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S. 2275 (is) To amend the Mineral Leasing Act to prohibit the exportation of Alaska North Slope crude oil. [Introduced in Senate] ...


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108th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 2274

    To expand and improve retired pay, burial, education, and other 
 mobilization benefits for members of the National Guard and Reserves 
   who are called or ordered to active duty, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             April 1, 2004

 Ms. Landrieu introduced the following bill; which was read twice and 
                  referred to the Committee on Finance

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
    To expand and improve retired pay, burial, education, and other 
 mobilization benefits for members of the National Guard and Reserves 
   who are called or ordered to active duty, 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 ``21st Century Citizen Soldier 
Benefits Act''.

SEC. 2. ELIGIBILITY FOR RETIRED PAY FOR NON-REGULAR SERVICE.

    (a) Age and Service Requirements.--Subsection (a) of section 12731 
of title 10, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
    ``(a)(1) Except as provided in subsection (c), a person is 
entitled, upon application, to retired pay computed under section 12739 
of this title, if the person--
            ``(A) satisfies one of the combinations of requirements for 
        minimum age and minimum number of years of service (computed 
        under section 12732 of this title) that are specified in the 
        table in paragraph (2);
            ``(B) performed the last six years of qualifying service 
        while a member of any category named in section 12732(a)(1) of 
        this title, but not while a member of a regular component, the 
        Fleet Reserve, or the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve, except that 
        in the case of a person who completed 20 years of service 
        computed under section 12732 of this title before October 5, 
        1994, the number of years of qualifying service under this 
        subparagraph shall be eight; and
            ``(C) is not entitled, under any other provision of law, to 
        retired pay from an armed force or retainer pay as a member of 
        the Fleet Reserve or the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve.
    ``(2) The combinations of minimum age and minimum years of service 
required of a person under subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) for 
entitlement to retired pay as provided in such paragraph are as 
follows:

``Age, in years, is                  The minimum years of service
  at least:                                   required for that age is:
    55......................................................        30 
    56......................................................        28 
    57......................................................        26 
    58......................................................        24 
    59......................................................        22 
    60......................................................     20.''.
    (b) 20-Year Letter.--Subsection (d) of such section is amended by 
striking ``the years of service required for eligibility for retired 
pay under this chapter'' in the first sentence and inserting ``20 years 
of service computed under section 12732 of this title.''.
    (c) Effective Date.--This section and the amendments made by this 
subsection (a) shall take effect on the first day of the first month 
beginning on or after the date of the enactment of this Act and shall 
apply with respect to retired pay payable for that month and subsequent 
months.

SEC. 3. CERTAIN BURIAL BENEFITS FOR RESERVES WHO SERVED IN CAMPAIGN OR 
              EXPEDITION FOR WHICH A CAMPAIGN MEDAL WAS AUTHORIZED.

    (a) Eligibility for Headstone or Grave Marker.--Section 2306(a) of 
title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
following new paragraph:
            ``(6) Any individual who, while a member of a reserve 
        component, served on active duty in a campaign or expedition 
        for which a campaign medal was authorized and who was 
        discharged or released from service in the Armed Forces under 
        other than dishonorable conditions.''.
    (b) Eligibility for Interment in National Cemeteries.--Section 2402 
of such title is amended by adding at the end the following new 
paragraph:
            ``(9) Any individual who, while a member of a reserve 
        component, served on active duty in a campaign or expedition 
        for which a campaign medal was authorized and who was 
        discharged or released from service in the Armed Forces under 
        other than dishonorable conditions.''.
    (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section shall 
apply with respect to deaths occurring on or after the date of the 
enactment of this Act.

SEC. 4. EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE UNDER MONTGOMERY GI BILL FOR MEMBERS OF 
              THE SELECTED RESERVE WHO AGGREGATE MORE THAN 2 YEARS OF 
              ACTIVE DUTY SERVICE DURING ANY 5-YEAR PERIOD.

