STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS
(Senate - November 15, 2017)

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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 187 (Wednesday, November 15, 2017)]
[Pages S7263-S7265]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




          STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

      By Mr. CORNYN (for himself, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Scott, Mr. 
        Blumenthal, Mr. Hatch, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Heller, and Mrs. 
        Shaheen):
  S. 2135. A bill to enforce current law regarding the National Instant 
Criminal Background Check System; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
  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. 2135

       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 ``Fix NICS Act of 2017''.

     SEC. 2. ACCOUNTABILITY FOR FEDERAL DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES.

       Section 103 of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act 
     (34 U.S.C. 40901) is amended--
       (1) in subsection (e)(1), by adding at the end the 
     following:
       ``(F) Semiannual certification and reporting.--
       ``(i) In general.--The head of each Federal department or 
     agency shall submit a semiannual written certification to the 
     Attorney General indicating whether the department or agency 
     is in compliance with the record submission requirements 
     under subparagraph (C).
       ``(ii) Submission dates.--The head of a Federal department 
     or agency shall submit a certification to the Attorney 
     General under clause (i)--

       ``(I) not later than July 31 of each year, which shall 
     address all relevant records, including those that have not 
     been transmitted to the Attorney General, in possession of 
     the department or agency during the period beginning on 
     January 1 of the year and ending on June 30 of the year; and

[[Page S7264]]

       ``(II) not later than January 31 of each year, which shall 
     address all relevant records, including those that have not 
     been transmitted to the Attorney General, in possession of 
     the department or agency during the period beginning on July 
     1 of the previous year and ending on December 31 of the 
     previous year.

       ``(iii) Contents.--A certification required under clause 
     (i) shall state, for the applicable period--

       ``(I) the total number of records of the Federal department 
     or agency demonstrating that a person falls within one of the 
     categories described in subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 
     of title 18, United States Code;
       ``(II) for each category of records described in subclause 
     (I), the total number of records of the Federal department or 
     agency that have been provided to the Attorney General; and
       ``(III) the efforts of the Federal department or agency to 
     ensure complete and accurate reporting of relevant records, 
     including efforts to monitor compliance and correct any 
     reporting failures or inaccuracies.

       ``(G) Implementation plan.--
       ``(i) In general.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
     enactment of this subparagraph, the head of each Federal 
     department or agency, in coordination with the Attorney 
     General, shall establish a plan to ensure maximum 
     coordination and automated reporting or making available of 
     records to the Attorney General as required under 
     subparagraph (C), and the verification of the accuracy of 
     those records, including the pre-validation of those records, 
     where appropriate, during a 4-year period specified in the 
     plan. The records shall be limited to those of an individual 
     described in subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 of title 
     18, United States Code.
       ``(ii) Benchmark requirements.--Each plan established under 
     clause (i) shall include annual benchmarks to enable the 
     Attorney General to assess implementation of the plan, 
     including--

       ``(I) qualitative goals and quantitative measures;
       ``(II) measures to monitor internal compliance, including 
     any reporting failures and inaccuracies;
       ``(III) a needs assessment, including estimated compliance 
     costs; and
       ``(IV) an estimated date by which the Federal department or 
     agency will fully comply with record submission requirements 
     under subparagraph (C).

       ``(iii) Compliance determination.--Not later than the end 
     of each fiscal year beginning after the date of the 
     establishment of a plan under clause (i), the Attorney 
     General shall determine whether the applicable Federal 
     department or agency has achieved substantial compliance with 
     the benchmarks included in the plan.
       ``(H) Accountability.--The Attorney General shall publish, 
     including on the website of the Department of Justice, and 
     submit to the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on 
     Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on the 
     Judiciary and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of 
     Representatives a semiannual report that discloses--
       ``(i) the name of each Federal department or agency that 
     has failed to submit a required certification under 
     subparagraph (F);
       ``(ii) the name of each Federal department or agency that 
     has submitted a required certification under subparagraph 
     (F), but failed to certify compliance with the record 
     submission requirements under subparagraph (C);
       ``(iii) the name of each Federal department or agency that 
     has failed to submit an implementation plan under 
     subparagraph (G);
       ``(iv) the name of each Federal department or agency that 
     is not in substantial compliance with an implementation plan 
     under subparagraph (G);
       ``(v) a detailed summary of the data, broken down by 
     department or agency, contained in the certifications 
     submitted under subparagraph (F);
       ``(vi) a detailed summary of the contents and status, 
     broken down by department or agency, of the implementation 
     plans established under subparagraph (G); and
       ``(vii) the reasons for which the Attorney General has 
     determined that a Federal department or agency is not in 
     substantial compliance with an implementation plan 
     established under subparagraph (G).
       ``(I) Noncompliance penalties.--For each of fiscal years 
     2019 through 2022, each political appointee of a Federal 
     department or agency that has failed to certify compliance 
     with the record submission requirements under subparagraph 
     (C), and is not in substantial compliance with an 
     implementation plan established under subparagraph (G), shall 
     not be eligible for the receipt of bonus pay, excluding 
     overtime pay, until the department or agency--
       ``(i) certifies compliance with the record submission 
     requirements under subparagraph (C); or
       ``(ii) achieves substantial compliance with an 
     implementation plan established under subparagraph (G).
       ``(J) Technical assistance.--The Attorney General may use 
     funds made available for the national instant criminal 
     background check system established under subsection (b) to 
     provide technical assistance to a Federal department or 
     agency, at the request of the department or agency, in order 
     to help the department or agency comply with the record 
     submission requirements under subparagraph (C).
       ``(K) Application to federal courts.--For purposes of this 
     paragraph--
       ``(i) the terms `department or agency of the United States' 
     and `Federal department or agency' include a Federal court; 
     and
       ``(ii) the Director of the Administrative Office of the 
     United States Courts shall perform, for a Federal court, the 
     functions assigned to the head of a department or agency.''; 
     and
       (2) in subsection (g), by adding at the end the following: 
     ``For purposes of the preceding sentence, not later than 60 
     days after the date on which the Attorney General receives 
     such information, the Attorney General shall determine 
     whether or not the prospective transferee is the subject of 
     an erroneous record and remove any records that are 
     determined to be erroneous. In addition to any funds made 
     available under subsection (k), the Attorney General may use 
     such sums as are necessary and otherwise available for the 
     salaries and expenses of the Federal Bureau of Investigation 
     to comply with this subsection.''.

