Text: H.R.2902 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/25/2003)

 
[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 2902 Introduced in House (IH)]







108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2902

    To establish the Corporate Subsidy Reform Commission to review 
inequitable Federal subsidies and make recommendations for termination, 
modification, or retention of such subsidies, and to state the sense of 
  the Congress that the Congress should promptly consider legislation 
     that would make the changes in law necessary to implement the 
                            recommendations.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             July 25, 2003

Mr. Smith of Washington (for himself, Mr. Shays, Mr. Case, Mr. Tierney, 
Mr. Carter, Mr. Duncan, and Mr. Emanuel) introduced the following bill; 
   which was referred to the Committee on Government Reform, and in 
    addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, 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 establish the Corporate Subsidy Reform Commission to review 
inequitable Federal subsidies and make recommendations for termination, 
modification, or retention of such subsidies, and to state the sense of 
  the Congress that the Congress should promptly consider legislation 
     that would make the changes in law necessary to implement the 
                            recommendations.

    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 Subsidy Reform Commission 
Act of 2003''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds that--
            (1) Federal subsidies, including tax advantages, which may 
        have been enacted with a valid purpose for specific industries 
        or industry segments can--
                    (A) fall subject to abuse, causing unanticipated 
                and unjustified windfalls to some industries and 
                industry segments; or
                    (B) become obsolete, anticompetitive, or no longer 
                in the public interest, making such subsidies 
                unnecessary or undesired;
            (2) it is unfair to force the United States taxpayer to 
        support unnecessary subsidies, including tax advantages, that 
        do not provide a substantial public benefit or serve the public 
        interest;
            (3) the Congress has been unable to evaluate methodically 
        those Federal subsidies that are unfair and unnecessary and 
        require reform or elimination; and
            (4) a Commission to advise the Congress is essential to a 
        comprehensive review of such unfair corporate subsidies and to 
        the reform or elimination of such subsidies.

SEC. 3. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to establish a fair and deliberative 
process that will result in the timely identification, review, and 
reform or elimination of unnecessary and inequitable subsidies, 
including tax advantages, provided by the Federal Government to 
entities or industries engaged in profit-making enterprises.

SEC. 4. DEFINITION.

    For purposes of this Act, the term ``inequitable Federal 
subsidy''--
            (1) except as provided in paragraph (2), means a payment, 
        benefit, service, or tax advantage that--
                    (A) is provided by the Federal Government to any 
                corporation, partnership, joint venture, association, 
                or business trust other than--
                            (i) 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
                            (ii) a State or local government or Indian 
                        Tribe; and
                    (B) provides an unfair competitive advantage or 
                financial windfall; and
            (2) does not include a payment, benefit, service, or tax 
        advantage that--
                    (A) is awarded for the purposes of research and 
                development in the broad public interest on the basis 
                of a peer reviewed or other open, competitive, merit-
                based procedure; and
                    (B) primarily benefits public health, safety, 
                homeland security, the environment, or education.

SEC. 5. THE COMMISSION.

