Text: H.R.3362 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/28/2009)


111th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 3362


To establish guidelines for the assertion of Executive privilege, to enhance the authority of Congress to enforce subpoenas and punish for contempt, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 28, 2009

Mr. Miller of North Carolina (for himself, Mr. Conyers, Ms. Linda T. Sánchez of California, and Mr. Cohen) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on House Administration, 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 guidelines for the assertion of Executive privilege, to enhance the authority of Congress to enforce subpoenas and punish for contempt, 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; Table of Contents.

(a) Short Title.—This Act may be cited as the “Checks and Balances Restoration and Revitalization Act”.

(b) Table of Contents.—The table of contents of this Act is as follows:


Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 101. Findings.

Sec. 102. Procedure governing claims of Executive privilege before Congress.

Sec. 103. Executive policy.

Sec. 104. Executive privilege defined.

Sec. 201. Availability of civil action to enforce House of Representatives subpoenas.

Sec. 202. Alternate procedures for enforcement of criminal contempt of Congress.

Sec. 203. Increase in penalty for contempt of Congress.

Sec. 204. Authority of United States Capitol Police to enforce citations.

Sec. 205. Collection of penalties imposed by the House of Representatives on persons cited for contempt of House.

Sec. 301. Findings.

Sec. 302. Treatment of certain Presidential signing statements as reports establishing policy to refrain from enforcing law for purposes of notifying counsel for Congress.

Sec. 303. Actions for declaratory or injunctive relief to compel enforcement.

Sec. 304. Qualifying Presidential signing statement defined.

Sec. 305. Effective date.

Sec. 401. Findings.

Sec. 402. Reporting of legal opinions.

Sec. 403. Signature requirements for legal opinions of Office of Legal Counsel.

Sec. 501. Severability.

SEC. 101. Findings.

Congress finds the following:

(1) Assertions of Executive privilege provide the Executive branch an opportunity to perpetuate excessive executive secrecy and to deny Congress access to the information it requires to perform its Constitutional responsibilities.

(2) Excessive secrecy tends to undermine self-government and invite lawlessness and maladministration.

(3) A shared and uniform understanding of when and how the President may assert Executive privilege, and when and how this privilege may be overcome by Congress, facilitates information sharing among the coordinate branches of the Government.

(4) A judicial forum is available to resolve disputes over particular claims of Executive privilege when the political branches are unable to do so.

SEC. 102. Procedure governing claims of Executive privilege before Congress.

(a) In general.—Any claim of Executive privilege before either House of Congress or any body acting under the authority of either House must be—

(1) made by the express authority of the President; and

(2) accompanied by a statement, approved by the President, of the factual and legal basis for that claim.

(b) Method of showing express authority.—In the case of such a claim made other than by the incumbent President in person, the express authority of the President for the claim must be in writing and signed by the incumbent President.

(c) Requirement of appearance.—Noting that each person summoned to appear under the authority of either House of Congress must appear in person in order to assert any privilege or other excuse not to testify, Congress also requires that a person (other than the President or a former President) who is or was an Executive branch official make any assertion of Executive privilege by such an appearance.

(d) Procedures for Assertion of Privilege in Person.—

(1) PRESENTATION OF AUTHORITY TO ASSERT PRIVILEGE.—When a person appears in person to assert Executive privilege as required under subsection (c), the person shall present a written statement that satisfies the requirements of subsection (b) and authorizes the person to assert the privilege, except that if the person reasonably believes that a question would elicit information that is subject to Executive privilege, but is not in possession of such a written statement, the witness may assert a provisional claim of Executive privilege in lieu of answering the question.

(2) SUBSEQUENT RESPONSE AFTER ASSERTION OF PROVISIONAL CLAIM.—Not later than 10 calendar days after asserting a provisional claim of Executive privilege under paragraph (1) in response to a question, the person shall submit to the House of Congress before which the person appeared—

(A) a written statement that satisfies the requirements of subsection (b) with respect to the claim asserted; or

(B) a written answer to the question.

(e) Requirement of identification of materials withheld on the ground of privilege.—Any person withholding subpoenaed documents, written communications, or tangible items from either House of Congress on a claim of Executive privilege shall provide to the requesting body an index of the withheld documents, communications, and items and a statement describing the nature of each such document, communication, and item in a manner that, without revealing the information claimed as privileged, will enable the requesting body to assess the validity of the claim that Executive privilege applies to that particular document, communication, or item.