     SEC. 3. REAUTHORIZATION OF NICS ACT RECORD IMPROVEMENT 
                   PROGRAM.

       (a) Requirements to Obtain Waiver.--Section 102 of the NICS 
     Improvement Amendments Act of 2007(34 U.S.C. 40912) is 
     amended--
       (1) in subsection (a), in the first sentence--
       (A) by striking ``the Crime Identification Technology Act 
     of 1988 (42 U.S.C. 14601)'' and inserting ``section 102 of 
     the Crime Identification Technology Act of 1998 (34 U.S.C. 
     40301)''; and
       (B) by inserting ``is in compliance with an implementation 
     plan established under subsection (b) or'' before ``provides 
     at least 90 percent of the information described in 
     subsection (c)''; and
       (2) in subsection (b)(1)(B), by inserting ``or has 
     established an implementation plan under section 107'' after 
     ``the Attorney General''.
       (b) Implementation Assistance to States.--Section 103 of 
     the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (34 U.S.C. 40913) 
     is amended--
       (1) in subsection (b)(3), by inserting before the semicolon 
     at the end the following: ``, including through increased 
     efforts to pre-validate the contents of those records to 
     expedite eligibility determinations'';
       (2) in subsection (e)--
       (A) in paragraph (1)--
       (i) by striking ``and''; and
       (ii) by inserting before the period at the end the 
     following: ``, and $125,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2018 
     through 2022''; and
       (B) by striking paragraph (2) and inserting the following--
       ``(2) Domestic abuse and violence prevention initiative.--
       ``(A) Establishment.--For each of fiscal years 2018 through 
     2022, the Attorney General shall create a priority area under 
     the NICS Act Record Improvement Program (commonly known as 
     `NARIP') for a Domestic Abuse and Violence Prevention 
     Initiative that emphasizes the need for grantees to identify 
     and upload all felony conviction records and domestic 
     violence records.
       ``(B) Funding.--The Attorney General--
       ``(i) may use not more than 50 percent of the amounts made 
     available under this subsection for each of fiscal years 2018 
     through 2022 to carry out the initiative described in 
     subparagraph (A); and
       ``(ii) shall give a funding preference under NARIP to 
     States that--

       ``(I) have established an implementation plan under section 
     107; and
       ``(II) will use amounts made available under this 
     subparagraph to improve efforts to identify and upload all 
     felony conviction records and domestic violence records 
     described in clauses (i), (v), and (vi) of section 
     102(b)(1)(C) by not later than September 30, 2022.''; and

       (3) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(g) Technical Assistance.--The Attorney General shall 
     direct the Office of Justice Programs, the Bureau of Alcohol, 
     Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Federal Bureau of 
     Investigation to--
       ``(1) assist States that are not currently eligible for 
     grants under this section to achieve compliance with all 
     eligibility requirements; and
       ``(2) provide technical assistance and training services to 
     grantees under this section.''.

     SEC. 4. REAUTHORIZATION OF THE NATIONAL CRIMINAL HISTORY 
                   IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM.

