Text: H.R.2939 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (09/21/2001)

 
[Congressional Bills 107th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 2939 Introduced in House (IH)]







107th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2939

 To review, reform, and terminate unnecessary and inequitable Federal 
           payments, benefits, services, and tax advantages.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           September 21, 2001

    Mr. Hoeffel (for himself, Mr. Toomey, Mr. Borski, Mr. Brady of 
  Pennsylvania, Mr. Fattah, Mr. Hilliard, Mr. Stark, Mr. Tierney, Ms. 
Pelosi, Mr. Waxman, Mr. Capuano, and Ms. Carson of Indiana) introduced 
 the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Government 
 Reform, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, Rule, and 
the Budget, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, 
 in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the 
                jurisdiction of the committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To review, reform, and terminate unnecessary and inequitable Federal 
           payments, benefits, services, and tax advantages.

    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 ``Corporate Welfare Reform Commission 
Act of 2001''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds that--
            (1) the cost of corporate welfare is estimated to be 
        equivalent to nearly 2 weekly paychecks from every working man 
        and woman in the United States;
            (2) various private organizations have estimated that the 
        annual cost of corporate welfare to the Federal Government is 
        between $60 and $125 billion, yet no comprehensive public 
        estimate of that cost is available;
            (3) corporate welfare may discourage private sector 
        competition and may even have detrimental consequences to the 
        environment which outweigh the benefits to the corporate 
        welfare recipient;
            (4) some corporate welfare benefits which were initially 
        provided for valid goals have, over the years, become redundant 
        or unnecessary;
            (5) rather than diminishing, special interest tax 
        provisions which benefit small numbers of taxpayers are 
        increasing;
            (6) 4 of every 10 companies with more than $250 million in 
        assets or more than $50 million in gross receipts paid less 
        than $100,000 in Federal income taxes for 1995;
            (7) there has been no congressionally-directed systematic 
        review of the multitude of corporate welfare benefits which 
        have been institutionalized in Federal tax provisions or 
        incorporated into other Federal programs; and
            (8) an advisory commission is needed to recommend to the 
        Congress whether some corporate welfare provisions need to be 
        revised or terminated.

SEC. 3. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to establish a congressional advisory 
committee to identify and evaluate inequitable Federal payments.

SEC. 4. DEFINITION.

    (a) In General.--For purposes of this Act, the term ``inequitable 
Federal payment'' means a payment, benefit, service, or tax advantage 
that--
            (1) is provided by the Federal Government to any 
        corporation, partnership, joint venture, association, business 
        trust, or industry other than--
                    (A) a nonprofit organization described under 
                section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 
                that is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of 
                the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or
                    (B) a State or local government or Indian Tribe or 
                Alaska Native village or regional or village 
                corporation as defined in or established pursuant to 
                the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 
                et seq.);
            (2) is provided without a reasonable expectation, 
        demonstrated with the use of reliable performance criteria, 
        that actions or activities undertaken or performed in return 
        for such payment, benefit, service, or tax advantage would 
        result in a return or benefit, quantifiable or nonquantifiable, 
        to the public at least as great as the payment, benefit, 
        service, or tax advantage; and
            (3) provides an unfair competitive advantage or financial 
        windfall.
    (b) Exception.--Such term shall not include a payment, benefit, 
service, or tax advantage that--
            (1) is awarded for the purposes of research and development 
        that--
                    (A) is in the broad public interest on the basis of 
                a peer reviewed or other open, competitive, merit-based 
                procedure;
                    (B) is for a purpose consistent with the mission of 
                the agency;
                    (C) supports competing technologies at levels 
                appropriate to their potential, as determined by an 
                appropriate priority setting process; and
                    (D) the private sector cannot reasonably be 
                expected to undertake without Federal support at a 
                level or in a timeframe consistent with the payment, 
                benefit, service, or tax advantage's potential to 
                provide broad economic or other public benefit;
            (2) primarily benefits public health, safety, the 
        environment, or education;
            (3) is necessary to comply with international trade or 
        treaty obligations; or
            (4) is for the purpose of procurement of property or 
        services by the United States Government.

