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106th Congress 
 2d Session                      SENATE                          Report
                                                                106-338
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                                       Calendar No. 673



 
                     BREAST CANCER RESEARCH STAMP
                      REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2000

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                              to accompany

                                S. 2386

               TO EXTEND THE STAMP OUT BREAST CANCER ACT




                 July 12, 2000.--Ordered to be printed

                                 _______

                   U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
79-010                     WASHINGTON : 2000



                   COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                   FRED THOMPSON, Tennessee, Chairman
WILLIAM V. ROTH, Jr., Delaware       JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut
TED STEVENS, Alaska                  CARL LEVIN, Michigan
SUSAN M. COLLINS, Maine              DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii
GEORGE VOINOVICH, Ohio               RICHARD J. DURBIN, Illinois
PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico         ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey
THAD COCHRAN, Mississippi            MAX CLELAND, Georgia
ARLEN SPECTER, Pennsylvania          JOHN EDWARDS, North Carolina
JUDD GREGG, New Hampshire
             Hannah S. Sistare, Staff Director and Counsel
                      Dan G. Blair, Senior Counsel
                      Michael L. Loesch, Counsel,
      International Security, Proliferation, and Federal Services 
                              Subcommittee
      Joyce A. Rechtschaffen, Minority Staff Director and Counsel
          Peter A. Ludgin, Minority Professional Staff Member
           Nanci E. Langley, Minority Deputy Staff Director,
      International Security, Proliferation, and Federal Services 
                              Subcommittee
                     Darla D. Cassell, Chief Clerk
                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              
                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose..........................................................1
 II. Background.......................................................1
III. Legislative History..............................................5
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................5
  V. Regulatory Impact Statement......................................5
 VI. CBO Cost Estimate................................................6
VII. Additional Views.................................................8
VIII.Changes to Existing Law.........................................11

                                                       Calendar No. 673
106th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     106-338

======================================================================




        BREAST CANCER RESEARCH STAMP REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2000

                                _______
                                

                 July 12, 2000.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Thompson, from the Committee on Governmental Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2386]

    The Committee on Governmental Affairs, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 2386) to extend the Stamp Out Breast 
Cancer Act, having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                               I. Purpose

    The purpose of S. 2386, the ``Breast Cancer Research Stamp 
Reauthorization Act of 2000,'' is to extend the ``Stamp Out 
Breast Cancer Act,'' P.L. 105-41, for two more years.

