Summary: H.R.7085 — 96th Congress (1979-1980)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (09/22/1980)

(Measure passed House, amended)

Hostage Relief Act of 1980 - =Title I: Special Personnel Benefits= - Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to establish a savings fund to which the head of an agency may allot all or a portion of the pay and allowance of any employee who is in a missing status on or after November 4, 1979, as the result of a hostile action against the United States. Requires interest on such fund to be compounded quarterly at the average rate paid on United States Treasury bills with three-month maturities issued during the calendar quarter immediately preceding the first day of the applicable pay period.

Terminates the hostage period for purposes of this title on December 31, 1983, or on such earlier date when all the American hostages held in the United States Embassy in Iran have been released to the United States or otherwise accounted for.

Directs the President to issue regulations to authorize agency heads to pay any such employee or or family member of such employee for medical and health care and other related expenses to the extent such care: (1) is incident to such employee's being an American hostage; and (2) is not covered by insurance.

Entitles a spouse or child of such an employee to reimbursement, for a certain time, for expenses incurred for tuition, books, fees, and subsistence while attending an educational or training institution.

Authorizes an agency head to pay such an employee for the same kinds of expenses for educational courses or training begun within ten years after the termination of his or her captive status.

Extends to such employees the provisions of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940, deferring civil actions that affect property rights of such persons until their missing status is ended.

Deems Richard Starr of Edmonds, Washington, who as a Peace Corps Volunteer was held captive in Colombia until February 1980, to be, for purposes of this title, an American hostage placed in captive status on November 4, 1979.

=Title II: Tax Provisions= - Excludes from the gross income of such an employee compensation received for any month during the period of his or her captive status, or during which such employee was hospitalized as a result of such captive status. Cancels the income taxes for any such employee who dies as a result of injury, disease, or physical or mental disability incurred or aggravated while in captive status, for the year in which death occurs and for all prior years during which the employee was in captive status. Requires death to occur within two years of cessation of captive status.

Authorizes spouses of such employees to file a joint income tax return.

Defers the filing of an income tax return by such an employee until after 180 days following the termination of his or her captive status.

Terminates the hostage period for purposes of this title on December 31, 1981, or on such earlier date when all the American hostages held in the United States Embassy in Iran have been returned to the United States or otherwise accounted for.

Limits hospitalization status to hospitalizations within two years after the date on which an individual's captive status ends.

Applies the provisions of this title to all citizens and resident aliens of the United States held hostage in Teheran at any time during November, 1979, regardless of whether they are Federal employees. Applies the tax exclusion to non-employees only to the extent of the daily equivalent of the annual basic rate of pay in effect for level V of the Executive Schedule. Applies such provisions to Richard Starr of Edmonds, Washington.

Directs the Chief of Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation to study all aspects of the tax treatment of citizens and resident aliens of the United States who are taken hostage or are otherwise placed in a missing status. Requires a report of the results of such study before July 1, 1981, to the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.

=Title III: Treatment of the Hostages in Iran= - Declares that it is the sense of the Congress that the President should formally request the International Committee of the Red Cross: (1) to visit the American hostages in Iran regularly and periodically to determine whether their treatment is humane and decent and whether they are receiving proper medical attention; (2) to urge other countries to solicit Iranian cooperation in arranging such visits; and (3) to report its findings to the United States after each visit.