Text: H.R.3232 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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[Congressional Bills 110th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 3232 Placed on Calendar Senate (PCS)]






                                                      Calendar No. 1113
110th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 3232


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

           September 26 (legislative day, September 17), 2008

                                Received

            October 2 (legislative day, September 17), 2008

                 Read twice and placed on the calendar

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
  To establish a non-profit corporation to communicate United States 
 entry policies and otherwise promote tourist, business, and scholarly 
                      travel to the United States.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Travel Promotion 
Act of 2008''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. The Corporation for Travel Promotion.
Sec. 3. Accountability measures.
Sec. 4. Matching public and private funding.
Sec. 5. Travel Promotion Fund fees.
Sec. 6. Investment of Funds.
Sec. 7. Prohibition on use of funds.
Sec. 8. Amendments to the International Travel Act of 1961.
Sec. 9. Definitions.
Sec. 10. G.A.O. study

SEC. 2. THE CORPORATION FOR TRAVEL PROMOTION.

    (a) Establishment.--The Corporation for Travel Promotion is 
established as a nonprofit corporation. The Corporation shall not be an 
agency or establishment of the United States Government. The 
Corporation shall be subject to the provisions of the District of 
Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act (sec. 29-301.01 et seq., D.C. 
Official Code), to the extent that such provisions are consistent with 
this section, and shall have the powers conferred upon a nonprofit 
corporation by that Act to carry out its purposes and activities.
    (b) Board of Directors.--
            (1) In general.--The Corporation shall have a board of 
        directors of 15 members, appointed by the Secretary of 
        Commerce, but not before consultation with the Secretaries of 
        Homeland Security, State, and Education, as appropriate, each 
        of whom is a United States citizen, and of whom--
                    (A) one shall have appropriate expertise and 
                experience in the hotel accommodations sector;
                    (B) one shall have appropriate expertise and 
                experience in the restaurant sector;
                    (C) one shall have appropriate expertise and 
                experience in the retail sector, or in associations 
                representing that sector;
                    (D) one shall have appropriate expertise and 
                experience in the small business sector, or in 
                associations representing that sector;
                    (E) one shall have appropriate expertise and 
                experience in the advertising sector;
                    (F) one shall have appropriate expertise and 
                experience in the attractions sector;
                    (G) one shall have appropriate expertise and 
                experience in the recreation sector;
                    (H) one shall have appropriate expertise and 
                experience in the research, development, or 
                manufacturing sector;
                    (I) one shall have appropriate expertise and 
                experience in the financial services sector;
                    (J) one shall have appropriate expertise and 
                experience in the passenger air sector;
                    (K) one shall have appropriate expertise and 
                experience in the car rental sector;
                    (L) one shall have appropriate expertise and 
                experience as an official at the state and municipal 
                level, or in associations of such officials;
                    (M) one shall have appropriate expertise and 
                experience in the higher education sector and in 
                coordinating international scholarly conferences in the 
                United States;
                    (N) one shall have appropriate expertise and 
                experience in immigration law and policy, including 
                visa requirements and United States entry procedures; 
                and
                    (O) one shall have appropriate expertise in matters 
                relating to homeland security policy, including border 
                and travel security and facilitation programs.
            (2) Incorporation.--The members of the initial board of 
        directors shall serve as incorporators and shall take whatever 
        actions are necessary to establish the Corporation under the 
        District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act (sec. 29-301.01 
        et seq.).
            (3) Term of office.--The term of office of each member of 
        the board appointed by the Secretary shall be 3 years, except 
        that, of the members first appointed--
                    (A) 3 shall be appointed for terms of 1 year;
                    (B) 4 shall be appointed for terms of 2 years; and
                    (C) 4 shall be appointed for terms of 3 years.
            (4) Vacancies.--Any vacancy in the board shall not affect 
        its power, but shall be filled in the manner required by this 
        section. Any member whose term has expired may serve until the 
        member's successor has taken office, or until the end of the 
        calendar year in which the member's term has expired, whichever 
        is earlier. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring 
        prior to the expiration of the term for which that member's 
        predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder 
        of the predecessor's term. No member of the board shall be 
        eligible to serve more than 2 consecutive full terms.
            (5) Election of chairman and vice chairman.--Members of the 
        board shall annually elect one of their members to be chairman 
        and elect 1 or more of their members as a vice chairman or vice 
        chairmen.
            (6) Status as federal employees.--Notwithstanding any 
        provision of law to the contrary, no member of the board may be 
        considered to be a Federal employee of the United States by 
        virtue of his or her service as a member of the board.
            (7) Compensation; expenses.--No member of the board shall 
