STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS; Congressional Record Vol. 161, No. 64
(Senate - April 30, 2015)

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[Pages S2570-S2578]
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          STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

      By Mr. BARRASSO (for himself, Mr. Donnelly, Mr. Inhofe, Ms. 
        Heitkamp, Mr. Roberts, Mr. Manchin, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Rounds, 
        Mr. Blunt, Mr. McConnell, Mrs. Capito, Mrs. Fischer, and Mr. 
        Hoeven):
  S. 1140. A bill to require the Secretary of the Army and the 
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to propose a 
regulation revising the definition of the term ``waters of the United 
States'', and for other purposes; to the Committee on Environment and 
Public Works.
  Mr. BARRASSO. Mr. President, last week, I spoke on the floor about a 
new report by the Bipartisan Policy Center. This report talked about 
the great progress we have made so far in this Congress, as far as 
getting things done in a bipartisan way. I believe that is good news. 
Republicans in the Senate are committed to continuing our progress and 
to holding more votes on areas of bipartisan agreement. So I want to 
speak about something Senators on both sides of the aisle agree we can 
do to protect America's navigable waters.
  Our rivers, lakes and other waterways are among America's most 
treasured resources. In my home State of Wyoming, we have some of the 
most beautiful rivers in the world: the Snake River, the Wind River, 
dozens of others.
  The people of Wyoming are devoted to keeping these waterways safe and 
pristine for our children and our grandchildren. They understand there 
is a right way and a wrong way to do that. It is possible to have 
reasonable regulations to help preserve our waterways, while at the 
same time allowing it to be used as natural resources.
  We have done it for years under the Clean Water Act. That is the 
right way to do it. The wrong way to do it is for Washington 
bureaucrats--bureaucrats--unelectable, unaccountable, to write harsh 
and inflexible rules that could block any use of water or even use of 
land in much of the country. The Environmental Protection Agency and 
the Army Corps of Engineers have proposed a new rule, a new rule that 
would expand the Clean Water Act in what I believe is a dangerous new 
direction.
  The rule is an attempt to change the definition of what the law calls 
waters of the United States. Under the rule, this term could include 
ditches, it would include dry areas where water only flows for a short 
time after it rains. Federal regulations have never before listed 
ditches and other manmade features as waters of the United States.
  What the administration is proposing now simply makes no sense. Under 
this new rule, the new rule they are proposing, isolated ponds could be 
regulated as waters of the United States. This is the kind of pond that 
might form in a low-lying piece of land with no connection to a river 
or a stream. It could be in someone's back yard.
  An isolated pond is not navigable water. That is not what the law was 
designed to protect. This is bipartisan, and there is bipartisan 
agreement that Washington bureaucrats have no business, none at all, 
regulating an isolated pond as a water of the United States. Under this 
newly proposed rule, agriculture water management systems could be 
regulated as waters of the United States.
  We are talking about irrigation ditches. An irrigation ditch is not 
navigable water. These are manmade ditches that people dig to move 
water from one place to another to grow crops. This kind of agriculture 
water is not what the law was designed to protect. There is bipartisan 
agreement that Washington bureaucrats have no business regulating an 
irrigation ditch as waters of the United States.
  Under this outrageously broad new rule, Washington bureaucrats would 
now have a say in how farmers and ranchers and families use their own 
property. It would allow the Environmental Protection Agency to 
regulate private property just based on things such as whether it is 
used by animals or birds or even insects. It could regulate any water 
that moves over land or infiltrates into the ground.
  Well, this is an ominously far-reaching definition. It is the wrong 
way--the wrong way--to protect America 's precious water resources. 
This rule is not designed to protect the traditional waters of the 
United States, it is designed to expand the power of Washington 
bureaucrats.
  Now, there is a better way to protect America's water, and there is 
bipartisan support for it in this body. Today, I have introduced the 
Federal Water Quality Protection Act, along with Senators Donnelly, 
Inhofe, Heitkamp, Roberts, Manchin, Sullivan, Rounds,

[[Page S2571]]

Blunt, McConnell, Capito, and Fischer. That is bipartisan. It is a 
bipartisan agreement that says we need a different approach.
  This bill says yes to clean water and no to extreme bureaucracy. It 
will give the Environmental Protection Agency the direction it needs, 
the direction to write a strong and reasonable rule that truly protects 
America's waterways, one that keeps Washington's hands off things such 
as irrigation ditches, isolated ponds, and groundwater, one that does 
not allow the determination to be based on plants and insects, one that 
protects streams that could carry dangerous pollutants to navigable 
waters or wetlands that protect those waters from pollutants.
  It would make sure Washington bureaucrats comply, comply with other 
laws and Executive orders that, well, they have been avoiding. They 
would have to do an economic analysis and conduct reviews to protect 
small businesses, to protect ranchers, to protect farmers. They would 
have to consult with the States. They have to make sure, by consulting 
with the States, that we have the approach that works best everywhere, 
not just the approach Washington likes best.
  The Environmental Protection Agency says our concerns are overblown. 
The administration says there is a lot of misunderstanding about what 
their regulation covers. It says the Agency has no intention of 
regulating things like I have just described. The key word there is 
``intention.'' This bill would help to make sure the rules are crystal 
clear.
  It gives certainty and clarity to farmers, to ranchers, and to small 
business owners and their families. People would be able to use their 
property without fear of Washington bureaucrats knocking on their door. 
We would also be able to enjoy the beautiful rivers and the lakes that 
should be preserved and protected. This bipartisan bill does nothing to 
block legitimate protection of the true waters of the United States. It 
simply restores Washington's attention to the traditional waters that 
were always the focus before.
  That is what this law should protect. This bill is one easy thing we 
can do to protect Americans from runaway bureaucracy. The Senate has 
been very productive so far this year. We are going to keep going. We 
are going to go with more ideas that have bipartisan support. The 
Federal Water Quality Protection Act is one of them. I want to thank 
some of the many cosponsors.
                                 ______
                                 
      By Ms. COLLINS (for herself and Mr. Casey):
  S. 1141. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide 
tax incentives for small businesses; to the Committee on Finance.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I rise to introduce the Small Business 
Tax Certainty and Growth Act of 2015. I am very pleased to be joined by 
my friend and colleague from Pennsylvania, Senator Casey, in 
introducing this bipartisan bill.
  I know it will come as no surprise to the Presiding Officer that 
small businesses are our Nation's job creators. Firms with fewer than 
500 employees generate about 50 percent of our Nation's GDP, account 
for more than 99 percent of employers, and employ nearly half of all 
workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, small businesses 
generated 63 percent of the net new jobs that were created between 1993 
and 2013.
  Even the smallest firms have a notable effect on our economy. The 
Small Business Administration's data indicates that businesses with 
fewer than 20 employees accounted for 18 percent of all private sector 
jobs in 2013. Our bill allows small businesses to plan for capital 
investments that are vital to expansion and job creation. It eases 
complex accounting rules for the smallest businesses and it reduces the 
tax burden on newly formed ventures.
  Recent studies by the National Federation of Independent Business, 
NFIB, indicate that taxes are the No. 1 concern of small business 
owners and that constant change in the Tax Code is among their chief 
concerns, and that is certainly the case in the State of Maine. When I 
talk with employers across the State, they constantly tell me the 
uncertainty in our Tax Code and in the regulations that are coming out 
of Washington make it very difficult for them to plan, to hire new 
workers, and to know what is going to be coming their way.
  A key feature of our bill is that it provides the certainty that 
small businesses need to create and implement long-term capital 
investment plans that are vital to their growth. I will give an 
example. Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code allows small 
businesses to deduct the costs of acquired assets more rapidly. The 
amount of the maximum allowable deduction has changed three times in 
the past 8 years. Making matters worse, it is usually not addressed 
until it is part of a huge package of extenders passed at the end of 
the year, making this tax benefit unpredictable from year to year and, 
therefore, difficult for small businesses to take full advantage of in 
their long-range planning. They essentially have to gamble that the tax 
incentive is going to be extended and that it is going to be made 
retroactive to the 1st of the year.
  Just recently, I spoke with Patrick Schrader from Arundel Machine, a 
small business in Maine. He told me that the uncertainty surrounding 
section 179 has hindered his ability to make sound business decisions. 
The high-tech equipment that he needs requires months of lead time. For 
a small business like Patrick's, it is very risky to increase spending 
to expand and create new jobs when the deductibility of the machinery 
that helps to make those jobs possible remains unknown until late 
December. For business planning, this is information that is vital to 
have at the beginning of the year, not at the end of the year. This 
uncertainty has a direct impact on hiring decisions and the ability to 
take advantage of business opportunities.
  Our bill permanently sets the maximum allowable deduction under 
section 179 at $500,000, indexed for inflation, and it is also 
structured in such a way that it is really targeted to our smaller 
businesses.
  Our bill will also permanently extend the ability of restaurants, 
retailers, and certain businesses that lease their space to depreciate 
the costs of property improvements over 15 years rather than over 39 
years. Think about that. What restaurant is going to be able to wait 39 
years before doing upgrades and improvements? What we are trying to do 
is to better match the depreciation schedule with the need to update a 
restaurant or a retail space.
  The Small Business Tax Certainty and Growth Act also allows more 
companies to use the cash method of accounting by permanently doubling 
the threshold at which the more complex accrual method is required from 
$5 million in gross receipts to $10 million. This includes an expansion 
in the ability of small businesses to use simplified methods of 
accounting for inventories.
  Our legislation also eases the tax burden on a new startup business 
by permanently doubling the deduction for those initial expenses from 
$5,000 to $10,000, and for a very small business, that is really 
important. Similar to section 179, this benefit is limited to small 
businesses and the deduction phases out for total expenses exceeding 
$60,000.
  Our legislation extends for 1 year a provision that provides benefits 
to businesses of all sizes, the so-called bonus depreciation.
  Let me make clear that I continue to believe Congress should 
undertake comprehensive tax reform, with three major goals. It should 
result in a Tax Code that is more progrowth, that is fairer, and that 
is simpler. I urge the Senate to undertake such a reform, but in the 
meantime, the provisions of our bill would make a real difference in 
the ability of our Nation's small businesses to keep and create jobs.
  I will give another real-life example of what the small business 
expensing provisions can mean. I am proud to say Maine is known for its 
delicious craft beers. Dan Kleban founded Maine Beer Company with his 
brother in 2009. In 6 short years, the company has added 21 good-paying 
jobs with generous health and retirement benefits. They plan to hire at 
least three more workers shortly. Dan noted that his company's business 
decisions were directly affected by section 179 expensing.

