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105th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 2d Session                                                     105-493
_______________________________________________________________________


 
            NATIONAL DIALOGUE ON SOCIAL SECURITY ACT OF 1998
                                _______
                                

 April 23, 1998.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Archer, from the Committee on Ways and Means, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3546]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Ways and Means, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 3546) to provide for a national dialogue on Social 
Security and to establish the Bipartisan Panel to Design Long-
Range Social Security Reform, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that 
the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                  Pages
 I. Introduction......................................................6
        A. Purpose and Summary...................................     6
        B. Background and Need for Legislation...................     6
        C. Legislative History...................................     7
II. Explanation of Provisions.........................................7
        A. Section 1. Short Title................................     7
        B. Title I--National Dialogue on Social Security.........     7
            1. Section 101. Establishment of National Dialogue...     7
            2. Section 102. Facilitators.........................     7
            3. Section 103. Plans for National Dialogue..........     8
            4. Section 104. Dialogue Council.....................     8
            5. Section 105. Private Sponsorship and Other 
                Requirements.....................................     9
            5. Section 106. Constituency Input...................    10
            7. Section 107. Reports..............................    11
            8. Section 108. Termination..........................    11
            9. Section 109. Authorization of Appropriations......    11
        C. Title II--Bipartisan Panel to Design Long-Range Social 
            Security Reform......................................    12
            1. Section 201. Establishment of Panel...............    12
            2. Section 202. Duties of Panel......................    12
            3. Section 203. Membership of the Panel..............    12
            4. Section 204. Procedures...........................    13
            5. Section 205. Administration.......................    13
            6. Section 206. Report...............................    14
            7. Section 207. Termination..........................    15
            8. Section 208. Authorization of Appropriations......    15
III.Vote of the Committee............................................15

IV. Budget Effects of the Bill.......................................16
        A. Committee Estimate of Budgetary Effects...............    16
        B. Statement Regarding New Budget Authority and Tax 
            Expenditures.........................................    16
        C. Cost Estimate Prepared by the Congressional Budget 
            Office...............................................    16
 V. Other Matters Required To Be Discussed Under the Rules of the Hou18
        A. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations......    18
        B. Summary of Findings and Recommendations of the 
            Government Reform and Oversight Committee............    18
        C. Constitutional Authority Statement....................    18
VI. Applicability of the Federal Advisory Committee Act..............18

  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 ``National Dialogue on Social Security 
Act of 1998''.

             TITLE I--NATIONAL DIALOGUE ON SOCIAL SECURITY

SEC. 101. ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL DIALOGUE.

  As soon as practicable after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
the President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the 
Majority Leader of the Senate shall jointly convene a National Dialogue 
on the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance program under title 
II of the Social Security Act. The purpose of the National Dialogue 
shall be to engage, by means of regional conferences and national 
Internet exchanges, the American public in understanding the current 
program, the problems it faces, and the need to find solutions that 
will be workable for all generations and to generate comments, 
suggestions, and recommendations from the citizens for social security 
reform.

SEC. 102. FACILITATORS.

  The National Dialogue conducted pursuant to section 101 shall operate 
under the administration and coordination of two Facilitators, one of 
whom shall be appointed by the President, in consultation with the 
Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and the Minority Leader 
of the Senate, and one of whom shall be appointed jointly by the 
Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Majority Leader of the 
Senate. The Facilitators shall be appointed within 30 days after the 
date of the enactment of this Act. The Facilitators shall be appointed 
from among individuals known for their integrity, impartiality, and 
good judgment, who are, by reason of their education, experience, and 
attainments, exceptionally qualified to perform the duties of such 
office. The Facilitators may serve until termination of the National 
Dialogue under section 108.

SEC. 103. PLANS FOR NATIONAL DIALOGUE.

  After consultation with the President, the Speaker of the House of 
Representatives, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, 
the Majority Leader of the Senate, and the Minority Leader of the 
Senate, the Facilitators shall transmit the final plans for the 
development and operations of the National Dialogue to the President 
and each House of the Congress not later than 60 days after the date of 
the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 104. DIALOGUE COUNCIL.