        receive any compensation from the Federal Government or the 
        Corporation by virtue of his or her service as a member of the 
        board. Each member of the board shall be paid actual travel 
        expenses and per diem in lieu of subsistence expenses when away 
        from his or her usual place of residence, in accordance with 
        section 5703 of title 5, United States Code.
    (c) Officers and Employees.--
            (1) In general.--The Corporation shall have a President, 
        and such other officers as may be named and appointed by the 
        board for terms and at rates of compensation fixed by the 
        board. No individual other than a citizen of the United States 
        may be an officer of the Corporation. The corporation may hire 
        and fix the compensation of such employees as may be necessary 
        to carry out its purposes. No officer or employee of the 
        Corporation may receive any salary or other compensation 
        (except for compensation for services on boards of directors of 
        other organizations that do not receive funds from the 
        Corporation, on committees of such boards, and in similar 
        activities for such organizations) from any sources other than 
        the Corporation for services rendered during the period of his 
        or her employment by the Corporation. Service by any officer on 
        boards of directors of other organizations, on committees of 
        such boards, and in similar activities for such organizations 
        shall be subject to annual advance approval by the board and 
        subject to the provisions of the Corporation's Statement of 
        Ethical Conduct. All officers and employees shall serve at the 
        pleasure of the board.
            (2) Nonpolitical nature of appointment.--No political test 
        or qualification shall be used in selecting, appointing, 
        promoting, or taking other personnel actions with respect to 
        officers, agents, or employees of the Corporation.
    (d) Nonprofit and Nonpolitical Nature of Corporation.--
            (1) Stock.--The Corporation shall have no power to issue 
        any shares of stock, or to declare or pay any dividends.
            (2) Profit.--No part of the income or assets of the 
        Corporation shall inure to the benefit of any director, 
        officer, employee, or any other individual except as salary or 
        reasonable compensation for services.
            (3) Politics.--The Corporation may not contribute to or 
        otherwise support any political party or candidate for elective 
        public office.
            (4) Sense of congress regarding lobbying activities.--It is 
        the sense of Congress that the Corporation established under 
        this Act should not engage in any lobbying activities with any 
        employee or branch of the Federal Government in favor of or in 
        opposition to any political issue.
    (e) Duties and Powers.--
            (1) In general.--The Corporation shall develop and execute 
        a plan to--
                    (A) provide useful information to foreign tourists, 
                business people, students, scholars, scientists and 
                others interested in traveling to the United States, 
                including the distribution of material provided by the 
                Federal Government concerning entry requirements, 
                required documentation, fees, and processes, to 
                prospective travelers, travel agents, tour operators, 
                meeting planners, foreign governments, travel media and 
                other international stakeholders;
                    (B) identify and address perceptions in other 
                countries regarding United States entry policies that 
                tend to limit attempts to travel to the United States;
                    (C) maximize the economic and diplomatic benefits 
                of travel to the United States by promoting the United 
                States of America to world travelers through the use 
                of, but not limited to, all forms of advertising, 
                outreach to trade shows, and other appropriate 
                promotional activities; and
                    (D) identify opportunities and strategies to 
                promote tourism to rural and urban areas equally.
            (2) Specific powers.--In order to carry out the purposes of 
        this section, the Corporation may--
                    (A) obtain grants from and make contracts with 
                individuals and private companies, State, and Federal 
                agencies, organizations, and institutions;
                    (B) hire or accept the voluntary services of 
                consultants, experts, advisory boards, and panels to 
                aid the Corporation in carrying out its purposes; and
                    (C) take such other actions as may be necessary to 
                accomplish the purposes set forth in this section.
    (f) Open Meetings.--Meetings of the board of directors of the 
Corporation, including any committee of the board, shall be open to the 
public. The board may, by majority vote, close any such meeting only 
for the time necessary to preserve the confidentiality of commercial or 
financial information that is privileged or confidential, to discuss 
personnel matters, or to discuss legal matters affecting the 
Corporation, including pending or potential litigation.
    (g) Major Campaigns.--The board may not authorize the Corporation 
to obligate or expend more than $25,000,000 on any advertising 
campaign, promotion, or related effort unless--
            (1) the obligation or expenditure is approved by an 
        affirmative vote of at least \2/3\ of the members of the board 
        present at the meeting;
            (2) at least 8 members of the board are present at the 
        meeting at which it is approved; and
            (3) each member of the board has been given at least 3 days 
        advance notice of the meeting at which the vote is to be taken 
        and the matters to be voted upon at that meeting.
    (h) Fiscal Accountability.--
            (1) Fiscal year.--The Corporation shall establish as its 
        fiscal year the 12-month period beginning on October 1.
            (2) Budget.--The Corporation shall adopt a budget for each 
        fiscal year.
            (3) Annual audits.--The Corporation shall engage an 
        independent accounting firm to conduct an annual financial 
        audit of the Corporation's operations and shall publish the 
        results of the audit.

