Text: H.R.597 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/08/2013)

 
[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 597 Introduced in House (IH)]

113th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 597

To establish a commission to study how Federal laws and policies affect 
          United States citizens living in foreign countries.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            February 8, 2013

    Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York (for herself and Mr. Honda) 
 introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 
 Oversight and Government Reform, and in addition to the Committees on 
       Financial Services, Ways and Means, the Judiciary, House 
 Administration, Energy and Commerce, and 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 establish a commission to study how Federal laws and policies affect 
          United States citizens living in foreign countries.

    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 ``Commission on Americans Living 
Abroad Act''.

SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT.

    There is established a commission to be known as the ``Commission 
on Americans Living Abroad'' (in this Act referred to as the 
``Commission'').

SEC. 3. MEMBERSHIP.

    (a) Number and Appointment.--The Commission shall be composed of 15 
members appointed by the President, of whom--
            (1) two members shall be appointed from among individuals 
        recommended by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;
            (2) two members shall be appointed from among individuals 
        recommended by the majority leader of the House of 
        Representatives;
            (3) two members shall be appointed from among individuals 
        recommended by the minority leader of the House of 
        Representatives;
            (4) two members shall be appointed from among individuals 
        recommended by the majority leader of the Senate;
            (5) two members shall be appointed from among individuals 
        recommended by the minority leader of the Senate; and
            (6) two members shall be appointed from among individuals 
        recommended by the President pro tempore of the Senate.
    (b) Qualifications.--
            (1) Limit on officers or employees of the united states.--
        Not more than 10 members shall be officers or employees of the 
        United States.
            (2) Political party affiliation.--Not more than 8 members 
        of the Commission may be of the same political party.
            (3) Expertise.--
                    (A) Officers or employees of the united states.--
                Members of the Commission who are officers or employees 
                of the United States shall be appointed from among 
                individuals whose employment is directly related to the 
                matters to be studied by the Commission under section 
                4(a)(2).
                    (B) Other members.--Members of the Commission who 
                are not officers or employees of the United States 
                shall be appointed from among individuals who--
                            (i) have lived in a foreign country for not 
                        less than one year;
                            (ii) are members of organizations that 
                        represent United States citizens living in 
                        foreign countries; or
                            (iii) have other experience that is 
                        relevant to the matters to be studied by the 
                        Commission under section 4(a)(2).
    (c) Period of Appointment; Vacancies.--Members shall be appointed 
for the life of the Commission. Any vacancy in the Commission shall be 
filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made. 
Any vacancy in the Commission shall not affect its powers.
    (d) First Meeting.--Not later than 60 days after the date on which 
all members of the Commission have been appointed, the Commission shall 
hold its first meeting.
    (e) Meetings.--The Commission shall meet at the call of the 
Chairperson.
    (f) Quorum.--A majority of the members of the Commission shall 
constitute a quorum, but a lesser number of members may hold hearings.
    (g) Chairperson.--The President shall select a Chairperson for the 
Commission from among its members.

SEC. 4. DUTIES.

    (a) Study.--
            (1) In general.--The Commission shall conduct a study on 
        how Federal laws and policies affect United States citizens 
        living in foreign countries, including civilians and members of 
        the Armed Forces.
            (2) Matters studies.--The matters studied shall include the 
        following:
                    (A) Federal financial reporting requirements for a 
                United States citizen living in a foreign country, 
                including the requirements under section 5314 of title 
                31, United States Code.
                    (B) Federal policies and requirements that affect 
                the ability of a United States citizen living in a 
                foreign country to access foreign and domestic 
                financial institutions, including requirements under 
                chapter 4 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 
                (commonly known as the ``Foreign Account Tax Compliance 
                Act'') and requirements affecting financial 
                institutions imposed by the Uniting and Strengthening 
                America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to 
                Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA 
                Patriot Act) (Public Law 107-56).
                    (C) Federal requirements for a spouse, child, or 
                another family member of a United States citizen living 
                in a foreign country who is not a United States citizen 
                to become a United States citizen.
                    (D) The ability of a United States citizen living 
                in a foreign country to vote in Federal, State, and 
                local elections in the United States, and the process 
                for such a citizen to vote in such elections.
                    (E) The processes by which a United States citizen 
                living in a foreign country interacts with Federal 
                programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
                    (F) The process for a United States citizen living 
                in a foreign country to get a Federal education loan 
                for such citizen or for such citizen's child who is a 
                United States citizen.
                    (G) Which Federal agencies have jurisdiction over 
                each Federal program that serves United States citizens 
                who live in foreign countries and possible methods to 
                improve the collaboration of and coordination between 
                such Federal agencies.
    (b) Consultation With Outside Organizations.--In conducting the 
study under subsection (a), the Commission shall consult organizations 
that represent United States citizens living in foreign countries.
    (c) Reports.--
            (1) Initial report.--Not later than one year after the date 
        of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall submit a report 
        to the President, Congress, and the head of any Federal agency 
        identified in subsection (a)(2)(G), which shall contain a 
        detailed statement of the findings and conclusions of the 
        Commission, together with its recommendations for such 
        legislative and administrative actions as it considers 
        appropriate.
            (2) Update.--Not later than one year after the date on 
        which the Commission submits the report under paragraph (1), 
        the Commission shall submit an update to the President, 
        Congress, and the head of any Federal agency identified in 
        subsection (a)(2)(G), which shall describe any administrative 
        actions taken by the head of any Federal agency pursuant to the 
        recommendations in such report.

