Text: H.R.974 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip?

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (02/17/2005)

 
[Congressional Bills 109th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 974 Introduced in House (IH)]






109th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 974

    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

                           February 17, 2005

   Mr. Smith of Washington (for himself, Mr. Shays, Mr. Sherman, Mr. 
 English of Pennsylvania, Mr. Kind, Mr. Wolf, Mr. Emanuel, Mr. Hefley, 
  and Mr. Davis of Florida) 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''.

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 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.

SEC. 5. THE COMMISSION.

    (a) Establishment.--There is established in the legislative branch 
an independent commission to be known as the ``Corporate Subsidy Reform 
Commission'' (hereinafter 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 any programs or 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 and laws with the 
        goal of ensuring fairness and equity in the operation and 
        application of such programs and laws.
            (2) Elimination of agencies and departments.--The 
        Commission--
                    (A) shall limit its recommendations to the 
                termination, modification, or retention of inequitable 
                Federal subsidies; and
                    (B) shall not recommend the termination of any 
                Federal agency or department.
    (d) Appointment.--
            (1) Members.--The Commission shall be composed of 8 
        members, of whom--
                    (A) 2 shall be appointed by the Speaker of the 
                House of Representatives;
                    (B) 2 shall be appointed by the minority leader of 
                the House of Representatives;
                    (C) 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
                    (D) 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 with one another 
        before making any appointments under this subsection 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.
            (4) Limitation on federal officer.--No officer or employee 
        of a Federal agency may serve as a member of the Commission.
            (5) Terms.--The members of the Commission shall be 
        appointed for the life of the Commission.
    (e) Meetings.--
            (1) Initial meeting.--No later than April 1, 2006, 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.
    (f) Vacancies.--A vacancy on the Commission shall be filled in the 
same manner as the original appointment.
    (g) Pay and Travel Expenses.--
            (1) Pay.--Each member of the Commission, other than the co-
        chairs, shall be paid at a rate equal to the daily equivalent 
        of the 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) Co-chairs.--The co-chairs shall be paid for each day 
        referred to in paragraph (1) at a rate equal to the daily 
        equivalent of the rate of basic pay 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 sections 5702 and 5703 of title 
        5, United States Code.
    (h) 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 are or might be affected by any of 
        the programs or laws the Commission intends to review.
            (2) Pay.--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.
    (i) 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 programs or laws 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 programs or laws 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 that is or might be affected by the programs 
                or laws 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 number 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) Prohibition of compensation.--Members of the 
                staff of the Commission who are full-time officers or 
                employees of the United States may not receive 
                additional pay, allowances, or benefits by reason of 
                their service for the Commission.
            (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.
    (j) Other Authority.--
            (1) Experts and consultants.--The Commission may procure by 
        contract 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.
            (3) Limitation on contract authority.--The authority to 
        enter into contracts under this subsection shall be available 
        only to the extent or in the amounts provided in advance in 
        appropriation Acts.
    (k) Funding.--There is authorized to be appropriated to the 
Commission $4,000,000 to carry out its duties under this Act.
    (l) Termination.--The Commission shall terminate on January 1, 
2008.

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 2007 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, 2007, 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 published 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 (A); 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, 2007, 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 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, 2006, or 
                60 days after the public release of the President's 
                budget documents for fiscal year 2007, 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>

Share This