Text: H.R.1912 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (05/13/2011)


112th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 1912

To direct the Secretary of Commerce to establish a Make It in America Block Grant Program, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
May 13, 2011

Mr. Cicilline (for himself, Mr. Carnahan, Mr. Carson of Indiana, Mr. Clarke of Michigan, Mr. Conyers, Mr. Critz, Ms. Fudge, Mr. Garamendi, Ms. Hanabusa, Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas, Mr. Jackson of Illinois, Mr. Keating, Mr. Kildee, Mr. Kucinich, Mr. Langevin, Mr. Lipinski, Mr. Murphy of Connecticut, Mr. Pallone, Mr. Pierluisi, Mr. Ryan of Ohio, Mr. Sires, Ms. Wilson of Florida, and Mr. Tonko) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services, and in addition to the Committee on Education and the Workforce, 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 direct the Secretary of Commerce to establish a Make It in America Block Grant Program, 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 “Make It in America Block Grant Program Act of 2011”.

SEC. 2. Establishment of Make It in America Block Grant Program.

Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Commerce shall establish a Make It in America Block Grant Program (in this Act referred to as the “program”), under which the Secretary is authorized to make grants to support the manufacturing industry.

SEC. 3. Grants.

(a) Grant uses.—A grant made by the Secretary of Commerce under the program shall be used by the recipient of the grant to assist, through grants made to third parties, any of the following activities:

(1) Retooling or retrofitting a small- or medium-sized manufacturer, including with respect to equipment, facilities, infrastructure, or capital.

(2) Diversifying the business plan of a small- or medium-sized manufacturer to advance the production of clean energy technology products or components, energy efficient products or components, high-technology products or components, or other advanced products (as defined by the Secretary).

(3) Improving the energy efficiency of a manufacturing facility of a small- or medium-sized manufacturer.

(4) Retraining the employees of a small- or medium-sized manufacturer to—

(A) provide skills necessary to operate new or advanced manufacturing equipment; or

(B) sustain or improve the processes of that manufacturer.

(5) Training new employees of a small- or medium-sized manufacturer, including through on-the-job training.

(6) Providing capital and technical expertise to a small- or medium-sized manufacturer to expand the export opportunities of that manufacturer.

(7) Any other project that the Secretary determines is appropriate to support the manufacturing industry, including the establishment of a revolving loan fund to provide loans to small- or medium-sized manufacturers to finance the costs of activities described in paragraphs (1) through (6).

(b) Eligible entities.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The following entities are eligible to receive a grant under the program:

(A) A State meeting the requirements of paragraph (2).

(B) A covered unit of local government meeting the requirements of paragraph (2).

(C) An Indian tribe meeting the requirements of paragraph (2).

(D) A State, unit of local government, Indian tribe, or consortium of such entities without regard to whether the requirements of paragraph (2) are met.

(2) UNEMPLOYMENT.—An entity meets the requirements of this paragraph if—

(A) the entity experienced a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of at least 10 percent for any 6 consecutive months during the period beginning on January 1, 2007, and ending on December 31, 2010 (as determined by the Secretary of Commerce in consultation with the Secretary of Labor); or

(B) the entity experienced a cumulative decline in employment in the manufacturing sector greater than or equal to 15 percent during the period beginning on January 1, 2007, and ending on December 31, 2010 (as determined by the Secretary of Commerce in consultation with the Secretary of Labor).

(c) Allocation of grant funds.—In making grants each fiscal year, the Secretary may—

(1) use not more than 48 percent of the amounts made available for grants under the program that fiscal year to make grants to entities described in subsection (b)(1)(A);

(2) use not more than 48 percent of the amounts made available for grants under the program that fiscal year to make grants to entities described in subsection (b)(1)(B);

(3) use not more than 2 percent of the amounts made available for grants under the program that fiscal year to make grants to entities described in subsection (b)(1)(C); and

(4) use not more than 2 percent of the amounts made available for grants under the program that fiscal year to make grants to entities described in subsection (b)(1)(D).

