Text: H.R.4875 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 114-196 (07/22/2016)

 
[114th Congress Public Law 196]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 130 STAT. 685]]

Public Law 114-196
114th Congress

                                 An Act


 
 To establish the United States Semiquincentennial Commission, and for 
         other purposes. <<NOTE: July 22, 2016 -  [H.R. 4875]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: United 
States Semiquin- centennial Commission Act of 2016. 36 USC 101 note 
prec.>> 
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``United States Semiquincentennial 
Commission Act of 2016''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS; PURPOSE.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds that July 4, 2026, the 250th 
anniversary of the founding of the United States, as marked by the 
Declaration of Independence in 1776, and the historic events preceding 
that anniversary--
            (1) are of major significance in the development of the 
        national heritage of the United States of individual liberty, 
        representative government, and the attainment of equal and 
        inalienable rights; and
            (2) have had a profound influence throughout the world.

    (b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to establish a Commission 
to provide for the observance and commemoration of the 250th anniversary 
of the founding of the United States and related events through local, 
State, national, and international activities planned, encouraged, 
developed, and coordinated by a national commission representative of 
appropriate public and private authorities and organizations.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the United 
        States Semiquincentennial Commission established by section 
        4(a).
            (2) Private citizen.--The term ``private citizen'' means an 
        individual who is not an officer or employee of--
                    (A) the Federal Government; or
                    (B) a State or local government.
            (3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Interior.
SEC. 4. ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMISSION.

    (a) In General.--There is established a commission, to be known as 
the ``United States Semiquincentennial Commission'', to plan, encourage, 
develop, and coordinate the commemoration of the history of the United 
States leading up to the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United 
States.

[[Page 130 STAT. 686]]

    (b) Composition.--The Commission shall be composed of the following 
members:
            (1) Four members of the Senate, of whom--
                    (A) two shall be appointed by the majority leader of 
                the Senate; and
                    (B) two shall be appointed by the minority leader of 
                the Senate.
            (2) Four members of the House of Representatives, of whom--
                    (A) two shall be appointed by the Speaker of the 
                House of Representatives; and
                    (B) two shall be appointed by the minority leader of 
                the House of Representatives.
            (3) Sixteen members who are private citizens, of whom--
                    (A) four shall be appointed by the majority leader 
                of the Senate;
                    (B) four shall be appointed by the minority leader 
                of the Senate;
                    (C) four shall be appointed by the Speaker of the 
                House of Representatives;
                    (D) four shall be appointed by the minority leader 
                of the House of Representatives; and
                    (E) <<NOTE: President.>>  one of whom shall be 
                designated by the President as the Chairperson.
            (4) The following nonvoting ex officio members:
                    (A) The Secretary.
                    (B) The Secretary of State.
                    (C) The Attorney General.
                    (D) The Secretary of Defense.
                    (E) The Secretary of Education.
                    (F) The Librarian of Congress.
                    (G) The Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.
                    (H) The Archivist of the United States.
                    (I) The presiding officer of the Federal Council on 
                the Arts and the Humanities.

    (c) Term; Vacancies.--
            (1) Term.--A member shall be appointed for the life of the 
        Commission.
            (2) Vacancies.--A vacancy on the Commission--
                    (A) shall not affect the powers of the Commission; 
                and
                    (B) shall be filled in the same manner as the 
                original appointment was made.

    (d) <<NOTE: Pennsylvania.>>  Meetings.--All meetings of the 
Commission shall be convened at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania, to honor the historical significance of the building as 
the site of deliberations and adoption of both the United States 
Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

    (e) Quorum.--A majority of the members of the Commission shall 
constitute a quorum, but a lesser number of members may hold hearings.
SEC. 5. DUTIES.

    (a) In General.--The Commission shall--
            (1) prepare an overall program for commemorating the 250th 
        anniversary of the founding of the United States and the 
        historic events preceding that anniversary; and

[[Page 130 STAT. 687]]

            (2) plan, encourage, develop, and coordinate observances and 
        activities commemorating the historic events that preceded, and 
        are associated with, the United States Semiquincentennial.