 SEC. 5. COMMISSION.

    (a) Establishment.--There is established an independent commission 
to be known as the ``Corporate Welfare Reform Commission'' (hereafter 
in this Act, referred to as the ``Commission'').
    (b) Duties.--The Commission shall--
            (1) examine the programs and tax laws of the Federal 
        Government and identify programs and tax laws that provide 
        inequitable Federal payments;
            (2) review inequitable Federal payments; and
            (3) submit the report required under section 6 to the 
        Congress.
    (c) Limitations.--
            (1) Creation of new programs or taxes.--This Act is not 
        intended to result in the creation of new programs or taxes, 
        and the Commission established in this section shall limit its 
        activities to reviewing existing programs or tax laws with the 
        goal of ensuring fairness and equity in the operation and 
        application thereof.
            (2) Elimination of agencies and departments.--The 
        Commission shall limit its recommendations to the termination 
        or reduction of payments, benefits, services, or tax 
        advantages, rather than the termination of Federal agencies or 
        departments.
    (d) Advisory Committee.--The Commission shall be considered an 
advisory committee within the meaning of the Federal Advisory Committee 
Act (5 U.S.C. App.).
    (e) Appointment.--
            (1) Members.--The Commissioners shall be appointed for the 
        life of the Commission and shall be composed of 5 members of 
        whom--
                    (A) one shall be appointed jointly by the Speaker 
                of the House of Representatives and the majority leader 
                of the Senate;
                    (B) one shall be appointed by the Speaker of the 
                House of Representatives;
                    (C) one shall be appointed by the minority leader 
                of the House of Representatives;
                    (D) one shall be appointed by the majority leader 
                of the Senate; and
                    (E) one shall be appointed by the minority leader 
                of the Senate.
        Such appointments shall be made not later than 90 days after 
        the date of the enactment of this Act.
            (2) Consultation required.--The Speaker of the House of 
        Representatives, the minority leader of the House of 
        Representatives, the majority leader of the Senate, and the 
        minority leader of the Senate shall consult among themselves 
        prior to the appointment of the members of the Commission in 
        order to achieve, to the maximum extent possible, fair and 
        equitable representation of various points of view with respect 
        to the matters to be studied by the Commission under subsection 
        (b).
            (3) Chairman.--The Chairman of the Commission shall be the 
        member appointed as provided in paragraph (1)(A).
            (4) Background.--The members shall represent a broad array 
        of expertise covering, to the extent practical, all subject 
        matter, programs, and tax laws the Commission is likely to 
        review.
    (f) Terms.--Each member of the Commission including the Chairman 
shall serve until the termination of the Commission.
    (g) Meetings.--
            (1) Initial meeting.--Not later than 180 days after the 
        date of the enactment of this Act, the Commission shall conduct 
        its first meeting. The first nonadministrative business of the 
        Commission shall be to establish criteria for evaluating 
        whether a payment, benefit, service, or tax advantage is an 
        inequitable Federal payment for purposes of this Act.
            (2) Open meetings.--Each meeting of the Commission shall be 
        open to the public. In cases where classified information, 
        trade secrets, or personnel matters are discussed, the Chairman 
        may close the meeting. All proceedings, information, and 
        deliberations of the Commission shall be available, upon 
        request, to the chairman and ranking member of the relevant 
        committees of Congress.
    (h) Vacancies.--A vacancy on the Commission--
            (1) shall be filled in the same manner as the original 
        appointment not later than 30 days after the Commission is 
        given notice of the vacancy, and
            (2) shall not affect the power of the remaining members to 
        execute the duties of the Commission.
    (i) Pay and Travel Expenses.--
            (1) Pay.--Notwithstanding section 7 of the Federal Advisory 
        Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), each Commissioner, other than 
        the Chairman, shall be paid at a rate equal to the daily 
        equivalent of the minimum annual rate of basic pay for level IV 
        of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United 
        States Code, for each day (including travel time) during which 
        the member is engaged in the actual performance of duties 
        vested in the Commission.
            (2) Chairman.--Notwithstanding section 7 of the Federal 
        Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), the Chairman shall be 
        paid for each day referred to in paragraph (1) at a rate equal 
        to the daily payment of the minimum annual rate of basic pay 
        payable for level III of the Executive Schedule under section 
        5314 of title 5, United States Code.
            (3) Travel expenses.--Members shall receive travel 
        expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in 
        accordance with section 5702 and 5703 of title 5, United States 
        Code.
    (j) Director of Staff.--
            (1) Qualifications.--The Chairman shall appoint a Director 
        who has not served in any of the entities or industries that 
the Commission intends to review during the 12 months preceding the 
date of such appointment.
            (2) Pay.--Notwithstanding section 7 of the Federal Advisory 
        Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), the Director shall be paid at 
        the rate of basic pay payable for level IV of the Executive 
        Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code.
