Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (11/09/1995)

Increases the public debt limit to $4.967 trillion through December 12, 1995, and decreases it to $4.8 trillion thereafter.

(Sec. 2) Prohibits any Government officer or employee, in order to not increase or to reduce the amount of outstanding public debt obligations, from: (1) delaying any deposit or credit of any amount to any Federal fund; (2) refraining from investing any Federal fund amounts in public debt obligations; or (3) disinvesting Federal fund amounts from public debt obligations.

Permits the Secretary of the Treasury, with three days' notice to the Congress and the Comptroller General of the United States, to sell or redeem public debt obligations held by a covered benefits fund in order to make payment of cash benefits or administrative expenses not otherwise payable by reason of an inability to issue further public debt obligations because of the public debt limit (to the extent cash assets of such fund are not available from month to month for such payments). Authorizes the Secretary to issue corresponding public debt obligations to obtain the cash necessary for such purpose, notwithstanding the public debt limit.

(Sec. 3) Repeals specified Federal provisions relating to management of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and the Thrift Savings Fund during periods of debt limitation.

(Sec. 4) Commits the President and the Congress to enacting legislation in calendar year 1995 to achieve by FY 2002 a balanced budget as scored by the Congressional Budget Office. Affirms that the Congress will not enact legislation further increasing the public debt limit unless the President signs into law such balanced budget legislation.

(Sec. 5) Amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to extend Medicare part A (Hospital Insurance Benefits) coverage to any Federal Food and Drug Administration-approved oral drug prescribed as an anticancer nonsteroidal antiestrogen for the treatment of breast cancer or nonsteroidal antiandrogen agent for the treatment of prostate cancer. Provides for uniform coverage of such drugs in all settings.

Title I: Habeas Corpus Reform - Amends the Federal judicial code to establish a one-year statute of limitations for habeas corpus actions brought by State prisoners.

(Sec. 102) Vests authority to issue certificates of probable cause for appeal of habeas corpus orders exclusively in the courts of appeals. Prohibits an appeal from being taken from the final order in a habeas corpus proceeding in which the detention complained of arises out of process issued by a State court or the final order involving a prisoner in Federal custody, unless a circuit justice or judge issues a certificate of appealability.

(Sec. 103) Sets forth provisions revising Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 22 regarding application for an original writ of habeas corpus and for a certificate of appealability.

(Sec. 104) Provides that a State shall not be deemed to have waived the exhaustion requirement or be estopped from reliance upon the requirement unless the State, through counsel, expressly waives the requirement.

(Sec. 105) Imposes a one-year statute of limitations for filing for collateral relief by Federal prisoners.

(Sec. 106) Revises provisions regarding limits on second or successive applications involving State prisoners. Requires dismissal of a claim presented in a second or successive habeas corpus application not presented in a prior application unless: (1) the applicant shows that the claim relies on a new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive to cases on collateral review by the Supreme Court, that was previously unavailable; or (2) the factual predicate for the claim could not have been discovered previously through the exercise of due diligence and the facts underlying the claim, if proven and viewed in light of the evidence as a whole, would be sufficient to establish by clear and convincing evidence that, but for constitutional error, no reasonable factfinder would have found the applicant guilty of the underlying offense.

(Sec. 107) Sets forth special habeas corpus procedures in capital cases, including provisions regarding: (1) the appointment, and claims of ineffectiveness, of counsel; (2) the filing of habeas corpus applications; (3) the scope of Federal review; (4) State unitary review procedures; and (5) limitation periods for determining applications and motions.

Title II: Regulatory Reform - Comprehensive Regulatory Reform Act of 1995 - Amends Federal regulatory law to define "major rule" as any rule that is likely to result in: (1) an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; (2) a major increase in costs or prices; or (3) significant adverse impacts on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets.