    (b) Requirements.--
            (1) In general.--In preparing plans and an overall program, 
        the Commission--
                    (A) shall give due consideration to any related 
                plans and programs developed by State, local, and 
                private groups; and
                    (B) may designate special committees with 
                representatives from groups described in subparagraph 
                (A) to plan, develop, and coordinate specific 
                activities.
            (2) Emphasis.--The Commission shall--
                    (A) emphasize the planning of events in locations of 
                historical significance to the United States, especially 
                in those locations that witnessed the assertion of 
                American liberty, such as--
                          (i) the 13 colonies; and
                          (ii) leading cities, including Boston, 
                      Charleston, New York City, and Philadelphia; and
                    (B) give special emphasis to--
                          (i) the role of persons and locations with 
                      significant impact on the history of the United 
                      States during the 250-year period beginning on the 
                      date of execution of the Declaration of 
                      Independence; and
                          (ii) the ideas associated with that history, 
                      which have been so important in the development of 
                      the United States, in world affairs, and in the 
                      quest for freedom of all mankind.
            (3) Infrastructure.--The Commission shall--
                    (A) <<NOTE: Evaluation.>>  evaluate existing 
                infrastructure;
                    (B) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>>  include in the 
                report required under subsection (c) recommendations for 
                what infrastructure should be in place for the 
                successful undertaking of an appropriate celebration in 
                accordance with this Act; and
                    (C) <<NOTE: Coordination.>>  coordinate with State 
                and local bodies to make necessary infrastructure 
                improvements.

    (c) Report Submitted to the President.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 2 years after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the Commission shall submit to the 
        President a comprehensive report that includes the specific 
        recommendations of the Commission for the commemoration of the 
        250th anniversary and related events.
            (2) Recommended activities.--The report may include 
        recommended activities such as--
                    (A) the production, publication, and distribution of 
                books, pamphlets, films, and other educational materials 
                focusing on the history, culture, and political thought 
                of the period of the American Revolution;
                    (B) bibliographical and documentary projects and 
                publications;
                    (C) conferences, convocations, lectures, seminars, 
                and other programs, especially those located in the 13 
                colonies, including the major cities and buildings of 
                national historical significance of the 13 colonies;
                    (D) the development of libraries, museums, historic 
                sites, and exhibits, including mobile exhibits;

[[Page 130 STAT. 688]]

                    (E) ceremonies and celebrations commemorating 
                specific events, such as--
                          (i) the signing of the Declaration of 
                      Independence;
                          (ii) programs and activities focusing on the 
                      national and international significance of the 
                      United States Semiquincentennial; and
                          (iii) the implications of the 
                      Semiquincentennial for present and future 
                      generations; and
                    (F) encouraging Federal agencies to integrate the 
                celebration of the Semiquincentennial into the regular 
                activities and execution of the purpose of the agencies 
                through such activities as the issuance of coins, 
                medals, certificates of recognition, stamps, and the 
                naming of vessels.
            (3) Requirements.--The report shall include--
                    (A) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>>  the 
                recommendations of the Commission for the allocation of 
                financial and administrative responsibility among the 
                public and private authorities and organizations 
                recommended for participation by the Commission; and
                    (B) proposals for such legislative enactments and 
                administrative actions as the Commission considers 
                necessary to carry out the recommendations.

    (d) <<NOTE: President.>>  Report Submitted to Congress.--The 
President shall submit to Congress a report that contains--
            (1) the complete report of the Commission; and
            (2) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>>  such comments and 
        recommendations for legislation and such a description of 
        administrative actions taken by the President as the President 
        considers appropriate.

    (e) Point of Contact.--The Commission, acting through the 
secretariat of the Commission described in section 9(b), shall serve as 
the point of contact of the Federal Government for all State, local, 
international, and private sector initiatives regarding the 
Semiquincentennial of the founding of the United States, with the 
purpose of coordinating and facilitating all fitting and proper 
activities honoring the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United 
States.
SEC. 6. COORDINATION.

    (a) <<NOTE: Consultation.>>  In General.--In carrying out this Act, 
the Commission shall consult and cooperate with, and seek advice and 
assistance from, appropriate Federal agencies, State and local public 
bodies, learned societies, and historical, patriotic, philanthropic, 
civic, professional, and related organizations.

