Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
105th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 1st Session                                                    105-303
_______________________________________________________________________


 
                      RADIO FREE ASIA ACT OF 1997

                                _______
                                

October 6, 1997.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Gilman, from the Committee on International Relations, submitted 
                             the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2232]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on International Relations, to whom was 
referred the bill (H.R. 2232) to provide for increased 
international broadcasting activities to China, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Radio Free Asia Act of 1997''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

  The Congress makes the following findings:
          (1) The Government of the People's Republic of China 
        systematically controls the flow of information to the Chinese 
        people.
          (2) The Government of the People's Republic of China 
        demonstrated that maintaining its monopoly on political power 
        is a higher priority than economic development by announcing in 
        January 1996 that its official news agency Xinhua, will 
        supervise wire services selling economic information, including 
        Dow Jones-Telerate, Bloomberg, and Reuters Business, and in 
        announcing in February of 1996 the ``Interim Internet 
        Management Rules'', which have the effect of censoring computer 
        networks.
          (3) Under the May 30, 1997, order of Premier Li Peng, all 
        organizations that engage in business activities related to 
        international computer networking must now apply for a license, 
        increasing still further government control over access to the 
        internet.
          (4) Both Radio Free Asia and the Voice of America, as a 
        surrogate for a free press in the People's Republic of China, 
        provide an invaluable source of uncensored information to the 
        Chinese people, including objective and authoritative news of 
        in-country and regional events, as well as accurate news about 
        the United States and its policies.
          (5) Radio Free Asia currently broadcasts only 5 hours a day 
        in the Mandarin dialect and 2 hours a day in Tibetan.
          (6) Voice of America currently broadcasts only 10 hours a day 
        in Mandarin and 3\1/2\ hours a day in Tibetan.
          (7) Radio Free Asia and Voice of America should develop 24-
        hour-a-day service in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Tibetan, as well 
        as further broadcasting capability in the dialects spoken in 
        the People's Republic of China.
          (8) Radio Free Asia and Voice of America, in working toward 
        continuously broadcasting to the People's Republic of China in 
        multiple languages, have the capability to immediately 
        establish 24-hour-a-day Mandarin broadcasting to that nation by 
        staggering the hours of Radio Free Asia and Voice of America.
          (9) Simultaneous broadcasting on Voice of America radio and 
        Worldnet television 7 days a week in Mandarin are also 
        important and needed capabilities.

SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR INCREASED FUNDING FOR RADIO 
                    FREE ASIA AND VOICE OF AMERICA BROADCASTING TO 
                    CHINA.

  (a) Authorization of Appropriations for Radio Free Asia.--
          (1) Authorization of appropriations.--There are authorized to 
        be appropriated for ``Radio Free Asia'' $30,000,000 for fiscal 
        year 1998 and $22,000,000 for fiscal year 1999.
          (2) Limitations.--
                  (A) Of the funds under paragraph (1) authorized to be 
                appropriated for fiscal year 1998, $8,000,000 is 
                authorized to be appropriated for one-time capital 
                costs.
                  (B) Of the funds under paragraph (1), $700,000 is 
                authorized to be appropriated for each such fiscal year 
                for additional personnel to staff Cantonese language 
                broadcasting.
  (b) Authorization of Appropriations for International Broadcasting to 
China and North Korea.--In addition to such sums as are otherwise 
authorized to be appropriated for ``International Broadcasting 
Activities'' for fiscal years 1998 and 1999, there are authorized to be 
appropriated for ``International Broadcasting Activities'' $10,000,000 
for fiscal year 1998 and $7,000,000 for fiscal year 1999, which shall 
be available only for enhanced Voice of America broadcasting to China 
and North Korea.
  (c) Authorization of Appropriations for Radio Construction.--
          (1) Authorization of appropriations.--In addition to such 
        sums as are otherwise authorized to be appropriated for ``Radio 
        Construction'' for fiscal years 1998 and 1999, there are 
        authorized to be appropriated for ``Radio Construction'' 
        $10,000,000 for fiscal year 1998 and $3,000,000 for fiscal year 
        1999, which shall be available only for construction in support 
        of enhanced broadcasting to China.
          (2) Limitation.--Of the funds under paragraph (1) authorized 
        to be appropriated for fiscal year 1998, $3,000,000 is 
        authorized to be appropriated to facilitate the timely 
        augmentation of transmitters at Tinian, the Commonwealth of the 
        Northern Mariana Islands.
  (d) Allocation.--Of the amounts authorized to be appropriated for 
``International Broadcasting Activities'', the Director of the United 
States Information Agency and the Board of Broadcasting Governors shall 
seek to ensure that the amounts made available for broadcasting to 
nations whose people do not fully enjoy freedom of expression do not 
decline in proportion to the amounts made available for broadcasting to 
other nations.
  (e) Allocation of Funds for North Korea.--Of the funds under 
subsection (b), $2,000,000 is authorized to be appropriated for each 
fiscal year for additional personnel and broadcasting targeted at North 
Korea.