  (a) Establishment and Duties.--There is established a Dialogue 
Council. It shall be the duty of the Dialogue Council to advise the 
Facilitators in the development and operations of the National 
Dialogue.
  (b) Membership.--
          (1) In general.--The Dialogue Council shall be composed of 36 
        of the individuals nominated pursuant to paragraph (2), of 
        whom--
                  (A) 9 shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House 
                of Representatives,
                  (B) 4 shall be appointed by the Minority Leader of 
                the House of Representatives,
                  (C) 9 shall be appointed by the Majority Leader of 
                the Senate,
                  (D) 4 shall be appointed by the Minority Leader of 
                the Senate, and
                  (E) 10 shall be appointed by the President.
        To the extent practicable, the members shall include both men 
        and women and shall be selected so as to ensure that 
        individuals born before 1946, individuals born in or after 1946 
        and before 1961, and individuals born in or after 1961 are 
        equally represented within the membership.
          (2) Nominations.--Individuals shall be appointed under 
        paragraph (1) from a group of 50 individuals, consisting of 
        individuals nominated in sets of 2 each, respectively, by each 
        of the following 25 private organizations:
                  (A) American Association of Retired Persons;
                  (B) United Seniors Association;
                  (C) American Federation of Labor and Congress of 
                Industrial Organizations;
                  (D) The National Hispanic Council on Aging;
                  (E) The Older Women's League;
                  (F) Association of Private Pension and Welfare Plans;
                  (G) Cato Institute;
                  (H) Employee Benefit Research Institute;
                  (I) Americans Discuss Social Security;
                  (J) Third Millennium;
                  (K) The U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce;
                  (L) Americans for Hope, Growth, and Opportunity;
                  (M) National Federation of Independent Businesses;
                  (N) The Concord Coalition;
                  (O) National Caucus and Center on Black Aged;
                  (P) Campaign for America's Future;
                  (Q) The Heritage Foundation;
                  (R) The Brookings Institution;
                  (S) The 2030 Center;
                  (T) National Council of Senior Citizens;
                  (U) Center on Budget and Policy Priorities;
                  (V) National Committee to Preserve Social Security 
                and Medicare;
                  (W) United States Chamber of Commerce;
                  (X) Pension Rights Center; and
                  (Y) Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities.
  (c) Administration.--The Dialogue Council shall meet at the call of 
the Facilitators. The Dialogue Council shall be subject to the Federal 
Advisory Committee Act. Members of the Council shall receive no pay, 
allowances, or benefits by reason of their service on the Council 
(other than any private funding of costs pursuant to section 105).
  (d) Termination.--The Dialogue Council shall terminate upon the 
termination of the National Dialogue under section 108.

SEC. 105. PRIVATE SPONSORSHIP AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS.

  The National Dialogue conducted pursuant to section 101 shall operate 
by means of sponsorship by private, nonpartisan organizations of 
conferences which shall be convened in localities across the Nation, 
which shall be geographically representative of the Nation as a whole, 
and which shall provide for participation which is representative of 
all age groups in the population. The Facilitators shall encourage and 
coordinate the sponsorship by such organizations of the National 
Dialogue and shall ensure that all costs relating to the functions of 
the Facilitators and the Dialogue Council under sections 104 and 107 
and not referred to in section 109 are borne by such organizations or, 
as appropriate, by other private contributions. The source and amounts 
of contributions made pursuant to this section shall be made available 
to the public.

SEC. 106. CONSTITUENCY INPUT.

  (a) In General.--In order to assure that the widest possible degree 
of opinion is received by Members of Congress regarding the future of 
the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance program under title II 
of the Social Security Act, each Member shall, to the extent 
practicable, and as soon as possible after the date of the enactment of 
this Act, develop with grassroots organizations and other constituency 
groups within the Member's district ongoing systems of communication 
through the use of the Internet and other available electronic 
capabilities. Such groups shall include, but not be limited to, key 
opinion leaders, journalists, business representatives, union members, 
and students of all age groups.
  (b) Internet Dialogue Coordination.--
          (1) Internet dialogue coordinator.--The Facilitators shall 
        appoint an Internet Dialogue Coordinator who shall assist 
        Members of Congress in establishing systems of communication as 
        required under subsection (a). In carrying out the 
        Coordinator's duties, the Coordinator shall--
                  (A) establish a national dialogue web site,
                  (B) assist Members' offices in establishing 
                connections to the national dialogue web site, 
                moderated chat rooms, and threaded newsgroups,
                  (C) assist Members in coordinating a national 
                electronic town hall meeting on the future of social 
                security,
                  (D) advise Members regarding the most effective 
                technological means for reaching out to constituent 
                groups for purposes of this section, and
                  (E) work with other Internet-oriented groups to 
                broaden the reach of Internet capability for purposes 
                of this section.
          (2) Internet advisory board.--
                  (A) Establishment.--There is established an Internet 
                Advisory Board. It shall be the duty of the Board to 
                advise the Internet Dialogue Coordinator in the most 
                appropriate and effective means of employing the 
                Internet under this section.
                  (B) Membership.--The Board shall consist of 3 members 
                appointed by the Facilitators from among individuals 
                recognized for their expertise relating to the 
                Internet.
                  (C) Administration.--The Board shall meet at the call 
                of the Internet Dialogue Coordinator. The Board shall 
                be subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act. 
                Members of the Board shall receive no pay, allowances, 
                or benefits by reason of their service on the Board, 
                except that any member of the Board who is not 
                otherwise an officer or employee of the Federal 
                Government shall receive travel expenses and per diem 
                in lieu of subsistence in accordance with sections 5702 
                and 5703 of title 5, United States Code.
  (c) Reports.--The Internet Dialogue Coordinator shall periodically 
report in writing to the Facilitators the results of the systems of 
communication established pursuant to this section.
  (d) Termination.--The provisions of this section shall terminate upon 
the termination of the National Dialogue under section 108.