SEC. 103. Executive Policy.

(a) Establishment of Policy.—Not less than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and thereafter, not less than 180 days following the beginning of each four-year presidential term, the President or the Attorney General shall issue binding guidelines setting forth a policy governing the use of Executive privilege.

(b) Specifications.—The policy set forth pursuant to subsection (a)—

(1) shall specify the procedures by which a decision to assert Executive privilege is reached, which shall be consistent with section 102; and

(2) shall be consistent with the holding of United States v. Nixon (418 US 683, 713–714) that the demonstrated, specific need of a coordinate branch of government is sufficient to overcome a claim of Executive privilege.

SEC. 104. Executive Privilege Defined.

In this title, the term “Executive privilege” means—

(1) a withholding of information which is based on a claim of authority under article II of the Constitution of the United States; or

(2) a withholding of information by any individual who is an officer or employee of the Executive branch (or who was an officer or employee of the Executive branch at the time the information was first sought by either House of Congress) which is based on any other claim of law.

SEC. 201. Availability of Civil Action to Enforce House of Representatives subpoenas.

(a) Civil action.—The House of Representatives may in a civil action obtain any appropriate relief to enforce compliance with a subpoena or order of the House, or to enforce compliance with a subpoena or order issued by a committee or subcommittee of the House authorized to issue a subpoena or order, if the House by resolution authorizes the commencement of that civil action.

(b) Representation by general counsel.—Unless the House otherwise provides, the Office of the General Counsel of the House of Representatives shall represent the House in the civil action.

(c) Personal jurisdiction.—Personal jurisdiction of the court over a defendant in a civil action under this section extends outside the territorial jurisdiction of the court if the claim—

(1) arose out of conduct by the defendant—

(A) within that territorial jurisdiction, or

(B) causing any injury, including informational injury to the right of the House to make an investigation, within that territorial jurisdiction; or

(2) otherwise has a reasonable relationship to contacts of the defendant with the territorial jurisdiction.

(d) Assessment of Competing Interests.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—In any civil action brought under this section, if the court has determined that the information or material which is the subject of the subpoena or order involved is presumptively privileged based upon the President’s generalized interest in confidentiality, the House may overcome this presumption by showing that—

(A) the House, or a committee or subcommittee thereof, has a specific need for the information or material in order to carry out its constitutional obligations; and

(B) the information is not otherwise available.

(2) ENFORCEMENT.—If the court determines that the House, or a committee or subcommittee thereof, has made the showing described in paragraph (1), it shall enforce the subpoena or order involved.

(e) Expedition of trial and appellate proceedings.—The court shall hear and determine a civil action under this section as expeditiously as possible, and to the maximum extent practicable during the Congress in which the action is commenced. Any appellate proceedings relating to such a civil action shall similarly be expedited to assure to the extent possible that the matter is fully resolved during the Congress in which the action was commenced.

SEC. 202. Alternate Procedures for Enforcement of Criminal Contempt of Congress.

(a) Alternate procedure.—

(1) SCOPE OF APPLICATION.—If the House of Representatives finds a current or former officer or employee of the Executive branch has violated section 102 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (2 U.S.C. 192) or that any person has violated such section at the direction of the President or another officer of the Executive branch, the procedures of this section apply.

(2) CERTIFICATION BY SPEAKER.—In accordance with section 104 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (2 U.S.C. 194), upon the finding by the House of Representatives of a violation to which this section applies, the Speaker shall certify that finding to the appropriate United States attorney, whose duty it shall be to bring the matter before the grand jury for its action.

(3) CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING TO APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COUNSEL.—If—

(A) the Attorney General or the United States attorney to whom the finding was certified informs the court or the House that the Department of Justice will not prosecute the case; or

(B) by the end of the 30th day after the date of receipt of a certification made under paragraph (2) a grand jury has not returned an indictment based on the violation alleged in the certification;

the Special Division established under subsection (b) (hereinafter in this Act referred to as the ‘Special Division’) shall appoint a special counsel under subsection (c). It shall be the duty of the Attorney General to inform that court and the House if a grand jury does not return an indictment by the end of the 30-day period. The Speaker of the House, or any interested congressional party, may file with the Special Division a suggestion that circumstances giving rise to a duty to appoint a special counsel have occurred after the 30-day period ends without the return of an indictment.