    (b) Responsibility of Other Federal Agencies.--
            (1) In general.--Federal agencies shall cooperate with the 
        Commission in planning, encouraging, developing, and 
        coordinating appropriate commemorative activities.
            (2) Department of the interior.--
                    (A) <<NOTE: Study.>>  In general.--The Secretary 
                shall undertake a study of appropriate actions that 
                might be taken to further preserve and develop historic 
                sites and battlefields, at such time and in such manner 
                as will ensure that fitting observances and exhibits may 
                be held at appropriate sites and battlefields during the 
                250th anniversary celebration.
                    (B) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions.>>  Report.--The 
                Secretary shall submit to the Commission a report that 
                contains the results of the study

[[Page 130 STAT. 689]]

                and the recommendations of the Secretary, in time to 
                afford the Commission an opportunity--
                          (i) to review the study; and
                          (ii) to incorporate in the report described in 
                      section 5(c) such findings and recommendations as 
                      the Commission considers appropriate.
            (3) Arts and humanities.--
                    (A) In general.--The presiding officer of the 
                Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities, the 
                Chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts, and 
                the Chairperson of the National Endowment for the 
                Humanities shall cooperate with the Commission, 
                especially in the encouragement and coordination of 
                scholarly works and artistic expressions focusing on the 
                history, culture, and political thought of the period 
                predating the United States Semiquincentennial.
                    (B) Library of congress, smithsonian institution, 
                and archives.--
                          (i) In general.--The Librarian of Congress, 
                      the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and 
                      the Archivist of the United States shall cooperate 
                      with the Commission, especially in the development 
                      and display of exhibits and collections and in the 
                      development of bibliographies, catalogs, and other 
                      materials relevant to the period predating the 
                      United States Semiquincentennial.
                          (ii) Location.--To the maximum extent 
                      practicable, displays described in subparagraph 
                      (A) shall be located in, or in facilities near to, 
                      buildings of historical significance to the 
                      American Revolution, so as to promote greater 
                      public awareness of the heritage of the United 
                      States.
                    (C) <<NOTE: Reports.>>  Submission of 
                recommendations.--Each of the officers described in this 
                paragraph shall submit to the Commission a report 
                containing recommendations in time to afford the 
                Commission an opportunity--
                          (i) to review the reports; and
                          (ii) to incorporate in the report described in 
                      section 5(c) such findings and recommendations as 
                      the Commission considers appropriate.
            (4) Department of state.--The Secretary of State shall 
        coordinate the participation of foreign nations in the 
        celebration of the United States Semiquincentennial, including 
        by soliciting the erection of monuments and other cultural 
        cooperations in founding cities of the United States so as--
                    (A) to celebrate the shared heritage of the United 
                States with the many peoples and nations of the world; 
                and
                    (B) to provide liaison and encouragement for the 
                erection of international pavilions to showcase the 
                spread of democratic institutions abroad in the period 
                following the American Revolution.
SEC. 7. POWERS.

    (a) Hearings.--The Commission may hold such hearings, meet and act 
at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive

[[Page 130 STAT. 690]]

such evidence as the Commission considers advisable to carry out this 
Act.
    (b) Information From Federal Agencies.--
            (1) In general.--The Commission may secure directly from a 
        Federal agency such information as the Commission considers 
        necessary to carry out this Act.
            (2) Provision of information.--On request of the Chairperson 
        of the Commission, the head of the agency shall provide the 
        information to the Commission.

    (c) Postal Services.--The Commission may use the United States mails 
in the same manner and under the same conditions as other agencies of 
the Federal Government.
    (d) Gifts.--The Commission may accept, use, and dispose of gifts or 
donations of money, property, or personal services.
    (e) Additional Powers.--As determined necessary by the Commission, 
the Commission may--
            (1) procure supplies, services, and property;
            (2) make contracts;
            (3) expend in furtherance of this Act funds donated or 
        received in pursuance of contracts entered into under this Act; 
        and
            (4) take such actions as are necessary to enable the 
        Commission to carry out efficiently and in the public interest 
        the purposes of this Act.

    (f) Use of Materials.--
            (1) Time capsule.--A representative portion of all books, 
        manuscripts, miscellaneous printed matter, memorabilia, relics, 
        and other materials relating to the United States 
        Semiquincentennial shall be deposited in a time capsule--
                    (A) to be buried in Independence Mall, Philadelphia, 
                on July 4, 2026; and
                    (B) to be unearthed on the occasion of the 500th 
                anniversary of the United States of America on July 4, 
                2276.
            (2) Other materials.--All other books, manuscripts, 
        miscellaneous printed matter, memorabilia, relics, and other 
        materials relating to the United States Semiquincentennial, 
        whether donated to the Commission or collected by the 
        Commission, may be deposited for preservation in national, 
        State, or local libraries or museums or be otherwise disposed of 
        by the Commission, in consultation with the Librarian of 
        Congress, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, the 
        Archivist of the United States, and the Administrator of General 
        Services.