            (3) Reports.--On administrative and personnel matters, the 
        Director shall submit periodic reports to the Chairman of the 
        Commission and the chairman and ranking member of the Committee 
        on Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on 
        Government Reform and Oversight of the House of the 
        Representatives.
    (k) Staff.--
            (1) Additional personnel.--Subject to paragraphs (2) and 
        (4), the Director, with the approval of the Commission, may 
        appoint and fix the pay of additional personnel.
            (2) Appointments.--The Director may make such appointments 
        without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States 
        Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and 
        any personnel so appointed may be paid without regard to the 
        provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of 
        that title relating to classification and General Schedule pay 
        rates.
            (3) Detailees.--Upon the request of the Director, the head 
        of any Federal department or agency may detail any of the 
        personnel of that department or agency to the Commission to 
        assist the Commission in accordance with an agreement entered 
        into with the Commission.
            (4) Restrictions on personnel and detailees.--The following 
        restrictions shall apply to personnel and detailees of the 
        Commission:
                    (A) Personnel.--No more than one-third of the 
                personnel detailed to the Commission may be on detail 
                from Federal agencies that deal directly or indirectly 
                with the Federal payments the Commission intends to 
                review.
                    (B) Analysts.--No more than one-fifth of the 
                professional analysts of the Commission may be persons 
                detailed from a Federal agency that deals directly or 
                indirectly with the Federal payments the Commission 
                intends to review.
                    (C) Lead analyst.--No person detailed from a 
                Federal agency to the Commission may be assigned as the 
                lead professional analyst with respect to an entity or 
                industry the Commission intends to review if the person 
                has been involved in regulatory or policy-making 
                decisions affecting any such entity or industry in the 
                12 months preceding such assignment.
                    (D) Detailee.--A person may not be detailed from a 
                Federal agency to the Commission if, within 12 months 
                before the detail is to begin, that person participated 
                personally and substantially in any matter within that 
                particular agency concerning the preparation of 
                recommendations under this Act.
                    (E) Federal officer or employee.--No member of a 
                Federal agency, and no officer or employee of a Federal 
                agency, may--
                            (i) prepare any report concerning the 
                        effectiveness, fitness, or efficiency of the 
                        performance on the staff of the Commission of 
                        any person detailed from a Federal agency to 
                        that staff;
                            (ii) review the preparation of such report; 
                        or
                            (iii) approve or disapprove such a report.
                    (F) Limitation on staff size.--
                            (i) Subject to clause (ii), there may not 
                        be more than 50 persons (including any 
                        detailees) on the staff at any time.
                            (ii) The Commission may increase personnel 
                        in excess of the limitation under clause (i), 
                        15 days after submitting notification of such 
                        increase to the Committee on Governmental 
                        Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on 
                        Government Reform and Oversight of the House of 
                        Representatives.
                    (G) Limitation on federal officer.--No member of a 
                Federal agency and no employee of a Federal agency may 
                serve as a Commissioner or receive additional 
                compensation by reason of being a member of the staff.
            (5) Assistance.--
                    (A) In general.--The Comptroller General of the 
                United States may provide assistance, including the 
                detailing of employees, to the Commission in accordance 
                with an agreement entered into with the Commission.
                    (B) Consultation.--The Commission and the 
                Comptroller General of the United States shall consult 
                with the Committee on Governmental Affairs of the 
                Senate and the Committee on Government Reform and 
                Oversight of the House of Representatives on the 
                agreement referred to under subparagraph (A) before 
                entering into such agreement.
    (l) Other Authority.--
            (1) Experts and consultants.--The Commission may procure by 
        contract, to the extent funds are available, the temporary or 
        intermittent services of experts or consultants pursuant to 
        section 3109 of title 5, United States Code.
            (2) Leasing.--The Commission may lease space and acquire 
        personal property to the extent that funds are available.
    (m) Funding.--
            (1) Commission.--There are authorized to be appropriated to 
        the Commission such funds as are necessary to carry out its 
        duties under this Act.
            (2) Comptroller general.--There are authorized to be 
        appropriated to the Comptroller General of the United States 
        such funds as are necessary to carry out its duties under 
        subsection (k)(5).
    (n) Termination.--The Commission shall terminate on the 90th day 
after the date that the Commission submits its report under section 
6(a)(1).