(b) Special Division.—

(1) ESTABLISHMENT.—There is hereby established within the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia a Special Division to carry out the appointment of special counsels under this section.

(2) DESIGNATION.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The Chief Justice of the United States shall designate three judges or justices of the United States, one of whom shall be an active judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, to serve on the Special Division, except that none of the judges or justices serving on the Special Division may serve or have served on the same court.

(B) PRIORITY.—In designating judges and justices to serve on the Special Division, the Chief Justice shall give priority to senior circuit judges and retired justices of the United States Supreme Court.

(C) DEADLINE.—The Chief Justice shall make the first such designation not later than 45 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(3) TERM OF SERVICE.—Each designation to the Special Division shall be for a term of 2 years, but the Chief Justice may fill any vacancy arising before the end of a term for the remainder of that term.

(c) Appointment, qualifications, and prosecutorial jurisdiction of special counsel, and administrative matters relating to the special counsel.—

(1) APPOINTMENT, QUALIFICATIONS, AND PROSECUTORIAL JURISDICTION OF SPECIAL COUNSEL.—

(A) APPOINTMENT AND QUALIFICATIONS.—The Special Division shall appoint the special counsel, who must be an attorney in good standing with substantial prosecutorial experience—

(i) who has not served in any capacity in the administration of the President who is or who was in office at the time the Speaker of the House certified the finding of a violation; and

(ii) who is or who was not a Member, officer, or employee of Congress at the time the Speaker of the House certified the finding of a violation.

(B) PROSECUTORIAL JURISDICTION.—The Special Division shall define the special counsel’s prosecutorial jurisdiction as comprising the investigation and prosecution of the alleged violation, any conspiracy to commit the alleged violation, and any perjury, false statement, or obstruction of justice occurring in relation to such investigation and prosecution.

(2) AUTHORITY OF SPECIAL COUNSEL WITH RESPECT TO MATTERS WITHIN PROSECUTORIAL JURISDICTION.—With respect to all matters in that special counsel's prosecutorial jurisdiction, a special counsel appointed under this section shall have full power and independent authority to exercise all prosecutorial functions and powers, and any other functions and powers normally ancillary thereto, of the Department of Justice, the Attorney General, and any other officer or employee of the Department of Justice, except that the Attorney General shall exercise direction or control as to those matters that specifically require the Attorney General's personal action under section 2516 of title 18, United States Code.

(3) COMPLIANCE WITH POLICIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—A special counsel shall, except to the extent that to do so would be inconsistent with the purposes of this section, comply with the written or other established policies of the Department of Justice respecting enforcement of the criminal laws.

(B) NATIONAL SECURITY.—A special counsel shall comply with guidelines and procedures used by the Department in the handling and use of classified material.

(4) SALARY.—The special counsel shall receive a salary equivalent to the salary of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia.

(5) STAFF.—The special counsel may appoint and fix the salaries of such staff, not to exceed 12 in number, as the special counsel deems necessary to carry out the functions of the special counsel under this section. However, no salary of a member of such staff may exceed the salary of the special counsel.

(6) EXPENSES.—The Department of Justice shall pay all costs relating to the establishment and operation of any office of special counsel. The Attorney General shall submit to the Congress, not later than 30 days after the end of each fiscal year, a report on amounts paid during that fiscal year for expenses of investigations and prosecutions the special counsel.

(7) REPORT TO CONGRESS.—Each special counsel shall report to Congress annually on the special counsel’s activities under this section. The report shall include a description of the progress of any investigation or prosecution conducted by the special counsel and provide information justifying the costs of the activities reported on.

(d) Removal of special counsel.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—A special counsel may be removed from office, other than by impeachment and conviction, only by the personal action of the Attorney General, and only for good cause, physical or mental disability, or any other condition that substantially impairs the performance of that special counsel’s duties.

(2) REPORT UPON REMOVAL.—If a special counsel is removed from office, the Attorney General shall promptly submit to the Special Division and to Congress a report specifying the facts found and the ultimate grounds for the removal.