  Here is why. This provision allowed them to expand by reinvesting 
their capital in new equipment to produce more beer and hire more 
Mainers.

[[Page S2572]]

Those are both good outcomes. In the last 3 years, they have taken the 
maximum deduction allowed under section 179 to acquire the equipment 
they needed to expand their business. This year, they hope to use the 
provision to finance the cost of a solar project that will offset 
nearly 50 percent of their energy consumption.
  If their business had been forced to spread these deductions over 
many years, its owners would not have been able to grow the business as 
they have done nor create those good jobs. This economic benefit is 
multiplied when we consider the effect of the investment by Maine Beer 
Company and Maine's many other craft brewers on the equipment 
manufacturers, the transportation companies needed to haul the new 
equipment to their breweries, the increased inventory in their 
breweries, and the suppliers of the materials needed to brew the 
additional beer. So it has a ripple effect that benefits many other 
businesses and allows them to create more jobs as well.
  In February, NFIB released new research that backs up this claim with 
hard numbers. They found that simply extending section 179 permanently 
at the 2014 level could increase employment by as much as 197,000 jobs 
during the 10-year window following implementation. U.S. real output 
could also increase by as much as $18.6 billion over the same period.
  In light of the positive effects this bill would have on small 
businesses, on job creation, and on our economy, I urge my colleagues 
to join us in supporting the Small Business Tax Certainty and Growth 
Act. I would note that the bill has been endorsed by NFIB, the leading 
voice for small business.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that a letter of endorsement 
from the NFIB be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                            National Federation of


                                         Independent Business,

                                   Washington, DC, April 29, 2015.
     Hon. Susan Collins,
     U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator Collins: on behalf of the National Federation 
     of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation's leading small 
     business advocacy organization, I write in support of your 
     Small Business Tax Certainty and Growth Act, which would 
     provide certainty and permanency with regard to several 
     important tax provisions for small businesses.
       The most important source of financing for small business 
     is their earnings, i.e. cash flow. In fact, cash flow is 
     ranked 13th out of 75 potential business problems in NFIB's 
     Small Business and Priorities. This is why NFIB is 
     particularly pleased to see the inclusion of reformed Section 
     179 expensing and expanded eligibility for cash accounting in 
     your legislation.
       Expensing provides small businesses with an immediate 
     source of capital recovery and improved cash flow. 
     Unfortunately, small business expensing levels have only been 
     increased on a temporary basis, and at the beginning of this 
     year the limit reverted back to $25,000, which is highly 
     inadequate for the needs of small businesses. Unless Congress 
     acts, this lower expensing limit will mean that only 30 
     percent of NFIB members will receive the full benefit of 
     small business expensing in 2015. A 2015 NFIB Research 
     Foundation study shows that a permanent expansion of the 
     expensing deduction allowance limit to $500,000 could 
     increase employment by as much as 197,000 jobs. NFIB supports 
     permanently increasing expensing limits to $500,000 as well 
     as permitting taxpayers to expense the cost of some 
     improvements to real property. We appreciate you 
     accomplishing these goals in your legislation while also 
     permanently indexing this provision to inflation.
       Furthermore, small businesses would benefit from the 
     greater ability to use cash accounting for tax purposes. This 
     simplified accounting process would alleviate some of the 
     complexity of the tax code, which currently makes it very 
     difficult for small business owners to plan future 
     investments, hire new workers and grow their businesses. 
     Expanded cash accounting would help business owners manage 
     cash flow while better reflecting their ability to pay taxes.
       Thank you for introducing this important legislation. We 
     look forward to working with you to provide tax relief for 
     small businesses in the 114th Congress.
           Sincerely,
                                                    Amanda Austin,
                                    Vice President, Public Policy.
                                 ______
                                 
      By Mrs. MURRAY (for herself, Mr. Durbin, Ms. Mikulski, Mrs. 
        Boxer, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Markey, Mr. Casey, Mr. Murphy, Ms. 
        Stabenow, Mr. Brown, Mr. Peters, Mr. Schumer, Mr. Leahy, Mrs. 
        Shaheen, Mr. Reid, Mr. Schatz, Mr. Heinrich, Mr. Wyden, Mr. 
        Booker, Mr. Merkley, Ms. Hirono, Mr. Reed, Mr. Franken, Mrs. 
        Gillibrand, Mr. Cardin, Ms. Cantwell, Ms. Warren, Mr. Udall, 
        Ms. Baldwin, Mr. Kaine, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Whitehouse, and Ms. 
        Klobuchar):
  S. 1150. A bill to provide for increases in the Federal minimum wage; 
to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, Vermont is among only 22 States in the 
Nation with a minimum wage higher than that of the Federal minimum 
wage. The Green Mountain State has long recognized the importance of 
paying workers a fair and livable wage, and it is past time for 
Congress to catch up with the daily struggles of working American 
families.
  That is why today I am proud to join as a cosponsor of Senator 
Murray's Raise the Wage Act, to increase the Federal minimum wage to 
$12 by 2020. The Raise the Wage Act will help more 38 million Americans 
and thousands of Vermonters who yearn for financial security, for the 
sound footing to build their lives, and the lives of their children.
  The Federal minimum wage has not kept up with inflation. In fact, it 
has lost more than 30 percent of its value since 1968. Over that same 
time, productivity has doubled, and low-wage workers today bring more 
experience and education to the workforce. American workers are being 
asked to work more for less. It is past time to adjust this disparity.
  In Vermont, 64,000 workers would see their wages improve if we raised 
the minimum wage to $12. That is roughly $141 million in added income 
for families in Vermont--families who could spend these earnings at the 
store down the street, multiplying the economic impact to resonate 
through our local economies and downtown businesses.
  Today, nearly two-thirds of Americans who earn the minimum wage or 
less are women; the Raise the Wage Act will improve the hard-earned 
wages of more than 21 million American women.
  No one who works hard in a full-time job should live in poverty in 
our land, and raising the minimum wage should not be a question; it is 
commonsense, it is fair, and it is right. It is the right step to take 
to help ensure that workers can earn wages that support their families.
                                 ______
                                 
      By Mr. CORNYN (for himself and Mr. Cruz):
  S. 1153. A bill to provide legal certainty to property owners along 
the Red River in Texas, and for other purposes; to the Committee on 
Energy and Natural Resources.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of 
the bill be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the text of the bill was ordered to be 
printed in the Record, as follows:

                                S. 1153

       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 ``Red River Private Property 
     Protection Act''.

