Jurisdiction of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Clause 1 and clauses 2, 3, and 4 of Rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives establishes the jurisdiction and related functions for each standing committee. Precedent is also used to determine committee jurisdiction.
Clause 1 of Rule X states "all bills, resolutions, and other matters relating to subjects within the jurisdiction of any standing committee as listed in this clause shall (in accordance with and subject to clause 5) be referred to such committees, as follows":
(r) Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
(1) Veterans' measures generally.
(2) Cemeteries of the United States in which veterans of any war or conflict are or may be buried, whether in the United States or abroad, except cemeteries administered by the Secretary of the Interior.
(3) Compensation, vocational rehabilitation, and education of veterans.
(4) Life insurance issued by the Government on account of service in the Armed Forces.
(5) Pensions of all the wars of the United States, general and special.
(6) Readjustment of servicemembers to civil life.
(7) Servicemembers' civil relief.
(8) Veterans' hospitals, medical care, and treatment of veterans.
For more information, please consult the Committee's Rules of Procedure for the 111th Congress.
The Committee has oversight responsibility for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. On a regular basis, the Committee with subcommittees, convenes hearings which examine issues such as: VA compliance with statutory provisions; VA's effectiveness in providing timely benefits and quality heath care; Management practices and efficient expenditure of resources. The Committee's legislative responsibilities cover a wide range of veterans issues. However, veterans and other interested people may be surprised to learn that the Veterans' Affairs Committee does not have legislative jurisdiction over the following issues:
- Tax status of veterans benefits and contributions to Veterans Service Organizations (Committee on Ways and Means);
- Military retiree issues, including COLA’s and disability pay (Committee on Armed Services);
- CHAMPUS and Tri-Care (Committee on Armed Services);
- Survivor Benefit Program (Committee on Armed Services);
- Veterans Preference in Federal civil service hiring practice (Committee on Government Reform and Oversight);
- Congressional charters for veterans service organizations (Committee on Judiciary);
- Immigration issues relating to veterans (Committee on Judiciary); and
- Issues dealing with Prisoners of War (POWs) and service members missing in action (MIAs) (Committee on Armed Services)