NATIONAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMISSION ACT OF 2017; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 203
(Senate - December 22, 2018)

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[Pages S8037-S8039]
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            NATIONAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMISSION ACT OF 2017

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
Committee on the Judiciary be discharged from further consideration of 
S. 573 and the Senate proceed to its immediate consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the bill by title.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 573) to establish the National Criminal Justice 
     Commission.

  There being no objection, the committee was discharged, and the 
Senate proceeded to consider the bill.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I further ask unanimous consent that the amendment at 
the desk be agreed to; that the bill, as amended, be considered read a 
third time and passed; and that the motion to reconsider be considered 
made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment (No. 4180) in the nature of a substitute was agreed to, 
as follows:

                (Purpose: In the nature of a substitute)

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``National Criminal Justice 
     Commission Act of 2018''.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

       Congress finds that--
       (1) it is in the interest of the Nation to establish a 
     commission to undertake a comprehensive review of the 
     criminal justice system;
       (2) there has not been a comprehensive study since the 
     President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration 
     of Justice was established in 1965;
       (3) that commission, in a span of 18 months, produced a 
     comprehensive report entitled ``The Challenge of Crime in a 
     Free Society,'' which contained 200 specific recommendations 
     on all aspects of the criminal justice system involving 
     Federal, State, Tribal, and local governments, civic 
     organizations, religious institutions, business groups, and 
     individual citizens; and
       (4) developments over the intervening 50 years require once 
     again that Federal, State, Tribal, and local governments, law 
     enforcement agencies, including rank and file officers, civil 
     rights organizations, community-based organization leaders, 
     civic organizations, religious institutions, business groups, 
     and individual citizens come together to review evidence and 
     consider how to improve the criminal justice system.

     SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMISSION.

       There is established a commission to be known as the 
     ``National Criminal Justice Commission'' (referred to in this 
     Act as the ``Commission'').

     SEC. 4. PURPOSE OF THE COMMISSION.

       The Commission shall--
       (1) undertake a comprehensive review of the criminal 
     justice system;
       (2) make recommendations for Federal criminal justice 
     reform to the President and Congress; and
       (3) disseminate findings and supplemental guidance to the 
     Federal Government, as well as to State, local, and Tribal 
     governments.

     SEC. 5. REVIEW, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND REPORT.

       (a) General Review.--The Commission shall undertake a 
     comprehensive review of all areas of the criminal justice 
     system, including Federal, State, local, and Tribal 
     governments' criminal justice costs, practices, and policies.
       (b) Recommendations.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than 18 months after the first 
     meeting of the Commission, the Commission shall submit to the 
     President and Congress recommendations for changes in Federal 
     oversight, policies, practices, and laws designed to prevent, 
     deter, and reduce crime and violence, reduce recidivism, 
     improve cost-effectiveness, and ensure the interests of 
     justice at every step of the criminal justice system.
       (2) Unanimous consent required.--A recommendation of the 
     Commission may be adopted and submitted under paragraph (1) 
     if the recommendation is approved by a unanimous vote of the 
     Commissioners at a meeting where a quorum is present pursuant 
     to section 6(d).
       (3) Requirement.--The recommendations submitted under this 
     subsection shall be made available to the public.
       (c) Report.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than 18 months after the first 
     meeting of the Commission, the Commission shall also 
     disseminate to the Federal Government, as well as to State, 
     local, and Tribal governments, a report that details the 
     findings and supplemental guidance of the Commission 
     regarding the criminal justice system at all levels of 
     government.
       (2) Majority vote required.--Commission findings and 
     supplemental guidance may be adopted and included in the 
     report required under paragraph (1) if the findings or 
     guidance is approved by a majority vote of the Commissioners 
     at a meeting where a quorum is present pursuant to section 
     6(d), except that any Commissioners dissenting from 
     particular finding or supplemental guidance shall have the 
     right to state the reason for their dissent in writing and 
     such dissent shall be included in the report of the 
     Commission.
       (3) Requirement.--The report submitted under this 
     subsection shall be made available to the public.
       (d) Prior Commissions.--The Commission shall take into 
     consideration the work of prior relevant commissions in 
     conducting its review.
       (e) State and Local Government.--In issuing its 
     recommendations and report under this section, the Commission 
     shall not infringe on the legitimate rights of the States to 
     determine their own criminal laws or the enforcement of such 
     laws.
       (f) Public Hearings.--The Commission shall conduct public 
     hearings in various locations around the United States.
       (g) Consultation With Government and Nongovernment 
     Representatives.--
       (1) In general.--The Commission shall--
       (A) closely consult with Federal, State, local, and Tribal 
     government and nongovernmental leaders, including State, 
     local, and Tribal law enforcement officials, including rank 
     and file officers, legislators, public health officials, 
     judges, court administrators, prosecutors, defense counsel, 
     victims' rights organizations, probation and parole 
     officials, criminal justice planners, criminologists, civil 
     rights and liberties organizations, community-based 
     organization leaders, formerly incarcerated individuals, 
     professional organizations, and corrections officials; and
       (B) include in the final report required under subsection 
     (c) summaries of the input and recommendations of these 
     leaders.
       (2) United states sentencing commission.--To the extent the 
     review and recommendations required by this section relate to 
     sentencing policies and practices for the Federal criminal 
     justice system, the Commission shall conduct such review in 
     consultation with the United States Sentencing Commission.
       (h) Sense of Congress, Goal of Unanimity.--It is the sense 
     of the Congress that, given the national importance of the 
     matters before the Commission, the Commission should work 
     toward unanimously supported findings and supplemental 
     guidance, and that unanimously supported findings and 
     supplemental guidance should take precedence over those 
     findings and supplemental guidance that are not unanimously 
     supported.