(d) Priority for certain entities.—In providing grants to entities described in subsection (b)(1)(D), the Secretary shall give priority to an entity that experienced a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate that was at least 97 percent of the national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for any 3 consecutive months during the most recently completed fiscal year.

(e) Prohibition on grants to certain covered units of local government.—A covered unit of local government may not receive a grant under the program if located within a State that has received a grant under the program.

SEC. 4. Requirements for grant recipients.

(a) Application process.—To receive a grant under the program, an entity eligible for a grant under section 3(b) shall submit to the Secretary of Commerce an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, but which shall include at least the plan of that entity to carry out, through grants made to third parties, an activity described in section 3(a).

(b) Proposed manufacturing enhancement strategy.—Not later than 6 months after the date on which an entity eligible for a grant under section 3(b) receives notice that it has been awarded a grant under the program, the entity shall submit to the Secretary a proposed manufacturing enhancement strategy, which shall include—

(1) a description of the plans of the entity to make grants to third parties with grant funds;

(2) a description of the goals with respect to such grants, including—

(A) the number of jobs to be created or retained by third-party grant recipients;

(B) the sales to be increased or retained by third-party grant recipients;

(C) the cost savings to be achieved by third-party grant recipients due to energy efficiency savings; and

(D) the workforce training investments to be made by third-party grant recipients, including—

(i) the number of training hours to be provided;

(ii) the professional certifications to be obtained; and

(iii) other industry standards to be met that demonstrate the attainment of proficiency with respect to a skill or procedure;

(3) a written assurance that the entity intends to establish a Make It in America Partnership Board—

(A) to make grants to third parties; and

(B) which shall be comprised of, to the extent practicable, representatives of—

(i) economic development organizations and agencies;

(ii) departments of labor;

(iii) workforce investment boards and agencies;

(iv) institutions of higher education, including community colleges run by a State; and

(v) the manufacturing extension partnership program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology; and

(4) a description of the plans of the entity to foster, through the Make It in America Partnership Board, collaboration between State and local economic development organizations and agencies, State and local workforce development organizations and agencies, small- or medium-sized manufacturers, and institutions of higher education (including community colleges run by a State) to—

(A) improve resource allocation, including through identification of—

(i) opportunities to leverage public and private funding; and

(ii) Federal funding and programs available to small- or medium-sized manufacturers; and

(B) ensure comprehensive counseling, technical assistance, workforce development, and export assistance are provided to small- or medium-sized manufacturers.

(c) Approval of proposed manufacturing enhancement strategies.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall approve or disapprove a proposed manufacturing enhancement strategy submitted under subsection (b) not later than 90 days after the date on which the Secretary receives such strategy.

(2) DISBURSEMENT OF GRANT FUNDS PROHIBITED WITHOUT APPROVAL.—The Secretary shall not disburse to an entity awarded a grant under the program the grant funds relating to that grant until the proposed manufacturing enhancement strategy of that entity has been approved by the Secretary.

(3) OPPORTUNITY FOR RESUBMISSION.—If the Secretary does not approve a proposed manufacturing enhancement strategy submitted under subsection (b), the Secretary shall provide to the entity that submitted the strategy—

(A) the reasons for disapproval; and

(B) an opportunity to revise and resubmit the strategy until such strategy is approved.

(d) Local governments.—In developing a proposed manufacturing enhancement strategy under subsection (b), a covered unit of local government shall share information relating to potential grant activities with the State that includes that government to ensure the maximization of resources made available to small- or medium-sized manufacturers.

(e) Administrative expenses.—With respect to a grant, a grant recipient may use for the administrative expenses of the recipient an amount that is not more than the greater of—

(1) 10 percent of the grant amount received; or

(2) $75,000.

(f) Annual reports.—Not later than one year after the date on which grant funds are received by a grant recipient under the program, and annually thereafter, the grant recipient shall submit to the Secretary a report describing—

(1) grants made by the grant recipient to third parties with grant funds; and

(2) achievements with respect to the goals identified in the proposed manufacturing enhancement strategy of the grant recipient.