     SEC. 2. DISCLAIMER AND OUTDATED SURVEYS.

       (a) In General.--The Secretary hereby disclaims any right, 
     title, and interest to all land located south of the South 
     Bank boundary line of the Red River in the affected area.
       (b) Clarification of Prior Surveys.--Previous surveys 
     conducted by the Bureau of Land Management shall have no 
     force or effect in determining the current South Bank 
     boundary line.

     SEC. 3. IDENTIFICATION OF CURRENT BOUNDARY.

       (a) Boundary Identification.--To identify the current South 
     Bank boundary line along the affected area, the Secretary 
     shall commission a new survey that--
       (1) adheres to the gradient boundary survey method;
       (2) spans the entire length of the affected area;
       (3) is conducted by Licensed State Land Surveyors chosen by 
     the Texas General Land Office; and
       (4) is completed not later than 2years after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act.
       (b) Approval of the Survey.--The Secretary shall submit the 
     survey conducted under this Act to the Texas General Land 
     Office for approval. State approval of the completed survey 
     shall satisfy the requirements under this Act.

     SEC. 4. APPEAL.

       Not later than 1 year after the survey is completed and 
     approved pursuant to section

[[Page S2573]]

     3, a private property owner who holds right, title, or 
     interest in the affected area may appeal public domain claims 
     by the Secretary to an Administrative Law Judge.

     SEC. 5. RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN.

       The Secretary shall ensure that no parcels of land in the 
     affected area are treated as Federal land for the purpose of 
     any resource management plan until the survey has been 
     completed and approved and the Secretary ensures that the 
     parcel is not subject to further appeal pursuant to this Act.

     SEC. 6. CONSTRUCTION.

       This Act does not change or affect in any manner the 
     interest of the States or sovereignty rights of federally 
     recognized Indian tribes over lands located to the north of 
     the South Bank boundary line of the Red River as established 
     by this Act.

     SEC. 7. SALE OF REMAINING RED RIVER SURFACE RIGHTS.

       (a) Competitive Sale of Identified Federal Lands.--After 
     the survey has been completed and approved and the Secretary 
     ensures that a parcel is not subject to further appeal under 
     this Act, the Secretary shall offer any and all such 
     remaining identified Federal lands for disposal by 
     competitive sale for not less than fair market value as 
     determined by an appraisal conducted in accordance with 
     nationally recognized appraisal standards, including the 
     Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions; 
     and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.
       (b) Existing Rights.--The sale of identified Federal lands 
     under this section shall be subject to valid existing tribal, 
     State, and local rights.
       (c) Proceeds of Sale of Lands.--Net proceeds from the sale 
     of identified Federal lands under this section shall be used 
     to offset any costs associated with this Act.
       (d) Report.--Not later than 5 years after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the 
     Committee on Natural Resources of the House of 
     Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural 
     Resources of the Senate a list of any identified Federal 
     lands that have not been sold under subsection (a) and the 
     reasons such lands were not sold.

     SEC. 8. DEFINITIONS.

       For the purposes of this Act:
       (1) Affected area.--The term ``affected area'' means lands 
     along the approximately 116-mile stretch of the Red River 
     from its confluence with the North Fork of the Red River on 
     the west to the 98th meridian on the east between the States 
     of Texas and Oklahoma.
       (2) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
     of the Interior, acting through the Director of Bureau of 
     Land Management.
       (3) South bank.--The term ``South Bank'' means the water-
     washed and relatively permanent elevation or acclivity, 
     commonly called a cut bank, along the southerly or right side 
     of the Red River which separates its bed from the adjacent 
     upland, whether valley or hill, and usually serves to confine 
     the waters within the bed and to preserve the course of the 
     river; as specified in the fifth paragraph of the decree 
     rendered March 12, 1923, in Oklahoma v. Texas, 261 U. S. 340, 
     43 S. Ct. 376, 67 L. Ed. 687.
       (4) South bank boundary line.--The term ``South Bank 
     boundary line'' means the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma 
     identified through the gradient boundary survey method ; as 
     specified in the sixth and seventh paragraphs of the decree 
     rendered March 12, 1923, in Oklahoma v. Texas, 261 U. S. 340, 
     43 S. Ct. 376, 67 L. Ed. 687.
       (5) Gradient boundary survey method.--The term ``gradient 
     boundary survey method'' means the measurement technique used 
     to locate the South Bank boundary line under the methodology 
     established by the United States Supreme Court which 
     recognizes that the boundary line between the States of Texas 
     and Oklahoma along the Red River is subject to such changes 
     as have been or may be wrought by the natural and gradual 
     processes known as erosion and accretion as specified in the 
     second, third, and fourth paragraphs of the decree rendered 
     March 12, 1923, in Oklahoma v. Texas, 261 U. S. 340, 43 S. 
     Ct. 376, 67 L. Ed. 687.
                                 ______
                                 
      By Mr. DURBIN (for himself, Mr. Whitehouse, Mr. Brown, and Mr. 
        Franken):
  S. 1156. A bill to amend title 11, United States Code, to improve 
protections for employees and retirees in business bankruptcies; to the 
Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of 
the bill be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the text of the bill was ordered to be 
printed in the Record, as follows:

                                S. 1156

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

       (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Protecting 
     Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act of 
     2015''.
       (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act 
     is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Findings.

        TITLE I--IMPROVING RECOVERIES FOR EMPLOYEES AND RETIREES

Sec. 101. Increased wage priority.
Sec. 102. Claim for stock value losses in defined contribution plans.
Sec. 103. Priority for severance pay.
Sec. 104. Financial returns for employees and retirees.
Sec. 105. Priority for WARN Act damages.

           TITLE II--REDUCING EMPLOYEES' AND RETIREES' LOSSES

Sec. 201. Rejection of collective bargaining agreements.
Sec. 202. Payment of insurance benefits to retired employees.
Sec. 203. Protection of employee benefits in a sale of assets.
Sec. 204. Claim for pension losses.
Sec. 205. Payments by secured lender.
Sec. 206. Preservation of jobs and benefits.
Sec. 207. Termination of exclusivity.
Sec. 208. Claim for withdrawal liability.

         TITLE III--RESTRICTING EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION PROGRAMS

Sec. 301. Executive compensation upon exit from bankruptcy.
Sec. 302. Limitations on executive compensation enhancements.
Sec. 303. Assumption of executive benefit plans.
Sec. 304. Recovery of executive compensation.
Sec. 305. Preferential compensation transfer.

                       TITLE IV--OTHER PROVISIONS

Sec. 401. Union proof of claim.
Sec. 402. Exception from automatic stay.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

       The Congress finds the following:
       (1) Business bankruptcies have increased sharply in recent 
     years and remain at high levels. These bankruptcies include 
     several of the largest business bankruptcy filings in 
     history. As the use of bankruptcy has expanded, job 
     preservation and retirement security are placed at greater 
     risk.
       (2) Laws enacted to improve recoveries for employees and 
     retirees and limit their losses in bankruptcy cases have not 
     kept pace with the increasing and broader use of bankruptcy 
     by businesses in all sectors of the economy. However, while 
     protections for employees and retirees in bankruptcy cases 
     have eroded, management compensation plans devised for those 
     in charge of troubled businesses have become more prevalent 
     and are escaping adequate scrutiny.
       (3) Changes in the law regarding these matters are urgently 
     needed as bankruptcy is used to address increasingly more 
     complex and diverse conditions affecting troubled businesses 
     and industries.

        TITLE I--IMPROVING RECOVERIES FOR EMPLOYEES AND RETIREES

     SEC. 101. INCREASED WAGE PRIORITY.

       Section 507(a) of title 11, United States Code, is 
     amended--
       (1) in paragraph (4)--
       (A) by striking ``$10,000'' and inserting ``$20,000'';
       (B) by striking ``within 180 days''; and
       (C) by striking ``or the date of the cessation of the 
     debtor's business, whichever occurs first,'';
       (2) in paragraph (5)(A), by striking--
       (A) ``within 180 days''; and
       (B) ``or the date of the cessation of the debtor's 
     business, whichever occurs first''; and
       (3) in paragraph (5), by striking subparagraph (B) and 
     inserting the following:
       ``(B) for each such plan, to the extent of the number of 
     employees covered by each such plan, multiplied by 
     $20,000.''.

