Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate amended, 2nd committee reporting (09/04/1980)

(Reported to Senate from the Committee on Rules and Administration with amendment, S. Rept. 96-924)

Sunset Act of 1980 - =Title I: General Provisions= - Declares that it is the purpose of this Act to establish a procedure for the periodic sunset review of Federal programs and tax expenditures by the Congress. Defines the term "sunset review" as an evaluation of such a program or tax expenditure by a permanent committee of the Senate or the House of Representatives having legislative jurisdiction over such program or expenditure (legislative committee) to determine whether the program or expenditure should be continued without change, modified, or terminated. Includes the United States Postal Service and the Postal Rate Commission within the definition of the term "agency," but excludes the General Accounting Office as an agency for purposes of this Act.

=Title II: Congressional Inventory of Federal Programs= - Requires the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate and the Committee on Rules of the House (Committees) to develop, publish, and maintain a congressional inventory of Federal programs and tax expenditures which classifies such programs and expenditures by jurisdiction of legislative committees. Sets forth the procedure for developing and revising such inventory. Requires the inventory to identify: (1) each program and expenditure by name and number; (2) the agency administering the program or expenditure; (3) the statutes and regulations governing the program or expenditure; (4) the year the program or expenditure was established and the year it expires; (5) whether the program or expenditure is operating under permanent budget authority or permanent statutory authority; (6) the amount authorized to be appropriated, the budget authority provided, and the budget outlays made for the program during the most recently completed fiscal year for a program; and (7) the estimated tax loss incurred with respect to a tax expenditure in the most recently completed fiscal year.

Directs the Comptroller General to prepare, publish, and annually update a supplement to the inventory which includes specified additional information concerning each program and expenditure.

Requires the Directors of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Congressional Research Service (CRS) to provide assistance as requested in the preparation and updating of the inventory and supplement.

=Title III: Sunset Review of Programs and Tax Expenditures= - Directs each legislative committee of the Senate and House, by March 1 of the first session of each Congress beginning with the Ninety-eighth Congress, to submit to the appropriate Committee an agenda for the sunset review during such Congress of selected programs within the legislative committee's jurisdiction. Directs the Senate Committee on Finance and the House Committee on Ways and Means to include in such an agenda selected tax expenditures to be reviewed. Requires each legislative committee: (1) to select for review those programs and expenditures most in need of review; (2) to ensure that programs or expenditures selected for review during the next three Congresses comprise at least 30 percent of the total budget authority of all of the programs or the total amount of expenditures under such committee's jurisdiction; (3) to provide that related programs and expenditures are reviewed during the same Congress; and (4) to develop its agenda in consultation with other congressional committees having jurisdiction over common programs or expenditures. Requires each agenda to be accompanied by a report which indicates for each program or expenditure to be reviewed: (1) the reason for selecting such program or expenditure; (2) the scheduled completion date for the review; (3) the estimated cost of the review; (4) how the review is to be conducted; and (5) a projection of review schedules for three additional Congresses.

Requires each Committee, within 14 days after receiving all such agendas: (1) to incorporate the agendas for all of the legislative committees of its respective House into a consolidated sunset review agenda; and (2) to report to its respective House a concurrent resolution directing each legislative committee, by May 15 of the second session of the Congress, to conduct a sunset review of each program or expenditure contained in such consolidated agenda.

Requires each program included in a committee agenda or a consolidated agenda to be identified by the program name and number as specified in the congressional inventory of Federal programs.

Sets for the House and Senate procedures for the consideration and adoption of the consolidated sunset review agenda. Requires each House to adopt a consolidated agenda for any Congress by April 30 of the first session of that Congress.

Requires each legislative committee of the House or the Senate, not later than May 15 in the second session of each Congress: (1) to report a bill or bills modifying, continuing, or terminating each program or tax expenditure which it has been directed to review under the consolidated sunset review agenda adopted during the first session; or (2) to make a nonlegislative report to the House or the Senate on the review including any reasons why the committee did not report such a bill. Requires the nonlegislative report or the report accompanying such a bill to contain specified information including: (1) the findings and recommendations of the committee; (2) an analysis of the costs and cost effectiveness of the program or expenditure; (3) the objectives of the program or expenditure; and (4) an estimate of the social benefits and regulatory impact of the program or expenditure.

Directs each executive agency which administers a program or expenditure selected for sunset review, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Comptroller General, the Director of the Office of Technology Assessment, and the Directors of CBO and CRS to submit to legislative committees specified information to assist the committees in conducting sunset reviews pursuant to this Act.

Declares that this Act shall not affect existing program review or oversight authority of any legislative committee. Makes conforming amendments to the Standing Rules of the Senate and the Rules of the House of Representatives.

=Title IV: Citizens' Commission on the Organization and Operation of Government= - Establishes, as an independent instrumentality of the United States, the Citizens' Commission on the Organization and Operation of Government to: (1) conduct a nonpartisan study and investigation of the organization and methods of operation of all departments, agencies, independent instrumentalities, and other authorities of the executive branch of the Government in the major policy areas of international affairs and defense, resources and technology, economic development, human resources, and general government; and (2) make such recommendations as it determines are necessary to promote economical, efficient and improved services in the transaction of public business.

Requires the Commission to submit interim reports to the President and the Congress, and to submit a final report with its findings and recommendations. Requires the Comptroller General to report once a year for two years after submission of the Commission's final report on the status of actions taken as a result of the report.

Specifies the composition of the 15-member Commission and sets forth the duties and powers of the Commission. States that the Commission shall cease to exist 90 days after submission of its final report.

Authorizes the appropriation of $4,000,000 to carry out the provisions of this title for fiscal years 1982 and 1983.

=Title V: Sunrise= - Declares that it is not in order for either House of Congress to consider legislation authorizing new budget authority for a program or providing new or increased tax expenditures unless such legislation includes: (1) a statement of the specific objectives and planned annual accomplishments of the program or expenditure; and (2) a requirement that the agency administering the program or expenditure submit to the Director of OMB, by May 1 of the first session of each Congress, a report to Congress on the agency's success in meeting such objectives and accomplishment plans. Requires each such agency to provide concise measures of all of the costs and accomplishments of the of the program or expenditure and to compare such costs and accomplishments to those of similar governmental and nongovernmental programs and expenditures.

States that it is not in order for either House of Congress to consider legislation authorizing new budget authority for programs or providing new tax expenditures unless the report accompanying such legislation contains a statement which: (1) sets forth the objectives, planned annual accomplishments, and expected economic and social impact of the program or expenditure; (2) identifies conflicting or duplicative programs or expenditures; (3) identifies previous efforts to accomplish program or expenditure objectives; and (4) sets forth recommendations for eliminating provisions of Federal law which conflict with such objectives.

=Title VI: Miscellaneous= - Amends the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 to permit the committees of Congress to obtain from the agencies of the government estimates or requests for appropriations or requests for increases in an item of any such estimate or request, and recommendations as to how the revenue needs of the government should be met. Declares that nothing shall require the public disclosure of records which are specifically authorized, under criteria established by an Executive order, to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and are in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive order, or which are otherwise specifically protected by law or the rules of the Senate.

Makes it the duty of the Committees on Governmental Affairs and on Rules and Administration of the Senate and the Committee on Government Operations and on Rules of the House of Representatives to review the operation of the procedures established by this Act and to submit a report every five years beginning December 31, 1986.

Authorizes appropriations to carry out provisions of this Act concerning the inventory of programs and sunset reviews, and sunrise provisions beginning in fiscal year 1982.