Text: H.R.3662 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (04/01/1998)

 
[Congressional Bills 105th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 3662 Introduced in House (IH)]







105th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 3662

     To establish a commission to examine issues pertaining to the 
   disposition of Holocaust-era assets in the United States before, 
  during, and after World War II, and to make recommendations to the 
          President on further action, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             April 1, 1998

Mr. Leach (for himself, Mr. Gilman, Mr. Gejdenson, Mr. Lantos, Mr. Fox 
of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Sherman) introduced the following bill; which 
    was referred to the Committee on Banking and Financial Services

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
     To establish a commission to examine issues pertaining to the 
   disposition of Holocaust-era assets in the United States before, 
  during, and after World War II, and to make recommendations to the 
          President on further action, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``U.S. Holocaust Assets Commission Act 
of 1998''.

SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMISSION.

    (a) Establishment.--There is established a Presidential Commission, 
to be known as the ``Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust 
Assets in the United States'' (hereafter in this Act referred to as the 
``Commission'').
    (b) Membership.--
            (1) Number.--The Commission shall be composed of 19 
        members, appointed in accordance with paragraph (2).
            (2) Appointments.--Of the 19 members of the Commission--
                    (A) 7 shall be private citizens, appointed by the 
                President;
                    (B) 3 shall be representatives of the Department of 
                State, the Department of Justice, and the Department of 
                the Treasury (1 representative of each such 
                Department), appointed by the President;
                    (C) 2 shall be Members of the House of 
                Representatives, appointed by the Speaker of the House 
                of Representatives;
                    (D) 2 shall be Members of the House of 
                Representatives, appointed by the Minority Leader of 
                the House of Representatives;
                    (E) 2 shall be Members of the Senate, appointed by 
                the Majority Leader of the Senate;
                    (F) 2 shall be Members of the Senate, appointed by 
                the Minority Leader of the Senate; and
                    (G) 1 shall be the Chairperson of the United States 
                Holocaust Memorial Council.
            (3) Criteria for membership.--Each private citizen 
        appointed to the Commission shall be an individual who has a 
        record of demonstrated leadership on issues relating to the 
        Holocaust or in the fields of commerce, culture, or education 
        that would assist the Commission in analyzing the disposition 
        of the assets of Holocaust victims.
            (4) Advisory panels.--The Chairperson of the Commission 
        may, in the discretion of the Chairperson, establish advisory 
        panels to the Commission, including State or local officials, 
        representatives of organizations having an interest in the work 
        of the Commission, or others having expertise that is relevant 
        to the purposes of the Commission.
            (5) Date.--The appointments of the members of the 
        Commission shall be made not later than 90 days after the date 
        of enactment of this Act.
    (c) Chairperson.--The Chairperson of the Commission shall be 
selected by the President from among the members of the Commission 
appointed under subparagraph (A) or (B) of subsection (b)(2).
    (d) Period of Appointment.--Members of the Commission shall be 
appointed for the life of the Commission.
    (e) Vacancies.--Any vacancy in the membership of the Commission 
shall not affect its powers, but shall be filled in the same manner as 
the original appointment.
    (f) Meetings.--The Commission shall meet at the call of the 
Chairperson at any time after the date of appointment of the 
Chairperson.
    (g) Quorum.--Thirteen of the members of the Commission shall 
constitute a quorum, but a lesser number of members may hold meetings.

SEC. 3. DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION.