SEC. 107. REPORTS.

  From time to time during the National Dialogue, the Facilitators 
shall catalog, summarize, and submit in writing to the Bipartisan Panel 
to Design Long-Range Social Security Reform the comments, suggestions, 
and recommendations generated by the participants in conferences 
conducted and constituent input received from Members' offices under 
the National Dialogue.

SEC. 108. TERMINATION.

  The National Dialogue conducted pursuant to section 101 shall 
terminate January 1, 1999.

SEC. 109. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  There are authorized to be appropriated, from amounts otherwise 
available in the general fund of the Treasury, such sums as are 
necessary to provide for the compensation of the Facilitators and to 
carry out the provisions of section 106.

 TITLE II--BIPARTISAN PANEL TO DESIGN LONG-RANGE SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM

SEC. 201. ESTABLISHMENT OF PANEL.

  There is established a panel to be known as the Bipartisan Panel to 
Design Long-Range Social Security Reform (in this title referred to as 
the ``Panel'').

SEC. 202. DUTIES OF PANEL.

    The Panel shall design a single set of legislative and 
administrative recommendations for long-range reforms for restoring the 
solvency of the social security system and maintaining retirement 
income security in the United States.

SEC. 203. MEMBERSHIP OF THE PANEL.

  (a) Number and Appointment.--The Panel shall be composed of eight 
members, of whom--
          (1) four shall be appointed jointly by the Speaker of the 
        House of Representatives and the Majority Leader of the Senate,
          (2) two shall be appointed by the President, and
          (3) two shall be appointed jointly by the Minority Leader of 
        the House of Representatives and the Minority Leader of the 
        Senate.
The members of the Panel shall consist of individuals who are of 
recognized standing and distinction, who can represent the multiple 
generations who have a stake in the viability of the system, and who 
possess a demonstrated capacity to discharge the duties imposed on the 
Panel. At least one of the members shall be appointed from individuals 
representing the interests of employees, and at least one of the 
members shall be appointed from individuals representing the interests 
of employers.
  (b) Co-Chairs.--The officials referred to in paragraphs (1) through 
(3) of subsection (a) shall designate two of the members of the Panel 
to serve as Co-Chairs of the Panel, who shall jointly chair the Panel, 
determine its duties, and supervise its staff.
  (c) Terms of Appointment.--The members of the Panel shall serve for 
the life of the Panel.
  (d) Vacancies.--A vacancy in the Panel shall not affect the power of 
the remaining members to execute the duties of the Panel, but any such 
vacancy shall be filled in the same manner in which the original 
appointment was made.

SEC. 204. PROCEDURES.

  (a) Meetings.--The Panel shall meet at the call of its Co-Chairs or a 
majority of its members.
  (b) Quorum.--A quorum shall consist of 5 members of the Panel, except 
that a lesser number may conduct a hearing under subsection (c).
  (c) Hearings and Other Activities.--For the purpose of carrying out 
its duties, the Panel may hold such hearings and undertake such other 
activities as the Panel determines to be necessary to carry out its 
duties. Meetings held by the Panel shall be conducted in accordance 
with the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
  (d) Obtaining Information.--Upon request of the Panel, the 
Commissioner of Social Security and the head of any other agency or 
instrumentality of the Federal Government shall furnish information 
deemed necessary by the Panel to enable it to carry out its duties.

SEC. 205. ADMINISTRATION.

  (a) Compensation.--Except as provided in subsection (b), members of 
the Panel shall receive no additional pay, allowances, or benefits by 
reason of their service on the Panel.
  (b) Travel Expenses and per Diem.--Each member of the Panel who is 
not a present Member of the Congress and who is not otherwise an 
officer or employee of the Federal Government shall receive travel 
expenses and per diem in lieu of subsistence in accordance with 
sections 5702 and 5703 of title 5, United States Code.
  (c) Staff and Support Services.--
          (1) Staff director.--
                  (A) Appointment.--The Panel shall appoint a staff 
                director of the Panel.
                  (B) Compensation.--The staff director shall be paid 
                at a rate not to exceed the rate established for level 
                III of the Executive Schedule.
          (2) Staff.--The Panel shall appoint such additional personnel 
        as the Panel determines to be necessary.
          (3) Applicability of civil service laws.--The staff director 
        and other members of the staff of the Panel shall be appointed 
        without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States 
        Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and 
        shall be paid 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.
          (4) Experts and consultants.--With the approval of the Panel, 
        the staff director may procure temporary and intermittent 
        services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code.
  (d) Contract Authority.--The Panel may contract with and compensate 
government and private agencies or persons for items and services, 
without regard to section 3709 of the Revised Statutes (41 U.S.C. 5).
  (e) Physical Facilities.--The Architect of the Capitol, in 
consultation with the appropriate entities in the legislative branch, 
shall locate and provide suitable office space for the operation of the 
Panel on a reimbursable basis. The facilities shall serve as the 
headquarters of the Panel and shall include all necessary equipment and 
incidentals required for the proper functioning of the Panel.
  (f) Detail of Federal Employees.--Upon the request of the Panel, the 
head of any Federal agency may detail, on a reimbursable basis, any of 
the personnel of such agency to the Panel to assist the Panel in 
carrying out its duties.
  (g) Use of Mails.--The Panel may use the United States mails in the 
same manner and under the same conditions as Federal agencies and 
shall, for purposes of the frank, be considered a commission of 
Congress as described in section 3215 of title 39, United States Code.
  (h) Administrative Support Services.--Upon the request of the Panel, 
the Architect of the Capitol shall provide to the Panel on a 
reimbursable basis such administrative support services as the Panel 
may request.
  (i) Printing.--For purposes of costs relating to printing and 
binding, including the cost of personnel detailed from the Government 
Printing Office, the Panel shall be deemed to be a committee of the 
Congress.