(3) JUDICIAL REVIEW OF REMOVAL.—A special counsel removed from office may obtain judicial review of the removal in a civil action. The Special Division may not hear or determine any appeal of a decision in any such civil action. The special counsel may be reinstated or granted other appropriate relief by order of the court.

(4) APPOINTMENT OF REPLACEMENT.—Upon removal of a special counsel, the Special Division shall appoint a similarly qualified individual to continue the functions of the special counsel.

(e) Termination of special counsel’s authority.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The authority of the special counsel shall cease 2 years after the date of the special counsel’s appointment, but the Special Division may extend that authority for an additional period not to exceed one year, if the Special Division finds good cause to do so. Good cause to do so includes that the investigation or prosecution undertaken by the special counsel has been delayed by dilatory tactics by persons who could provide evidence that would significantly assist the investigation or prosecution, and also includes the need to allow the special counsel to participate in any appellate proceedings related to prosecutions engaged in by the special counsel.

(2) TERMINATION BY COURT.—The Special Division, either on the Special Division’s own motion or upon the request of the Attorney General, may terminate an office of special counsel at any time, on the ground that the investigation of all matters within the prosecutorial jurisdiction of such special counsel, and any resulting prosecutions, have been completed or so substantially completed that it would be appropriate for the Department of Justice to complete such investigations and prosecutions.

SEC. 203. Increase in penalty for contempt of Congress.

Section 102 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (2 U.S.C. 192) is amended by striking “deemed” and all that follows through “twelve months” and inserting “fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both”.

SEC. 204. Authority of United States Capitol Police to Enforce citations.

(a) Authority.—Section 9B(a) of the Act entitled “An Act to define the area of the United States Capitol Grounds, to regulate the use thereof, and for other purposes”, approved July 31, 1946 (2 U.S.C. 1967(a)), is amended—

(1) by striking “and” at the end of paragraph (4);

(2) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (5) and inserting “; and”; and

(3) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

“(6) within any area, to enforce a citation issued with respect to a violation of section 102 of the Revised Statutes of the United States which relates to the House of Representatives, or any citation issued with respect to a resolution adopted by the House citing a person for contempt of the House.”.

(b) Effective Date.—The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to citations issued on or after the expiration of the 90-day period which begins on the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 205. Collection of Penalties Imposed by the House of Representatives on Persons Cited for Contempt of House.

(a) Civil Action.—If the House of Representatives adopts a resolution citing a person for contempt of the House, the House may commence a civil action to collect a monetary penalty from the person if the House by subsequent resolution authorizes the commencement of that civil action.

(b) Representation by general counsel.—Unless the House otherwise provides, the Office of the General Counsel of the House of Representatives shall represent the House in the civil action.

(c) Personal jurisdiction.—Personal jurisdiction of the court over a defendant in a civil action under this section extends outside the territorial jurisdiction of the court if the claim—

(1) arose out of conduct by the defendant—

(A) within that territorial jurisdiction; or

(B) causing any injury, including informational injury to the right of the House to make an investigation, within that territorial jurisdiction; or

(2) otherwise has a reasonable relationship to contacts of the defendant with the territorial jurisdiction.

(d) Expedition of trial and appellate proceedings.—The court shall hear and determine a civil action under this section as expeditiously as possible, and to the maximum extent practicable during the Congress in which the action is commenced. Any appellate proceedings relating to such a civil action shall similarly be expedited to assure to the extent possible that the matter is fully resolved during the Congress in which the action was commenced.

SEC. 206. No Effect of Expiration of Congress on Pending Actions.

Any civil action commenced by the House of Representatives pursuant to this title, and the authority of the Office of the General Counsel of the House of Representatives with respect to the action, shall not be rendered moot or otherwise affected as the result of the expiration of the Congress in which the House commenced the action.

SEC. 301. Findings.

Congress finds the following:

(1) To ensure that the lawmaking power would be exercised by the branch of government that is the closest and most accountable to the people the Constitution provides that “All legislative power herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives”.

(2) Article I, section 8, clause 18, gives Congress the power “To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof”.

