United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Sep 30, 2023
The Secretary shall carry out a program of entering into agreements with veterinarians under which the veterinarians agree to provide, for a period of time as determined by the Secretary and specified in the agreement, veterinary services in veterinarian shortage situations. For each year of such service under an agreement under this paragraph, the Secretary shall pay an amount, as determined by the Secretary and specified in the agreement, of the principal and interest of qualifying educational loans of the veterinarians.
The Secretary may enter into agreements of 1 year duration with veterinarians who have agreements pursuant to paragraph (1) for such veterinarians to provide services to the Federal Government in emergency situations, as determined by the Secretary, under terms and conditions specified in the agreement. Pursuant to an agreement under this paragraph, the Secretary shall pay an amount, in addition to the amount paid pursuant to the agreement in paragraph (1), as determined by the Secretary and specified in the agreement, of the principal and interest of qualifying educational loans of the veterinarians.
The Secretary may carry out this program directly or enter into agreements with another Federal agency or other service provider to assist in the administration of this program.
Agreements with program participants shall provide remedies for any breach of an agreement by a participant, including repayment or partial repayment of financial assistance received, with interest.
Funds recovered under this subsection shall be credited to the account available to carry out this section and shall remain available until expended.
The Secretary may grant a waiver of the repayment obligation for breach of contract in the event of extreme hardship or extreme need, as determined by the Secretary.
The Secretary may enter into an agreement with the holder of any loan for which payments are made under this section to establish a schedule for the making of such payments.
In addition to educational loan repayments, the Secretary shall make such additional payments to participants as the Secretary determines to be appropriate for the purpose of providing reimbursements to participants for individual tax liability resulting from participation in this program.
In administering the program, the Secretary shall give priority to agreements with veterinarians for the practice of food animal medicine in veterinarian shortage situations.
None of the funds appropriated to the Secretary under subsection (f) may be used to carry out section 5379 of title 5.
Notwithstanding subchapter II of chapter 5 of title 5, not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations to carry out this section.
There are authorized to be appropriated for carrying out this section such sums as may be necessary and such sums shall remain available to the Secretary for the purposes of this section until expended.