(Sec. 2002) Requires each agency proposing a major rule to publish notice of such intent in the Federal Register at least 90 days before publication of the rule. Outlines information required to be included in such notice, including a regulatory impact analysis. Requires the agency proposing the major rule to hold a hearing on such rule if more than 100 persons acting individually submit a hearing request to the agency. Allows an additional period of 30 days for making submissions of written data, views, or arguments to an agency concerning a proposed rule if more than 100 persons individually contact the agency to request such extension. Requires agency responses to such comments to be published in the Federal Register.

Requires each agency to prepare and consider a preliminary and final regulatory impact analysis (RIA) in connection with every major rule. Outlines required analysis contents. Authorizes the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to review and prepare comments on any RIA, notice of proposed rulemaking, or final rule. Prohibits an agency from adopting a major rule unless the final RIA is approved or commented upon in writing by the Director or a designate. Prohibits an agency from publishing a final rule until it has responded to the Director's comments.

Prohibits any final major rule from being promulgated unless the agency head publishes in the Federal Register a finding that: (1) the rule's benefits justify its costs; and (2) the rule employs flexible alternatives and adopts the reasonable alternative which has the greater net benefits and achieves the objectives of the statute.

Requires each agency head to ensure that any proposed major rule or RIA is written in a reasonably simple and understandable manner and provides adequate notice of the rule's contents. Provides an exception to the required cost-benefit analysis of a proposed rule when the agency finds that conducting such analysis is impracticable due to certain emergency or threatening circumstances (requiring publication of such a finding). Outlines further exceptions to the major rule requirements.

Requires the Director to report to the Congress an analysis of the rulemaking procedures of Federal agencies and the impact of such procedures on the regulated public and regulatory process.

(Sec. 2003) Adds a new subchapter to Federal law concerning risk assessments, to be cited as the Risk Assessment and Communication Act of 1995. Applies such subchapter generally to all significant risk assessment and risk characterization documents, except: (1) screening analyses; (2) health, safety, or environmental inspections; or (3) the sale or lease of Federal resources or regulatory activities that directly result in the collection of Federal receipts.

Requires each covered Federal agency head to apply specified principles in order to assure that significant risk assessment documents and all of their components: (1) distinguish scientific findings from other considerations; (2) are, to the extent feasible, scientifically objective, unbiased, and inclusive of all relevant data; and (3) rely, to the extent available and practicable, on scientific findings.

Specifies the requirements that each significant risk characterization document must meet.

Prohibits any covered Federal agency from automatically incorporating or adopting any recommendation or classification made by a non-United States-based entity concerning the health effects value of a substance without an opportunity for notice and comment.

Requires compliance with such subchapter by any risk assessment document or risk characterization document adopted by a covered Federal agency on the basis of such a recommendation or classification.

Directs the President to: (1) issue guidelines for Federal agencies consistent with specified risk assessment and characterization principles; (2) provide a format for summarizing risk assessment results; and (3) periodically review and revise such guidelines as appropriate.

Directs each covered Federal agency head to do the following prior to periodic reports to the Congress: (1) regularly and systematically evaluate risk assessment research and training needs of the agency; and (2) develop a strategy and schedule for carrying out research and training to meet such needs.

Requires the Director to provide for a study using comparative risk analysis to rank health, safety, and environmental risks and to provide a common basis for evaluating strategies for reducing or preventing those risks. Requires the Director to submit to the Congress a report of the National Research Council containing recommendations regarding the use of comparative risk analysis and ways to improve its use in Federal agency decision-making.

Limits covered Federal agencies to: (1) the Environmental Protection Agency; (2) the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; (3) the Departments of Transportation, Energy, Interior, and Agriculture; (4) the Food and Drug Administration; (5) the Consumer Product Safety Commission; (6) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; (7) the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; (8) the Mine Safety and Health Administration; (9) the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and (10) other Federal agencies as determined by the President, acting through the Director.

