H.R. 2385 would permit the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide grants to conduct research related to veterans’ cemeteries and to produce educational materials to memorialize veterans for the Veterans Legacy Program (VLP). Under the VLP, VA currently enters into contracts with educational institutions and nonprofit institutions to memorialize veterans interred in national cemeteries. In 2019, VA obligated about $2 million for that purpose.
H.R. 2385 would allow VA to provide funding to those institutions through grants as well as through contracts. On the basis of information from VA, CBO expects that the department would use grants rather than contract in most cases, and would not increase the amount of funding it would otherwise provide for the purpose of memorializing veterans. Thus, CBO expects that providing the grant authority would not affect the federal budget. The bill would require VA to submit a report on whether grants are a financially effective means to promote the VLP. Satisfying that reporting requirement would cost less than $500,000, subject to the availability of appropriated funds.