SEC. 206. REPORT.

  (a) In General.--Not later than February 1, 1999, the Panel shall 
submit to the President, the Committee on Ways and Means of the House 
of Representatives, and the Committee on Finance of the Senate a report 
which shall contain a detailed statement of the findings and 
conclusions of the Panel, including the set of recommendations required 
under section 202. The report shall include only those recommendations 
of the Panel that receive the approval of at least 6 members of the 
Panel, including both Co-Chairs.
  (b) Sense of the Congress.--It is the sense of the Congress that, 
pending the report of the Panel under subsection (a), the Federal 
unified budget surplus should be dedicated to reducing the Federal debt 
held by the public, increasing the retirement income security of 
individuals and insuring the solvency of the social security system.

SEC. 207. TERMINATION.

  The Panel shall terminate March 31, 1999.

SEC. 208. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  There are authorized to be appropriated from the Federal Old-Age and 
Survivors Insurance Trust Fund such sums as are necessary to carry out 
the purposes of this title, but not to exceed $2,000,000.

                            I. INTRODUCTION

                         A. Purpose and Summary

    The ``National Dialogue on Social Security Act of 1998'' 
(H.R. 3546) is designed to advance needed discussion and 
deliberation in order to pass legislation to restore the long-
term solvency of Social Security.
    The bill contains two titles. Title I would establish a 
National Dialogue on Social Security. The purpose of the 
National Dialogue is to engage the American public, through 
regional conferences, and national Internet exchanges, in 
understanding the current program, the problems it faces, and 
the need to find solutions that will be workable for all 
generations. Title II would create a bipartisan panel to design 
a single package of long-range Social Security reforms for 
restoring the solvency of the Social Security system and 
maintaining retirement income security.

                 B. Background and Need for Legislation

    Social Security has assisted several generations of 
Americans, strengthening families, diminishing poverty and 
increasing opportunity. Yet unless action is taken, future 
generations of Americans will inherit a Social Security system 
so financially troubled that it cannot pay the benefits those 
taxpayers supported through their working years.
    Policy discussions on Social Security reform evoke strong 
feelings due to Social Security's significant role in every 
American's financial matters. Therefore, the issues regarding 
long-term reform must be handled in a thoughtful and non-
partisan forum. Due to the extreme complexity and sensitivity 
of long term reform, a group impaneled to bring recommendations 
to Congress is necessary to ensure the success of enacting 
comprehensive reform.

                         C. Legislative History

    On April 1, 1998, the Committee on Ways and Means held a 
hearing on the merits of establishing a bipartisan panel of 
experts to design long-range Social Security reform and to 
determine how best to engage the American public in the 
process. The Committee received the views of current and former 
Members of Congress, Social Security experts, and various 
stakeholder organizations.
    On April 22, 1998, the full Committee ordered favorably 
reported, H.R. 3546, the ``National Dialogue on Social Security 
Act of 1998,'' by voice vote with a quorum present.

                     II. EXPLANATION OF PROVISIONS

                       A. Section 1. Short Title

    This act may be cited as the ``National Dialogue on Social 
Security Act of 1998.''

            B. Title I: National Dialogue on Social Security

           1. section 101: establishment of national dialogue

Present Law

    No provision.

Explanation of Provision

    A National Dialogue on Social Security would be convened 
jointly by the President, the Speaker, and the Senate Majority 
Leader. The purpose of the National Dialogue would be to engage 
the American public, through regional conferences, and national 
Internet exchanges, in understanding the current program, the 
problems it faces, and the need to find solutions that would be 
workable for all generations.

Reason for Change

    The Dialogue is established by the leaders of the Congress 
and the President who directly impact its design and 
implementation. The policy changes made to the Social Security 
system will effect all Americans for decades to come. The 
Dialogue is designed to reach the broadest audience using the 
most efficient communication methods. It is the hope that every 
citizen will therefore have the opportunity to learn and 
comment constructively on issues regarding Social Security 
solvency.

Effective Date

    Date of enactment

                      2. section 102: facilitators

Present Law

    No provision.