(3) The Constitution provides that the President “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed” and limits the role of the President in the lawmaking process to—

(A) giving Congress information on the State of the Union;

(B) recommending to Congress for consideration such measures as the President deems necessary and expedient; and

(C) approving or vetoing bills and joint resolutions presented to him for signature.

(4) Statements made by the President contemporaneously with the signing of a bill or joint resolution that express the President's interpretation of the scope, constitutionality, and intent of Congress in enacting the bill or joint resolution presented for signature may encroach upon the power to make laws that the Framers vested solely in the Congress.

SEC. 302. Treatment of Certain Presidential Signing Statements as Reports Establishing Policy to Refrain from Enforcing Law for Purposes of Notifying Counsel for Congress.

Section 530D(e) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by striking “or order)” and inserting the following: “or order, or to the issuance of any qualifying Presidential signing statement (as defined in section 304 of the Checks and Balances Restoration and Revitalization Act))”.

SEC. 303. Actions for Declaratory or Injunctive Relief to Compel Enforcement.

(a) In General.—In accordance with the requirements of this section, the General Counsel of the House of Representatives and the Senate Legal Counsel, acting jointly, may bring a civil action in the appropriate United States district court for declaratory or injunctive relief to compel the enforcement of the provision of law which is the subject of a qualifying Presidential signing statement.

(b) Adoption of Resolution Required.—The General Counsel of the House of Representatives and the Senate Legal Counsel may bring a civil action under subsection (a) only upon the adoption by the House of Representatives and the Senate of a resolution which meets each of the following requirements:

(1) The resolution is introduced prior to the expiration of the 10-day period (excluding weekends, holidays, and any day on which either House of Congress is not in session because of an adjournment sine die, a recess of more than 3 days, or an adjournment of more than 3 days) which begins on the date on which the House of Representatives and the Senate receive notice pursuant to section 530D(e) of title 28, United States Code, of the issuance of a qualifying Presidential signing statement.

(2) The resolution does not have a preamble.

(3) The matter after the resolving clause is as follows: “That Congress directs the General Counsel of the House of Representatives and the Senate Legal Counsel to bring a civil action for declaratory or injunctive relief to compel the enforcement of _____”, with the blank space filled in with a citation to the provision of law which is the subject of the qualifying Presidential signing statement for which the House and Senate received the notice described in paragraph (1).

(4) The title is as follows: “Concurrent resolution directing the General Counsel of the House of Representatives and the Senate Legal Counsel to bring a civil action for declaratory or injunctive relief to compel the enforcement of _____”, with the blank space filled in with a citation to the provision of law which is the subject of the qualifying Presidential signing statement for which the House and Senate received the notice described in paragraph (1).

SEC. 304. Qualifying Presidential Signing Statement Defined.

In this title, the term “qualifying Presidential signing statement” means a statement issued by the President and published in the Federal Register about a bill or joint resolution in conjunction with signing that bill or joint resolution into law pursuant to article I, section 7, of the Constitution of the United States which asserts or implies an intention not to enforce any provision of the bill or joint resolution, in part or in whole.

SEC. 305. Effective Date.

This title and the amendments made by this title shall apply with respect to Presidential signing statements issued on or after the expiration of the 90-day period which begins on the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 401. Findings.

Congress finds the following:

(1) To fulfill the constitutional duty of the Executive branch to act lawfully, the President must have access to a reliable source of legal advice.

(2) The Attorney General has delegated to the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice the function of providing legal advice to guide the actions of the President and the Executive branch.

(3) To fulfill its legislative and oversight duties under the Constitution, Congress must have access to information about how and whether the Executive branch is implementing the laws of the United States.

(4) To fulfill its legislative and oversight duties under the Constitution, Congress must have greater access to information about the legal opinions rendered by the Office of Legal Counsel, and the legal theories and doctrines on which they rely.

SEC. 402. Reporting of Legal Opinions.