    (a) Original Research.--
            (1) In general.--Except as otherwise provided in paragraph 
        (3), the Commission shall conduct a thorough study and develop 
        an historical record of the collection and disposition of the 
        assets described in paragraph (2), if such assets came into the 
        possession or control of the Federal Government, including the 
        Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and any 
        Federal reserve bank, at any time after January 30, 1933--
                    (A) after having been obtained from victims of the 
                Holocaust by, on behalf of, or under authority of a 
                government referred to in subsection (c);
                    (B) because such assets were left unclaimed as the 
                result of actions taken by, on behalf of, or under 
                authority of a government referred to in subsection 
                (c); or
                    (C) in the case of assets consisting of gold 
                bullion, monetary gold, or similar assets, after such 
                assets had been obtained by the Nazi government of 
                Germany from governmental institutions in any area 
                occupied by the military forces of the Nazi government 
                of Germany.
            (2) Types of assets.--Assets described in this paragraph 
        include--
                    (A) gold, including gold bullion, monetary gold, or 
                similar assets in the possession of or under the 
                control of the Board of Governors of the Federal 
                Reserve System or any Federal reserve bank;
                    (B) gems, jewelry, and nongold precious metals;
                    (C) accounts in banks in the United States;
                    (D) domestic financial instruments purchased before 
                May 8, 1945, by individual victims of the Holocaust, 
                whether recorded in the name of the victim or in the 
                name of a nominee;
                    (E) insurance policies and proceeds thereof;
                    (F) real estate situated in the United States;
                    (G) works of art; and
                    (H) books, manuscripts, and religious objects.
            (3) Coordination of activities.--In carrying out its duties 
        under paragraph (1), the Commission shall, to the maximum 
        extent practicable, coordinate its activities with, and not 
        duplicate similar activities already or being undertaken by, 
        private individuals, private entities, or government entities, 
        whether domestic or foreign.
    (b) Comprehensive Review of Other Research.--Upon request by the 
Commission and permission by the relevant individuals or entities, the 
Commission shall review comprehensively research by private 
individuals, private entities, and nonfederal government entities, 
whether domestic or foreign, into the collection and disposition of the 
assets described in subsection (a)(2), to the extent that such research 
focuses on assets that came into the possession or control of private 
individuals, private entities, or nonfederal government entities within 
the United States at any time after January 30, 1933, either--
            (1) after having been obtained from victims of the 
        Holocaust by, on behalf of, or under authority of a government 
        referred to in subsection (c); or
            (2) because such assets were left unclaimed as the result 
        of actions taken by, on behalf of, or under authority of a 
        government referred to in subsection (c).
    (c) Governments Included.--A government referred to in this 
subsection includes, as in existence during the period beginning on 
March 23, 1933, and ending on May 8, 1945--
            (1) the Nazi government of Germany;
            (2) any government in any area occupied by the military 
        forces of the Nazi government of Germany;
            (3) any government established with the assistance or 
        cooperation of the Nazi government of Germany; and
            (4) any government which was an ally of the Nazi government 
        of Germany.
    (d) Reports.--
            (1) Submission to the president.--Not later than December 
        31, 1999, the Commission shall submit a final report to the 
        President that shall contain any recommendations for such 
        legislative, administrative, or other action as it deems 
        necessary or appropriate. The Commission may submit interim 
        reports to the President as it deems appropriate.
            (2) Submission to the congress.--After receipt of the final 
        report under paragraph (1), the President shall submit to the 
        Congress any recommendations for legislative, administrative, 
        or other action that the President considers necessary or 
        appropriate.

SEC. 4. POWERS OF THE COMMISSION.

    (a) Hearings.--The Commission may hold such hearings, sit and act 
at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such 
evidence as the Commission considers advisable to carry out this Act.
    (b) Information From Federal Agencies.--The Commission may secure 
directly from any Federal department or agency such information as the 
Commission considers necessary to carry out this Act. Upon request of 
the Chairperson of the Commission, the head of any such department or 
agency shall furnish such information to the Commission as 
expeditiously as possible.
    (c) Postal Services.--The Commission may use the United States 
mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other 
departments and agencies of the Federal Government.
    (d) Gifts.--The Commission may accept, use, and dispose of gifts or 
donations of services or property.

SEC. 5. COMMISSION PERSONNEL MATTERS.

