April 15, 1997
The Administration opposes H.R. 1090, which would subject decisions by the
Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA) to revision based on new avenues for appeal,
thereby potentially reopening already adjudicated cases dating back to 1933.
H.R. 1090 would increase the BVA's significant backlog of cases and the costs
associated with adjudicating benefit claims, while not offering claimants any
greater opportunity for remedy than is currently available.
Currently, nearly all BVA decisions may be appealed to the Court of Veterans Appeals for correction of alleged errors. Moreover, current law also affords unsuccessful claimants the right to petition the BVA's Chairman at any time for reconsideration of adverse decisions made even decades ago. Although denials of these petitions are not themselves judicially reviewable, there is no indication that BVA has failed to correct errors of the "clear and unmistakable" sort that are the subject of this legislation.
Scoring for Purposes of Pay-As-You-Go
H.R. 1090 would affect direct spending; therefore, it is subject to the pay-as-you-go requirement of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. OMB's preliminary scoring estimate is that the bill would increase direct spending by an insignificant amount.