Explanation of Provision

    The Dialogue would be coordinated through two Facilitators 
(one appointed by the President in consultation with the 
Minority Leaders of the House and Senate, and one appointed 
jointly by the Speaker and Senate Majority Leader), who would 
be appointed within 30 days of enactment. The Facilitators 
would be appointed from individuals known for their integrity, 
impartiality, and good judgement. By reason of their education, 
experience, and attainments they would be qualified to perform 
the duties of Facilitator.

Reason for Change

    The Facilitators would be selected by both the 
Congressional Leadership and the President to assure a 
bipartisan approach. The Committee views the use of two expert 
Facilitators as the most expedient way to deploy a coherent and 
timely strategy for a National Dialogue and move the process 
forward as timely as possible.

Effective Date

    The Facilitators would be appointed within 30 days after 
the date of enactment.

              3. section 103: plans for national dialogue

Present Law

    No provision.

Explanation of Provision

    After consultation with the President and Congress, final 
plans for the development and operations of the National 
Dialogue would be submitted to the President and the Congress 
no later than 60 days after the date of enactment.

Reason for Change

    The President and Congressional Leadership will oversee the 
strategic planning of the National Dialogue to ensure a 
bipartisan approach. The plan must be submitted within 60 days 
to ensure that the Dialogue begins as quickly as possible.

Effective Date

    The plan for the National Dialogue must be submitted to the 
President and the Congress no later than 60 days after the date 
of enactment.

                    4. section 104: dialogue council

Present Law

    No provision.

Explanation of Provision

    A Dialogue Council would be established to advise the 
Facilitators in the development and operations of the National 
Dialogue. The Dialogue Council would be composed of 36 members, 
9 of whom would be appointed by the Speaker, 4 by the Minority 
Leader of the House, 9 by the Majority Leader of the Senate, 4 
by the Minority Leader of the Senate, and 10 by the President.
    Members of the Dialogue Council would include both men and 
women and would be selected to ensure that 12 members were born 
before 1946, 12 members were born in or after 1946 and before 
1961, and 12 members were born in or after 1961.
    Those who are appointed would be selected from a group of 
50 individuals--consisting of 2 individuals nominated by each 
of the following 25 organizations; American Association of 
Retired Persons, United Seniors Association, American 
Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, 
The National Hispanic Council on Aging, The Older Women's 
League, Association of Private Pension and Welfare Plans, Cato 
Institute, Employee Benefit Research Institute, Americans 
Discuss Social Security, Third Millennium, The U.S. Junior 
Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Hope, Growth, and 
Opportunity, National Federation of Independent Businesses, The 
Concord Coalition, National Caucus and Center on Black Aged, 
Campaign for America's Future, The Heritage Foundation, The 
Brookings Institution, The 2030 Center, National Council of 
Senior Citizens, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 
National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, 
United States Chamber of Commerce, Pension Rights Center, and 
Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities.
    The Dialogue Council would meet at the call of the 
Facilitators. Members would receive no pay for their services.

Reason for Change

    The Dialogue Council would be created to advise the 
Facilitators during their strategic planning for the National 
Dialogue. With representatives from the numerous constituencies 
and stakeholders in Social Security reform, the individuals 
nominated by these groups to be appointees to the Council would 
bring perspectives inclusive of all interested parties and 
would prevent one group or philosophy from dominating the 
Council.

Effective Date

    Date of enactment

       5. section 105: private sponsorship and other requirements

Present Law

    No provision.

Explanation of Provision

    The National Dialogue would operate by means of sponsorship 
by private, nonpartisan organizations of conferences. These 
conferences would be convened in localities which are 
geographically representative of the Nation as a whole, and 
would provide that participants represent all age groups.

Reason for Change

    Private sponsorship would minimize taxpayer cost and 
potentially give the Council access to the most technologically 
advanced communications sources. The source and amounts of 
contributions made would be made available to the public.

Effective Date

    Date of enactment

                   6. section 106: constituency input

Present Law

    No provision.

Explanation of Provision

    In order to assure that the widest possible degree of 
opinion would be received, to the extent practicable and as 
soon as possible after the date of enactment, each Member of 
Congress would develop ongoing systems of communications 
through the use of the Internet and other available electronic 
capabilities. These systems would be developed with grassroots 
organizations and other constituency groups within Members' 
districts. Such groups would include, but not be limited to, 
key opinion leaders, journalists, business representatives, 
union members, and students of all age groups.
    The Facilitators would appoint an Internet Dialogue 
Coordinator to assist Members in establishing systems of 
communication in their districts. The Coordinator would: (1) 
establish a National Dialogue web site, (2) assist Members' 
offices in establishing: connections to the National Dialogue 
web site, moderated chat rooms, and threaded news groups; (3) 
assist Members in coordinating a national electronic town hall 
meeting on the future of Social Security; (4) advise Members 
regarding the most effective technological means for reaching 
out to constituent groups; and (5) work with other Internet-
oriented groups to broaden the reach of Internet capability.
    An Internet Advisory Board would be established to advise 
the Internet Dialogue Coordinator in the most appropriate and 
effective means of employing the Internet. The Board would 
consist of three members, appointed by the Facilitators. Board 
members would receive no pay, but would be reimbursed for 
travel expenses. The Board would meet at the call of the 
Internet Dialogue Coordinator.
    The Internet Dialogue Coordinator would periodically report 
to the Facilitators the systems of communications results.