    (a) Entitlement.--Section 3012(a)(1) of title 38, United States 
Code, is amended--
            (1) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``or'' at the end;
            (2) in subparagraph (C), by adding ``or'' at the end; and
            (3) by inserting after subparagraph (C) the following new 
        subparagraph (D):
                    ``(D) during any five-year period beginning on or 
                after September 11, 2001, while in the Selected 
                Reserve, serves on active duty in the Armed Forces for 
                one or more periods aggregating not less than two years 
                of service on active duty during such period;''.
    (b) Contributions for Basic Assistance.--Section 3012(c) of such 
title is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``(1)'' after ``(c)'';
            (2) by designating the second sentence as paragraph (3) and 
        indenting such paragraph, as so designated, two ems from the 
        left margin; and
            (3) by inserting after paragraph (1), as so designated, the 
        following new paragraph:
    ``(2)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), in the case of an 
individual described in subsection (a)(1)(D) who does not make an 
election under subsection (d)(4), the basic pay of such individual 
shall be reduced by $100 for each of any of the first 12 months that 
such individual is entitled to such pay commencing with the first month 
after the date on which such individual becomes entitled to educational 
assistance under this chapter by reason of subsection (a)(1)(D).
    ``(B) An individual described in subparagraph (A) may pay the 
Secretary $1,200 in a lump sum payment in lieu of the reduction in 
basic pay otherwise required by subparagraph (A). Such payment shall be 
made before the commencement of the receipt by the individual of 
amounts of basic educational assistance under this chapter.
    ``(C) If the total amount of basic pay of an individual reduced 
under subparagraph (A) is less than $1,200 as of the completion of all 
service of such individual on active duty, the individual shall pay the 
Secretary in a lump sum payment an amount equal to the difference 
between $1,200 and the amount so reduced. The payment shall be made 
before the commencement of the receipt by such individual of amounts of 
basic educational assistance under this chapter.
    ``(D) The Secretary shall deposit any amounts received as payments 
under subparagraph (B) or (C) into the Treasury as miscellaneous 
receipts.''.
    (c) Election Not To Receive Assistance.--Section 3012(d) of such 
title is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
    ``(4) An individual described in subsection (a)(1)(D) may make an 
election not to receive educational assistance under this chapter. Any 
such election shall be made not later than 30 days after the date on 
which the individual otherwise becomes entitled to such assistance 
under subsection (a)(1)(D). Any individual who makes such an election 
is not entitled to educational assistance under this chapter.''.
    (d) Contributions for Additional Assistance.--Section 3012(f) of 
such title is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by inserting ``or (d)(4)'' after 
        ``subsection (d)(1)''; and
            (2) in the second sentence, by inserting ``, or any 
        payments by such individual,'' after ``pay of such 
        individual''.
    (e) Duration of Assistance.--Section 3013(b) of such title is 
amended by striking ``is entitled to'' and all that follows and 
inserting the following: ``is entitled to--
            ``(1) one month of educational assistance benefits under 
        this chapter--
                    ``(A) in the case of an individual described in 
                section 3012(a)(1)(A) of this title, for each month of 
                continuous active duty served by such individual after 
                June 30, 1985, as part of the obligated period of 
                active duty on which such entitlement is based;
                    ``(B) in the case of an individual described in 
                section 3012(a)(1)(B) of this title, for each month of 
                continuous active duty served by such individual after 
                June 30, 1985; or
                    ``(C) in the case of an individual described in 
                section 3012(a)(1)(D) of this title, for each month of 
                active duty served by such individual after September 
                11, 2001, as part of the aggregate period of active 
                duty on which such entitlement is based; and
            ``(2) one month of educational assistance benefits under 
        this chapter for each four months served by such individual in 
        the Selected Reserve after the applicable date specified in 
        paragraph (1) (other than any month in which the individual 
        served on active duty).''.
    (f) Amount of Assistance.--Section 3015 of such title is amended--
            (1) in subsections (a)(1)(D) and (b)(1)(D), by striking 
        ``subsection (h)'' and inserting ``subsection (i)'';
            (2) by redesignating subsection (h) as subsection (i); and
            (3) by inserting after subsection (g) the following new 
        subsection (h):
    ``(h) In the case of an individual entitled to an educational 
assistance allowance under section 3012(a)(1)(D) of this title, the 
amount of the basic educational assistance allowance payable under this 
chapter is the amount determined under subsection (b).''.
    (g) Death Benefit.--Section 3017(b)(1) of such title is amended--
            (1) in subparagraph (C), by striking ``and'' at the end;
            (2) in subparagraph (D), by striking ``, less'' and 
        inserting ``; and''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
                    ``(E) the amount of any payments made by the 
                individual under section 3012(c)(2) of this title, 
                less''.
    (h) Entitlement Date for Certain Members.--In the case of any 
member or former member of the Selected Reserve who, under section 
3012(a)(1)(D) of title 38, United States Code (as amended by subsection 
(a)), is entitled to educational assistance under chapter 30 of title 
38, United States Code, as of the date of the enactment of this Act by 
reason of active duty served by such member during the period beginning 
on September 11, 2001, and ending on the date of the enactment of this 
Act, the date on which such individual becomes entitled to such 
educational assistance by reason of that section shall be deemed to be 
the date of the enactment of this Act.
    (i) Outreach.--(1) The Secretaries concerned shall take actions to 
inform members of the Selected Reserve who are or may become entitled 
to basic educational assistance benefits under chapter 30 of title 38, 
United States Code, as a result of section 3012(a)(1)(D) of such title 
(as amended by subsection (a) of this section) of the minimum service 
requirements for entitlement to such benefits under that chapter and of 
the scope and nature of such benefits.
    (2) In this subsection:
            (A) The term ``Secretary concerned'' has the meaning given 
        such term in section 101(25) of title 38, United States Code.
            (B) The term ``Selected Reserve'' has the meaning given 
        such term in section 3002(4) of title 38, United States Code.

