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Vet Center Enhancement Act Introduced in House by Rep. Bradley
Publication: US Fed News Service, Including US State News
Date: May 7, 2006 2006

    WASHINGTON, May 7 -- Rep. Jeb Bradley, R-New Hampshire, has introduced the Vet Center Enhancement Act
of 2006 (H.R. 5221), legislation that would enhance services provided by Vet Centers operated by the Secretary of
Veterans Affairs, to clarify and improve the provision of bereavement counseling by VA.
    The bill, introduced on April 27, is being co-sponsored by Rep. Charles F. Bass, R-New Hampshire. It was
referred to the House Veterans' Affairs Committee.
    For more information about this report, contact US Fed News through its Washington, D.C.-area office,
703/304-1897 or by e-mail at myron@targetednews.com.
    A copy of the full-text of the legislation follows:Vet Center Enhancement Act of 2006H.R. 5221To amend title 38,
United States Code, to enhance services provided by Vet Centers operated by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, to
clarify and improve the provision of bereavement  counseling by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other
purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress
assembled,SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.This Act may be cited as the `Vet Center Enhancement Act of 2006'.SEC. 2.
EXPANSION OF OUTREACH ACTIVITIES OF VET CENTERS.(a) Additional Outreach Workers- The Secretary of
Veterans Affairs shall employ not more than 250 veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi
Freedom for the purpose of providing outreach to veterans on the availability of readjustment counseling and
related mental health services for veterans under section 1712A of title 38, United States Code.(b) Construction
With Current Outreach Program- The veterans employed under subsection (a) are in addition to any veterans
employed by the Secretary for the purpose described in that subsection under the February 2004 program of the
Department of Veterans Affairs to provide outreach described in that subsection.(c) Assignment to Vet Centers- The
Secretary may assign any veteran employed under subsection (a) to any Vet Center that the Secretary considers
appropriate in order to meet the purpose described in that subsection.(d) Inapplicability and Termination of
Limitation on Duration of Employment- Any limitation on the duration of employment of veterans under the program
described in subsection (b) is hereby terminated and shall not apply to a veteran employed under that program or
under this section.(e) Employment Status- A veteran employed under subsection (a) shall be employed in career
conditional status, which is the employment status in which veterans are employed under the program described in
subsection (b).(f) Definitions- In this section:(1) VET CENTER- The term `Vet Center' means a center operated by
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for the provision of readjustment counseling and related mental health services
under section 1712A of title 38, United States Code.(2) VETERAN OF OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM OR
OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM- The term `veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom'
means a veteran who served in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during Operation Enduring Freedom or
Operation Iraqi Freedom.SEC. 3. CLARIFICATION AND ENHANCEMENT OF BEREAVEMENT COUNSELING.(a)
Clarification of Members of Immediate Family Eligible for Counseling- Subsection (b) of section 1783 of title 38,
United States Code, is amended--(1) by inserting `(1)' before `The Secretary'; and(2) by adding at the end the
following new paragraph:`(2) For purposes of this subsection, the members of the immediate family of a member of
the Armed Forces described in paragraph (1) include the parents of such member.'.(b) Provision of Counseling
Through Vet Centers- Such section is further amended--(1) by redesignating subsection (c) as subsection (d);
and(2) by inserting after subsection (b) the following new subsection (c):`(c) Provision of Counseling Through Vet
Centers- Bereavement counseling may be provided under this section through the facilities and personnel of
centers for the provision of readjustment counseling and related mental health services under section 1712A of this
title.'.SEC. 4. FUNDING FOR VET CENTER PROGRAM.There is authorized to be appropriated to the Department of
Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2007, $180,000,000 for the provision of readjustment counseling and related mental
health services through centers under section 1712A of title 38, United States Code.