Reason for Change

    Effective use of the Internet allowing more people than 
ever before to communicate with each other offers unprecedented 
opportunities for real learning and exchange of ideas. In 
addition, with computers available in libraries and other 
public forums, individuals who might not otherwise engage in 
the National Dialogue may be able to do so. Internet use 
establishes a contact not only with a younger group of 
Americans but those who find the ease and efficiency of 
computer use an incentive to become involved in the policy 
discussion.

Effective Date

    Date of enactment

                        7. Section 107: Reports

Present Law

    No provision.

Explanation of Provision

    The National Dialogue Facilitators would summarize their 
findings and submit them to the Bipartisan Panel to Design 
Long-Range Social Security Reform on an ongoing basis, based on 
information generated by participants in conferences conducted 
and constituent input received from Members' offices.

Reason for Change

    The Committee intends that the Bipartisan Panel, to the 
degree possible, receive and consider the information and data 
obtained through the National Dialogue.

Effective Date

    Date of enactment.

                      8. Section 108: Termination

Present Law

    No provision.

Explanation of Provision

    The Dialogue would terminate January 1, 1999.

Reason for Change

    To be a complimentary tool for the Bipartisan Panel's 
recommendations, a time limit is established prior to the 
Panel's final report so that research and other information 
from the Council is made available in a timely manner to the 
Panel for their consideration.

Effective Date

    Date of enactment.

             9. Section 109: Authorization of Appropriation

Present Law

    No provision.

Explanation of Provision

    Such sums as may be necessary would be authorized to be 
appropriated for the compensation of the Facilitators and the 
activities related to the Internet Dialogue.

Reason for Change

    The funding authorized is necessary to compensate the 
Facilitators and to provide for the Internet Dialogue 
activities in order that it can move as quickly and 
expeditiously as possible.

Effective Date

    Date of enactment.

  C. Title II: Bipartisan Panel To Design Long-Range Social Security 
                                 Reform

                 1. Section 201: Establishment of Panel

Present Law

    No provision.

Explanation of Provision

    Establish a panel to be known as the Bipartisan Panel to 
Design Long-Range Social Security Reform (in this title 
referred to as the ``Panel'').

Reason for Change

    The Panel is created to design a single set of 
recommendations to ensure the future solvency of Social 
Security. This will enable the Congress to quickly consider 
long-term policy in a non-partisan manner and increase the 
likelihood that urgently needed reform will be enacted in the 
next legislative session.

Effective Date

    Date of enactment.

                    2. Section 202: Duties of Panel

Present Law

    No provision.

Explanation of Provision

    It would be the duty of the Panel to design a single 
package of long-range Social Security reforms for restoring the 
solvency of the Social Security system and maintaining 
retirement income security.

Reason for Change

    The Panel is tasked to agree upon a single package of 
reforms so as to present to Congress with a viable policy 
devoid of one dominate political party or ideology.

Effective Date

    Date of enactment.

                3. Section 203: Membership of the Panel

Present Law

    No provision.

Explanation of Provision

    The Panel would be composed of eight members; with four 
appointed jointly by the Speaker of the House and the Majority 
Leader of the Senate, two appointed by the President, two 
appointed jointly by the Minority Leader of the Senate and the 
Minority Leader of the House. These officials would designate 
two members of the Panel to serve as Co-Chairs.
    The members of the Panel would consist of individuals of 
recognized standing and distinction, who can represent the 
multiple generations with a stake in the viability of the 
system, and who possess a demonstrated capacity to discharge 
the duties imposed on the Panel. At least one of the members 
would be appointed from individuals representing the interests 
of employees, and at least one of the members would be 
appointed from individuals representing the interests of 
employers.
    It would be the role of the Co-Chairs to provide leadership 
to the Panel and to determine the duties of and oversee the 
Panel staff.
    A vacancy in the Panel would not affect its powers, but 
would be filled in the same manner as the original members of 
the Panel.

Reason for Change

    The Panel is designed to be small, bipartisan, and to 
represent the interests of the multiple generations who have a 
stake in the future of Social Security. The composition of the 
Panel is designed to allow an efficient yet balanced 
consideration of views, policies and recommendations.

Effective Date

    Date of enactment.

                       4. Section 204: Procedures

Present Law

    No provision.

Explanation of Provision

    The Panel would meet at the call of its Co-Chairs or a 
majority of its members. A majority of the members would 
constitute a quorum, but a lesser number may conduct hearings. 
The Panel may hold hearings and undertake other activities as 
necessary to carry out their duties. Meetings held by the Panel 
would be conducted in accordance with the Federal Advisory 
Committee Act.
    The Commissioner of Social Security and head of any other 
Federal agency would make such data and information necessary 
to the Panel available to enable it to carry out its duties.