SEC. 3. ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURES.

    (a) Objectives.--The Board shall establish annual objectives for 
the Corporation for each fiscal year subject to approval by the 
Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security and 
the Secretary of State. The Corporation shall establish a marketing 
plan for each fiscal year not less than 60 days before the beginning of 
that year and provide a copy of the plan, and any revisions thereof, to 
the Secretary.
    (b) Budget.--The board shall transmit a copy of the Corporation's 
budget for the forthcoming fiscal year to the Secretary not less than 
60 days before the beginning of each fiscal year, together with an 
explanation of any expenditure provided for by the budget in excess of 
$5,000,000 for the fiscal year. The Corporation shall make a copy of 
the budget and the explanation available to the public and shall 
provide public access to the budget and explanation on the 
Corporation's website.
    (c) Annual Report to Congress.--The Corporation shall submit an 
annual report for the preceding fiscal year to the Secretary of 
Commerce and the Secretary of Homeland Security for transmittal to 
Congress on or before the 15th day of May of each year. The report 
shall include--
            (1) a comprehensive and detailed report of the 
        Corporation's operations, activities, financial condition, and 
        accomplishments under this Act;
            (2) a comprehensive and detailed inventory of amounts 
        obligated or expended by the Corporation during the preceding 
        fiscal year;
            (3) a detailed description of each in-kind contribution, 
        its fair market value, the individual or organization 
        responsible for contributing, its specific use, and a 
        justification for its use within the context of the 
        Corporation's mission;
            (4) an objective and quantifiable measurement of its 
        progress, on an objective-by-objective basis, in meeting the 
        objectives established by the board;
            (5) an explanation of the reason for any failure to achieve 
        an objective established by the board, and any revisions or 
        alterations to the Corporation's objectives under subsection 
        (a);
            (6) a comprehensive and detailed report of the 
        Corporation's operations and activities to promote tourism in 
        rural and urban areas; and
            (7) such recommendations as the Corporation deems 
        appropriate.

SEC. 4. MATCHING PUBLIC AND PRIVATE FUNDING.