     SEC. 6. MEMBERSHIP.

       (a) In General.--The Commission shall be composed of 14 
     members, as follows:
       (1) The President shall appoint the Attorney General to 
     serve as chairman and a member of the Commission.
       (2) Six members shall be appointed by the Attorney General 
     in consultation with--
       (A) the leadership of the Senate and House of 
     Representatives of the same political party as the President; 
     and
       (B) the leadership of the Committee on the Judiciary of the 
     House of Representatives and the Committee on the Judiciary 
     of the Senate of the same political party as the President.
       (3) Seven members shall be appointed by the senior members 
     of the leadership of the Senate and the House of 
     Representatives of the opposite party of the President in 
     consultation with the leadership of the Committee on the 
     Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Committee 
     on the Judiciary of the Senate of the opposite political 
     party of the President.
       (b) Membership.--
       (1) In general.--Members will be selected based upon 
     knowledge or experience in such relevant areas as--
       (A) law enforcement;
       (B) criminal justice;
       (C) national security;
       (D) prison and jail administration;
       (E) prisoner reentry;
       (F) public health, including physical and sexual 
     victimization, drug addiction and mental health;

[[Page S8038]]

       (G) victims' rights;
       (H) civil rights;
       (I) civil liberties;
       (J) court administration;
       (K) social services; and
       (L) State, local, and Tribal government.
       (2) Law enforcement representation.--
       (A) Members appointed by attorney general.--Of the 6 
     members appointed by the Attorney General under subsection 
     (a)(2)--
       (i) not fewer than 2 shall be representatives from Federal, 
     State, or local law enforcement agencies; and
       (ii) not fewer than 1 shall be a representative from Tribal 
     law enforcement agencies.
       (B) Other members.--Of the 7 members appointed under 
     subsection (a)(3)--
       (i) not fewer than 2 shall be representatives of Federal, 
     State, or local law enforcement agencies; and
       (ii) not fewer than 1 shall be a representative from Tribal 
     law enforcement agencies.
       (3) Disqualification.--An individual shall not be appointed 
     as a member of the Commission if such individual possesses 
     any personal financial interest in the discharge of any of 
     the duties of the Commission.
       (4) Terms.--Members shall be appointed for the life of the 
     Commission.
       (c) Appointment; First Meeting.--
       (1) Appointment.--Members of the Commission shall be 
     appointed not later than 45 days after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act.
       (2) First meeting.--The Commission shall hold its first 
     meeting on the date that is 60 days after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, or not later than 30 days after the 
     date on which funds are made available for the Commission, 
     whichever is later.
       (3) Ethics.--At the first meeting of the Commission, the 
     Commission shall draft appropriate ethics guidelines for 
     commissioners and staff, including guidelines relating to 
     conflict of interest and financial disclosure. The Commission 
     shall consult with the Senate and House Committees on the 
     Judiciary as a part of drafting the guidelines and furnish 
     the Committees with a copy of the completed guidelines.
       (d) Meetings; Quorum; Vacancies.--
       (1) Meetings.--The Commission shall meet at the call of the 
     chairman or his or her designee.
       (2) Quorum.--A majority of the members of the Commission 
     shall constitute a quorum for purposes of conducting 
     business, except that 2 members of the Commission shall 
     constitute a quorum for purposes of receiving testimony.
       (3) Vacancies.--Any vacancy in the Commission shall not 
     affect its powers, but shall be filled in the same manner in 
     which the original appointment was made. If vacancies in the 
     Commission occur on any day after 45 days after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act, a quorum shall consist of a 
     majority of the members of the Commission as of such day, so 
     long as not less than 1 Commission member chosen by a member 
     of each party, Republican and Democratic, is present.
       (e) Actions of Commission.--
       (1) In general.--The Commission--
       (A) shall, subject to the requirements of section 5, act by 
     resolution agreed to by a majority of the members of the 
     Commission voting and present; and
       (B) may establish panels composed of less than the full 
     membership of the Commission for purposes of carrying out the 
     duties of the Commission under this title--
       (i) which shall be subject to the review and control of the 
     Commission; and
       (ii) any findings and determinations made by such a panel 
     shall not be considered the findings and determinations of 
     the Commission unless approved by the Commission.
       (2) Delegation.--Any member, agent, or staff of the 
     Commission may, if authorized by the chairman of the 
     Commission, take any action which the Commission is 
     authorized to take pursuant to this Act.