     SEC. 102. CLAIM FOR STOCK VALUE LOSSES IN DEFINED 
                   CONTRIBUTION PLANS.

       Section 101(5) of title 11, United States Code, is 
     amended--
       (1) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``or'' at the end;
       (2) in subparagraph (B), by striking the period at the end 
     and inserting ``; or''; and
       (3) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(C) right or interest in equity securities of the debtor, 
     or an affiliate of the debtor, held in a defined contribution 
     plan (within the meaning of section 3(34) of the Employee 
     Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1002(34))) 
     for the benefit of an individual who is not an insider, a 
     senior executive officer, or any of the 20 next most highly 
     compensated employees of the debtor (if 1 or more are not 
     insiders), if such securities were attributable to either 
     employer contributions by the debtor or an affiliate of the 
     debtor, or elective deferrals (within the meaning of section 
     402(g) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986), and any 
     earnings thereon, if an employer or plan sponsor who has 
     commenced a case under this title has committed fraud with 
     respect to such plan or has otherwise breached a duty to the 
     participant that has proximately caused the loss of value.''.

     SEC. 103. PRIORITY FOR SEVERANCE PAY.

       Section 503(b) of title 11, United States Code, is 
     amended--
       (1) in paragraph (8)(B), by striking ``and'' at the end;
       (2) in paragraph (9), by striking the period and inserting 
     a semicolon; and
       (3) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(10) severance pay owed to employees of the debtor (other 
     than to an insider, other senior management, or a consultant 
     retained to provide services to the debtor), under a plan, 
     program, or policy generally applicable to employees of the 
     debtor (but not under an individual contract of employment), 
     or owed

[[Page S2574]]

     pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement, for layoff or 
     termination on or after the date of the filing of the 
     petition, which pay shall be deemed earned in full upon such 
     layoff or termination of employment; and''.

     SEC. 104. FINANCIAL RETURNS FOR EMPLOYEES AND RETIREES.

       Section 1129(a) of title 11, United States Code is 
     amended--
       (1) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(17) The plan provides for recovery of damages payable 
     for the rejection of a collective bargaining agreement, or 
     for other financial returns as negotiated by the debtor and 
     the authorized representative under section 1113 (to the 
     extent that such returns are paid under, rather than outside 
     of, a plan).''; and
       (2) by striking paragraph (13) and inserting the following:
       ``(13) With respect to retiree benefits, as that term is 
     defined in section 1114(a), the plan--
       ``(A) provides for the continuation after its effective 
     date of payment of all retiree benefits at the level 
     established pursuant to subsection (e)(1)(B) or (g) of 
     section 1114 at any time before the date of confirmation of 
     the plan, for the duration of the period for which the debtor 
     has obligated itself to provide such benefits, or if no 
     modifications are made before confirmation of the plan, the 
     continuation of all such retiree benefits maintained or 
     established in whole or in part by the debtor before the date 
     of the filing of the petition; and
       ``(B) provides for recovery of claims arising from the 
     modification of retiree benefits or for other financial 
     returns, as negotiated by the debtor and the authorized 
     representative (to the extent that such returns are paid 
     under, rather than outside of, a plan).''.

     SEC. 105. PRIORITY FOR WARN ACT DAMAGES.

       Section 503(b)(1)(A)(ii) of title 11, United States Code is 
     amended to read as follows:
       ``(ii) wages and benefits awarded pursuant to a judicial 
     proceeding or a proceeding of the National Labor Relations 
     Board as back pay or damages attributable to any period of 
     time occurring after the date of commencement of the case 
     under this title, as a result of a violation of Federal or 
     State law by the debtor, without regard to the time of the 
     occurrence of unlawful conduct on which the award is based or 
     to whether any services were rendered on or after the 
     commencement of the case, including an award by a court under 
     section 2901 of title 29, United States Code, of up to 60 
     days' pay and benefits following a layoff that occurred or 
     commenced at a time when such award period includes a period 
     on or after the commencement of the case, if the court 
     determines that payment of wages and benefits by reason of 
     the operation of this clause will not substantially increase 
     the probability of layoff or termination of current employees 
     or of nonpayment of domestic support obligations during the 
     case under this title;''.

           TITLE II--REDUCING EMPLOYEES' AND RETIREES' LOSSES

     SEC. 201. REJECTION OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS.

       Section 1113 of title 11, United States Code, is amended by 
     striking subsections (a) through (f) and inserting the 
     following:
       ``(a) The debtor in possession, or the trustee if one has 
     been appointed under this chapter, other than a trustee in a 
     case covered by subchapter IV of this chapter and by title I 
     of the Railway Labor Act, may reject a collective bargaining 
     agreement only in accordance with this section. In this 
     section, a reference to the trustee includes the debtor in 
     possession.
       ``(b) No provision of this title shall be construed to 
     permit the trustee to unilaterally terminate or alter any 
     provision of a collective bargaining agreement before 
     complying with this section. The trustee shall timely pay all 
     monetary obligations arising under the terms of the 
     collective bargaining agreement. Any such payment required to 
     be made before a plan confirmed under section 1129 is 
     effective has the status of an allowed administrative expense 
     under section 503.
       ``(c)(1) If the trustee seeks modification of a collective 
     bargaining agreement, the trustee shall provide notice to the 
     labor organization representing the employees covered by the 
     agreement that modifications are being proposed under this 
     section, and shall promptly provide an initial proposal for 
     modifications to the agreement. Thereafter, the trustee shall 
     confer in good faith with the labor organization, at 
     reasonable times and for a reasonable period in light of the 
     complexity of the case, in attempting to reach mutually 
     acceptable modifications of such agreement.
       ``(2) The initial proposal and subsequent proposals by the 
     trustee for modification of a collective bargaining agreement 
     shall be based upon a business plan for the reorganization of 
     the debtor, and shall reflect the most complete and reliable 
     information available. The trustee shall provide to the labor 
     organization all information that is relevant for 
     negotiations. The court may enter a protective order to 
     prevent the disclosure of information if disclosure could 
     compromise the debtor's position with respect to its 
     competitors in the industry, subject to the needs of the 
     labor organization to evaluate the trustee's proposals and 
     any application for rejection of the agreement or for interim 
     relief pursuant to this section.
       ``(3) In consideration of Federal policy encouraging the 
     practice and process of collective bargaining and in 
     recognition of the bargained-for expectations of the 
     employees covered by the agreement, modifications proposed by 
     the trustee--
       ``(A) shall be proposed only as part of a program of 
     workforce and nonworkforce cost savings devised for the 
     reorganization of the debtor, including savings in management 
     personnel costs;
       ``(B) shall be limited to modifications designed to achieve 
     a specified aggregate financial contribution for the 
     employees covered by the agreement (taking into consideration 
     any labor cost savings negotiated within the 12-month period 
     before the filing of the petition), and shall be not more 
     than the minimum savings essential to permit the debtor to 
     exit bankruptcy, such that confirmation of a plan of 
     reorganization is not likely to be followed by the 
     liquidation, or the need for further financial 
     reorganization, of the debtor (or any successor to the 
     debtor) in the short term; and
       ``(C) shall not be disproportionate or overly burden the 
     employees covered by the agreement, either in the amount of 
     the cost savings sought from such employees or the nature of 
     the modifications.
       ``(d)(1) If, after a period of negotiations, the trustee 
     and the labor organization have not reached an agreement over 
     mutually satisfactory modifications, and further negotiations 
     are not likely to produce mutually satisfactory 
     modifications, the trustee may file a motion seeking 
     rejection of the collective bargaining agreement after notice 
     and a hearing. Absent agreement of the parties, no such 
     hearing shall be held before the expiration of the 21-day 
     period beginning on the date on which notice of the hearing 
     is provided to the labor organization representing the 
     employees covered by the agreement. Only the debtor and the 
     labor organization may appear and be heard at such hearing. 
     An application for rejection shall seek rejection effective 
     upon the entry of an order granting the relief.
       ``(2) In consideration of Federal policy encouraging the 
     practice and process of collective bargaining and in 
     recognition of the bargained-for expectations of the 
     employees covered by the agreement, the court may grant a 
     motion seeking rejection of a collective bargaining agreement 
     only if, based on clear and convincing evidence--
       ``(A) the court finds that the trustee has complied with 
     the requirements of subsection (c);
       ``(B) the court has considered alternative proposals by the 
     labor organization and has concluded that such proposals do 
     not meet the requirements of paragraph (3)(B) of subsection 
     (c);
       ``(C) the court finds that further negotiations regarding 
     the trustee's proposal or an alternative proposal by the 
     labor organization are not likely to produce an agreement;
       ``(D) the court finds that implementation of the trustee's 
     proposal shall not--
       ``(i) cause a material diminution in the purchasing power 
     of the employees covered by the agreement;
       ``(ii) adversely affect the ability of the debtor to retain 
     an experienced and qualified workforce; or
       ``(iii) impair the debtor's labor relations such that the 
     ability to achieve a feasible reorganization would be 
     compromised; and
       ``(E) the court concludes that rejection of the agreement 
     and immediate implementation of the trustee's proposal is 
     essential to permit the debtor to exit bankruptcy, such that 
     confirmation of a plan of reorganization is not likely to be 
     followed by liquidation, or the need for further financial 
     reorganization, of the debtor (or any successor to the 
     debtor) in the short term.
       ``(3) If the trustee has implemented a program of incentive 
     pay, bonuses, or other financial returns for insiders, senior 
     executive officers, or the 20 next most highly compensated 
     employees or consultants providing services to the debtor 
     during the bankruptcy, or such a program was implemented 
     within 180 days before the date of the filing of the 
     petition, the court shall presume that the trustee has failed 
     to satisfy the requirements of subsection (c)(3)(C).
       ``(4) In no case shall the court enter an order rejecting a 
     collective bargaining agreement that would result in 
     modifications to a level lower than the level proposed by the 
     trustee in the proposal found by the court to have complied 
     with the requirements of this section.
       ``(5) At any time after the date on which an order 
     rejecting a collective bargaining agreement is entered, or in 
     the case of an agreement entered into between the trustee and 
     the labor organization providing mutually satisfactory 
     modifications, at any time after such agreement has been 
     entered into, the labor organization may apply to the court 
     for an order seeking an increase in the level of wages or 
     benefits, or relief from working conditions, based upon 
     changed circumstances. The court shall grant the request only 
     if the increase or other relief is not inconsistent with the 
     standard set forth in paragraph (2)(E).
       ``(e) During a period in which a collective bargaining 
     agreement at issue under this section continues in effect, 
     and if essential to the continuation of the debtor's business 
     or in order to avoid irreparable damage to the estate, the 
     court, after notice and a hearing, may authorize the trustee 
     to implement interim changes in the terms, conditions, wages, 
     benefits, or work rules provided by the collective bargaining 
     agreement. Any hearing under this subsection shall be 
     scheduled in accordance with the needs of the trustee. The 
     implementation of such interim changes shall not render the 
     application for rejection moot.