    (a) Establishment of Travel Promotion Fund.--There is hereby 
established in the Treasury a fund which shall be known as the ``Travel 
Promotion Fund''.
    (b) Funding.--
            (1) First year.--For fiscal year 2009, the Secretary of the 
        Treasury, not earlier than October 1, 2008, and not before the 
        Secretary has appointed all members of the Corporation's board 
        of directors, may transfer to the Corporation such sums as may 
        be necessary, but not to exceed $10,000,000, subject to the 
        availability of appropriations to carry out this section to 
        cover its initial expenses and activities under this Act. At 
        the earliest practicable date, the Corporation shall reimburse 
        the Treasury any such amounts borrowed from the Treasury, with 
        at least 50 percent reimbursed before October 1, 2011, and the 
        remainder reimbursed before October 1, 2013. Reimbursement 
        shall include interest at a rate determined by the Treasury 
        taking into consideration current market yields on outstanding 
        Treasury securities of comparable maturities and including any 
        additional charges determined by the Secretary of the Treasury 
        to cover any probable losses and reasonable administrative 
        costs. The Secretary of the Treasury shall determine and assess 
        penalties to be applied for late payments of principal or 
        interest and other Federal credit terms designed to minimize 
        Federal exposure to loss, consistent with the Federal Credit 
        Reform Act and other applicable Federal credit policies.
            (2) Subsequent years.--For each of fiscal years 2010 
        through 2013, from amounts deposited in the general fund of the 
        Treasury during the preceding fiscal year from fees under 
        section 5, the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer not 
        more than $100,000,000 to the Fund, which shall be made 
        available to the Corporation, subject to subsections (c), (d), 
        and (e), to carry out its functions under this Act. Transfers 
        shall be made by the Secretary of the Treasury at least 
        quarterly on the basis of estimates by the Secretary of the 
        Treasury, determined in consultation with the Board, of 
        contributions made to the Corporation by non-Federal sources, 
        and proper adjustments shall be made in amounts subsequently 
        transferred to the extent prior estimates were in excess or 
        less than actual contributions from non-Federal sources.
    (c) Matching Requirement.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary of the Treasury shall make 
        available to the Corporation from amounts available in the 
        Travel Promotion Fund--
                    (A) for fiscal year 2010, twice the amount that 
                will be collected from non-Federal sources by the 
                Corporation pursuant to section 4(b)(2) of this Act and 
                not to exceed $100,000,000; and
                    (B) for subsequent fiscal years, an amount equal to 
                the amount that will be collected from non-Federal 
                sources by the Corporation pursuant to section 4(b)(2) 
                of this Act and not to exceed $100,000,000.
            (2) Goods and services.--For the purpose of determining the 
        amount of matching funds, other than money, available to the 
        Corporation--
                    (A) the fair market value, as determined by the 
                Corporation, of goods and services (including 
                advertising) contributed to the Corporation for use 
                under this Act may be included in the determination; 
                but
                    (B) the fair market value of such goods and 
                services may not account for more than 65 percent of 
                the matching requirement for the Corporation in any 
                fiscal year.
            (3) Right of refusal.--The Corporation may decline to 
        accept any contribution in kind that it determines to be 
        inappropriate, not useful, or commercially worthless.
    (d) Grant Offset.--For a given fiscal year, the Secretary of the 
Treasury shall reduce the total amount of funding to be transferred to 
the Corporation from the Travel Promotion Fund by the amount of grants 
received by the Corporation pursuant to section 2(e)(2)(A) to be used 
during that fiscal year.
    (e) Limitation.--The Corporation shall not expend funds or obligate 
to expend funds that will exceed total amounts received by the 
Corporation for a given fiscal year.

SEC. 5. TRAVEL PROMOTION FUND FEES.

    Section 217(h)(3)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 
U.S.C. 1187(h)(3)(B)) is amended--
            (1) in clause (i), by striking ``; and'' and inserting a 
        semicolon;
            (2) in clause (ii), by striking the period and inserting 
        ``; and''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following:
                            ``(iii) set for an amount that includes an 
                        additional amount of not less than $10 above 
                        the amount set under clause (i).
                The additional amount required under clause (iii) shall 
                be transferred to the Treasury for the purpose of 
                offsetting appropriations made to the Corporation for 
                Travel Promotion established in section 2 of the Travel 
                Promotion Act of 2008, according to the requirements of 
                section 4 of such Act. Such additional amount may be 
                reduced if the secretary of the Treasury determines 
                that the additional amount is not necessary to ensure 
                that the Corporation is fully funded.''.

SEC. 6. INVESTMENT OF FUNDS.

    Pending disbursement pursuant to a program, plan, or project, the 
Corporation may invest funds received by the Corporation only in 
obligations of the United States or any agency thereof, in general 
obligations of any State or any political subdivision thereof, in any 
interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit of a bank that is a 
member of the Federal Reserve System, or in obligations fully 
guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States. The 
Secretary of the Treasury shall reduce the total amount of funding for 
a given fiscal year to be transferred from the Travel Promotion Fund to 
the Corporation by the amount of interest earned by the Corporation as 
a result of its investments pursuant to this section for the preceding 
fiscal year.

SEC. 7. PROHIBITION ON USE OF FUNDS.

    No funds raised by the Treasury Department's Travel Promotion Fund 
or the Corporation for Travel Promotion may be used to directly promote 
or advertise a specific corporation.

SEC. 8. AMENDMENTS TO THE INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL ACT OF 1961.

