Department of Veterans Affairs: Loan Guarantee: COVID-19 Veterans Partial Compensation Program

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B-333337

Jul 27, 2021

The Honorable John Tester
Chairperson
The Honorable Jerry Moran
Rating member
Veterans Affairs Committee
US Senate

The Honorable Mark Takano
Chairperson
The Honorable Mike Bost
Rating member
Veterans Affairs Committee
House of Representatives

Theme: Department of Veterans Affairs: Loan Guarantee: COVID-19 Veterans Partial Compensation Program

Pursuant to Section 801 (a) (2) (A), Title 5 of the United States Code, this is our report on a master rule published by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Loan Guarantee: Partial Assistance to COVID-19 Veterans. Claims Payment Program ”(RIN: 2900-AR05). We received the rule on May 28, 2021. It was published in Federal register the final rule is May 28, 2021. 86 FRS. Reg. 28692. Effective date – July 27, 2021.

The final rule is the COVID-19 Veterans Partial Payment Program (COVID-VAPCP), VA said. The VA says it is a temporary program designed to help veterans return to normal payments on a VA-guaranteed (guaranteed loan) loan after exiting financial hardship directly or indirectly related to the country’s COVID-19 emergency.

The Congressional Review Act (CRA) requires a 60-day grace period for the main rule to take effect from the date of publication in Federal register or getting the rule by Congress, whichever comes later. 5 USC § 801 (a) (3) (A). The final rule was published on May 28, 2021. 86 Fed. Reg. 28692. The House of Representatives received this rule on June 30, 2021. 167 Cong. Rec. H3907 (daily 26 July 2021). V Congress Record does not yet reflect the date of receipt by the Senate. The declared effective date of the rule is July 27, 2021. Therefore, the final rule does not contain the necessary
60-day delay in effective date.

Attached is our assessment of VA compliance with the procedural steps required by sections 801 (a) (1) (B) (i) – (iv) section 5 in relation to the rule. If you have any questions about this report or would like to contact the GAO officials responsible for assessment work related to the subject of the rule, please contact Shari Brewster, Assistant General Counsel, at (202) 512-6398 …

Shirley A. Jones
Managing Junior General Counsel

The attachment

Copy: Luvenia Potts
Office of the General Counsel
Department of Veterans Affairs

FRAME

BASIC REPORT 5 USC § 801 (a) (2) (A) BASIC RULE
ISSUED BY
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS
ENTITLED
“CREDIT GUARANTEE: HELP FOR COVID-19 VETERANS
PARTIAL CLAIM PAYMENT PROGRAM “
(RIN: 2900-AR05)

(i) Cost-benefit analysis

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) says the final rule will result in net budget savings for the government of $ 674.25 million to $ 1.01 billion. VA also included a table of projected transfers, costs and net budget implications for FY2021-2050. VA estimates that the total amount of transfers over 30 years will be between $ 242,563,421 and $ 365,388,712.

(ii) Agency Actions Relevant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 USC §§ 603-605, 607 and 609

VA has assured that the final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a significant number of small businesses, as defined in the Law.

(iii) Agency Actions Relating to Sections 202-205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 1995, 2 USC §§ 1532-1535

The VA determined that this final rule will not affect state, local or tribal governments collectively or the private sector in the amount of $ 100 million adjusted for inflation or more.

(iv) Other Relevant Information or Requirements as Required by Laws and Regulations

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 USC §§ 551 et seq.

On December 9, 2020, VA published the proposed rule. 85 Fed. Reg. 79142. VA received 18 comments from individuals, lenders, service centers, retailers and consumer groups. VA also received one comment signed by 27 national and state level trade and consumer organizations. VA responded to comments in this final rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 USC §§ 3501-3520

The VA determined that this final regulation contains the Information Collection Requirements (ICR) under the Act. VA submitted ICR to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. The VA estimates the total annual costs to range from $ 2,503,017 to $ 3,757,347 as a result of ICRs associated with this rulemaking.

VA estimated the ICR burden for applications for partial assistance to veterans of COVID-19 in accordance with 38 CFR § 36.4806 (OMB control number 2900-XXXX (NEW)) at 94,854 hours. VA also assessed no additional load hours for ICR in relation to VA electronic reporting interface system (VALERI) in accordance with 38 CFR § 36.4807 (OMB control number 2900-0021) and ICR in relation to record keeping in accordance with 38 CFR §§ 36.4333, 36.4336 and 36.4810 (OMB control number 2900-0515).

Legislative authorization for the rule

VA promulgated this final rule in accordance with 38 USC Sections 501, 3703, 3704 (d), 3720 and 3732.

Ordinance No. 12866 (Regulatory planning and analysis)

OMB has determined that this final rule is an important regulation under the Order.

Decree No. 13132 (Federalism)

In its submission to us, the VA indicated that it did not prepare an analysis of the implications of this final rule for federalism.



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