[[Page S2575]]

       ``(f)(1) Rejection of a collective bargaining agreement 
     constitutes a breach of the agreement, and shall be effective 
     no earlier than the entry of an order granting such relief.
       ``(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), solely for purposes of 
     determining and allowing a claim arising from the rejection 
     of a collective bargaining agreement, rejection shall be 
     treated as rejection of an executory contract under section 
     365(g) and shall be allowed or disallowed in accordance with 
     section 502(g)(1). No claim for rejection damages shall be 
     limited by section 502(b)(7). Economic self-help by a labor 
     organization shall be permitted upon a court order granting a 
     motion to reject a collective bargaining agreement under 
     subsection (d) or pursuant to subsection (e), and no 
     provision of this title or of any other provision of Federal 
     or State law may be construed to the contrary.
       ``(g) The trustee shall provide for the reasonable fees and 
     costs incurred by a labor organization under this section, 
     upon request and after notice and a hearing.
       ``(h) A collective bargaining agreement that is assumed 
     shall be assumed in accordance with section 365.''.

     SEC. 202. PAYMENT OF INSURANCE BENEFITS TO RETIRED EMPLOYEES.

       Section 1114 of title 11, United States Code, is amended--
       (1) in subsection (a), by inserting ``, without regard to 
     whether the debtor asserts a right to unilaterally modify 
     such payments under such plan, fund, or program'' before the 
     period at the end;
       (2) in subsection (b)(2), by inserting after ``section'' 
     the following: ``, and a labor organization serving as the 
     authorized representative under subsection (c)(1),'';
       (3) by striking subsection (f) and inserting the following:
       ``(f)(1) If a trustee seeks modification of retiree 
     benefits, the trustee shall provide a notice to the 
     authorized representative that modifications are being 
     proposed pursuant to this section, and shall promptly provide 
     an initial proposal. Thereafter, the trustee shall confer in 
     good faith with the authorized representative at reasonable 
     times and for a reasonable period in light of the complexity 
     of the case in attempting to reach mutually satisfactory 
     modifications.
       ``(2) The initial proposal and subsequent proposals by the 
     trustee shall be based upon a business plan for the 
     reorganization of the debtor and shall reflect the most 
     complete and reliable information available. The trustee 
     shall provide to the authorized representative all 
     information that is relevant for the negotiations. The court 
     may enter a protective order to prevent the disclosure of 
     information if disclosure could compromise the debtor's 
     position with respect to its competitors in the industry, 
     subject to the needs of the authorized representative to 
     evaluate the trustee's proposals and an application pursuant 
     to subsection (g) or (h).
       ``(3) Modifications proposed by the trustee--
       ``(A) shall be proposed only as part of a program of 
     workforce and nonworkforce cost savings devised for the 
     reorganization of the debtor, including savings in management 
     personnel costs;
       ``(B) shall be limited to modifications that are designed 
     to achieve a specified aggregate financial contribution for 
     the retiree group represented by the authorized 
     representative (taking into consideration any cost savings 
     implemented within the 12-month period before the date of 
     filing of the petition with respect to the retiree group), 
     and shall be no more than the minimum savings essential to 
     permit the debtor to exit bankruptcy, such that confirmation 
     of a plan of reorganization is not likely to be followed by 
     the liquidation, or the need for further financial 
     reorganization, of the debtor (or any successor to the 
     debtor) in the short term; and
       ``(C) shall not be disproportionate or overly burden the 
     retiree group, either in the amount of the cost savings 
     sought from such group or the nature of the modifications.'';
       (4) in subsection (g)--
       (A) by striking ``(g)'' and all that follows through the 
     semicolon at the end of paragraph (3) and inserting the 
     following:
       ``(g)(1) If, after a period of negotiations, the trustee 
     and the authorized representative have not reached agreement 
     over mutually satisfactory modifications and further 
     negotiations are not likely to produce mutually satisfactory 
     modifications, the trustee may file a motion seeking 
     modifications in the payment of retiree benefits after notice 
     and a hearing. Absent agreement of the parties, no such 
     hearing shall be held before the expiration of the 21-day 
     period beginning on the date on which notice of the hearing 
     is provided to the authorized representative. Only the debtor 
     and the authorized representative may appear and be heard at 
     such hearing.
       ``(2) The court may grant a motion to modify the payment of 
     retiree benefits only if, based on clear and convincing 
     evidence--
       ``(A) the court finds that the trustee has complied with 
     the requirements of subsection (f);
       ``(B) the court has considered alternative proposals by the 
     authorized representative and has determined that such 
     proposals do not meet the requirements of subsection 
     (f)(3)(B);
       ``(C) the court finds that further negotiations regarding 
     the trustee's proposal or an alternative proposal by the 
     authorized representative are not likely to produce a 
     mutually satisfactory agreement;
       ``(D) the court finds that implementation of the proposal 
     shall not cause irreparable harm to the affected retirees; 
     and
       ``(E) the court concludes that an order granting the motion 
     and immediate implementation of the trustee's proposal is 
     essential to permit the debtor to exit bankruptcy, such that 
     confirmation of a plan of reorganization is not likely to be 
     followed by liquidation, or the need for further financial 
     reorganization, of the debtor (or a successor to the debtor) 
     in the short term.
       ``(3) If a trustee has implemented a program of incentive 
     pay, bonuses, or other financial returns for insiders, senior 
     executive officers, or the 20 next most highly compensated 
     employees or consultants providing services to the debtor 
     during the bankruptcy, or such a program was implemented 
     within 180 days before the date of the filing of the 
     petition, the court shall presume that the trustee has failed 
     to satisfy the requirements of subparagraph (f)(3)(C).''; and
       (B) by striking ``except that in no case'' and inserting 
     the following:
       ``(4) In no case''; and
       (5) by striking subsection (k) and redesignating 
     subsections (l) and (m) as subsections (k) and (l), 
     respectively.

     SEC. 203. PROTECTION OF EMPLOYEE BENEFITS IN A SALE OF 
                   ASSETS.