 SEC. 6. REPORT; CONGRESSIONAL CONSIDERATION.

    (a) Report of Commission.--
            (1) Report to congress.--
                    (A) In general.--Not later than 1 year after the 
                date of the first meeting of the Commission, the 
                Commission shall submit to each House of Congress a 
                report containing--
                            (i) the Commission's findings, and
                            (ii) recommendations agreed to by at least 
                        3 Commission members for the termination, 
                        reduction, or retention of each of the 
                        inequitable Federal payments reviewed by the 
                        Commission.
                    (B) Specifications.--Such findings and 
                recommendations shall specify--
                            (i) all actions, circumstances, and 
                        considerations relating to or bearing upon the 
                        recommendations; and
                            (ii) to the maximum extent practicable, the 
                        estimated effect of the recommendations upon 
                        the policies, laws and programs directly or 
                        indirectly affected by the recommendations.
            (2) Review of preliminary report by comptroller general.--
                    (A) In general.--Not later than 120 days before the 
                submission of the report under paragraph (1), the 
                Commission shall submit the most recent version of such 
                report to Comptroller General of the United States.
                    (B) Analysis by comptroller general.--Not later 
                than 60 days after receiving the version of the report 
                referred to in subparagraph (A), the Comptroller 
                General of the United States shall submit to the 
                Commission a report containing a detailed analysis of 
                such version of the report.
    (b) Submission of Recommendations to the Senate and House of 
Representatives.--
            (1) Submission to congress.--The recommendations submitted 
        to the Congress under subsection (a) shall be submitted to the 
        Senate and the House of Representatives on the same day, and 
        shall be delivered to the Secretary of the Senate if the Senate 
        is not in session, and to the Clerk of the House of the 
        Representatives if the House is not in session.
            (2) Federal register.--Any recommendations and accompanying 
        information submitted under subsection (a) shall be printed in 
        the first issue of the Federal Register after such submission.
    (c) Introduction.--
            (1) Date of introduction.--Not later than 75 days after the 
        date the report under subsection (a) is submitted to the 
        Congress, the majority leader of the Senate or his designee, 
        and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, or his 
        designee, shall introduce a bill (or bills as provided under 
        paragraph (2)) that implements the recommendations submitted 
        under subsection (a).
            (2) Multiple bills.--The majority leader of the Senate, or 
        his designee, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, 
        or his designee, shall introduce a bill or separate bills 
        ensuring that all such recommendations will be implemented.
    (d) Committee Referral and Action.--
            (1) In general.--
                    (A) In general.--Any committee to which a bill or 
                bills introduced under subsection (c) is referred shall 
                report such bill no later than 120 calendar days after 
                the date of referral. No amendment during committee 
                consideration of a bill or bills introduced under 
                subsection (c) shall be in order unless that amendment 
                is confined to terminating or reducing an inequitable 
                Federal payment as defined in section 4 of this Act. 
                Any such reported bill shall be referred to the 
                Committee on Governmental Affairs of the Senate or the 
                Committee on Government Reform and Oversight of the 
                House of Representatives, as applicable.
                    (B) Committees on finance and ways and means.--
                            (i) In general.--Any bill referred to the 
                        Committee on Finance or the Committee on Ways 
                        and Means that contains revenue increases may 
                        be amended to include reductions in revenues in 
                        the form of tax cuts in an amount up to the 