    (a) Establishment.--There is established an independent commission 
to be known as the ``Corporate Subsidy Reform Commission'' (hereafter 
in this Act referred to as the ``Commission'').
    (b) Duties.--The Commission shall--
            (1) examine the programs and laws of the Federal Government 
        and identify such programs and laws that provide inequitable 
        Federal subsidies;
            (2) review inequitable Federal subsidies; and
            (3) submit the report required under section 6(c) to the 
        Congress, making recommendations regarding the termination, 
        modification, or retention of inequitable Federal subsidies.
    (c) Limitations.--
            (1) Creation of new programs or taxes.--This Act is not 
        intended to result in the creation of new programs or taxes. 
        The Commission established in this section shall limit its 
activities to reviewing existing programs or laws with the goal of 
ensuring fairness and equity in the operation and application thereof.
            (2) Elimination of agencies and departments.--The 
        Commission--
                    (A) shall limit its recommendations to the 
                termination or reform of payments, benefits, services, 
                or tax advantages; and
                    (B) shall not recommend the termination of any 
                Federal agency or department.
    (d) Advisory Committee.--The Commission shall be considered an 
advisory committee within the meaning of that term in the Federal 
Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.).
    (e) Appointment.--
            (1) Members.--The members of the Commission--
                    (A) shall be appointed for the life of the 
                Commission; and
                    (B) shall be composed of 8 members, of whom--
                            (i) 2 shall be appointed by the Speaker of 
                        the House of Representatives;
                            (ii) 2 shall be appointed by the minority 
                        leader of the House of Representatives;
                            (iii) 2 shall be appointed by the majority 
                        leader of the Senate, one of whom shall be 
                        designated by the majority leader to serve as a 
                        co-chair; and
                            (iv) 2 shall be appointed by the minority 
                        leader of the Senate, one of whom shall be 
                        designated by the minority leader to serve as a 
                        co-chair.
            (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) Background.--The members shall represent a broad array 
        of expertise covering, to the extent practical, all subject 
        matter, programs, and laws the Commission is likely to review.
    (f) Meetings.--
            (1) Initial meeting.--No later than April 1, 2004, the 
        Commission shall conduct its first meeting.
            (2) Open meetings.--Each meeting of the Commission shall be 
        open to the public, except that in cases in which classified 
        information, trade secrets, or personnel matters are discussed, 
        the co-chairs may close the meeting. All proceedings, 
        information, and deliberations of the Commission shall be 
        available, upon request, to the Chairman and ranking minority 
        member of the relevant Committee of the Congress having 
        jurisdiction to report legislation regarding the subject matter 
        thereof.
    (g) Vacancies.--A vacancy on the Commission shall be filled in the 
same manner as the original appointment.
    (h) Pay and Travel Expenses.--
            (1) Pay.--Notwithstanding section 7 of the Federal Advisory 
        Committee Act (5 App. U.S.C.), each member of the Commission, 
        other than the co-chairs, 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) Chairmen.--Notwithstanding section 7 of the Federal 
        Advisory Committee Act (5 App. U.S.C.), the co-chairs 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 of the Commission shall 
        receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of 
        subsistence, in accordance with section 5702 and 5703 of title 
        5, United States Code.
    (i) Director of Staff.--
            (1) Qualifications.--The co-chairs shall appoint as 
        Director an individual who has not, during the 12 months 
        preceding the date of such appointment, served in any of the 
        entities or industries that the Commission intends to review.
            (2) Pay.--Notwithstanding section 7 of the Federal Advisory 
        Committee Act (5 App. U.S.C.), 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.--The Director shall submit periodic reports on 
        administrative and personnel matters to the co-chairs of the 
        Commission and the Chairman and ranking minority member of the 
        Committee on Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the 
        Committee on Government Reform of the House of Representatives.
    (j) 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) Legal staff.--The Director shall appoint under 
        paragraph (2) such professional legal staff as are necessary 
        for the performance of the functions of the Commission.
            (4) 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.
            (5) 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 subsidies 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 subsidies 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 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 25 persons 
                (including any detailees) on the staff at any time.
                    (ii) The Commission may increase the member of its 
                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 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 member of the Commission or as a paid member 
                of its staff.
            (6) 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 of the 
                House of Representatives on the agreement referred to 
under subparagraph (A) before entering into such agreement.
    (k) 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.
    (l) 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 the Comptroller 
        General's duties under subsection (k)(5) and section 6(b)(5).
    (m) Termination.--The Commission shall terminate on January 1, 
2006.

SEC. 6. PROCEDURE FOR MAKING RECOMMENDATIONS TO TERMINATE CORPORATE 
              SUBSIDIES.