Requires each Federal agency head to develop a systematic program for the independent and external peer review of regulatory programs designed to protect human health, safety, or the environment in connection with any risk assessment or cost analysis which forms the basis of any rule likely to result in an annual cost increase of $100 million or more.

Authorizes the Director to order that peer review be provided for any major risk or cost assessment likely to have a significant impact on public policy decisions.

Directs the President to appoint National Peer Review Panels to annually review and report to the Congress on the risk and cost assessment practices of each Federal agency for programs designed to protect human health, safety, or the environment.

Authorizes any interested person to petition an agency to conduct a scientific review of a risk assessment conducted or adopted by the agency, except for a major rule or site-specific risk assessment. Outlines petition hearing procedures.

Directs the head of each covered agency, in exercising authority to protect human health, safety, or the environment, to set priorities for the use of research available to address those risks that: (1) are the most serious; and (2) can be addressed in a cost-effective manner. Outlines procedures for determining the most serious risks, to be approved by the Director. Requires such priorities to be incorporated into such agency's budget, planning, regulatory agenda, enforcement, and research activities.

Requires the Director to enter into an arrangement with a nationally recognized scientific institution or scholarly organization to conduct: (1) a study of the methodologies for using comparative risk to rank dissimilar human health, safety, and environmental risks; and (2) a comparative risk analysis (with specified criteria). Requires the analysis to be completed within three years after the enactment of this Act and reviewed and revised at least every five years for the next 15 years. Requires the Director to contract with the National Research Council to provide technical guidance to Federal agencies on using comparative risk analysis for such purposes. Requires various reports and recommendations to the Congress and the President on compliance with the above requirements and appropriate modifications, eliminations, or legislative action.

(Sec. 2004) Authorizes any affected entity to petition for judicial review of a final rule or regulatory flexibility analysis adopted under provisions of this subchapter. Outlines hearing and determination procedures.

Requires a covered agency, at least 30 days in advance of publication of a general notice of proposed rulemaking for a rule, to transmit to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration: (1) a copy of the proposed rule; (2) a copy of the initial regulatory flexibility analysis for the rule; or (3) a determination that an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required for such rule, with an explanation for such determination. Provides for publication of any statement of effect of the Chief Counsel on a proposed rule. Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Chief Counsel should be permitted to appear as amicus curiae in any action brought for the purpose or reviewing a rule.

(Sec. 2005) Sets forth provisions regarding authorized court procedures and scope of review with respect to the review of final rules and analyses, including procedures involving consent decrees, affirmative defense, and agency interpretations in civil and criminal actions.

(Sec. 2006) Finds that efficiency and proper management of Government operations will be promoted if a moratorium on the implementation of certain major final and proposed rules is imposed in order to provide the Congress an opportunity for review. Outlines legislative procedures for such review, including those applicable for a joint resolution disapproving a rule. States that such procedures shall not be subject to judicial review. Exempts from such review procedures rules that concern monetary policy proposed or implemented by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or the Federal Open Market Committee.

(Sec. 2007) Directs the President to annually prepare and submit to the Congress an accounting statement that estimates the annual costs and corresponding benefits of major rules over the next five-year period. Outlines provisions concerning: (1) required notice and opportunity for comment; (2) accounting statement contents; and (3) the submission by the President, at the same time as the annual reports, of an associated report concerning an analysis of the impact of the major rule and recommendations for the reform or elimination of Federal programs or elements that do not represent sound use of national economic resources or are otherwise inefficient.

Requires the Director to: (1) provide certain guidance to Federal agencies with respect to the determination of the costs and benefits of major rules; and (2) make recommendations to the President, after each accounting statement and associated report submitted to the Congress, for improving such statements and reports.

(Sec. 2008) Directs the Administrative Conference of the United States to: (1) develop, carry out, and report annually to the Congress on an ongoing study of the operation of the risk assessment requirements of this subchapter; and (2) carry out and report to the Congress on a study of the operation of the Administrative Procedure Act as it relates to changes made by this subchapter.