CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, November 16, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 3114, a bill to provide funds to the Army Corps of Engineers to hire veterans and members of the Armed Forces to assist the Corps with curation and historic preservation activities, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 3114 was introduced on July 20, 2015 by Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) and was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, by voice vote, on July 23, 2015.
H.R. 3114 authorizes the use of currently available Army Corps of Engineers funds to hire veterans and members of the Armed Forces to assist the Corps with curation and historic preservation activities.
Under current law, agencies are required to preserve and catalogue artifacts discovered during the course of their work. In 2009, the Army Corps of Engineers began the Veterans Curation Program, through which veterans are hired to process uncatalogued artifacts. The Corps used funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The initial funding of $3.5 million provided by ARRA was used to purchase equipment, rent facilities, negotiate contracts, and hire veterans. Since then, expenditures for the program have increased to about $4.5 million annually, and under current law, the Corps expects to continue hiring veterans to perform the work. H.R. 3114 provides specific authority for the Corps to continue these activities.
According to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the Veterans Curation Program “provides veterans with both vocational training and short-term employment managing the archaeological collections of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Overseas contingency operations have increased the number of veterans and wounded warriors who can benefit from the additional vocational training provided through the Corps’ Veterans Curation Program to better compete in the mainstream job market.” The program “builds on the skills that veterans acquire during military service, including leadership, teamwork, and attention to detail. Working under the direct supervision of professionals in the field of archaeology, veterans receive competitive pay while learning through technical training in a peer-to-peer environment. The program provides a bridging experience to the public and private sector, and facilitates transitions into permanent employment or enrollment in institutions of higher education.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that enacting the bill would not affect the federal budget. Because enacting H.R. 3114 would not affect direct spending or revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
For questions or further information please contact Jerry White with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.