     SEC. 7. ADMINISTRATION.

       (a) Staff.--
       (1) Executive director.--The Commission shall have a staff 
     headed by an Executive Director. The Executive Director shall 
     be paid at a rate established for the Certified Plan pay 
     level for the Senior Executive Service under section 5382 of 
     title 5, United States Code.
       (2) Appointment and compensation.--The chairman of the 
     Commission shall designate and fix the compensation of the 
     Executive Director and, in accordance with rules agreed upon 
     by the Commission, may appoint and fix the compensation of 
     such other personnel as may be necessary to enable the 
     Commission to carry out its functions, without regard to the 
     provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing 
     appointments in the competitive service, and without regard 
     to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 
     53 of such title relating to classification and General 
     Schedule pay rates, except that no rate of pay fixed under 
     this subsection may exceed the equivalent of that payable for 
     a position at level V of the Executive Schedule under section 
     5316 of title 5, United States Code.
       (3) Personnel as federal employees.--
       (A) In general.--The executive director and any personnel 
     of the Commission who are employees shall be employees under 
     section 2105 of title 5, United States Code, for purposes of 
     chapters 63, 81, 83, 84, 85, 87, 89, and 90 of that title.
       (B) Members of commission.--Subparagraph (A) shall not be 
     construed to apply to members of the Commission.
       (4) The compensation of commissioners.--Each member of the 
     Commission may be compensated at not to exceed the daily 
     equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay in effect for a 
     position at level V of the Executive Schedule under section 
     5315 of title 5, United States Code, for each day during 
     which that member is engaged in the actual performance of the 
     duties of the Commission. All members of the Commission who 
     are officers or employees of the United States, State, or 
     local government shall serve without compensation in addition 
     to that received for their services as officers or employees.
       (5) Travel expenses.--While away from their homes or 
     regular places of business in the performance of services for 
     the Commission, members of the Commission shall be allowed 
     travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, 
     in the same manner as persons employed intermittently in the 
     Government service are allowed expenses under section 5703(b) 
     of title 5, United States Code.
       (b) Experts and Consultants.--With the approval of the 
     Commission, the Executive Director may procure temporary and 
     intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, 
     United States Code.
       (c) Detail of Government Employees.--Upon the request of 
     the Commission, the head of any Federal agency may detail, 
     without reimbursement, any of the personnel of such agency to 
     the Commission to assist in carrying out the duties of the 
     Commission. Any such detail shall not interrupt or otherwise 
     affect the civil service status or privileges of the Federal 
     employee.
       (d) Other Resources.--The Commission shall have reasonable 
     access to materials, resources, statistical data, and other 
     information such Commission determines to be necessary to 
     carry out its duties from the Library of Congress, the 
     Department of Justice, the Office of National Drug Control 
     Policy, the Department of State, and other agencies of the 
     executive and legislative branches of the Federal Government. 
     The chairman of the Commission shall make requests for such 
     access in writing when necessary.
       (e) Volunteer Services.--Notwithstanding the provisions of 
     section 1342 of title 31, United States Code, the Commission 
     is authorized to accept and utilize the services of 
     volunteers serving without compensation. The Commission may 
     reimburse such volunteers for local travel and office 
     supplies, and for other travel expenses, including per diem 
     in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by section 5703 of 
     title 5, United States Code. A person providing volunteer 
     services to the Commission shall be considered an employee of 
     the Federal Government in performance of those services for 
     the purposes of chapter 81 of title 5, United States Code, 
