H.R.2902 - Corporate Subsidy Reform Commission Act of 2003108th Congress (2003-2004)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Smith, Adam [D-WA-9] (Introduced 07/25/2003)|
|Committees:||House - Government Reform; Ways and Means|
|Latest Action:||House - 08/25/2003 Referred to the Subcommittee on Government Efficiency and Financial Management. (All Actions)|
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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>