                        amount of the revenue increases.
                            (ii) Scorecard.--If the bill referred to in 
                        clause (i) is enacted into law, any amount of 
                        revenue reductions not made by the bill as 
                        provided in clause (i) shall be credited to the 
                        pay-as-you-go scorecard under section 252 of 
                        the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit 
                        Control Act of 1985 and may only be offset by 
                        legislation reducing revenues.
            (2) Discharge.--If a committee does not report a bill 
        within the 120-day period as provided under paragraph (1), such 
        bill shall be discharged from the committee and referred to the 
        Committee on Governmental Affairs of the Senate or the 
        Committee on Government Reform and Oversight of the House of 
        Representatives, as applicable.
            (3) Report to floor; consolidation.--
                    (A) In general.--No later than the first day the 
                Senate or the House of Representatives (as applicable) 
                is in session following 10 calendar days in session 
                after the end of the 120-day period described under 
                paragraphs (1) and (2), the Committee on Governmental 
                Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Government 
                Reform and Oversight of the House of Representatives, 
                as applicable, shall--
                            (i) consolidate all bills referred under 
                        paragraphs (1) and (2) into a single bill 
                        (without substantive amendment) and report such 
                        bill to the Senate or the House of 
                        Representatives; or
                            (ii) if only 1 bill is referred under 
                        paragraph (1) or (2), report such bill (without 
amendment) to the Senate or House of Representatives.
                    (B) Legislative calendar.--The bill reported under 
                subparagraph (A) shall be placed on the legislative 
                calendar of the appropriate House.
    (e) Procedure in Senate After Report of Committee; Debate; 
Amendments.--
            (1) Debate on bill.--Debate in the Senate on a bill 
        reported by the Committee on Governmental Affairs under 
        subsection (d)(3), and all amendments thereto and debatable 
        motions and appeals in connection therewith, shall be limited 
        to not more than 30 hours. The time shall be equally divided 
        between, and controlled by, the majority leader and minority 
        leader or their designees.
            (2) Debate on amendments.--Debate in the Senate on any 
        amendment to the bill shall be limited to 1 hour, to be equally 
        divided between, and controlled by, the mover and the manager 
        of the bill, and debate on any amendment to an amendment, 
        debatable motion, or appeal shall be limited to 30 minutes, to 
        be equally divided between, and controlled by, the mover and 
        the manager of the bill, except that in the event the manager 
        of the bill is in favor of any such amendment, motion or 
        appeal, the time in opposition thereto shall be controlled by 
        the minority leader or his designee.
            (3) Limit of debate.--
                    (A) A motion to further limit debate is not 
                debatable. A motion by the majority leader or his 
                designee to extend debate is not debatable. A motion to 
                recommit is not in order.
                    (B) No amendment to the bill reported by the 
                Committee on Governmental Affairs under subsection 
                (d)(3) shall be in order unless--
                            (i) that amendment is confined to 
                        terminating or reducing an inequitable Federal 
                        payment as defined by section 4 of this Act;
                            (ii) that amendment is germane to the bill 
                        reported by the Committee on Governmental 
                        Affairs; and
                            (iii) for the purposes of such bill, 
                        ``germane'' means only amendments which strike 
                        language from such bill, or restore language in 
                        the bill or bills introduced under subsection 
                        (c).
            (4) Conference reports.--
                    (A) Motion to proceed.--A motion to proceed to the 
                consideration of the conference report on a bill 