                             II. Background

    S. 2386 would amend the ``Stamp Out Breast Cancer Act'' by 
extending the Act for two years.
    The ``Stamp Out Breast Cancer Act'' directed the United 
States Postal Service to issue a special postage stamp, 
commonly referred to as a semipostal stamp, at a rate not to 
exceed 25 percent above the price of the first-class stamp, 
with the additional revenues, less administrative costs, being 
contributed to the National Institutes of Health and the 
Department of Defense for breast cancer research. The United 
States Postal Service Board of Governors established the price 
of the stamp at 40 cents.
    The Breast Cancer Research Stamp (BCRS), originally issued 
on July 29, 1998, raised money for breast cancer research and 
brought heightened awareness to the disease. Breast cancer is 
the most common form of cancer in women in the United States. 
According to the National Cancer Institute, about one in eight 
women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime. The BCRS 
was intended to provide additional funding for breast cancer 
research, while giving postal patrons an opportunity to 
contribute to the fight against breast cancer. As mandated, the 
BCRS is to be available for sale through July 28, 2000. As of 
May 19, 2000, the Postal Service had sold over 200 million 
stamps and had raised more than $14 million for breast cancer 
research.
    S. 2386 was addressed by the Subcommittee on International 
Security, Proliferation, and Federal Services during a hearing 
on May 25, 2000, entitled ``The Issuance of Semipostal Stamps 
by the United States Postal Service.'' The witnesses for this 
hearing were the Honorable Mike DeWine, U.S. Senator, the 
Honorable Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Senator, Ms. Deborah Willhite, 
United States Postal Service, and Mr. Bernard Ungar, U.S. 
General Accounting Office (GAO).Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell 
submitted a written statement in support of his legislation, S. 2044, 
authorizing a semipostal stamp to fund domestic violence prevention 
programs at the Department of Justice.
    Senator Feinstein, who introduced the original legislation 
creating the BCRS, spoke in support of extending the original 
Act. Senator Feinstein testified that the ``BCRS serves as a 
reminder for people to get mammograms and other preventative 
screenings.'' She further said that the ``BCRS is an example of 
a government and public partnership that has worked. * * * The 
bottom line is that every dollar we continue to raise will save 
lives.''
    One of the primary cosponsors of S. 2386 is Senator Kay 
Bailey Hutchison. Senator Hutchison said in a public statement 
upon the bill's introduction, ``I believe the fight against 
breast cancer can be won if we muster enough resources. This 
postage stamp will raise additional money to help do that. 
Every time this stamp is used, we send a strong message in the 
fight against breast cancer.''
    Senator DeWine testified before the Subcommittee in favor 
of his legislation, S. 2062, which authorizes the creation of 
an organ and tissue donation semipostal stamp. He also 
recommended that Congress require the Postal Service to issue 
one or two semipostal stamps each year for important causes. He 
said his recommendation was premised on the assumption that the 
Postal Service is fairly compensated for the costs it incurs 
and that a fair and consistently applied formula for cost 
recovery is established.
    Deborah Willhite, Senior Vice President for Government 
Relations and Public Policy, testified on behalf of the Postal 
Service. She said the Postal Service is currently working to 
formulate final regulations on the BCRS cost recovery policy. 
The final cost data analysis will be provided to the 
Congressional oversight committees within 60 days after the end 
of the sales period. While the BCRS has generated funding for 
research, the Postal Service has several concerns about issuing 
additional semipostal stamps. The first of these concerns is 
that the Postal Service's involvement in fund raising through 
the sale of semipostals is an activity that falls outside of 
the scope of its mission, as defined by the Postal 
Reorganization Act. The second major concern is that the 
success of the BCRS does not guarantee the success of others. 
Rather, the Postal Service believes it would be very difficult 
to duplicate the success. If the current level of success is 
not reached with other stamps, only modest revenue may be 
generated while postal revenue expenditures would still be 
substantial. The third concern raised by Ms. Willhite is the 
dilemma of deciding which causes to support with semipostal 
stamps. In addition, collectors who wish to include all new 
stamp issues in their sets are forced to pay the extra fee that 
goes with semipostal stamps. This is viewed by many as an 
indirect ``stamp tax.''
    Bernard Ungar, Director, Government Business Operations 
Issues, testified on behalf of the GAO. The GAO had issued a 
report in April 2000 entitled ``Breast Cancer Research Stamp: 
Millions Raised for Research, but Better Cost Recovery Criteria 
Needed (GAO/GGD-00-80)'' discussing the issuance of the BCRS. 
In that report, GAO focused on how the Postal Service 
identified and allocated the costs it incurred in developing 
and marketing the BCRS and the issues associated with 
effectiveness.
    In his testimony, Mr. Ungar referenced the report and the 
principal findings that the public and a majority of the key 
stakeholders they spoke with believe it was appropriate to use 
semipostal stamps for fundraising. Mr. Ungar testified that the 
BCRS has been a successful and effective fundraiser in that the 
stamp was a voluntary, convenient, and effective way of raising 
millions of dollars for breast cancer research.
    However, Mr. Ungar testified that it was not clear exactly 
how much it cost to develop and sell the BCRS because there 
were costs that the Postal Service did not track. These costs 
were not tracked because the Postal Service deemed them to be 
inconsequential or immaterial. Mr. Ungar said the Postal 
Service reported that the bulk of its costs to develop and sell 
the stamp through December 31, 1999, were $5.9 million. The 
Postal Service said that these costs would have been incurred 
with any blockbuster commemorative stamp issue and have been 
recovered through the 33 cents that constitutes the First-Class 
postage portion of the stamp.
    In March, the Postal Service Office of Inspector General 
identified $836,000 in costs that it believed were attributable 
to the BCRS and not previously identified by the Postal 
Service. The Postal Service has agreed that $488,000 of these 
costs were incurred exclusively on behalf of the stamp program, 
and included them in its reported $5.9 million in program 
costs. In addition, the Postal Service has not established 
regulations setting forth its criteria for determining the 
reasonable costs to be recouped from the surcharge revenue 
generated by the stamp. This makes it difficult for Congress, 
the GAO, and others to evaluate how effective the Postal 
Service has been in implementing its legislative mandate to 
recoup reasonable costs.
    The GAO report relayed some stakeholder concerns that 
Congress might substitute revenues from the BCRS for 
appropriations for breast cancer research, especially 
appropriations to the Department of Defense. Further, concerns 
were expressed that the BCRS might be more of a symbolic 
gesture, on Congress' part, than an all-out commitment to fund 
whatever research is needed to eradicate breast cancer in the 
shortest time possible.
    The report concluded that the public and most key 
stakeholders GAO spoke with believed that it was appropriate to 
use semipostals issued by the USPS to raise funds for nonpostal 
purposes. This sentiment was shared by breast cancer awareness 
organizations including the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 
Foundation.
    Prior to the issuance of the BCRS, the Postal Service had 
never issued semipostal stamps. However, foreign postal 
administrations have used them for many years. According to the 
GAO, approximately 50 countries issued semipostals at some time 
during the 1990s. Of those countries, 17 issued semipostals on 
a routine basis. The semipostal surcharge revenues raised by 
those countries went to such beneficiaries as The Red Cross, 
the Olympics, social and cultural programs, child welfare, and 
the promotion of philately (stamp collecting).
    The Committee notes that legislation authorizing additional 
semipostal stamps has been introduced since the BCRS was first 
authorized in 1997. Last year, the Committee reported S. 712, 
legislation authorizing a semipostal stamp to fund highway-rail 
grade crossing safety. In addition, S. 2062, a bill to 
authorize a semipostal stamp to fund organ and tissue 
donationawareness, and S. 2044, a bill to authorize a semipostal stamp 
to fund domestic violence prevention programs, were referenced by their 
respective sponsors in testimony before the Subcommittee on 
International Security, Proliferation, and Federal Services during its 
hearing on semipostal stamps. Further, S. 2739 was introduced on June 
15, 2000 which authorizes a semipostal stamp to provide funding for the 
establishment of the World War II Memorial.
    Given the proliferation of legislative proposals for the 
issuance of such stamps, concerns have been expressed that the 
Postal Service may be required to issue multiple semipostal 
stamps should these various bills be enacted. Further, some of 
the proposed subjects may not have broad appeal and, therefore, 
may not be financially viable. The Postal Service has expressed 
that such actions could have a negative impact on the Service.
    One idea suggested for Committee consideration as a means 
of handling future semipostal stamp proposals is to grant the 
Postal Service broad authority to issue semipostal stamps of 
its own choosing. Concerns have been raised about this concept 
and whether it is appropriate for the Postal Service to 
exercise what is essentially a political decision, which rests 
with Congress. The Committee recognizes there is debate 
regarding the issuance of future semipostal stamps, and 
believes further review and discussion on this topic is 
necessary before additional semipostal stamps are authorized by 
the Congress.
    Chairman Thompson summarized the reservations of many 
Senators who have expressed concerns with requiring the Postal 
Service to issue semipostal stamps in remarks he made when the 
original Act was debated on the Senate floor:

          It (the Breast Cancer Research Stamp Act) will create 
        a precedent for congressional authorization for the 
        issuance of many other fundraising postal stamps for 
        many other worthy causes. As all Members are aware, the 
        Postal Service has plenty of challenges on which it 
        should concentrate. Not all costs of undertaking this 
        new program are quantifiable, and we will be 
        distracting the Postal Service from its responsibility 
        of providing the best delivery service at the lowest 
        price * * *. If Congress believes additional funds 
        should be spent for this or another purpose, Congress 
        should appropriate the funds directly. That is our 
        responsibility. [143 Cong. Rec. S8040 (daily ed. July 
        24, 1997)].

                        III. Legislative History

    S. 2386 was introduced on April 11, 2000 by Senator 
Feinstein, for herself, and Senators Hutchison, Baucus, 
Murkowski, Cleland, Durbin, Landrieu, Smith of Oregon, 
Lautenberg, Johnson, Kennedy, Edwards, Campbell, Abraham, 
Kerry, Feingold, Santorum, Leahy, Inhofe, Wellstone, Bingaman, 
Moynihan, Hatch, Snowe, Hagel, Biden, Mack, Grassley, Ashcroft, 
Bryan, Murray, Boxer, Mikulski, Reid, Breaux, Dodd, Lieberman, 
Kerrey, Daschle, Jeffords, Roth, Voinovich, Warner, Burns, 
Conrad, Schumer, Graham, Torricelli, L. Chafee, Helms, Thomas, 
Gramm, Sarbanes, Specter, Harkin, Domenici, McCain, Inouye, 
Enzi, DeWine, Collins, and Robb. It currently has 62 
cosponsors. The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Governmental Affairs on April 11, 2000. S. 2386 was then 
referred to the Subcommittee on International Security, 
Proliferation and Federal Services on May 1, 2000.
    While the Subcommittee on International Security, 
Proliferation, and Federal Services did not hold a hearing to 
specifically address S. 2386, a broader based hearing on the 
subject of semipostal stamps entitled ``The Issuance of 
Semipostal Stamps by the United States Postal Service'' was 
held on May 25, 2000. The Subcommittee subsequently reported 
the legislation by polling letter to the full Committee on June 
9, 2000.
    The Committee on Governmental Affairs held a business 
meeting on June 14, 2000 at which S. 2386 was considered. 
Following discussion on the bill, the Committee ordered S. 2386 
to be favorably reported without amendment by a voice vote. 
Committee members present for the vote were Senators Stevens, 
Collins, Voinovich, Cochran, Lieberman, Akaka, Torricelli, 
Cleland and Thompson.