SEC. 5. POWERS OF THE COMMISSION.

    (a) Hearings and Sessions.--The Commission may, for the purpose of 
carrying out this Act, hold hearings, sit and act at times and places, 
take testimony, and receive evidence as the Commission considers 
appropriate.
    (b) Powers of Members and Agents.--Any member or agent of the 
Commission may, if authorized by the Commission, take any action which 
the Commission is authorized to take by this section.
    (c) Obtaining Official Data.--Subject to section 6103 of the 
Internal Revenue Code of 1986, the Commission may secure directly from 
any Federal department or agency such information as the Commission 
considers necessary to carry out this Act. Upon request of the 
Chairperson of the Commission, the head of such department or agency 
shall furnish such information to the Commission.
    (d) Mails.--The Commission may use the United States mails in the 
same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and 
agencies of the United States.

SEC. 6. COMMISSION PERSONNEL MATTERS.

    (a) Compensation of Members.--Each member of the Commission who is 
not an officer or employee of the United States shall be compensated at 
a rate equal to the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay 
prescribed for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of 
title 5, United States Code, for each day (including travel time) 
during which such member is engaged in the performance of the duties of 
the Commission. All members of the Commission who are officers or 
employees of the United States shall serve without compensation in 
addition to that received for their services as officers or employees 
of the United States.
    (b) Travel Expenses.--The members of the Commission shall be 
allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at 
rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of 
chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from their homes 
or regular places of business in the performance of services for the 
Commission.
    (c) Staff.--
            (1) In general.--The Chairperson of the Commission may, 
        without regard to the civil service laws and regulations, 
        appoint and terminate an executive director and such other 
        additional personnel as may be necessary to enable the 
        Commission to perform its duties. The employment of an 
        executive director shall be subject to confirmation by the 
        Commission.
            (2) Compensation.--The Chairperson of the Commission may 
        fix the compensation of the executive director and other 
        personnel without regard to chapter 51 and subchapter III of 
        chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to 
        classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates, 
        except that the rate of pay for the executive director and 
        other personnel may not exceed the rate payable for level V of 
        the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of such title.
    (d) Detail of Government Employees.--Any United States employee may 
be detailed to the Commission without reimbursement, and such detail 
shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or 
privilege.
    (e) Procurement of Temporary and Intermittent Services.--The 
Chairperson of the Commission may procure temporary and intermittent 
services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates 
for individuals that do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual 
rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule 
under section 5316 of such title.

SEC. 7. FEDERAL AGENCY RESPONSE.

    Not later than 180 days after the date on which the Commission 
submits the report under section 4(c)(1), the head of any Federal 
agency that is affected by a recommendation in such report shall submit 
to the President, Congress, and the Commission a response to such 
recommendation, including any plans to take administrative action 
pursuant to such recommendation.

SEC. 8. TERMINATION.

    The Commission shall terminate on the date on which it submits its 
update under section 4(c)(2).

SEC. 9. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There is authorized to be appropriated $3,000,000 for each of 
fiscal years 2014 and 2015 to the Commission to carry out this Act to 
remain available until the termination of the Commission.
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