       (a) State Grant Program for Criminal Justice 
     Identification, Information, and Communication.--Section 102 
     of the Crime Identification Technology Act of 1998 (34 U.S.C. 
     40301) is amended--
       (1) in subsection (a)(3)--
       (A) by redesignating subparagraphs (C), (D), and (E) as 
     subparagraphs (D), (E), and (F), respectively; and
       (B) by inserting after subparagraph (B) the following:
       ``(C) identification of all individuals who have been 
     convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term 
     exceeding 1 year'';
       (2) in subsection (b)(6)--
       (A) by striking ``(18 U.S.C. 922 note)'' and inserting 
     ``(34 U.S.C. 40901(b))''; and
       (B) by inserting before the semicolon at the end the 
     following: ``, including through increased efforts to pre-
     validate the contents of felony conviction records and 
     domestic violence records to expedite eligibility 
     determinations, and measures and resources necessary to 
     establish and achieve compliance with an implementation plan 
     under section

[[Page S7265]]

     107 of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007'';
       (3) in subsection (d), by inserting after ``unless'' the 
     following: ``the State has achieved compliance with an 
     implementation plan under section 107 of the NICS Improvement 
     Amendments Act of 2007 or''; and
       (4) in subsection (e)(1), by striking ``2002 through 2007'' 
     and inserting ``2018 through 2022''.
       (b) Grants for the Improvement of Criminal Records.--
     Section 106(b)(1) of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention 
     Act (34 U.S.C. 40302(1)) is amended--
       (1) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A)--
       (A) by striking ``as of the date of enactment of this Act'' 
     and inserting ``, as of the date of enactment of the Fix NICS 
     Act of 2017,''; and
       (B) by striking ``files,'' and inserting the following: 
     ``files and that will utilize funding under this subsection 
     to prioritize the identification and transmittal of felony 
     conviction records and domestic violence records,'';
       (2) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``and'' at the end;
       (3) in subparagraph (C)--
       (A) by striking ``upon establishment of the national 
     system,''; and
       (B) by striking the period at the end and inserting ``; 
     and''; and
       (4) by adding at the end the following--
       ``(D) to establish and achieve compliance with an 
     implementation plan under section 107 of the NICS Improvement 
     Amendments Act of 2007.''.

     SEC. 5. IMPROVING INFORMATION SHARING WITH THE STATES.

       (a) In General.--Title I of the NICS Improvement Amendments 
     Act of 2007 (34 U.S. 40911 et seq.) is amended by adding at 
     the end the following:

     ``SEC. 107. IMPLEMENTATION PLAN.

       ``(a) In General.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
     enactment of the Fix NICS Act of 2017, the Attorney General, 
     in coordination with the States and Indian tribal 
     governments, shall establish, for each State or Indian tribal 
     government, a plan to ensure maximum coordination and 
     automation of the reporting or making available of 
     appropriate records to the National Instant Criminal 
     Background Check System established under section 103 of the 
     Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (34 U.S.C. 40901) and 
     the verification of the accuracy of those records during a 4-
     year period specified in the plan. The records shall be 
     limited to those of an individual described in subsection (g) 
     or (n) of section 922 of title 18, United States Code
       ``(b) Benchmark Requirements.--Each plan established under 
     this section shall include annual benchmarks to enable the 
     Attorney General to assess the implementation of the plan, 
     including--
       ``(1) qualitative goals and quantitative measures; and
       ``(2) a needs assessment, including estimated compliance 
     costs.
       ``(c) Compliance Determination.--Not later than the end of 
     each fiscal year beginning after the date of the 
     establishment of an implementation plan under this section, 
     the Attorney General shall determine whether each State or 
     Indian tribal government has achieved substantial compliance 
     with the benchmarks included in the plan.
       ``(d) Accountability.--The Attorney General--
       ``(1) shall disclose and publish, including on the website 
     of the Department of Justice--
       ``(A) the name of each State or Indian tribal government 
     that received a determination of failure to achieve 
     substantial compliance with an implementation plan under 
     subsection (c) for the preceding fiscal year; and
       ``(B) a description of the reasons for which the Attorney 
     General has determined that the State or Indian tribal 
     government is not in substantial compliance with the 
     implementation plan, including, to the greatest extent 
     possible, a description of the types and amounts of records 
     that have not been submitted; and
       ``(2) if a State or Indian tribal government described in 
     paragraph (1) subsequently receives a determination of 
     substantial compliance, shall--
       ``(A) immediately correct the applicable record; and
       ``(B) not later than 3 days after the determination, remove 
     the record from the website of the Department of Justice and 
     any other location where the record was published.
       ``(e) Incentives.--For each of fiscal years 2018 through 
     2022, the Attorney General shall give affirmative preference 
     to all Bureau of Justice Assistance discretionary grant 
     applications of a State or Indian tribal government that 
     received a determination of substantial compliance under 
     subsection (c) for the fiscal year in which the grant was 
     solicited.''.
       (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents in section 
     1(b) of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (Public 
     Law 110-180; 121 Stat. 2559) is amended by inserting after 
     the item relating to section 106 the following:

``Sec. 107. Implementation plan.''.

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