SEC. 4. REPORTING REQUIREMENT.

  Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, in 
consultation with the Board of Broadcasting Governors, the President 
shall prepare and transmit to Congress a report on a plan to achieve 
continuous broadcasting of Radio Free Asia and Voice of America to the 
People's Republic of China in multiple major dialects and languages.

SEC. 5. UTILIZATION OF UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING 
                    SERVICES FOR PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS REGARDING 
                    FUGITIVES FROM UNITED STATES JUSTICE.

  United States international broadcasting services, particularly the 
Voice of America, shall produce and broadcast public service 
announcements, by radio, television, and Internet, regarding fugitives 
from the criminal justice system of the United States, including cases 
of international child abduction.

                         Background and Purpose

    H.R. 2232, the ``Radio Free Asia Act of 1997,'' is intended 
to provide continuous, 24-hour-a-day broadcasting capability 
into China and Tibet. The increased broadcast programs will be 
in Mandarin, Cantonese, Tibetan, and other dialects spoken in 
the People's Republic of China.
    Section 2 of the bill is a series of findings describing 
the media and information environment in the People's Republic 
of China, and the current limited broadcast hours of Radio Free 
Asia and the Voice of America, which serve as the surrogate 
free press in the People's Republic of China.
    Section 3 provides for the authorization of appropriations 
for fiscal years 1998 and 1999 to support the activities 
required to increase the hours of broadcasting. Of the funds 
authorized to be appropriated for International Broadcasting, 
$2 million is authorized to be appropriated for broadcasting to 
North Korea.
    Section 4 is a reporting requirement requiring the 
President to prepare a plan to achieve the continuous 
broadcasting through Radio Free Asia and the Voice of America 
to the People's Republic of China.

                            Committee Action

    On March 13, 1997, the Subcommittee on International 
Operations and Human Rights held a hearing on the U.S. 
Information Agency, which among other duties, is responsible 
for U.S. international broadcasting. Witnesses at this hearing 
included: The Honorable Joseph D. Duffey, Director of the U.S. 
Information Agency, and David W. Burke, Chairman of the 
International Broadcasting Board of Governors.
    On July 9, 1996, the Subcommittee on International 
Operations and Human Rights held a hearing on international 
broadcasting. Witnesses for this hearing were: The Honorable 
Joseph D. Duffey, Director of the U.S. Information Agency and 
David W. Burke, Chairman of the international Broadcasting 
Board of Governors.
    The Subcommittee on International Operations and Human 
Rights reported to the full committee, H.R. 2232, with an 
amendment in the nature of a substitute, on September 25, 1997.
    The Full Committee marked up the bill on September 29, 
1997, considering the subcommittee amendment in the nature of a 
substitute as original text for the purposes of amendment and 
taking the following preliminary actions, all by voice vote:
          Adopting the Kim amendment, adding reference to North 
        Korea to section 3(b) of the bill.
          Adoping the Smith amendment revising subsection (7) 
        of section 1, striking language relating to additional 
        advanced editing equipment, and reducing the amount for 
        additional personnel to staff Cantonese language 
        broadcasting.
          Adopting the Bereuter amendment making a technical 
        change in a reference.
          Adopting the Royce amendment relating to utilization 
        of U.S. International Broadcasting Services for public 
        service announcements relative to fugitives from U.S. 
        justice.
    After concluding its consideration of the amendment in the 
nature of a substitute, the Committee adopted the amendment and 
ordered the bill reported to the House by voice vote, a quorum 
being present.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(A) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee reports 
the findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

         Committee on Government Reform and Oversight Findings

    No findings or recommendations of the Committee on 
Government Reform and Oversight were received as referred to in 
clause 2(l)(3)(D) of rule XI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    The Committee adopts the cost estimate of the Congressional 
Budget Office, set out below, as its submission of any required 
information on new budget authority, new spending authority, 
new credit authority, or an increase or decrease in the 
national debt required by clause 2(l)(3)(B) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to Section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                 Applicablity to the Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(4) of rule XI of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee cites the 
following specific powers granted to the Congress in the 
Constitution as authority for enactment of H.R. 2232, as 
reported by the Committee: Article I, section 8, clause 3 
(relating to the regulation of commerce with foreign nations 
and among the several states); and Article I, section 8, clause 
18 (relating to making all laws necessary and proper for 
carrying into execution powers vested by the Constitution in 
the government of the United States).