(a) Issuance of Opinions Requiring Reports to Congress.—Section 530D(a) of title 28, United States Code, is amended—

(1) in paragraph (1)—

(A) in subparagraph (B), by striking “or” at the end;

(B) by redesignating subparagraph (C) as subparagraph (E); and

(C) by inserting after subparagraph (B) the following:

“(C) except as provided in paragraph (3), issues an authoritative legal interpretation (including an interpretation under section 511, 512, or 513 by the Attorney General or by an officer, employee, or agency of the Department of Justice pursuant to a delegation of authority under section 510) of any provision of any Federal statute—

“(i) that concludes that the provision is unconstitutional or would be unconstitutional in a particular application;

“(ii) that relies for the conclusion of the authoritative legal interpretation, in whole or in the alternative, on a determination that an interpretation of the provision other than the authoritative legal interpretation would raise constitutional concerns under article II of the Constitution of the United States or separation of powers principles;

“(iii) that relies for the conclusion of the authoritative legal interpretation, in whole or in the alternative, on a legal presumption against applying the provision, whether during a war or otherwise, to—

“(I) any department or agency established in the Executive branch of the Federal Government, including the Executive Office of the President and the military departments (as defined in section 101(8) of title 10); or

“(II) any officer, employee, or member of any department or agency established in the Executive branch of the Federal Government, including the President and any member of the Armed Forces; or

“(iv) that concludes the provision has been superseded or deprived of effect in whole or in part by a subsequently enacted statute where there is no express statutory language stating an intent to supersede the prior provision or deprive it of effect;

“(D) except as provided in paragraph (3), issues an authoritative legal interpretation (including an interpretation under section 511, 512, or 513 by the Attorney General or by an officer, employee, or agency of the Department of Justice pursuant to a delegation of authority under section 510) regarding the constitutionality or legality of a policy or action of the Executive branch; or”;

(2) in paragraph (2), by striking “For the purposes” and all that follows through “if the report” and inserting “Except as provided in paragraph (4), a report shall be considered to be submitted to the Congress for the purposes of paragraph (1) if the report”; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

“(3) EXCEPTION FOR ADVISORY OPINIONS.—The submission of a report to Congress based on the issuance of an authoritative legal interpretation shall be discretionary on the part of the Attorney General or an officer described in subsection (e)—

“(A) in the case of an interpretation described in paragraph (1)(C), if no action is taken or withheld or no policy is implemented or stayed on the basis of the authoritative legal interpretation; or

“(B) in the case of an interpretation described in paragraph (1)(D), if the authoritative legal interpretation is not followed with respect to the Executive branch policy or action involved.

“(4) CLASSIFIED INFORMATION.—

“(A) SUBMISSION OF REPORT CONTAINING CLASSIFIED INFORMATION REGARDING INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), if the Attorney General submits a report relating to an instance described in paragraph (1) that includes a classified annex containing information relating to intelligence activities, the report shall be considered to be submitted to the Congress for the purposes of paragraph (1) if—

“(i) the unclassified portion of the report is submitted to each officer specified in paragraph (2); and

“(ii) the classified annex is submitted to the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives.

“(B) SUBMISSION OF REPORT CONTAINING CERTAIN CLASSIFIED INFORMATION ABOUT COVERT ACTIONS.—

“(i) IN GENERAL.—In a circumstance described in clause (ii), a report described in that clause shall be considered to be submitted to the Congress for the purposes of paragraph (1) if—

“(I) the unclassified portion of the report is submitted to each officer specified in paragraph (2); and

“(II) the classified annex is submitted to—

“(aa) the chairman and ranking minority member of the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate;

“(bb) the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate;

“(cc) the chairman and ranking minority member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives;

“(dd) the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives;

“(ee) the Speaker and minority leader of the House of Representatives; and

“(ff) the majority leader and minority leader of the Senate.

“(ii) CIRCUMSTANCES.—A circumstance described in this clause is a circumstance in which—

“(I) the Attorney General submits a report relating to an instance described in paragraph (1) that includes a classified annex containing information relating to a Presidential finding described in section 503(a) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 413b(a)); and

“(II) the President determines that it is essential to limit access to the information described in subclause (I) to meet extraordinary circumstances affecting vital interests of the United States.”.