    (a) Powers and Duties of Secretary of Commerce.--Section 201 of the 
International Travel Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2122) is amended--
            (1) in the first sentence of the matter preceding paragraph 
        (1)--
                    (A) by striking ``and by the United States National 
                Tourism Organization Act of 1996''; and
                    (B) by striking ``United States National Tourism 
                Organization'' and inserting ``Corporation for Travel 
                Promotion (established by section 3 of the Travel 
                Promotion Act of 2008)'';
            (2) in paragraph (4), by striking ``United States National 
        Tourism Organization'' and inserting ``Corporation for Travel 
        Promotion''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following:
``Such plan may not include a comprehensive international advertising 
campaign relating to critical tourism functions.''.
    (b) Tourism Policy Council.--
            (1) Membership.--Subsection (b) of section 301 of the 
        International Travel Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2124) is amended--
                    (A) by striking paragraphs (8) through (10);
                    (B) by redesignating paragraph (11) as paragraph 
                (13);
                    (C) by inserting after paragraph (7) the following 
                new paragraphs:
            ``(8) The Secretary of Homeland Security.
            ``(9) The Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border 
        Protection of the Department of Homeland Security.
            ``(10) The Assistant Secretary of U.S. Customs and 
        Immigration Enforcement of the Department of Homeland Security.
            ``(11) The Secretary of Education.''; and
                    (D) in paragraph (13) (as redesignated by 
                subparagraph (B) of this paragraph), by inserting ``, 
                in consultation with other members of the Council'' at 
                the end before the period.
            (2) Meetings.--Subsection (d) of such section is amended to 
        read as follows:
    ``(d) The Council shall meet not less than 2 times a year. For the 
purposes of conducting business, each member of the Council may appoint 
a designee to represent such member during one or more meetings of the 
Council.''.
            (3) Involvement of federal agencies and departments.--
        Subsection (e) of such section is amended by adding at the end 
        the following new paragraph:
    ``(4) Members of the Council shall provide the Corporation for 
Travel Promotion with timely information regarding documentation and 
procedures required for admission to the United States and regarding 
strategies planned by any Federal department or agency to promote 
travel to the United States for tourism, business, study, scholarship, 
scientific exchange, or other purposes, so that the Corporation for 
Travel Promotion may better conduct its communications and promotion 
activities.''.
            (4) Annual report.--Subsection (g)(3) of such section is 
        amended by striking ``United States National Tourism 
        Organization'' and inserting ``Corporation for Travel 
        Promotion''.
            (5) Applicability of federal advisory committee act.--
        Subsection (h) of such section is amended by striking 
        ``President of the United States National Tourism 
        Organization'' and inserting ``President of the Corporation for 
        Travel Promotion''.
    (c) Repeal of Authorities Relating to the United States Travel and 
Tourism Promotion Advisory Board.--Section 210 of the Department of 
Commerce and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2003 (contained in 
title II of division B of Public Law 108-7; 117 Stat. 78-79; 22 U.S.C. 
2122 note) is amended--
            (1) by striking subsections (b) through (d); and
            (2) by redesignating subsection (e) as subsection (b).

SEC. 9. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act, the following definitions apply:
            (1) Board.--The term ``Board'' means the board of directors 
        of the Corporation.
            (2) Corporation.--The term ``Corporation'' means the 
        Corporation for Travel Promotion established by section 2.
            (3) Fund.--The term ``Fund'' means the Travel Promotion 
        Fund established by section 4.
            (4) Secretary.--Except as otherwise expressly provided, the 
        term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of Commerce.

SEC. 10. G.A.O. STUDY.

    (a) In General.--Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment 
of this Act, the Government Accountability Office shall initiate a 
study to assess barriers to entry into the United States by foreign 
travelers. The GAO shall consult with the Department of Homeland 
Security, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and 
Customs and Border Protection, the Department of Commerce, and the 
Department of the Treasury, as necessary.
    (b) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the GAO shall report the findings to the appropriate 
Congressional committees. The report shall include--
            (1) the GAO's findings on specific barriers to entry into 
        the United States by foreign travelers; and
            (2) recommendations for initiatives that may reduce those 
        barriers.

            Passed the House of Representatives September 25, 2008.

            Attest:

                                            LORRAINE C. MILLER,

                                                                 Clerk.
                                                      Calendar No. 1113

110th CONGRESS

  2d Session

                               H. R. 3232

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT

  To establish a non-profit corporation to communicate United States 
 entry policies and otherwise promote tourist, business, and scholarly 
                      travel to the United States.

_______________________________________________________________________

            October 2 (legislative day, September 17), 2008

                 Read twice and placed on the calendar