38 U.S. Code § 711. Grade reductions
The Secretary may not implement a grade reduction described in subsection (b) unless the Secretary first submits to the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report containing a detailed plan for such reduction and a detailed justification for the plan. The report shall include a determination by the Secretary (together with data supporting such determination) that, in the personnel area concerned, the Department has a disproportionate number of employees at the salary grade or grades selected for reduction in comparison to the number of such employees at the salary levels involved who perform comparable functions in other departments and agencies of the Federal Government and in non-Federal entities. Any grade reduction described in such report may not take effect until the end of a period of 90 calendar days (not including any day on which either House of Congress is not in session) after the report is received by the committees.
A grade reduction referred to in subsection (a) is a systematic reduction, for the purpose of reducing the average salary cost for Department employees described in subsection (c), in the number of such Department employees at a specific grade level.
(c) The employees referred to in subsection (b) are—
health-care personnel who are determined by the Secretary to be providing either direct patient-care services or services incident to direct patient-care services;
individuals who meet the definition of professional employee as set forth in section 7103(a)(15) of title 5; and
Not later than the 45th day after the Secretary submits a report under subsection (a), the Comptroller General shall, upon request of either of such Committees, submit to such committees a report on the Secretary’s compliance with such subsection. The Comptroller General shall include in the report the Comptroller General’s opinion as to the accuracy of the Secretary’s determination (and of the data supporting such determination) made under such subsection.
In the case of Department employees not described in subsection (c), the Secretary may not in any fiscal year implement a systematic reduction for the purpose of reducing the average salary cost for such Department employees that will result in a reduction in the number of such Department employees at any specific grade level at a rate greater than the rate of the reductions systematically being made in the numbers of employees at such grade level in all other agencies and departments of the Federal Government combined.