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(C) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets forth 
with respect to H.R. 2232 as reported by the Committee the 
following estimate and comparison prepared by the Director of 
the Congressional Budget Office under section 403 of the Budget 
Act of 1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                   Washington, DC, October 3, 1997.
Hon. Benjamin A. Gilman,
Chairman, Committee on International Relations, House of 
        Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2232, the Radio 
Free Asia Act of 1997.
    If your wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Sunita 
D'Monte.
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 2232--Radio Free Asia Act of 1997

    H.R. 2232 would authorize appropriations of $50 million in 
1998 and $32 million in 1999 for broadcasting to China and 
North Korea and construction of broadcasting facilities. 
Assuming that authorized amounts would be appropriated by the 
start of each fiscal year and that outlays would follow 
historical spending patterns, CBO estimates that enacting the 
bill would raise spending by $32 million in 1998 and $81 
million over the 1998-2002 period. The authorizations in this 
bill would be in addition to amounts provided in other 
legislation. H.R. 1757, as passed by the House of 
Representatives on June 11, 1997, would authorize $415 million 
in 1998 and $405 million in 1999 for broadcasting and 
construction of facilities. Together, H.R. 2232 and H.R. 1757 
would raise annual funding for comparable activities by $105 
million in 1998 and $77 million in 1999 over the amount 
provided in 1997. Because H.R. 2232 would not affect direct 
spending or receipts, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply.
    The bill contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined 
in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) and would 
not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments. 
Section 5 of H.R. 2232, however, would impose a new private-
sector mandate on two privately owned United States 
international broadcasting services, Radio Free Europe/Radio 
Liberty and Radio Free Asia. The bill would require these 
organizations to produce and broadcast, by radio, television, 
and Internet, public service announcements regarding fugitives 
from the criminal justice system of the United States. Based on 
information provided by representatives of these organizations, 
CBO estimates that the direct cost of the new private-sector 
mandate would be well below the statutory threshold ($100 
million in 1996, adjusted annually for inflation) established 
in UMRA in any year.
    The estimate of costs to the federal government was 
prepared by Sunita D'Monte. Lesley Frymier prepared the 
estimate of the private-sector mandate, and Pepper Santalucia 
assessed the impact on state, local, and tribal governments. 
This estimate was approved by Paul N. Van de Water, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1. Short title

    Provides that the Act may be cited as the ``Radio Free Asia 
Act of 1997.''

Section 2. Findings

    Sets forth relevant findings of Congress, including that 
the government of the People's Republic of China systematically 
controls the flow of information to the Chinese people; that 
Radio Free Asia and the Voice of America provide an invaluable 
source of information to the Chinese people, but have limited 
service to China; that Radio Free Asia and the Voice of America 
should develop 24-hour-a-day service in Mandarin, Cantonese, 
and Tibetan; and that together Radio Free Asia and the Voice of 
America could immediately establish 24-hour-a-day broadcasting 
to China in Mandarin.

Section 3. Authorization of appropriations for increased funding for 
        Radio Free Asia and Voice of America broadcasting to China

    Authorizes the appropriation of $30,000,000 for fiscal year 
1998 and $22,000,000 for fiscal year 1999 for Radio Free Asia. 
Of the amounts authorized for fiscal year 1998 for Radio Free 
Asia, $8,000,000 is authorized for one-time capital costs. Of 
the amounts authorized for fiscal years 1998 and 1999 for Radio 
Free Asia, $700,000 is authorized for each such fiscal year for 
additional personnel to staff Cantonese language broadcasting.
    In addition, authorizes the appropriation of $10,000,000 
for fiscal year 1998 and $7,000,000 for fiscal year 1999 for 
International Broadcasting Activities, which shall be in 
addition to such sums as are otherwise authorized and which 
shall be available only for enhanced Voice of America 
broadcasting to China and North Korea. Of the amounts 
authorized for fiscal years 1998 and 1999 for International 
Broadcasting Activities, $2,000,000 is authorized for each such 
fiscal year for additional personnel and broadcasting targeted 
at North Korea.
    In addition, authorizes $10,000,000 for fiscal year 1998 
and $3,000,000 for fiscal year 1999 for Radio Construction, 
which shall be in addition to such sums as are otherwise 
authorized and which shall be available only for construction 
in support of enhanced broadcasting to China. Of the amount 
authorized for Radio Construction for fiscal year 1998, 
$3,000,000 is authorized to facilitate the timely augmentation 
of transmitters at Tinian.
    The Director of the U.S. Information Agency and the 
Broadcasting Board of Governors shall seek to ensure that of 
the funds made available for International Broadcasting 
Activities, the proportion of funds made available for 
broadcasting to nations whose people do not enjoy full freedom 
of expression does not decline.

Section 4. Reporting requirements

    Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment, the 
President shall transmit to Congress a plan to achieve 
continuous broadcasting on Radio Free Asia and the Voice of 
America to China in multiple major dialects and languages.

Section 5. Utilization of United States International Broadcasting 
        Services for public service announcements regarding fugitives 
        from United States justice

    United States international broadcasting services shall 
produce and broadcast public service announcements regarding 
fugitives form the U.S. criminal justice system, including 
cases of international child abduction.