs arising out of Operation Desert Storm. Outlines provisions concerning the types of assistance, areas of assistance, and the types of educational and family support assistance to be provided. Authorizes appropriations from the Cooperation Account.
Part C: Desert Shield/Desert Storm Reservist Leave Bank Act of 1991
- Desert Shield/Desert Storm Reservist Leave Bank Act of 1991 - Directs the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to establish a leave bank program under which: (1) employees of any executive agency may donate any unused annual leave to a leave bank established by OPM; (2) the total donated annual leave is divided equally among the annual leave accounts of employees who have been members of the armed forces serving on active duty during the Persian Gulf War and who return to civilian employment with their agencies; and (3) such participants may use such donated annual leave in the same manner as any other annual leave to their credit. Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish a similar program for the benefit of health-care professionals returning to employment within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Part D: Servicemen's Group Life Insurance Enhancement
- Increases from $50,000 to $100,000 the maximum amount of life insurance coverage available to servicemen and veterans under the Servicemen's Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and Veterans' Group Life Insurance programs. Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to ensure that persons insured under either program are notified of such increase and given an opportunity to increase their coverage.
Directs the Secretary to pay a death gratuity to each SGLI beneficiary of each deceased member of the armed forces who dies after August 1, 1990, and before the date of enactment of this Act. Makes the amount of such death gratuity an amount equal to the SGLI coverage at the time of death. Requires the appropriate SGLI recipient to make application to the Secretary for the payment of such death gratuity within one year after the enactment of this Act. Provides funds for such benefits from the Cooperation Account.
Part E: Higher Education Assistance
- Gulf War Higher Education Assistance Act - Directs the Secretary of Education to waive or modify any statutory or regulatory provision applicable to the student financial aid programs under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 in order to ensure that men and women serving on active duty during the Persian Gulf War who are borrowers of student loans under such Act are not placed in a worse position financially in relation to those loans because of such service. Requires the Secretary to publish such waivers or modifications in the Federal Register.
Expresses the sense of the Congress that all institutions offering postsecondary education should provide a full refund or credit to any reserve member serving on active duty in the Persian Gulf for the portion or period of instruction such member was unable to complete because such individual was called up for such service. Directs the Secretary of Education to report to the Congress on the implementation of this provision.
Amends the Public Health Service Act to exempt members of the armed forces from required payments on loans under such Act for the training of professional health personnel for the duration of active duty during the Persian Gulf Conflict.
States that all direct or discretionary spending contained in Part E of this Act is to be considered emergency expenditures for purposes of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act).
Part F: Miscellaneous Benefits
- Authorizes any provider furnishing health care pursuant to a plan contracted for under the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS) to waive any required CHAMPUS copayment by the patient for health care furnished during the Persian Gulf War. States that such provider may not increase the amount charged to the Government for such health care.
Urges civilian health care providers to participate or increase participation in CHAMPUS plans for the care of spouses, children, and other dependents of military personnel during the Persian Gulf War.
Part G: Veterans Programs
- Persian Gulf War Veterans' Assistance Act of 1991 - Includes the Persian Gulf War under the definition of "period of war" for purposes of provisions governing eligibility for various veterans' benefits for war veterans, their spouses, and their dependents. Makes veterans of the Persian Gulf War and their spouses eligible for veterans' pension benefits.
Deems Persian Gulf War veterans who develop an active psychosis within two years of the date of termination of that war to have incurred such disability in active military service for purposes of medical care provided through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Makes veterans of the Persian Gulf War eligible for drugs and medicines required due to being permanently housebound or in need of regular aid and attendance.
Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to furnish readjustment counseling to any veteran who served on active duty after May 7, 1975, in an area at a time during which hostilities occurred in such area. Defines "hostilities" as an armed conflict comparable to the danger members are subjected to in combat with enemy forces during a period of war.
Allows survivors of veterans of the Persian Gulf War who die before the date of enactment of this Act to file a claim for reimbursement for burial and funeral expenses within two years after the enactment of this Act.
Increases the monthly stipend for educational assistance under the Montgomery GI Bill armed forces and veterans' educational assistance programs for members of the all-volunteer active-duty armed forces and members of the Selected Reserve who perform active duty during the Persian Gulf War. Makes such increases available for payments for approved programs of education after October 1, 1991. Requires such increases to be ratably adjusted for FY 1991 through 1995.
States that, in the case of a member of the Selected Reserve called to active duty in connection with the Persian Gulf War: (1) the period of such active duty shall not be considered in determining the expiration date of such member's existing eligibility for educational assistance benefits provided under the Montgomery GI Bill; and (2) the member may not be considered to have been separated from the Selected Reserve by reason of the commencement of such active duty service for purposes of commencement of the delimiting period for the use of such benefits.
Provides that, in the case of an active-duty or reserve member student who fails to complete a course of study under the veterans' educational assistance program due to being called to active duty or being given increased work duties in connection with the Persian Gulf War, both the amount of educational assistance received and the time spent pursuing that course shall not be counted against such student for purposes of general entitlement under the Montgomery GI Bill program. Excludes courses for which the student has already received full credit from inclusion in such provision. Restores the full amount of educational assistance available to such student veteran as if the interrupted courses had not been taken. Applies such exclusion to members of the Selected Reserve pursuing courses under the armed forces' educational assistance program.