    (a) Agency Plan.--
            (1) In general.--The head of each Federal department or 
        agency shall include in the documents submitted in support of 
        the budget of the agency for fiscal year 2005 a list 
        identifying all programs and laws administered by that 
        department or agency that the head of the department or agency 
        determines provide inequitable Federal subsidies.
            (2) Contents.--Such list shall include--
                    (A) a detailed description of each program or law 
                in question;
                    (B) a statement identifying and detailing the 
                extent to which each payment, benefit, service, or tax 
                advantage under such program or law is an inequitable 
                Federal subsidy;
                    (C) a statement summarizing the legislative history 
                and purpose of such payment, benefit, service, or tax 
                advantage, and the laws or policies directly or 
                indirectly giving rise to the need for such programs or 
                law; and
                    (D) a recommendation to the Commission regarding 
                the termination, modification, or retention of each 
                inequitable Federal subsidy identified in the list.
    (b) Review by the Commission.--
            (1) In general.--At any time after the submission of the 
        budget documents to the Congress, the Commission shall conduct 
        public hearings on the termination, modification, or retention 
        of inequitable Federal subsidies, including the recommendations 
        included in the lists required under subsection (a).
            (2) Testimony under oath.--All testimony before the 
        Commission at a public hearing conducted under this paragraph 
        shall be presented under oath.
    (c) Report and Recommendations of Commission.--
            (1) Report to congress.--
                    (A) Requirement.--No later than March 31, 2005, the 
                Commission shall submit a report to the Congress 
                containing the Commission's findings and 
                recommendations for termination, modification, or 
                retention of each of the inequitable Federal subsidies 
                reviewed by the Commission.
                    (B) Contents.--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.
                    (C) Supermajority requirement.--The Commission may 
                not include a recommendation in the report unless 
                inclusion of the recommendation is approved by at least 
                6 members of the Commission.
            (2) Information and justifications.--The Commission shall 
        include in its report information specifying--
                    (A) the reasons and justifications for the 
                recommendations of the Commission;
                    (B) to the maximum extent practicable, the 
                estimated fiscal, economic, and budgetary impact of 
                accepting its recommendations;
                    (C) the amount of the projected savings resulting 
                from each it its recommendations;
                    (D) all actions, circumstances, and considerations 
                relating to or bearing upon the recommendations and to 
                the maximum extent practicable, the estimated effect of 
                the recommendations upon the policies, laws and 
                programs directly or indirectly affected by the 
                recommendations; and
                    (E) the specific changes in Federal statutes 
                necessary to implement the recommendations, including 
                citation of the relevant provisions of existing law.
            (3) Submission to congress.--The report submitted to the 
        Congress under this subsection 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.
            (4) Federal register.--The report submitted under this 
        subsection shall be printed in the first issue of the Federal 
        Register after such submission.
            (5) Changes in agency or department recommendations.--
                    (A) In general.--Subject to the deadline in 
                paragraph (1) and to subparagraphs (B) and (C) of this 
                paragraph, in making its recommendations, the 
                Commission may make changes in any of the 
                recommendations made by a department or agency if the 
                Commission determines that such department or agency, 
                in treating any matter as an inequitable Federal 
                subsidy, deviated substantially from the provisions of 
                section 4.
                    (B) Limitation.--The Commission may make a change 
                in the recommendations made by a department or agency, 
                only if the Commission--
                            (i) makes the determination required under 
                        subparagraph (B); and
                            (ii) conducts a public hearing on the 
                        Commission's proposed changes.
                    (C) Application of limitation.--Subparagraph (B) 
                shall apply only to a change by the Commission in a 
                department or agency recommendation that would--
                            (i) add or delete a payment, benefit, 
                        service, or tax advantage to or from, 
                        respectively, the list recommended for 
                        termination;
                            (ii) add or delete a payment, benefit, 
                        service, or tax advantage to or from, 
                        respectively, the list recommended for 
                        modification; or
                            (iii) increase or decrease the extent of a 
                        recommendation to modify a payment, benefit, 
                        service, or tax advantage included in a 
                        department's or agency's recommendation.
                    (D) Justification.--The Commission shall explain 
                and justify in the report submitted to the Congress 
                under this subsection any recommendation made by the 
                Commission that is different from a recommendation made 
                by an agency under subsection (a).
            (6) Provision of information to members of congress.--After 
        March 31, 2005, the Commission shall, upon request, promptly 
        provide to any Member of Congress the information used by the 
        Commission in making its recommendations.
            (7) Comptroller general.--The Comptroller General of the 
        United States shall--
                    (A) assist the Commission, to the extent requested, 
                in the Commission's review and analysis of the lists, 
                statements, and recommendations made by departments and 
                agencies under subsection (a); and
                    (B) no later than 60 days after April 1, 2004, or 
                the public release of the President's budget documents 
                in 2004, whichever is earlier, submit to the Congress 
                and to the Commission a report containing a detailed 
                analysis of the list, statements, and recommendations 
                of each department or agency.

SEC. 7. CONGRESSIONAL ACTION ON COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS.

    It is the sense of the Congress that, following submission of the 
report of the Corporate Subsidy Reform Commission under section 6, the 
House of Representatives and the Senate should promptly consider 
legislation that would enact changes in Federal statutes necessary to 
implement the recommendations of the Commission.
                                 <all>