Text: S.3567 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (09/24/2008)


110th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 3567


To establish a Commission on the conflict between Russia and Georgia, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 24 (legislative day, September 17), 2008

Mrs. Clinton introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


A BILL

To establish a Commission on the conflict between Russia and Georgia, and for other purposes.

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 “__________ Act of 2008”.

SEC. 2. Establishment of Commission on the conflict between Russia and Georgia.

There is established the Commission on the Conflict between Russia and Georgia (in this Act referred to as the “Commission”).

SEC. 3. Purposes of Commission.

The purposes of the Commission are to—

(1) to examine the causes of the conflict between Russia and Georgia that began on August 7, 2008; and

(2) make recommendations with respect to the policies of the United States toward Russia, Georgia, and other countries in the region.

SEC. 4. Composition of Commission.

(a) Members.—The Commission shall be composed of 9 members, of whom—

(1) 1 member shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate, with the concurrence of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall serve as chair of the Commission;

(2) 2 members shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate;

(3) 2 members shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate;

(4) 2 members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and

(5) 2 members shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives.

(b) Qualifications.—It is the sense of Congress that individuals appointed to the Commission should be prominent United States citizens, with significant depth of experience in the field of foreign relations and with expertise regarding relations between Russia and Georgia.

(c) Deadline for appointment.—All members of the Commission shall be appointed within 90 days of the date of the enactment of this Act.

(d) Initial meeting.—The Commission shall meet and begin the operations of the Commission as soon as practicable after the 90-day period described in subsection (c). After its initial meeting, the Commission shall meet upon the call of the chair or a majority of its members.

(e) Quorum; vacancies.—Six members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum. Any vacancy in the Commission shall not affect its powers, but shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made.

SEC. 5. Responsibilities of Commission.

The Commission shall—

(1) examine and determine the timeline of events since 1991 that led to the conflict between Russia and Georgia that began on August 7, 2008;

(2) examine the policies of the Government of Russia with respect to Georgia;

(3) examine the policies of the Government of Georgia with respect to the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia;

(4) evaluate the role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the April 2008 Bucharest Summit in the development of the conflict between Russia and Georgia;

(5) examine and evaluate the policies of the United States with respect to Russia and Georgia in the context of the conflict, including—

(A) any communications by officials of the United States to the Government of Russia; and

(B) any communications by officials of the United States to the Government of Georgia;

(6) review the role of peacekeepers from Russia in South Ossetia and the relationship between Georgia and the peacekeepers;

(7) review and evaluate the training and preparedness of the militaries of Russia and Georgia, including—

(A) any focus in the training of the military of Russia with respect to Georgia; and

(B) any focus in the training of the military of Georgia with respect to Russia;

(8) review and evaluate allegations of genocide and ethnic cleansing during the conflict; and

(9) make recommendations with respect to the policies of the United States with respect to Russia, Georgia, and other countries in the region in the context of the conflict between Russia and Georgia.

SEC. 6. Powers of Commission.

(a) Hearings and evidence.—The Commission or, on the authority of the Commission, any subcommittee or member thereof, may, for the purpose of carrying out this Act, hold such hearings and sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, and administer such oaths as the Commission, subcommittee, or member, as the case may be, may determine advisable.

(b) Contracting.—The Commission may, to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in appropriations Acts, enter into contracts to enable the Commission to discharge its duties under this Act.

(c) Staff of Commission.—

(1) APPOINTMENT AND COMPENSATION.—The chairman of the Commission, in accordance with rules agreed upon by the Commission, may appoint and fix the compensation of a staff director and such other personnel as may be necessary to enable the Commission to carry out its functions, without regard to—

(A) the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service; or

(B) the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates, except that no rate of pay fixed under this subsection may exceed the rate of pay for a position at level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of such title.

(2) PERSONNEL AS FEDERAL EMPLOYEES.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The executive director and any employees of the Commission shall be employees under section 2105 of title 5, United States Code, for purposes of chapters 63, 81, 83, 84, 85, 87, 89, and 90 of such title.

(B) MEMBERS OF COMMISSION.—Subparagraph (A) shall not be construed to apply to members of the Commission.

(3) DETAILEES.—Any Federal Government employee may be detailed to the Commission without reimbursement from the Commission, and such detailee shall retain the rights, status, and privileges of the detailee's regular employment without interruption.

(4) CONSULTANT SERVICES.—The Commission may procure the services of experts and consultants in accordance with section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, at rates not to exceed the daily rate of pay for a position at level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of such title.

(5) EMPHASIS ON SECURITY CLEARANCES.—Emphasis shall be made to hire employees and retain contractors and detailees with active security clearances.

(d) Information from Federal agencies.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Commission is authorized to secure directly from any executive department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality of the Government, information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics to carry out the purposes of this Act. Each department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality shall, to the extent authorized by law, furnish such information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics directly to the Commission, upon request made by the chairman, the chairman of any subcommittee created by a majority of the Commission, or any member designated by a majority of the Commission.

(2) RECEIPT, HANDLING, STORAGE, AND DISSEMINATION.—Information shall be received, handled, stored, and disseminated only by members of the Commission and its staff consistent with all applicable laws, regulations, and executive orders.

(e) Assistance from Federal agencies.—

(1) GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION.—The Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Commission on a reimbursable basis administrative support and other services for the performance of the Commission's functions.

(2) OTHER DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES.—In addition to the assistance prescribed in paragraph (1), departments and agencies of the United States may provide to the Commission such services, funds, facilities, staff, and other support services as they may determine advisable and as may be authorized by law.

(f) Gifts.—The Commission may accept, use, and dispose of gifts or donations of services or property.

(g) Postal services.—The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as departments and agencies of the United States.

SEC. 7. Nonapplicability of Federal Advisory Committee Act.

The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Commission.

SEC. 8. Public meetings and hearings; availability of reports.

(a) Public meetings and release of public versions of reports.—The Commission shall—

(1) hold public hearings and meetings to the extent appropriate; and

(2) release public versions of the report required under section 9.

(b) Public hearings.—Any public hearings of the Commission shall be conducted in a manner consistent with the protection of information provided to or developed for or by the Commission as required by any applicable law, regulation, or executive order.

SEC. 9. Report.

Not later than 180 days after the appointment of the Commission, the Commission shall submit to the President and Congress a final report containing such findings, conclusions, and recommendations as have been agreed to by a majority of Commission members.

SEC. 10. Termination.

(a) In general.—The Commission, and the provisions of this Act, shall terminate on the date that is 60 days after the date on which the final report is submitted under section 9.

(b) Administrative activities before termination.—The Commission may use the 60-day period referred to in subsection (a) for the purpose of concluding its activities, including providing testimony to committees of Congress concerning its report and disseminating the final report.

SEC. 11. Authorization of appropriations.

(a) In general.—There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for the purposes of the activities of the Commission under this Act.

(b) Duration of availability.—Amounts made available to the Commission under subsection (a) shall remain available until the termination of the Commission.