Summary: H.R.1450 — 103rd Congress (1993-1994)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.1450. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (03/24/1993)


Title I: Public Debt Reduction

Title II: Capital Formation

Title III: Cooperative Enterprise

Title IV: Business Liability Reform

Subtitle A: Findings

Subtitle B: Professionals' Liability Reform

Subtitle C: Product Liability Fairness

Title V: Regulatory Review

Title VI: Total Quality Management

Title VII: Long-Term Investment

Title VIII: Amendments to the Stevenson-Wydler Technology

Innovation Act of 1980

Fundamental Competitiveness Act of 1993 - Title I: Public Debt Reduction - Allows individual taxpayers to designate a portion of tax liability (not to exceed ten percent) on their tax returns to reduce the public debt.

Establishes the Public Debt Reduction Trust Fund consisting of amounts so designated.

Amends the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act) to provide for a sequestration of revenues equivalent to the estimated aggregate amount so designated. Specifies accounts exempted from such sequestration and establishes reporting requirements with respect to budget procedures.

Title II: Capital Formation - Establishes a method of computing the credit for increasing research activities based on aggregate research expenses, as an alternative to the method based on qualified research expenses.

Establishes a variable capital gains deduction with formulas on a sliding scale ranging from ten percent for assets held for one year up to 100 percent for assets held for ten years.

Allows a deduction of 50 percent of the capital gain from stock investments by non-corporate taxpayers in start-up companies where initial stock offerings are held for two years.

Requires indexing, based on the gross national product deflator, of the adjusted basis of certain assets (corporate stock and tangible property that is a capital asset of property used in a trade or business) that have been held for more than one year at the time of sale or other disposition, solely for the purpose of determining gain or loss. Permits an income tax deduction in the amount of dividends paid by domestic corporations, except S corporations, regulated investment companies, real estate investment trusts, and personal holding companies. Repeals the income tax deductions currently permitted in connection with: (1) dividends received by a corporation; (2) dividends received by a corporation on the preferred stock of a public utility; and (3) dividends paid by a public utility on its preferred stock.

Increases the deductible percentage of amounts received by a corporation from a qualified ten-percent owned foreign corporation. Allows a charitable deduction for corporate contributions of employee volunteer services to an educational organization.

Establishes an investment tax credit for manufacturing and other productive equipment. Provides for determining the applicable percentage of such credit, which includes an efficiency improvement percentage.

Increases the limitation based on the amount of tax for purposes of the general business credit.

Provides for the treatment of losses on stock in manufacturing companies as ordinary (as opposed to capital) losses.

Allows a partial exclusion of dividends or interest received by an individual.

Provides for ordinary-loss treatment for losses on investments in a qualified startup company.

Title III: Cooperative Enterprise - Amends the Clayton Act to bar the acquisition by one corporation of stock of another, subject to specified conditions, where there is a significant probability that such acquisition will substantially increase the ability to exercise market power (currently, where the effect of such acquisition may be to substantially lessen competition or to tend to create a monopoly).

Defines the ability to exercise market power for purposes of such provision as the ability of one or more firms profitably to maintain prices above competitive levels for a significant period of time. Directs the court, in determining whether there is a significant probability that any acquisition will substantially increase the ability to exercise market power, to consider all economic factors relevant to the effect of the acquisition in the affected markets.

Amends the National Cooperative Research Act of 1984 to include a joint production venture within the scope of such Act as an activity that shall not be deemed illegal per se under the antitrust laws. Changes the short title of such Act to the National Cooperative Research, Development, and Production Act.

Title IV: Business Liability - Subtitle A: Findings - Makes findings with respect to the increasing amount of litigation in our society and the desirability of encouraging alternative dispute mechanisms and providing uniform legal standards in the areas of professional and product liability.

Subtitle B: Professionals' Liability Reform - Professionals' Liability Reform Act of 1993 - Establishes certain limitations and procedures regarding professional liability actions. Preempts certain State laws.

Provides that nothing in this Act shall prohibit any State from developing or implementing alternative procedures for: (1) expediting the adjudication of professional liability claims; (2) resolving professional liability disputes; or (3) compensating for harm caused by professional services. Requires professional liability actions to be brought within three years after the claimant discovered, or should have discovered, the harm.