SEC. 5. MODIFICATION OF MAXIMUM RATE OF INTEREST PAYABLE BY 
              SERVICEMEMBERS ON OBLIGATIONS INCURRED BEFORE MILITARY 
              SERVICE.

    (a) Modification.--Section 207 of the Servicemembers Civil Relief 
Act (50 U.S.C. App. 527) is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a), by striking ``6 percent'' each place 
        it appears in the text of paragraphs (1) and (2) and inserting 
        ``the interest rate limitation percentage'';
            (2) in subsection (c), by striking ``6 percent'' and 
        inserting ``the interest rate limitation percentage''; and
            (3) by striking subsection (d) and inserting the following 
        new subsection (d):
    ``(d) Definitions.--In this section:
            ``(1) Interest.--The term `interest' includes service 
        charges, renewal charges, fees, or any other charges (except 
        bona fide insurance) with respect to an obligation or 
        liability.
            ``(2) Interest rate limitation percentage.--The term 
        `interest rate limitation percentage' means the lesser of--
                    ``(A) 6 percent; or
                    ``(B) the prime lending rate, as identified by the 
                Administration and published in the Federal Register on 
                a quarterly basis, plus 1 percent.''.
    (b) Effect of Adjustment of Interest Rate Limitation Percentage 
During Military Service.--Subsection (a) of such section is further 
amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
            ``(4) Effect of adjustment of interest rate limitation 
        percentage during service.--If during the military service of a 
        servicemember the interest rate limitation percentage is 
        adjusted as a result of a quarterly identification of the prime 
        lending rate by the Administration, the interest rate 
        limitation under this subsection on obligations and liabilities 
        incurred before such service shall be so adjusted.''.
    (c) Conforming Amendments.--Subsection (a) of such section is 
further amended--
            (1) in the paragraph caption of paragraph (1), by striking 
        ``Limitation to 6 percent'' and inserting ``Limitation''; and
            (2) in the paragraph caption of paragraph (2), by striking 
        ``Forgiveness of interest in excess of 6 percent'' and 
        inserting ``Forgiveness of interest in excess of interest rate 
        limitation percentage''.

SEC. 6. NONREDUCTION IN PAY WHILE FEDERAL EMPLOYEE IS PERFORMING ACTIVE 
              SERVICE IN THE UNIFORMED SERVICES.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter IV of chapter 55 of title 5, United 
States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
``Sec. 5538. Nonreduction in pay while serving in the uniformed 
              services
    ``(a) An employee who is absent from a position of employment with 
the Federal Government in order to perform service in the uniformed 
services shall be entitled to receive, for each pay period described in 
subsection (b), an amount equal to the amount by which--
            ``(1) the amount of basic pay which would otherwise have 
        been payable to such employee for such pay period if such 
        employee's civilian employment with the Government had not been 
        interrupted by that service, exceeds (if at all)
            ``(2) the amount of pay and allowances which (as determined 
        under subsection (d))--
                    ``(A) is payable to such employee for that service; 
                and
                    ``(B) is allocable to such pay period.

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