Text: H.R.3625 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (12/02/2013)

 
[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 3625 Introduced in House (IH)]

113th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 3625

    To provide for termination liability costs for certain National 
 Aeronautics and Space Administration projects, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            December 2, 2013

Mr. Brooks of Alabama introduced the following bill; which was referred 
           to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
    To provide for termination liability costs for certain National 
 Aeronautics and Space Administration projects, 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. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) The International Space Station, the Space Launch 
        System, and the Orion crew capsule will enable the Nation to 
        continue operations in low-Earth orbit and to send its 
        astronauts to deep space. As a result of their unique 
        capabilities and their critical contribution to the future of 
        space exploration, these systems have been designated by 
        Congress and the Administration as priority investments.
            (2) While the Space Launch System and the Orion programs, 
        currently under development, have made significant progress, 
        they have not been funded at levels authorized, and as a result 
        congressionally authorized milestones will be delayed by 
        several years.
            (3) In addition, contractors are currently holding program 
        funding, estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of 
        dollars, to cover the potential termination liability should 
        the Government choose to terminate a program for convenience. 
        As a result, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are 
        unavailable for meaningful work on these programs.
            (4) According to the Government Accountability Office, the 
        Administration procures most of its goods and services through 
        contracts, and it terminates very few of them. In fiscal year 
        2010, the Administration terminated 28 of 16,343 active 
        contracts and orders--a termination rate of about 0.17 percent.
            (5) Providing processes requiring congressional action on 
        termination of these high-priority programs would enable 
        contractors to apply taxpayer dollars to making maximum 
        progress in meeting the established technical goals and 
        schedule milestones of these programs.

SEC. 2. NASA TERMINATION LIABILITY.

    (a) General Rule.--Termination liability costs for a covered 
program shall be provided only pursuant to this section.
    (b) Prohibition on Reserving Funds.--The Administrator may not 
reserve funds from amounts appropriated for a covered program, and 
shall direct prime contractors not to reserve funds, for potential 
termination liability costs with respect to a covered program.
    (c) Intent of Congress.--It is the intent of Congress that funds 
authorized to be appropriated for covered programs be applied in 
meeting established technical goals and schedule milestones.
    (d) Void Contractual Provisions.--Any provision in a prime contract 
entered into before the date of enactment of this Act that provides for 
the payment of termination liability costs through any means other than 
as provided in this section is hereby declared to be void and 
unenforceable.
    (e) Congressional Action; Notice.--
            (1) Termination for convenience.--The Administrator may not 
        initiate termination for the convenience of the Government of a 
        prime contract on a covered program unless such program 
        termination is authorized or required by a law enacted after 
        the date of enactment of this Act.
            (2) Termination for cause.--The Administrator shall notify 
        the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of 
        Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
        Transportation of the Senate before initiating termination for 
        cause of a prime contract on a covered program.
    (f) Supplemental Appropriation Request.--
            (1) Request.--If the Administrator decides to terminate a 
        prime contract on a covered program, and sufficient unobligated 
        appropriations are not available to cover termination liability 
        costs in the appropriations account that is funding the prime 
        contract being terminated, the Administrator shall provide to 
        Congress a notification that an authorization of appropriations 
        is necessary not later than 120 days in advance of the proposed 
        contract settlement for the covered program.
            (2) Intent of congress.--It is the intent of Congress to 
        provide additional authorization for appropriations as may be 
        necessary to pay termination liability costs on prime contracts 
        for covered programs if Congress deems it appropriate that the 
        Administration terminate such prime contracts.

SEC. 3. REPORTING.

    Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, 
and every 6 months thereafter for the duration of the prime contracts 
on covered programs, the Administrator shall transmit to the Committee 
on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and 
the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a 
report that provides--
            (1) the estimated termination liability costs for each of 
        the prime contracts; and
            (2) the basis for how such estimate was determined.

SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Administration.--The term ``Administration'' means the 
        National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
            (2) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the 
        Administrator of the Administration.
            (3) Covered program.--The term ``covered program'' means 
        the International Space Station, the Space Launch System, and 
        the Orion crew capsule.
            (4) Orion crew capsule.--The term ``Orion crew capsule'' 
        refers to the multipurpose crew vehicle described in section 
        303 of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration 
        Authorization Act of 2010 (42 U.S.C. 18323).
            (5) Prime contractor.--The term ``prime contractor'' means 
        a person or entity contracting directly with the Federal 
        Government on a covered program.
            (6) Space launch system.--The term ``Space Launch System'' 
        refers to the follow-on Government-owned civil launch system 
        developed, managed, and operated by the Administration to serve 
        as a key component to expand human presence beyond low-Earth 
        orbit, as described in section 302 of the National Aeronautics 
        and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010 (42 U.S.C. 
        18322).
            (7) Termination liability costs.--The term ``termination 
        liability costs'' means any costs incurred by a prime 
        contractor, or by any subcontractor of a prime contractor, for 
        which the Federal Government is liable as a result of 
        termination of a prime contract by the Administrator.
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