    (g) Property.--Any property acquired by the Commission remaining on 
termination of the Commission may be--
            (1) used by the Secretary for purposes of the National Park 
        Service; or
            (2) disposed of as excess or surplus property.
SEC. 8. COMMISSION PERSONNEL MATTERS.

    (a) Compensation of Members.--The members of the Commission shall 
receive no compensation for service on the Commission.
    (b) Travel Expenses.--A member of the Commission shall be allowed 
travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates 
authorized for an employee of an agency under subchapter I of chapter 57 
of title 5, United States Code, while away from

[[Page 130 STAT. 691]]

the home or regular place of business of the member in the performance 
of the duties of the Commission.
    (c) Staff.--
            (1) In general.--The Chairperson of the Commission may, 
        without regard to the civil service laws (including 
        regulations), appoint and terminate an executive director and 
        such other additional personnel as are necessary to enable the 
        Commission to perform the duties of the Commission.
            (2) Confirmation of executive director.--The employment of 
        an executive director shall be subject to confirmation by the 
        Commission.
            (3) Compensation.--
                    (A) In general.--Except as provided in subparagraph 
                (B), the Chairperson of the Commission may fix the 
                compensation of the executive director and other 
                personnel without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 
                and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United 
                States Code, relating to classification of positions and 
                General Schedule pay rates.
                    (B) Maximum rate of pay.--The rate of pay for the 
                executive director and other personnel shall not exceed 
                the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule 
                under section 5316 of title 5, United States Code.

    (d) Detail of Federal Government Employees.--
            (1) In general.--An employee of the Federal Government may 
        be detailed to the Commission without reimbursement.
            (2) Civil service status.--The detail of the employee 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 in accordance with 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 that title.
    (f) Advisory Committees.--The Commission may appoint such advisory 
committees as the Commission determines necessary.
SEC. 9. EXPENDITURES OF COMMISSION.

    (a) In General.--All expenditures of the Commission shall be made 
solely from donated funds.
    (b) Administrative Secretariat.--The Secretary of the Interior 
shall, through a competitive process, seek to enter into an arrangement 
with a nonprofit organization, the mission of which is consistent with 
the purpose of this Act. Under such arrangement, such nonprofit 
organization shall--
            (1) serve as the secretariat of the Commission, including by 
        serving as the point of contact under section 5(e);
            (2) house the administrative offices of the Commission;
            (3) assume responsibility for funds of the Commission; and
            (4) provide to the Commission financial and administrative 
        services, including services related to budgeting, accounting, 
        financial reporting, personnel, and procurement.

    (c) Payment for Financial and Administrative Services.--
            (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), payment for 
        services provided under subsection (b)(4) shall be made in

[[Page 130 STAT. 692]]

        advance, or by reimbursement, from funds of the Commission in 
        such amounts as may be agreed on by the Chairperson of the 
        Commission and the secretariat of the Commission.
            (2) Relationship to regulations.--
                    (A) <<NOTE: Applicability.>>  Erroneous payments.--
                The regulations under section 5514 of title 5, United 
                States Code, relating to the collection of indebtedness 
                of personnel resulting from erroneous payments shall 
                apply to the collection of erroneous payments made to, 
                or on behalf of, a Commission employee.
                    (B) No promulgation by commission.--The Commission 
                shall not be required to prescribe any regulations 
                relating to the matters described in subparagraph (A).

    (d) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  Annual Report.--Once each year during 
the period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act and ending on 
December 31, 2027, the Commission shall submit to Congress a report of 
the activities of the Commission, including an accounting of funds 
received and expended during the year covered by the report.
SEC. 10. TERMINATION OF COMMISSION.

    The Commission shall terminate on December 31, 2027.

    Approved July 22, 2016.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 4875 (S. 2815):
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 162 (2016):
            July 5, considered and passed House.
            July 12, considered and passed Senate.

                                  <all>