Reason for Change

    The Panel's administrative procedures are designed to 
facilitate their holding of hearings and obtaining data 
necessary for their deliberations.

Effective Date

    Date of enactment.

                     5. Section 205: Administration

Present Law

    No provision.

Explanation of Provision

    Members of the Panel would serve without compensation, 
except that members of the Panel who are private citizens of 
the United States would be reimbursed for travel, subsistence, 
and other necessary expenses incurred in the performance of 
their duties as members of the Panel.
    The Panel would, without regard to the provisions of title 
5, United States Code, relating to the competitive service, 
appoint a Staff Director who would be paid at a rate not to 
exceed the rate established for level III of the Executive 
Schedule.
    In addition to the Staff Director, the Panel would appoint 
such additional personnel as the Panel determines to be 
necessary and may compensate such additional personnel without 
regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, 
relating to competitive service.
    The Panel would incur other additional expenses, including, 
if necessary, contractual expenses as may be necessary to carry 
out its duties.
    The Architect of the Capitol, in consultation with the 
appropriate entities in the legislative branch, would locate 
and provide suitable office space, necessary equipment, and 
such administrative support services as the Panel may request 
on a reimbursable basis. Upon request of the Panel, Federal 
agencies may detail personnel to assist the Panel. The Panel 
may use the U.S. mails in the same manner as Federal agencies.

Reason for Change

    The statute provides for standard administrative procedures 
for both public and private members of the Panel and staff 
operating as government employees utilizing public resources. 
The Architect of the Capitol is given the responsibility of 
providing office space and thereby ensuring that Members will 
have access to the Panel's offices.

Effective Date

    Date of enactment.

                         6. Section 206: Report

Present Law

    No provision.

Explanation of Provision

    The Panel would make its report to the President, the 
Senate Committee on Finance and the House Committee on Ways and 
Means no later than February 1, 1999. The report would include 
only those recommendations that receive the approval of at 
least six members of the Panel, including both Co-Chairs. It 
would be the sense of the Congress that, pending the report of 
the Panel, the Federal unified budget surplus should be 
dedicated to reducing the Federal debt held by the public, 
increasing the retirement income security of individuals and 
insuring the solvency of the Social Security system.

Reason for Change

    The Panel is to report soon after the organization of the 
106th Congress so that debate on the issue of Social Security 
reform can begin immediately and coincide with any 
recommendations or budget submissions from the President 
regarding Social Security.
    It would be the Sense of the Congress that until the report 
of the Panel is made the budget surplus should be dedicated to 
reducing Federal debt, increasing the retirement income 
security of individuals and insuring the solvency of the Social 
Security system.

Effective Date

    Date of enactment

                      7. Section 207: Termination

Present Law

    No provision.

Explanation of Provision

    The Panel would terminate March 31, 1999.

Reason for Change

    After the Panel reports its recommendations, a brief period 
is provided before the Panel's termination so that members of 
the Panel are available in their official capacity to brief 
other Congressional groups or testify in any hearings on the 
subject of long-term reform.

Effective Date

    Date of enactment

            8. Section 208: Authorization of Appropriations

Present Law

    No provision.

Explanation of Provision

    Funds, not to exceed $2 million, would be authorized to be 
appropriated from the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust 
Fund to carry out the purposes of this title.

Reason for Change

    The funding is consistent with current Social Security law 
that provides for all administrative costs to be borne by the 
Social Security Trust Funds.

Effective Date

    Date of enactment

                       III. VOTE OF THE COMMITTEE

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(2)(B) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the following statement 
is made:
    The bill, H.R. 3546 was ordered favorably reported to the 
House of Representatives April 22, 1998 by voice vote, with a 
quorum present.

                     IV. BUDGET EFFECTS OF THE BILL

               A. Committee Estimate of Budgetary Effects

    In compliance with clause 7(a) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the following statement is made:
    The Committee agrees with the estimate prepared by the 
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) which is included below.

    B. Statement Regarding New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(B) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee states the 
Committee bill results in no change in budget authority for 
direct spending programs relative to current law, and no new or 
increased tax expenditures.

      C. Cost Estimate Prepared by the Congressional Budget Office

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(C) of rule XI of the 
House of Representatives requiring a cost estimate prepared by 
the Congressional Budget Office, the following report prepared 
by CBO is provided:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, April 23, 1998.
Hon. Bill Archer,
Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3546, the National 
Dialogue on Social Security Act of 1998.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Kathy 
Ruffing.
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 3546--National Dialogue on Social Security Act of 1998

