As ordered reported by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on May 8, 2019
The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) provides counseling and information to prepare service members who are leaving the military for civilian life. H.R. 2326 would authorize grants, require studies, and establish a pilot program related to TAP. In total, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $17 million over the 2019-2024 period, assuming appropriation of the specified and estimated amounts (see Table 1).
Section 5 would authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide $10 million in grants over a five-year period to organizations that help former military service members and their spouses prepare for civilian employment. Such assistance includes resume preparation, interview training, and related employment services. On the basis of historical spending patterns, CBO estimates that providing those grants would cost $9 million over the
Section 7 would require VA to conduct a five-year longitudinal study of TAP for newly separated members of the Armed Forces. The study would compare the outcomes of TAP counseling among three cohorts of veterans: those who attended counseling as implemented upon enactment of the bill, those who attended counseling after implementation of recommendations from the independent assessment under section 6, and those who have not attended counseling. VA would submit interim and final reports to the Congress about that study. Using information from VA about the resources needed to conduct longitudinal studies, CBO estimates that implementing this section would cost $5 million over the 2019-2024 period.
Section 6 would require VA to enter into an agreement with an entity that has experience in adult education to perform an independent assessment of the effectiveness of TAP. VA would be required to report to the Congress on the findings and recommendations of the independent assessment and to provide official responses to those recommendations. Using information from VA about studies of similar scope, CBO estimates that implementing this section would cost $2 million over the 2019-2024 period.
Section 4 would require the Department of Labor to provide transition assistance during the five-year period following enactment of the bill to eligible veterans and their spouses at locations other than military installations. There would be at least 50 such off-base locations in at least 20 states with high unemployment rates among veterans. On the basis of the cost of a similar pilot program, CBO estimates that providing transition assistance at off-base locations would cost less than $500,000 in each year and $1 million over the 2019-2024 period.