       Section 363(b) of title 11, United States Code, is amended 
     by adding at the end the following:
       ``(3) In approving a sale under this subsection, the court 
     shall consider the extent to which a bidder has offered to 
     maintain existing jobs, preserve terms and conditions of 
     employment, and assume or match pension and retiree health 
     benefit obligations in determining whether an offer 
     constitutes the highest or best offer for such property.''.

     SEC. 204. CLAIM FOR PENSION LOSSES.

       Section 502 of title 11, United States Code, is amended by 
     adding at the end the following:
       ``(l) The court shall allow a claim asserted by an active 
     or retired participant, or by a labor organization 
     representing such participants, in a defined benefit plan 
     terminated under section 4041 or 4042 of the Employee 
     Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, for any shortfall in 
     pension benefits accrued as of the effective date of the 
     termination of such pension plan as a result of the 
     termination of the plan and limitations upon the payment of 
     benefits imposed pursuant to section 4022 of such Act, 
     notwithstanding any claim asserted and collected by the 
     Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation with respect to such 
     termination.
       ``(m) The court shall allow a claim of a kind described in 
     section 101(5)(C) by an active or retired participant in a 
     defined contribution plan (within the meaning of section 
     3(34) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 
     (29 U.S.C. 1002(34))), or by a labor organization 
     representing such participants. The amount of such claim 
     shall be measured by the market value of the stock at the 
     time of contribution to, or purchase by, the plan and the 
     value as of the commencement of the case.''.

     SEC. 205. PAYMENTS BY SECURED LENDER.

       Section 506(c) of title 11, United States Code, is amended 
     by adding at the end the following: ``If employees have not 
     received wages, accrued vacation, severance, or other 
     benefits owed under the policies and practices of the debtor, 
     or pursuant to the terms of a collective bargaining 
     agreement, for services rendered on and after the date of the 
     commencement of the case, such unpaid obligations shall be 
     deemed necessary costs and expenses of preserving, or 
     disposing of, property securing an allowed secured claim and 
     shall be recovered even if the trustee has otherwise waived 
     the provisions of this subsection under an agreement with the 
     holder of the allowed secured claim or a successor or 
     predecessor in interest.''.

     SEC. 206. PRESERVATION OF JOBS AND BENEFITS.

       Chapter 11 of title 11, United States Code, is amended--
       (1) by inserting before section 1101 the following:

     ``Sec. 1100. Statement of purpose

       ``A debtor commencing a case under this chapter shall have 
     as its principal purpose the reorganization of its business 
     to preserve going concern value to the maximum extent 
     possible through the productive use of its assets and the 
     preservation of jobs that will sustain productive economic 
     activity.'';
       (2) in section 1129(a), as amended by section 104, by 
     adding at the end the following:
       ``(18) The debtor has demonstrated that the reorganization 
     preserves going concern value to the maximum extent possible 
     through the productive use of the debtor's assets and 
     preserves jobs that sustain productive economic activity.'';
       (3) in section 1129(c)--
       (A) by inserting ``(1)'' after ``(c)''; and
       (B) by striking the last sentence and inserting the 
     following:
       ``(2) If the requirements of subsections (a) and (b) are 
     met with respect to more than 1 plan, the court shall, in 
     determining which plan to confirm--
       ``(A) consider the extent to which each plan would preserve 
     going concern value through the productive use of the 
     debtor's assets and the preservation of jobs that sustain 
     productive economic activity; and
       ``(B) confirm the plan that better serves such interests.
       ``(3) A plan that incorporates the terms of a settlement 
     with a labor organization representing employees of the 
     debtor shall presumptively constitute the plan that satisfies 
     this subsection.''; and

[[Page S2576]]

       (4) in the table of sections, by inserting before the item 
     relating to section 1101 the following:

``1100. Statement of purpose.''.

     SEC. 207. TERMINATION OF EXCLUSIVITY.

       Section 1121(d) of title 11, United States Code, is amended 
     by adding at the end the following:
       ``(3) For purposes of this subsection, cause for reducing 
     the 120-day period or the 180-day period includes the 
     following:
       ``(A) The filing of a motion pursuant to section 1113 
     seeking rejection of a collective bargaining agreement if a 
     plan based upon an alternative proposal by the labor 
     organization is reasonably likely to be confirmed within a 
     reasonable time.
       ``(B) The proposed filing of a plan by a proponent other 
     than the debtor, which incorporates the terms of a settlement 
     with a labor organization if such plan is reasonably likely 
     to be confirmed within a reasonable time.''.

     SEC. 208. CLAIM FOR WITHDRAWAL LIABILITY.

       Section 503(b) of title 11, United States Code, as amended 
     by section 103 of this Act, is amended by adding at the end 
     the following:
       ``(11) with respect to withdrawal liability owed to a 
     multiemployer pension plan for a complete or partial 
     withdrawal pursuant to section 4201 of the Employee 
     Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1381) where 
     such withdrawal occurs on or after the commencement of the 
     case, an amount equal to the amount of vested benefits 
     payable from such pension plan that accrued as a result of 
     employees' services rendered to the debtor during the period 
     beginning on the date of commencement of the case and ending 
     on the date of the withdrawal from the plan.''.

         TITLE III--RESTRICTING EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION PROGRAMS

     SEC. 301. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION UPON EXIT FROM BANKRUPTCY.

       Section 1129(a) of title 11, United States Code, is 
     amended--
       (1) in paragraph (4), by adding at the end the following: 
     ``Except for compensation subject to review under paragraph 
     (5), payments or other distributions under the plan to or for 
     the benefit of insiders, senior executive officers, and any 
     of the 20 next most highly compensated employees or 
     consultants providing services to the debtor, shall not be 
     approved except as part of a program of payments or 
     distributions generally applicable to employees of the 
     debtor, and only to the extent that the court determines that 
     such payments are not excessive or disproportionate compared 
     to distributions to the debtor's nonmanagement workforce.''; 
     and
       (2) in paragraph (5)--
       (A) in subparagraph (A)(ii), by striking ``and'' at the 
     end;
       (B) in subparagraph (B), by striking the period at the end 
     and inserting ``; and''; and
       (C) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(C) the compensation disclosed pursuant to subparagraph 
     (B) has been approved by, or is subject to the approval of, 
     the court as reasonable when compared to individuals holding 
     comparable positions at comparable companies in the same 
     industry and not disproportionate in light of economic 
     concessions by the debtor's nonmanagement workforce during 
     the case.''.

     SEC. 302. LIMITATIONS ON EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION ENHANCEMENTS.

       Section 503(c) of title 11, United States Code, is 
     amended--
       (1) in paragraph (1), in the matter preceding subparagraph 
     (A)--
       (A) by inserting ``, a senior executive officer, or any of 
     the 20 next most highly compensated employees or 
     consultants'' after ``an insider'';
       (B) by inserting ``or for the payment of performance or 
     incentive compensation, or a bonus of any kind, or other 
     financial returns designed to replace or enhance incentive, 
     stock, or other compensation in effect before the date of the 
     commencement of the case,'' after ``remain with the debtor's 
     business,''; and
       (C) by inserting ``clear and convincing'' before ``evidence 
     in the record''; and
       (2) by amending paragraph (3) to read as follows:
       ``(3) other transfers or obligations, to or for the benefit 
     of insiders, senior executive officers, managers, or 
     consultants providing services to the debtor, in the absence 
     of a finding by the court, based upon clear and convincing 
     evidence, and without deference to the debtor's request for 
     such payments, that such transfers or obligations are 
     essential to the survival of the debtor's business or (in the 
     case of a liquidation of some or all of the debtor's assets) 
     essential to the orderly liquidation and maximization of 
     value of the assets of the debtor, in either case, because of 
     the essential nature of the services provided, and then only 
     to the extent that the court finds such transfers or 
     obligations are reasonable compared to individuals holding 
     comparable positions at comparable companies in the same 
     industry and not disproportionate in light of economic 
     concessions by the debtor's nonmanagement workforce during 
     the case.''.

     SEC. 303. ASSUMPTION OF EXECUTIVE BENEFIT PLANS.