    Summary: H.R. 3546 would set up an eight-member panel to 
make recommendations by February 1999 on possible reforms to 
the Social Security program. The panel would draw on opinions 
solicited through regional conferences and through the 
Internet, in an exercise labeled the ``National Dialogue.''
    H.R. 3546 would authorize the appropriation of an estimated 
$2 million for these activities. It would also permit the 
dialogue to finance its activities partly through voluntary 
donations. Therefore, the bill could affect direct spending and 
receipts, and pay-as-you-go procedures would apply. CBO 
estimates that any pay-as-you-go impact would be insignificant.
    H.R. 3546 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(UMRA).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 3546 is shown in the following table.
    The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 
650 (Social Security). The small cost (estimated at less than 
$500,000) of the National Dialogue would be appropriated from 
the general fund of the Treasury and would be on-budget; the $2 
million cost of the Bipartisan Panel would be charged to the 
Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, which is off-
budget.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  By fiscal years, in millions of dollars--     
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
                                                              1998     1999     2000     2001     2002     2003 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        AUTHORIZATIONS OF APPROPRIATIONS                                        
                                                                                                                
National Dialogue:                                                                                              
    Estimated Authorization Level.........................        0    (\1\)        0        0        0        0
    Estimated Outlays.....................................        0    (\1\)        0        0        0        0
Bipartisan Panel:                                                                                               
    Estimated Authorization Level.........................        0        2        0        0        0        0
    Estimated Outlays.....................................        0        2        0        0        0        0
                                                                                                                
                                                 DIRECT SPENDING                                                
                                                                                                                
National Dialogue:                                                                                              
    Estimated Budget Authority............................        0    (\1\)        0        0        0        0
    Estimated Outlays.....................................        0    (\1\)        0        0        0        0
                                                                                                                
                                                    REVENUES                                                    
                                                                                                                
National Dialogue:                                                                                              
    Estimated Revenues....................................        0    (\1\)        0        0        0        0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Less than $500,000.                                                                                         

    Basis of Estimate: CBO's estimate assumes that the bill 
would be enacted in September 1998.
    H.R. 3546 would establish a National Dialogue on Social 
Security. That dialogue would use the services of two 
facilitators appointed by the Congress and the President, 36 
members of a Dialogue Council to be nominated by private 
organizations, an Internet Dialogue Coordinator, and an 
Internet Advisory Board. Citizens' opinions would be solicited 
in regional conferences and through the Internet. Only the two 
facilitators and the Internet Dialogue Coordinator would be 
paid; private contributions to cover other costs would be 
encouraged. Any such contributions would be considered 
governmental receipts. The comments and suggestions received 
would be summarized for use by the Bipartisan Panel by January 
1999. H.R. 3546 would authorize the appropriation of such sums 
as shall be necessary for the dialogue; because the dialogue 
would use only a few paid staff and would finish its work in a 
short time, CBO estimates that appropriation would total less 
than $500,000.
    The Bipartisan Panel to Design Long-Range Social Security 
Reform would consist of eight members, appointed by the 
Majority and Minority Leaders in the Congress and by the 
President. The panel would report its recommendations by 
February 1, 1999. It would be authorized (subject to future 
appropriation) to spend up to $2 million on professional staff 
and other expenses.
    Pay-as-you-go-considerations: The Balanced Budget and 
Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 establishes pay-as-you-go 
procedures for legislation affecting direct spending or 
receipts. Because the National Dialogue on Social Security 
would be encouraged to cover some costs from private donations, 
the bill could affect direct spending and receipts. CBO judges, 
however, that those effects would be negligible.
    Estimated impact on State, local, and tribal governments: 
H.R. 3546 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in 
UMRA and would have no impact on the budgets of state, local, 
or tribal governments.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: H.R. 3546 contains 
no private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.
    Estimated prepared by: Federal Cost: Kathy Ruffing; Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Leo Lex; and Impact on 
the Private Sector: Ralph Smith.
    Estimate approved by: Robert A. Sunshine; Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

 V. OTHER MATTERS REQUIRED TO BE DISCUSSED UNDER THE RULES OF THE HOUSE

          A. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(A) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee reports 
that the need for this legislation was confirmed through its 
ongoing oversight of the Social Security Administration and the 
Social Security programs.

B. Summary of Findings and Recommendations of the Government Reform and 
                          Oversight Committee

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(D) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee states 
that no oversight findings and recommendations have been 
submitted to this Committee by the Committee on Government 
Reform and Oversight with respect to the provisions contained 
in this bill.

                 C. Constitutional Authority Statement

    With respect to clause 2(l)(4) of the rule XI of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, relating to Constitutional 
Authority, the Committee states that the Committee's action in 
reporting the bill is derived from Article I of the 
Constitution, Section 8 (``The Congress shall have power to lay 
and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the 
debts and to provide for * * * the general welfare of the 
United States * * *'').

          VI. APPLICABILITY OF FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C., 
App., section 5(b)), the Committee states that any advisory 
bodies created by the bill, such as the Dialogue Council, 
Internet Advisory Board, and Bipartisan Panel to Design Long-
Range Social Security Reform are consciously created, and are 
deemed appropriate and necessary to carry out the purposes of 
the bill. It is the view of the Committee that the functions of 
any such advisory bodies are not being and could be performed 
by one or more agencies or by an advisory committee already in 
existence, or by enlarging the mandate of an existing advisory 
committee.