                subject to the procedures of this section and reported 
                to the Senate may be made even though a previous motion 
                to the same effect has been disagreed to.
                    (B) Time limitation.--The consideration in the 
                Senate of the conference report on the bill and any 
                amendments in disagreement thereto, including all 
                debatable motions and appeals in connection therewith, 
                shall be limited to 5 hours, to be equally divided 
                between, and controlled by, the majority leader and 
                minority leader or their designees. Debate on any 
                debatable motion, appeal related to the conference 
                report, or any amendment to an amendment in 
                disagreement, shall be limited to 30 minutes, to be 
                equally divided between, and controlled by, the mover 
                and the manager of the conference report (or a message 
                between Houses).
    (f) Procedure in House of Representatives After Report of the 
Committee; Debate.--
            (1) Motion to consider.--When the Committee on Government 
        Reform and Oversight of the House of Representatives reports a 
        bill under subsection (d)(3) it is in order (at any time after 
        the fifth day (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal 
        holidays) following the day on which any committee report filed 
        on a bill referred under subsection (d)(1) to the Committee on 
        Government Reform and Oversight has been available to Members 
        of the House) to move to proceed to the consideration of the 
        bill reported to the House of Representatives. The motion is 
        highly privileged and is not debatable. An amendment to the 
        motion is not in order, and it is not in order to move to 
        reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or 
        disagreed to.
            (2) Debate.--General debate on the bill in the House of 
        Representatives shall be limited to not more than 10 hours, 
        which shall be divided equally between the majority and 
        minority parties. A motion further to limit debate is not 
        debatable. A motion to postpone debate is not in order, and it 
        is not in order to move to reconsider the vote by which the 
        bill is agreed to or disagreed to.
            (3) Terms of consideration.--Consideration of the bill by 
        the House of Representatives shall be in the Committee of the 
        Whole, and the bill shall be considered for amendment under the 
        5-minute rule in accordance with the applicable provisions of 
        rule XXIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives for the 
        107th Congress. After the committee rises and reports the bill 
        back to the House, the previous question shall be considered as 
        ordered on the bill and any amendments thereto to final passage 
        without intervening motion.
            (4) Limit on debate.--Debate in the House of 
        Representatives on the conference report on a bill subject to 
        the procedures under this section and reported to the House of 
        Representatives shall be limited to not more than 5 hours, 
        which shall be divided equally between the majority and 
        minority parties. A motion further to limit debate is not 
        debatable. A motion to recommit the conference report is not in 
        order, and it is not in order to move to reconsider the vote by 
        which the conference report is agreed to or disagreed to. A 
        motion to postpone is not in order.
            (5) Appeals.--Appeals from decisions of the Chair relating 
        to the application of the Rules of the House of Representatives 
        to the procedure relating to the bill shall be decided without 
        debate.
    (g) Rules of the Senate and House of Representatives.--This section 
is enacted by Congress--
            (1) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the Senate 
        and the House of Representatives, respectively, but applicable 
        only with respect to the procedure to be followed in that House 
        in the case of a bill under this section, and it supersedes 
        other rules only to the extent that it is inconsistent with 
        such rules; and
            (2) with full recognition of the constitutional right of 
        either House to change the rules as far as relating to the 
        procedure of that House at any time, in the same manner, and to 
        the same extent as in the case of any other rule of that House.
                                 <all>