       Section 365 of title 11, United States Code, is amended--
       (1) in subsection (a), by striking ``and (d)'' and 
     inserting ``(d), (q), and (r)''; and
       (2) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(q) No deferred compensation arrangement for the benefit 
     of insiders, senior executive officers, or any of the 20 next 
     most highly compensated employees of the debtor shall be 
     assumed if a defined benefit plan for employees of the debtor 
     has been terminated pursuant to section 4041 or 4042 of the 
     Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, on or after 
     the date of the commencement of the case or within 180 days 
     before the date of the commencement of the case.
       ``(r) No plan, fund, program, or contract to provide 
     retiree benefits for insiders, senior executive officers, or 
     any of the 20 next most highly compensated employees of the 
     debtor shall be assumed if the debtor has obtained relief 
     under subsection (g) or (h) of section 1114 to impose 
     reductions in retiree benefits or under subsection (d) or (e) 
     of section 1113 to impose reductions in the health benefits 
     of active employees of the debtor, or reduced or eliminated 
     health benefits for active or retired employees within 180 
     days before the date of the commencement of the case.''.

     SEC. 304. RECOVERY OF EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION.

       (a) In General.--Subchapter III of chapter 5 of title 11, 
     United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 562 
     the following:

     ``Sec. 563. Recovery of executive compensation

       ``(a) If a debtor has obtained relief under subsection (d) 
     of section 1113, or subsection (g) of section 1114, by which 
     the debtor reduces the cost of its obligations under a 
     collective bargaining agreement or a plan, fund, or program 
     for retiree benefits as defined in section 1114(a), the 
     court, in granting relief, shall determine the percentage 
     diminution in the value of the obligations when compared to 
     the debtor's obligations under the collective bargaining 
     agreement, or with respect to retiree benefits, as of the 
     date of the commencement of the case under this title before 
     granting such relief. In making its determination, the court 
     shall include reductions in benefits, if any, as a result of 
     the termination pursuant to section 4041 or 4042 of the 
     Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, of a defined 
     benefit plan administered by the debtor, or for which the 
     debtor is a contributing employer, effective at any time on 
     or after 180 days before the date of the commencement of a 
     case under this title. The court shall not take into account 
     pension benefits paid or payable under such Act as a result 
     of any such termination.
       ``(b) If a defined benefit pension plan administered by the 
     debtor, or for which the debtor is a contributing employer, 
     has been terminated pursuant to section 4041 or 4042 of the 
     Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, effective at 
     any time on or after 180 days before the date of the 
     commencement of a case under this title, but a debtor has not 
     obtained relief under subsection (d) of section 1113, or 
     subsection (g) of section 1114, the court, upon motion of a 
     party in interest, shall determine the percentage diminution 
     in the value of benefit obligations when compared to the 
     total benefit liabilities before such termination. The court 
     shall not take into account pension benefits paid or payable 
     under title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act 
     of 1974 as a result of any such termination.
       ``(c) Upon the determination of the percentage diminution 
     in value under subsection (a) or (b), the estate shall have a 
     claim for the return of the same percentage of the 
     compensation paid, directly or indirectly (including any 
     transfer to a self-settled trust or similar device, or to a 
     nonqualified deferred compensation plan under section 
     409A(d)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) to any 
     officer of the debtor serving as member of the board of 
     directors of the debtor within the year before the date of 
     the commencement of the case, and any individual serving as 
     chairman or lead director of the board of directors at the 
     time of the granting of relief under section 1113 or 1114 or, 
     if no such relief has been granted, the termination of the 
     defined benefit plan.
       ``(d) The trustee or a committee appointed pursuant to 
     section 1102 may commence an action to recover such claims, 
     except that if neither the trustee nor such committee 
     commences an action to recover such claim by the first date 
     set for the hearing on the confirmation of plan under section 
     1129, any party in interest may apply to the court for 
     authority to recover such claim for the benefit of the 
     estate. The costs of recovery shall be borne by the estate.
       ``(e) The court shall not award postpetition compensation 
     under section 503(c) or otherwise to any person subject to 
     subsection (c) if there is a reasonable likelihood that such 
     compensation is intended to reimburse or replace compensation 
     recovered by the estate under this section.''.
       (b) Technical and Conforming Amendment.--The table of 
     sections for chapter 5 of title 11, United States Code, is 
     amended by inserting after the item relating to section 562 
     the following:

``563. Recovery of executive compensation.''.

     SEC. 305. PREFERENTIAL COMPENSATION TRANSFER.

       Section 547 of title 11, United States Code, is amended by 
     adding at the end the following:
       ``(j)(1) The trustee may avoid a transfer--
       ``(A) made--
       ``(i) to or for the benefit of an insider (including an 
     obligation incurred for the benefit of an insider under an 
     employment contract) made in anticipation of bankruptcy; or
       ``(ii) in anticipation of bankruptcy to a consultant who is 
     formerly an insider and

[[Page S2577]]

     who is retained to provide services to an entity that becomes 
     a debtor (including an obligation under a contract to provide 
     services to such entity or to a debtor); and
       ``(B) made or incurred on or within 1 year before the 
     filing of the petition.
       ``(2) No provision of subsection (c) shall constitute a 
     defense against the recovery of a transfer described in 
     paragraph (1).
       ``(3) The trustee or a committee appointed pursuant to 
     section 1102 may commence an action to recover such transfer, 
     except that, if neither the trustee nor such committee 
     commences an action to recover such transfer by the time of 
     the commencement of a hearing on the confirmation of a plan 
     under section 1129, any party in interest may apply to the 
     court for authority to recover the claims for the benefit of 
     the estate. The costs of recovery shall be borne by the 
     estate.''.

                       TITLE IV--OTHER PROVISIONS

     SEC. 401. UNION PROOF OF CLAIM.

       Section 501(a) of title 11, United States Code, is amended 
     by inserting ``, including a labor organization,'' after ``A 
     creditor''.

     SEC. 402. EXCEPTION FROM AUTOMATIC STAY.

       Section 362(b) of title 11, United States Code, is 
     amended--
       (1) in paragraph (27), by striking ``and'' at the end;
       (2) in paragraph (28), by striking the period at the end 
     and inserting ``; and''; and
       (3) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(29) of the commencement or continuation of a grievance, 
     arbitration, or similar dispute resolution proceeding 
     established by a collective bargaining agreement that was or 
     could have been commenced against the debtor before the 
     filing of a case under this title, or the payment or 
     enforcement of an award or settlement under such 
     proceeding.''.
                                 ______
                                 