    (a) Compensation.--No member of the Commission who is a private 
citizen shall be compensated for service on the Commission. All members 
of the Commission who are officers or employees of the United States 
shall serve without compensation in addition to that received for their 
services as officers or employees of the United States.
    (b) Travel Expenses.--The members of the Commission shall be 
allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at 
rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of 
chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from their homes 
or regular places of business in the performance of services for the 
Commission.
    (c) Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director, General Counsel, 
and Other Staff.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 90 days after the selection 
        of the Chairperson of the Commission under section 2, the 
        Chairperson shall, without regard to the civil service laws and 
        regulations, appoint an executive director, a deputy executive 
        director, and a general counsel of the Commission, and such 
        other additional personnel as may be necessary to enable the 
        Commission to perform its duties under this Act.
            (2) Qualifications.--The executive director, deputy 
        executive director, and general counsel of the Commission shall 
        be appointed without regard to political affiliation, and shall 
        possess all necessary security clearances for such positions.
            (3) Duties of executive director.--The executive director 
        of the Commission shall--
                    (A) serve as principal liaison between the 
                Commission and other Government entities;
                    (B) be responsible for the administration and 
                coordination of the review of records by the 
                Commission; and
                    (C) be responsible for coordinating all official 
                activities of the Commission.
            (4) Compensation.--The Chairperson of the Commission may 
        fix the compensation of the executive director, deputy 
        executive director, general counsel, and other personnel 
        employed by the Commission, without regard to the provisions of 
        chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United 
        States Code, relating to classification of positions and 
        General Schedule pay rates, except that--
                    (A) the rate of pay for the executive director of 
                the Commission may not exceed the rate payable for 
                level III of the Executive Schedule under section 5314 
                of title 5, United States Code; and
                    (B) the rate of pay for the deputy executive 
                director, the general counsel of the Commission, and 
                other Commission personnel may not exceed the rate 
                payable for level IV of the Executive Schedule under 
                section 5315 of title 5, United States Code.
            (5) Employee benefits.--
                    (A) In general.--An employee of the Commission 
                shall be an employee for purposes of chapters 84, 85, 
                87, and 89 of title 5, United States Code, and service 
                as an employee of the Commission shall be service for 
                purposes of such chapters.
                    (B) Nonapplication to members.--This paragraph 
                shall not apply to a member of the Commission.
            (6) Office of personnel management.--The Office of 
        Personnel Management--
                    (A) may promulgate regulations to apply the 
                provisions referred to under subsection (a) to 
                employees of the Commission; and
                    (B) shall provide support services relating to--
                            (i) the initial employment of employees of 
                        the Commission; and
                            (ii) other personnel needs of the 
                        Commission.
    (d) Detail of Government Employees.--Any Federal Government 
employee may be detailed to the Commission without reimbursement to the 
agency of that employee, and such detail shall be without interruption 
or loss of civil service status or privilege.
    (e) Procurement of Temporary and Intermittent Services.--The 
Chairperson of the Commission may procure temporary and intermittent 
services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates 
for individuals which do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual 
rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule 
under section 5316 of such title.
    (f) Staff Qualifications.--Any person appointed to the staff of or 
employed by the Commission shall be an individual of integrity and 
impartiality.
    (g) Conditional Employment.--
            (1) In general.--The Commission may offer employment on a 
        conditional basis to a prospective employee pending the 
        completion of any necessary security clearance background 
        investigation. During the pendency of any such investigation, 
        the Commission shall ensure that such conditional employee is 
        not given and does not have access to or responsibility 
        involving classified or otherwise restricted material.
            (2) Termination.--If a person hired on a conditional basis 
        as described in paragraph (1) is denied or otherwise does not 
        qualify for all security clearances necessary for the 
        fulfillment of the responsibilities of that person as an 
        employee of the Commission, the Commission shall immediately 
        terminate the employment of that person with the Commission.
    (h) Expedited Security Clearance Procedures.--A candidate for 
executive director or deputy executive director of the Commission and 
any potential employee of the Commission shall, to the maximum extent 
possible, be investigated or otherwise evaluated for and granted, if 
applicable, any necessary security clearances on an expedited basis.

SEC. 6. SUPPORT SERVICES.

    During the 180-day period following the date of enactment of this 
Act, the General Services Administration shall provide administrative 
support services (including offices and equipment) for the Commission.

SEC. 7. TERMINATION OF THE COMMISSION.

    The Commission shall terminate 90 days after the date on which the 
Commission submits its final report under section 3.

SEC. 8. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS.

    (a) Inapplicability of FACA.--The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 
U.S.C. App.) does not apply to the Commission.
    (b) Public Attendance.--To the maximum extent practicable, each 
meeting of the Commission shall be open to members of the public.

SEC. 9. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated not more than $3,500,000 
for the interagency funding of activities of the Commission under this 
Act. Funds made available to the Commission pursuant to this section 
shall remain available for obligation until December 31, 1999.
                                 <all>

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