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106th Congress                                                   Report
1st Session             HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                 106-42
_______________________________________________________________________


 
         FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION AUTHORIZATION ACT OF 1999

                                _______
                                

 March 4, 1999.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


 Mr. Shuster, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 819]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 819) to authorize appropriations 
for the Federal Maritime Commission for fiscal years 2000 and 
2001, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                          purpose of the bill

    The primary purpose of H.R. 819 is to authorize funds for 
the Federal Maritime Commission for fiscal years 2000 and 2001.

                               background

    The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is an independent 
agency formed in 1961 following the abolition of the Federal 
Maritime Board. The Commission is responsible for enforcing 
international shipping rules and regulations involving carriers 
(container ship operators), shippers (companies owning goods to 
be transported), and transportation facilitators such as 
freight forwarders, nonvessel operating common carriers, and 
customs brokers.
    The FMC is composed of five commissioners, appointed by the 
President by and with the consent of the Senate. The current 
Chairman of the FMC is the Honorable Harold J. Creel, Jr.
    The FMC is primarily engaged in administering the Shipping 
Act of 1984. However, the FMC also enforces the Foreign 
Shipping Practices Act and Section 19 of the Merchant Marine 
Act, 1920. Under these authorities, the FMC protects shippers 
and carriers from restrictive or unfair practices of foreign 
governments and foreign-flag carriers. Under these laws, the 
FMC has the authority to take action against the offending 
carriers, including the imposition of per voyage fees and 
preventing them from operating in trade with the United States.
    The final major responsibility of the FMC is enforcement of 
the laws related to cruise vessel financial responsibility. 
Under sections 2 and 3 of P.L. 89-777, the FMC ensures that 
cruise vessel operators have sufficient resources to pay 
judgments to passengers for personal injury or death or for 
nonperformance of a voyage.

                            committee action

    On February 11, 1999, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and 
Maritime Transportation held a hearing on the Administration's 
fiscal year 2000 budget request for the Federal Maritime 
Commission. The Subcommittee received testimony from Edward P. 
Walsh, Managing Director of the Federal Maritime Commission.
    Mr. Walsh discussed the President's request for the 
Commission. The fiscal year 2000 budget request for the Federal 
Maritime Commission is $15.3 million, a $1,150,000 increase 
over the fiscal year 1999 appropriated level. Nearly two-thirds 
of the increase is solely to fund required annual salary and 
benefit adjustment for the Federal employees who work for the 
Commission. The remainder is for increased rent costs and to 
support computer modernization efforts, including the final 
stage of upgrades to meet the upcoming year 2000 requirements. 
Mr. Walsh also discussed how the Ocean ShippingReform Act, 
which is being implemented by the Commission, will affect the agency's 
budget in the upcoming year.
    On February 24, 1999, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and 
Maritime Transportation met to mark up a Discussion Draft of 
the Federal Maritime Commission Authorization Act of 1999. No 
amendments to the Discussion Draft were considered. The 
Discussion Draft was ordered reported to the full Committee by 
voice vote in the presence of a quorum.
    The Discussion Draft bill was introduced as H.R. 819 by 
Chairman Shuster on February 24, 1999, with Mr. Oberstar, Mr. 
Gilchrest, and Mr. DeFazio as cosponsors. The bill was referred 
to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
    On March 2, 1999, the Transportation and Infrastructure 
Committee met to consider H.R. 819. H.R. 819 was ordered 
reported to the House of Representatives by a voice vote in the 
presence of a quorum.

                section by section analysis of h.r. 819

Section 1. Short Title

    This section states that the Act may be cited as the 
Federal Maritime Commission Authorization Act of 1999.

Sec. 2. Authorization of Appropriations

    Section 2 of H.R. 819 authorizes $15,685,000 for the 
activities of the FMC for fiscal year 2000. This is the amount 
requested for the FMC by the President, with an additional 
$385,000 to fund the office of the new Federal Maritime 
Commissioner when he is confirmed. Section 2 also authorizes 
$16,312,000 for the FMC for fiscal year 2001.

            committee oversight findings and recommendations

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                        cost of the legislation

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs which would be incurred by enactment of 
H.R. 819. However, clause 3(d)(2) of that Rule provides that 
this requirement does not apply when the Committee has included 
in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the bill 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
under section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                   constitutional authority statement

    Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact H.R. 819.

                     compliance with house rule xi

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee references the report of the Congressional Budget 
Office below.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee has received no report of oversight findings and 
recommendations from the Committee on Government Reform and 
Oversight on the subject of H.R. 819.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R. 819 
from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

               congressional budget office cost estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, March 2, 1999.
Hon. Bud Shuster,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 819, the Federal 
Maritime Commission Authorization Act of 1999.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis.
            Sincerely,
                                          Paul Van de Water
                                              (For Dan L. Crippen).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 819--Federal Maritime Commission Authorization Act of 1999

    Summary: H.R. 819 would authorize appropriations to the 
Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) of about $15.7 million and 
$16.3 million for fiscal years 2000 and 2001, respectively. The 
bill would not affect direct spending or receipts; therefore, 
pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply. H.R. 819 contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would have no impact on 
the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 819 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 400 
(transportation). For purposes of this estimate, CBO assumes 
that H.R. 819 will be enacted during fiscal year 1999 and that 
the authorized amounts will be appropriated for each year. The 
estimate of outlays is based on historical spending patterns of 
the FMC.
    Pay-as-you-go Considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and Private-Sector Impact: H.R. 819 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would have no impact on the budgets of 
state, local, or tribal governments.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      By fiscal year, in millions of dollars
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
                                                                   1999    2000    2001    2002    2003    2004
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FMC spending under current law:
    Budget authority \1\........................................      14       0       0       0       0       0
    Estimated outlays...........................................      14       0       0       0       0       0
Proposed changes:
    Authorization level.........................................       0      16      16       0       0       0
    Estimated outlays...........................................       0      15      16       1       0       0
FMC spending under H.R. 819:
    Authorization level \1\.....................................      14      16      16       0       0       0
    Estimated outlays...........................................      14      15      16       1       0       0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The 1999 level is the amount appropriated for that year.

    Estimate Prepared by: Deborah Reis.
    Estimate Approved by: Robert A. Sunshine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                     compliance with public law 104

    H.R. 819 contains no unfunded mandates, as defined under 
Public Law 104-4.