Authorizes veteran representatives of the Persian Gulf War to be included on the Veterans' Advisory Committee on Education.
Makes each veteran who served on active duty for 90 days or more during the Persian Gulf War eligible for housing loan benefits under the veterans' home loan program.
Requires an employer to make reasonable efforts to requalify a servicemember returning to his or her employment position held before such service.
Revises veterans' reemployment rights to state that a person shall be considered qualified for an employment position if such person, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of such position. States that "reasonable accommodation" shall include the same requirements of employers as stated under the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990.
Provides for the waiver of an annuity reduction for individuals reemployed as health-care specialists within the Veterans Health Services and Research Administration of the Department. Limits such waivers only to those individuals recruited to replace health-care specialists serving in the Persian Gulf War. Includes as health-care specialists physicians, dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, nurses, physician assistants, dental auxiliaries, medical technicians, and medical support personnel.
Part H: Availability of Appropriations
- Entitles active duty or reserve military personnel and their dependents and survivors to payments or benefits under this title only upon the enactment of an Act that appropriates funds for such payments or other benefits from the Cooperation Account for transfer to applicable appropriations. Requires all funds for benefits provided under this title to be derived by transfer from such Account. Authorizes additional appropriations for such increases and benefits for FY 1991 through 1995 only by transfers from the Cooperation Account.
Part I: Fair Treatment for Farmers and Ranchers Who Participated in the Persian Gulf War as Active Reservists or in Any Other Military Capacity
- Directs the Secretary of Agriculture (the Secretary, under this Part), with respect to a producer on a farm who is an activated reservist during a crop year, to provide for the protection of the producer's crop acreage base for any crop to the extent necessary to provide fair and equitable treatment.
Allows producers on a farm to be eligible for payments for rice or upland cotton under the Agricultural Act of 1949 without regard to minimum planting requirements of such Act if: (1) one or more of the producers is an activated reservist during the crop year; and (2) the producers satisfy all other appropriate requirements.
Authorizes the Secretary to provide for a temporary waiver or modification of the application of subtitles A through E of Title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (erodible land conservation requirements): (1) for the period during which the producer is an activated reservist; (2) if necessary to prevent undue hardship caused as a result of the producer's active duty during the Persian Gulf War or to provide equitable treatment; and (3) if the waiver or modification will not significantly detract from the purposes and objectives of such subtitles.
Directs the Secretary to establish a program to provide relief to any borrower under any farmer program loan under the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act if the borrower is an activated reservist. Directs the Secretary to modify the terms and conditions of such loans in order to alleviate conditions of distress and to assist in keeping the farm or ranch of an activated reservist in operation until his or her return. Allows the Secretary to modify loans or take other specified action in order to maintain a farm or ranch until the reservist returns. Requires the Secretary to notify persons operating a farm or ranch of an activated reservist who is a farmer program borrower of these relief provisions.
Authorizes the Secretary to provide for procedures by which the spouse or other close relative of an activated reservist may participate in, or make decisions related to, a program administered by the Secretary under the Agricultural Act of 1949 or other specified Acts concerning the operation of the activated reservist's farming or ranching operation. Allows the Secretary to rely on the representation of the spouse or close relative made under such procedures under certain conditions. States that all direct or discretionary spending contained in this Part is to be considered emergency expenditures related to Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm for purposes of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act).
Title IV: Reporting on the Costs of Operation Desert Storm
- Requires the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to prepare periodic reports on the incremental costs associated with Operation Desert Storm and on the amounts of contributions made to the United States by foreign countries to offset such costs. Requires periodic, cumulative, and nonrecurring costs to be reported, as well as offsets to such costs. Specifies cost areas to be included in each such report.
Directs the Secretaries of State and the Treasury to jointly prepare periodic reports on contributions made by foreign countries as part of the international response to the Persian Gulf crisis.
Title V: Report on the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War
- Requires the Secretary of Defense to report to the defense committees on the conduct of the Persian Gulf War within 180 days of the cessation of hostilities. Outlines specified areas and objectives concerning which U.S. accomplishments and shortcomings are to be discussed. Requires a preliminary report within 90 days after cessation of such hostilities. Requires each report to contain the number of military and civilian casualties sustained by coalition nations, by Iraq, and by nations not directly participating in such hostilities.
Title VI: Miscellaneous Technical Amendments
- Makes various technical or conforming amendments to Federal armed forces provisions, military pay and allowances provisions, National Guard provisions, and various public laws and specified Acts.
Title VII: Definitions
- Defines specified terms and phrases used in this Act.
Title VIII: General Provisions
- Expresses the sense of the Senate that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by any provision of law may be obligated or expended, directly or indirectly, for rebuilding Iraq while Saddam Hussein remains in power there.
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Bill titles: To authorize supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 1991 in connection with operations in and around the Persian Gulf presently known as Operation Desert Shield/Storm, and for other purposes.
Links for more info on the vote: congress.gov