     relating to compensation for work-related injuries, chapter 
     171 of title 28, United States Code, relating to tort claims, 
     and chapter 11 of title 18, United States Code, relating to 
     conflicts of interest.
       (f) Obtaining Official Data.--The Commission may secure 
     directly from any agency of the United States information 
     necessary to enable it to carry out this Act. Upon the 
     request of the chairman of the Commission, the head of that 
     department or agency shall furnish that information to the 
     Commission. The Commission shall not have access to sensitive 
     information regarding ongoing investigations.
       (g) Mails.--The Commission may use the United States mails 
     in the same manner and under the same conditions as other 
     departments and agencies of the United States.
       (h) Administrative Reporting.--The Commission shall issue 
     biannual status reports to Congress regarding the use of 
     resources, salaries, and all expenditures of appropriated 
     funds.
       (i) Contracts.--The Commission is authorized to enter into 
     contracts with Federal and State agencies, private firms, 
     institutions, and individuals for the conduct of activities 
     necessary to the discharge of its duties and 
     responsibilities. A contract, lease or other legal agreement 
     entered into by the Commission may not extend beyond the date 
     of the termination of the Commission.
       (j) Gifts.--Subject to existing law, the Commission may 
     accept, use, and dispose of gifts or donations of services or 
     property.
       (k) Administrative Assistance.--The Administrator of 
     General Services shall provide to the Commission, on a 
     reimbursable basis, the administrative support services 
     necessary for the Commission to carry out its 
     responsibilities under this Act. These administrative 
     services may include human resource management, budget, 
     leasing, accounting, and payroll services.
       (l) Nonapplicability of Faca and Public Access to Meetings 
     and Minutes.--
       (1) In general.--The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 
     U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Commission.
       (2) Meetings and minutes.--
       (A) Meetings.--
       (i) Administration.--All meetings of the Commission shall 
     be open to the public, except that a meeting or any portion 
     of it may be closed to the public if it concerns matters or 
     information described in section 552b(c) of title 5, United 
     States Code. Interested persons shall be permitted to appear 
     at open meetings and present oral or written statements on 
     the subject matter of the meeting. The Commission may 
     administer oaths or affirmations to any person appearing 
     before it.
       (ii) Notice.--All open meetings of the Commission shall be 
     preceded by timely public notice in the Federal Register of 
     the time, place, and subject of the meeting.

[[Page S8039]]

       (B) Minutes and public availability.--Minutes of each open 
     meeting shall be kept and shall contain a record of the 
     people present, a description of the discussion that 
     occurred, and copies of all statements filed. The minutes and 
     records of all open meetings and other documents that were 
     made available to or prepared for the Commission shall be 
     available for public inspection and copying at a single 
     location in the offices of the Commission.
       (m) Archiving.--Not later than the date of termination of 
     the Commission, all records and papers of the Commission 
     shall be delivered to the Archivist of the United States for 
     deposit in the National Archives.

     SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF FUNDS.

       For each of fiscal years 2019 and 2020, the Attorney 
     General may use, from any unobligated balances made available 
     under the heading ``General Administration'' to the 
     Department of Justice in an appropriations Act, such amounts 
     as are necessary, not to exceed $7,000,000 per fiscal year 
     and not to exceed $14,000,000 total for both fiscal years, to 
     carry out this Act, except that none of the funds authorized 
     to be used to carry out this Act may be used for 
     international travel.

     SEC. 9. SUNSET.

       The Commission shall terminate 60 days after the Commission 
     submits the report required under section 5(c) to Congress.

  The bill (S. 573), as amended, was ordered to be engrossed for a 
third reading, was read the third time, and passed.

                          ____________________