Requires the claimant, in any professional liability action, to establish certain elements of proof.

Permits future damage awards exceeding $100,000 to be made by periodic payments. Requires that damage awards be offset by any amount received as compensation for the same injury. Establishes a contingency fee schedule for plaintiffs' attorneys. States that the principles of comparative liability shall apply unless persons engaged in concerted action which proximately caused the harm.

Permits the awarding of punitive damages only where the conduct of the defendant: (1) manifested a malicious and reckless disregard for safety; and (2) constituted an extreme departure from accepted standards of safety.

Makes any attorney who files a frivolous claim subject to pecuniary sanctions by the court.

Requires each State to encourage professional organizations to form risk management programs.

Subtitle C: Product Liability Fairness - Part I: General Provisions - Product Liability Fairness Act - Declares that this Act governs any product liability action brought against a manufacturer or product seller, on any theory, for harm caused by a product. States that a civil action brought against a manufacturer or product seller for loss or damage to a product itself or commercial loss shall be governed by applicable commercial or contract law.

Supersedes any inconsistent State law regarding recovery in such actions.

Lists specific laws not superseded.

Declares that U.S. district courts shall not have jurisdiction over any civil action under this Act, based on specified provisions of Federal law relating to district court jurisdiction.

Declares that, if any provision of this Act would shorten the period during which a manufacturer or seller would otherwise be exposed to liability, the claimant may, notwithstanding that period, bring any civil action under this Act within one year after the effective date of this Act.

Part II: Out of Court Procedures - Allows any claimant to bring a civil action for damages against a person for harm caused by a product under applicable State law, except to the extent such law is superseded by this title.

Sets forth expedited settlement measures.

Sets forth alternative dispute resolution procedures. Creates a rebuttable presumption that a refusal to so proceed was unreasonable, or not in good faith, if a verdict is rendered in favor of the offeror.

Part III: Court Procedures - Allows a person seeking to recover for harm caused by a product to bring a civil action against the manufacturer or seller under applicable State or Federal law, except to the extent such law is superseded by this Act.

Establishes a standard of product seller liability for proximate causes of harm, established by a preponderance of the evidence, which fall under the categories of negligence or express warranty.

Sets forth uniform standards for the award of punitive damages.

Bars any civil action under this title: (1) unless filed within two years after the claimant discovered or should have discovered the harm and its cause, subject to exception; and (2) if the product involved is a capital good that is alleged to have caused harm which is not a toxic harm unless filed within 25 years after delivery of the product, provided the claimant has received or would be eligible for State or Federal workers' compensation. Excludes a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft, or railroad used primarily to transport passengers for hire from these time limitations.

Requires reduction in the damages awarded by the sum of all State or Federal workers' compensation benefits to which the employee is or would be entitled.

Declares that, in any product liability action, the liability of each defendant for noneconomic damages shall be several and not joint. Requires the trier of fact to determine the proportion of responsibility of each party for the claimant's harm.

Establishes a complete defense, in any civil action under this Act in which all defendants are manufacturers or sellers, that the claimant was under the influence of alcohol or any drug and that, as a result, the claimant was more than 50 percent responsible for the event which resulted in the harm. Defines "drug" to mean any non-over-the-counter drug which has not been prescribed by a physician.

Title V: Regulatory Review - Prohibits an agency from proposing or promulgating a regulation without first analyzing its direct and indirect effects on the health and safety of consumers and workers, including effects due to wage and job losses, price increases, product restrictions, technological delays, and substitution effects.

Title VI: Total Quality Management - Amends the National Labor Relations Act to allow the formation or operation of quality circles or joint production teams composed of labor and management, with or without the participation of representatives of labor organizations.

Title VII: Long-Term Invesment - Long-Term Investment Promotion Act of 1993 - Amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to eliminate the requirement that publicly-held corporations report their financial status on a quarterly basis.

Title VIII: Amendments to the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 - Amends the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 to change from discretionary to mandatory a Federal agency's authority to permit the director of any of its laboratories to enter into cooperative research and development agreements on its behalf.

Authorizes each Federal agency to copyright on behalf of the United States any computer software prepared in whole or in part by Government employees involved in cooperative research and development agreements.

Includes software royalties in the current distribution format (agency, laboratory, author, and Treasury) under such Act.