(b) Deadline for Submission.—Section 530D(b) of such title is amended to read as follows:

“(b) Deadline.—A report shall be submitted—

“(1) under subsection (a)(1)(A), not later than 30 days after the establishment or implementation of each policy;

“(2) under subsection (a)(1)(B), within such time as will reasonably enable the House of Representatives and the Senate to take action, separately or jointly, to intervene in timely fashion in the proceeding, but in no event later than 30 days after the making of each determination;

“(3) under subsection (a)(1)(C) or (a)(1)(D)—

“(A) not later than 30 days after the date on which the Attorney General, the Office of Legal Counsel, or any other officer of the Department of Justice issues the authoritative legal interpretation of the Federal statutory provision; or

“(B) if the President or other responsible officer of a department or agency established in the Executive branch of the Federal Government, including the Executive Office of the President and the military departments (as defined in section 101(8) of title 10), issues a directive described in subsection (a)(3) and the directive is subsequently rescinded, not later than 30 days after the date on which the President or other responsible officer rescinds that directive; and

“(4) under subsection (a)(1)(E), not later than 30 days after the conclusion of each fiscal-year quarter, with respect to all approvals occurring in such quarter.”.

(c) Contents of Reports.—Section 530D(c) of such title is amended to read as follows:

“(c) Contents.—A report required by subsection (a) shall—

“(1) specify the date of the establishment or implementation of the policy described in subsection (a)(1)(A), of the making of the determination described in subsection (a)(1)(B), of the issuance of the authoritative legal interpretation described in subsection (a)(1)(C) or (a)(1)(D), or of each approval described in subsection (a)(1)(E);

“(2) with respect to a report required under subparagraph (A), (B), (D), or (E) of subsection (a)(1), specify the Federal statute, rule, regulation, program, policy, or other law at issue, and the paragraph and clause of subsection (a)(1) that describes the action of the Attorney General or other officer of the Department of Justice;

“(3) include a complete and detailed statement of the relevant issues and background (including a complete and detailed statement of the reasons for the policy, authoritative legal interpretation, or determination, and the identity of the officer responsible for establishing or implementing such policy, issuing such authoritative legal interpretation, making such determination, or approving such settlement or compromise), except that—

“(A) any classified information shall be provided in a classified annex, which shall be handled in accordance with the security procedures established under section 501(d) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 413(d));

“(B) except for information described in paragraph (1) or (2), such details may be omitted as may be absolutely necessary to prevent improper disclosure of information the disclosure of which is prohibited by section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, any other statute, or any court order if the fact of each such omission (and the precise ground or grounds therefor) is clearly noted in the statement, except that this subparagraph shall not be construed to deny to the Congress (including any House, Committee, or agency thereof) any such omitted details (or related information) that it lawfully may seek, subsequent to the submission of the report; and

“(C) the requirements of this paragraph shall be deemed satisfied—

“(i) in the case of an authoritative legal interpretation described in subsection (a)(1)(C) or (a)(1)(D), if a copy of the Office of Legal Counsel or other legal opinion setting forth the authoritative legal interpretation is provided;

“(ii) in the case of an approval described in subsection (a)(1)(E)(i), if an unredacted copy of the entire settlement agreement and consent decree or order (if any) is provided, along with a statement indicating the legal and factual basis or bases for the settlement or compromise (if not apparent on the face of documents provided); and

“(iii) in the case of an approval described in subsection (a)(1)(E)(ii), if an unredacted copy of the entire settlement agreement and consent decree or order (if any) is provided, along with a statement indicating the injunctive or other nonmonetary relief (if not apparent on the face of documents provided); and

“(4) in the case of a determination described in subsection (a)(1)(B) or an approval described in subsection (a)(1)(E)(i), indicate the nature, tribunal, identifying information, and status of the proceeding, suit, or action.”.

(d) Applicability.—Section 530D(e) of such title is amended by striking “subsection (a)(1)(A)” and inserting “subsection (a)(1)(A), issues an authoritative interpretation described in subsection (a)(1)(C) or (a)(1)(D),”.

SEC. 403. Signature Requirements for Legal Opinions of Office of Legal Counsel.

An authoritative legal interpretation described in subsection (a)(1)(C) or (a)(1)(D) of section 530D of title 28, United States Code (as amended by section 402(a)), shall have no legal affect unless the interpretation is signed personally by the Attorney General.

SEC. 501. Severability.

If any provision of this Act or any amendment made by this Act, or the application of a provision or amendment to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act and the amendments made by this Act, and the application of the provisions and amendments to any person or circumstance, shall not be affected by the holding.