      By Mr. LEAHY (for himself, Mr. Franken, Ms. Warren, Mr. 
        Blumenthal, Mr. Wyden, and Mr. Markey):
  S. 1158. A bill to ensure the privacy and security of sensitive 
personal information, to prevent and mitigate identity theft, to 
provide notice of security breaches involving sensitive personal 
information, and to enhance law enforcement assistance and other 
protections against security breaches, fraudulent access, and misuse of 
personal information; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, today, I am introducing the Consumer 
Privacy Protection Act of 2015. This comprehensive legislation will 
help ensure that the corporations Americans entrust with their most 
personal information are taking steps to keep it secure. Data breaches 
continue to plague American businesses and compromise the privacy of 
millions of consumers. At the same time, the amount of information we 
share with corporations who are the target of these breaches is 
growing. Corporations collect and store our social security numbers, 
our bank account information, and our email addresses. They collect 
information about our private health and medical conditions. They know 
what routes we take to and from work and where we drop our kids off at 
school. They can replicate our fingerprints. We even trust them with 
private photographs that we store in the cloud.
  Corporations benefit financially from our personal information, and 
they should be obligated to take steps to keep it safe. Too often, 
however, private information falls into the hands of those who would do 
us harm and we are not even told. Last year, in what is commonly 
referred to as the ``Year of the Data Breach,'' breaches at 
corporations, including Home Depot, Neiman Marcus, and Sony Pictures, 
as well as many others, demonstrated how vulnerable our corporations 
are to hackers and cyber criminals. In some cases these breaches 
exposed credit card data, social security numbers, or bank account 
information that left millions at risk of financial fraud or identity 
theft, and in other cases they exposed personal and private information 
to the public that led to embarrassment and reputational harm.
  The Consumer Privacy Protection Act I am introducing today seeks to 
protect the vast amount of information that we now share with 
corporations each and every day, and it builds and expands on data 
security legislation that I have introduced every Congress since 2005. 
In today's modern world, data security is no longer just about 
protecting our identities and our bank accounts; it is about protecting 
our privacy. Americans want to know when someone has had unauthorized 
access to their emails, to their bank accounts, and to their private 
family pictures, but they do not just want to be notified of yet 
another data breach. Americans want to know that the corporations who 
are profiting from their information are actually doing something to 
prevent the next data breach. Consumers should not have to settle for 
mere notice of data breaches. American consumers deserve protection. 
This legislation would accomplish that.
  The Consumer Privacy Protection Act requires that corporations meet 
certain privacy and data security standards to keep information they 
store about their customers safe, and requires that corporations notify 
the customer in the event of a breach. This legislation protects broad 
categories of data, including, social security numbers and other 
government-issued identification numbers; financial account 
information, including credit card numbers and bank accounts; online 
usernames and passwords, including email names and passwords; unique 
biometric data, including fingerprints; information about a person's 
physical and mental health; information about geolocation; and access 
to private digital photographs and videos.
  I understand that not every breach can be prevented. Cyber criminals 
are determined and constantly looking for new ways to pierce the most 
sophisticated security systems. But just as we expect a bank to put a 
lock on the front door and an alarm on the vault to protect its 
customers' money, we expect corporations to take reasonable measures to 
protect the personal information they collect from us. Unfortunately, 
many of the corporations that profit from the very information that we 
entrust them to protect, have woefully inadequate measures to secure 
this information. For others, security is simply not a priority. 
American consumers deserve better.
  This legislation creates civil penalties for corporations that fail 
to meet the required privacy and data security standards established in 
the bill or fail to notify customers when a breach occurs. The 
Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the State 
Attorneys General each have a role in enforcement. This legislation 
also requires corporations to inform Federal law enforcement, such as 
the Secret Service and the FBI, of all large data breaches, as well as 
breaches that could impact the federal government. Such notification is 
necessary to help law enforcement bring these cyber criminals to 
justice and identify patterns that help protect against future attacks.
  Many Americans understandably assume Federal law already protects 
this sensitive information--common sense tells us that it should. 
Unfortunately, the reality is that it does not. States provide a 
patchwork of protection, and while some laws are strong, others are 
not. For example, 47 States and the District of Columbia require some 
form of data breach notification, but only 12 States have passed data 
security requirements designed to prevent data breaches. My home state 
of Vermont has a strong data breach notification law that has been in 
effect since 2007.
  In crafting Federal law, we must be careful not to override the 
strong State laws that took years to accomplish with weaker Federal 
protections, but we also need to ensure that all Americans, regardless 
of where they live, have their privacy protected. To this end, the 
Consumer Privacy Protection Act preempts State law relating to data 
security and data breach notification only to the extent that the 
protections under those laws are weaker than those provided for in this 
bill. We must ensure that consumers do not lose privacy protections 
they currently enjoy. Since this bill is modeled after those States 
with the strongest consumer protections, however, I believe it will 
improve protections for consumers in nearly every State.
  I am joined today by Senators Franken, Warren, Blumenthal, Wyden, and 
Markey in introducing this legislation. These Senators have long shared 
my commitment to protecting consumer privacy. This legislation also has 
the support of leading consumer privacy advocates, including: Center 
for Democracy and Technology, Consumers Union, National Consumers 
League, New America's Open Technology Institute, Consumer Federation of 
America, and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.
  Millions of Americans who have had their personal information 
compromised or stolen as a result of a data

[[Page S2578]]

breach consider this issue to be of critical importance and a priority 
for the Senate. Protecting privacy rights should be important to all of 
us, regardless of party or ideology. I hope that all Senators will 
support this measure to better protect Americans' privacy.
                                 ______
                                 
      By Mr. GRASSLEY (for himself and Mr. Whitehouse):
  S. 1169. A bill to reauthorize and improve the Juvenile Justice and 
Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, and for other purposes; to the 
Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, today I am introducing the Juvenile 
Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2015. Senator 
Whitehouse is joining me in this effort.
  This measure would improve our Nation's response to juvenile 
offenders in the criminal justice system.
  For the last 40 or so years, the Federal Government, through the 
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, or JJDPA, has provided 
guidelines and resources to help States serve troubled adolescents.
  This 1974 law provides juvenile justice dollars to States and sets 
four core requirements for States that choose to accept these Federal 
funds. The law also created the Office of Juvenile Justice and 
Delinquency Prevention at the Justice Department.
  A centerpiece of the current statute is its standards for the 
treatment of at-risk youth who come into contact with our criminal 
justice system. But these standards have not been updated since 2002, 
and the law's authorization has expired.
  Since Congress last extended the law more than a dozen years ago, 
evidence has emerged that some of the JJDPA's provisions need to be 
improved or strengthened to reflect the latest research on adolescent 
development.
  As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have made this law's 
renewal a priority. The bill I am introducing would extend the statute 
for 5 years and update its provisions to reflect the latest research on 
what works with troubled adolescents.
  The bill also would continue Congress's commitment to help State and 
local jurisdictions improve their juvenile justice systems through a 
program of formula grants. At the same time, the bill would improve the 
oversight and accountability of this grant program in several key ways.
  Such accountability measures are vitally needed to ensure the grant 
program's integrity.
  The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from whistleblowers 
last week that the Justice Department is failing to hold participating 
States accountable for meeting the JJDPA's four core requirements.
  After I wrote several letters concerning these whistleblower 
allegations, the Justice Department admitted to having a flawed 
compliance monitoring policy in place since 1997. This policy allowed 
States to receive JJDPA formula grants in violation of the law's 
funding requirements.
  Witnesses at last week's Senate Judiciary hearing recounted 
violations of law, mismanagement, and waste of limited juvenile justice 
grant funds, in addition to retaliation against whistleblowers.
  This is an injustice not only to the taxpayers but also to the youth 
who face inadequate juvenile justice systems. It is also an injustice 
to the children who end up in the justice system as a result of poor 
experience in the foster care system.
  Shortcomings in the juvenile justice system will not be solved 
overnight. But I look forward to taking the lead on legislation in the 
114th Congress that will make measurable improvements.
  In closing, numerous organizations have worked with us on the 
development of this bill, and I thank them for their contributions. I 
also thank Senator Whitehouse for his cosponsorship of the legislation, 
and I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting its passage.
                                 ______
                                 
      By Mrs. FEINSTEIN (for herself and Mr. Enzi):
  S. 1170. A bill to amend title 39, United States Code, to extend the 
authority of the United States Postal Service to issue a semipostal to 
raise funds for breast cancer research, and for other purposes; to the 
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce legislation 
to reauthorize the Breast Cancer Research Stamp for 4 more years.
  Without Congressional action, this important and effective way of 
raising additional funds for critical research will expire at the end 
of this year. These stamps are sold for a little more than the cost of 
first class postage, so customers can choose to donate in a simple and 
easy way.
  Since 1998, more than 986 million breast cancer research stamps have 
been sold, raising over $80.4 million for breast cancer research. The 
funds have gone to support breast cancer research at both the National 
Institutes of Health, NIH, and the Department of Defense.
  For example, the National Institutes of Health has used proceeds from 
the Breast Cancer Research Stamp to fund the Maternal Pregnancy Factors 
and Breast Cancer Risk Study. This study was designed to identify 
possible connections between various conditions during pregnancy and 
breast cancer risk. After comparing information from women who 
delivered babies and were later diagnosed with breast cancer to women 
who delivered babies and were not diagnosed with breast cancer, 
researchers found that factors like preeclampsia or carrying twins may 
increase cancer risk. Knowing these risk factors helps both doctors and 
patients be vigilant about early screening.
  Thanks to breakthroughs in cancer research, more and more breast 
cancer patients are becoming survivors. Nearly all patients with breast 
cancer caught in the early stages now survive. That is incredible, and 
a testament to how important this research has been.
  Though despite our great successes, the need for continued research 
and improved screening and treatments remains high.
  Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in 
the U.S. and the second leading cause of cancer deaths. One in eight 
women will be diagnosed, and more than 40,000 die from the disease each 
year.
  Though male breast cancer is less common, an estimated 2,350 men will 
be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
  The Breast Cancer Research Stamp provides a simple, convenient way 
for Americans to contribute toward this vitally important research. It 
also provides a symbol of hope for those affected by this disease.
  I thank Senator Enzi for joining me to support this bipartisan 
legislation and urge my colleagues to join us and ensure the stamp 
continues for another 4 years.
  This bill is supported by organizations including: the American 
Association of Cancer Research, AACR, American Cancer Society Cancer 
Action Network, ACS CAN, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 
ACOG, American College of Surgeons, Are You Defense Advocacy, Breast 
Cancer Fund, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Center for Women Policy 
Studies, Susan G. Komen, and the Tigerlily Foundation.
  I look forward to working with my colleagues on this important issue.

                          ____________________