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.