SEC. 5. State and local advisory committee.

The Secretary of Commerce shall establish an advisory committee to advise the Secretary with respect to implementing and evaluating the program, which shall be comprised of—

(1) individuals representing State and local entities;

(2) the Secretary of Labor; and

(3) other individuals determined appropriate for inclusion by the Secretary.

SEC. 6. Review and evaluation.

(a) Grant recipients.—The Secretary of Commerce may review and evaluate the performance of a grant recipient under the program as the Secretary determines appropriate.

(b) Ineligibility for future grants.—The Secretary may determine a grant recipient to be ineligible to receive additional grants under the program if the Secretary determines that the grant recipient has failed to achieve compliance with—

(1) any applicable guideline or regulation of the Secretary relating to the program, including with respect to the misuse or misappropriation of funds provided under the program; or

(2) the proposed manufacturing enhancement strategy of the grant recipient.

SEC. 7. GAO study and report.

(a) Study.—The Comptroller General shall conduct a study on the program, which shall include an analysis of—

(1) grants made by the Secretary of Commerce under the program;

(2) grants made to third parties by the recipients of grants made by the Secretary under the program;

(3) outcomes relating to proposed manufacturing enhancement strategies submitted to the Secretary;

(4) administrative costs relating to the program;

(5) activities of the Secretary, the recipients of grants made by the Secretary, and third party grant recipients under the program, including whether the activities of those entities are accomplishing the purposes of this Act; and

(6) other information determined appropriate by the Comptroller General for assessing the performance and financial accountability of the program.

(b) Report.—Not later than 2 years after the date on which the Secretary makes the first grant under the program, and every 2 years thereafter, the Comptroller General shall submit to Congress a report describing the results of the study conducted under subsection (a), which shall include any recommendations the Comptroller General determines are appropriate for modifying the program.

(c) Access to records.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—For purposes of conducting the study under subsection (a), the Comptroller General, and any duly authorized representative of the Comptroller General, shall be permitted to access, examine, and copy any documents, records, and other recorded information—

(A) within the possession or control of—

(i) the recipient of a grant made by the Secretary under the program; or

(ii) the recipient of a grant made by an entity described in clause (i) with grant funds; and

(B) determined by the Comptroller General, or the duly authorized representative of the Comptroller General, to be relevant to the study.

(2) PROPRIETARY INFORMATION.—The Comptroller General may not make proprietary information obtained under this section available to the public without the consent of the party to whom the information belongs.

SEC. 8. Definitions.

In this Act, the following definitions apply:

(1) COVERED UNIT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT.—The term “covered unit of local government” means a unit of a government of—

(A) a municipality—

(i) with a population of at least 50,000 individuals; or

(ii) with a population that is less than 50,000 individuals, but that is one of the 10 largest municipalities by population in the State including that municipality; or

(B) a county—

(i) with a population of at least 200,000 individuals; or

(ii) with a population that is less than 200,000 individuals, but that is one of the 10 largest counties by population in the State including that county.

(2) INDIAN TRIBE.—The term “Indian tribe” has the meaning given that term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).

(3) MANUFACTURER.—The term “manufacturer” shall be defined by the Secretary of Commerce in accordance with the North American Industry Classification System.

(4) SMALL- OR MEDIUM-SIZED MANUFACTURER.—The term “small- or medium-sized manufacturer” means a manufacturer that, as determined by the Secretary of Commerce—

(A) employs not more than 500 full-time equivalent employees at a manufacturing facility; and

(B) is not owned or controlled by an automobile manufacturer or other large manufacturer.

(5) STATE.—The term “State” means each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and any territory or possession of the United States.

SEC. 9. Authorization of appropriations.

(a) In general.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Commerce for making grants under the program such sums as may be necessary.

(b) Administrative expenses.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary for administrative expenses relating to the program such sums as may be necessary.

(c) Sense of Congress.—It is the sense of Congress that amounts made available to carry out the program should supplement and not replace other funding provided by Federal departments and agencies to support the manufacturing industry.