                    IV. Section-By-Section Analysis

    Section 1. Provides the citation, ``Breast Cancer Research 
Stamp Reauthorization Act of 2000.''
    Section 2. Would amend Section 414(g) of title 39, United 
States Code, by striking ``2-year'' and inserting ``4-year.''

                     V. Regulatory Impact Statement

    Paragraph 11(b)(1) of rule XXVI of Standing Rules of the 
Senate requires that each report accompanying a bill evaluate 
``the regulatory impact which would be incurred in carrying out 
this bill.''
    Enactment of this legislation will have no significant 
regulatory impact. S. 2386 contains no intergovernmental or 
private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act and would impose no costs on the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.

             VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 27, 2000.
Hon. Fred Thompson,
Chairman, Committee on Governmental Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 2386, the Breast 
Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization Act of 2000.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz.
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

S. 2386--Breast Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization Act of 2000

    Summary: The Stamp Out Breast Cancer Act (Public Law 105-
41) established a special postage stamp for first-class mail. 
The United States Postal Service set the price of this stamp at 
40 cents, 7 cents above the regular rate of 33 cents. Amounts 
collected from the special stamp above the regular postal rate 
are later transferred to the National Institutes of Health 
(NIH) and the Department of Defense (DoD) to spend for breast 
cancer research (after accounting for the Postal Service's 
administrative costs). S. 2386 would extend this program for 
two years beyond its expiration date of July 28, 2000.
    Over the 2000-2005 period, CBO estimates that enacting S. 
2386 would result in a negligible net effect on direct 
spending. Because enactment of the bill would affect direct 
spending, pay-as-you-go procedures would apply. S. 2386 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would 
not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 2386 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget functions 050 
(national defense), 370 (commerce and housing credit), and 550 
(health).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
                                                              2000     2001     2002     2003     2004     2005
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING

                                               Off-Budget Effects

Net Impact on the Postal Service:
    Estimated Budget Authority............................       -1       -2        1        2        0        0
    Estimated Outlays.....................................       -1       -2        1        2        0        0

                                                On-Budget Effects

Net Impact on NIH and DoD:
    Estimated Budget Authority............................        0       -2       -2        1        2        1
    Estimated Outlays.....................................        0       -2       -2        1        2        1

                                                  Total Changes

    Estimated Budget Authority............................       -1       -4       -1        3        2        1
    Estimated Outlays.....................................       -1       -4       -1        3        2        1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: Since the program's inception in July 
1998, sales of the stamps have resulted in collections of about 
$15 million for breast cancer research. CBO estimates that 
enacting S. 2386 would increase such collections by the Postal 
Service by about $1 million in fiscal year 2000, $5 million in 
2001, and $4 million in 2002. After covering its administrative 
costs, the Postal Service would transfer the collections to NIH 
and DoD in April and November of each year. Thus, the net 
impact on the Postal Service over the 2000-2005 period would be 
zero. Postal Service spending and receipts are defined as off-
budget.
    We estimate that enacting S. 2386 would increase NIH and 
DoD collections by $3 million in 2001, $5 million in 2002, and 
$2 million in 2003. Spending of these collections by those two 
agencies would be about $1 million in fiscal year 2001, $3 
million a year in 2002 and 2003, $2 million in 2004, and about 
$1 million in 2005. Thus, the changes in spending would sum to 
the changes in collections but outlays would lag behind 
collections. CBO estimates that the change in net outlays for 
NIH and DoD over the 2000-2005 period would be near zero.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: The Balanced Budget and 
Emergency Deficit Control Act sets up pay-as-you-go procedures 
for legislation affecting direct spending or receipts. Because 
cash flows of the Postal Service are categorized as off-budget, 
only the transfer and spending of these funds by NIH and DoD 
under S. 2386 would be subject to pay-as-you-go procedures. 
Over the 2000-2005 period, such spending would sum to near 
zero. The bill's pay-as-you-go effects are summarized in the 
following table.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      2000   2001   2002   2003   2004   2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2010
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Changes in outlays.................      0     -2     -2      1      2      1      0      0      0      0      0
Changes in receipts................                                 Not applicable
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 2386 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would not affect the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Mark Grabowicz. Impact 
on State, local, and tribal governments: Shelley Finlayson. 
Impact on the private sector: John Harris.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                 VII. ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF SENATOR LEVIN

    The Committee Report notes that the Breast Cancer Research 
Stamp is the first semipostal stamp in our nation's history but 
does not mention that it is also the first time Congress has 
mandated the issuance of any stamp in the last 40 years.
    Congress traditionally defers to the Postal Service and its 
advisory committee, the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee 
(CSAC), to select subjects for commemorative stamps. CSAC was 
created in 1957 to take politics out of the stamp selection 
process. According to the Postal Service, CSAC provides ``a 
breadth of judgment and depth of experience in various areas 
that influence subject matter, character and beauty of postage 
stamps.'' CSAC's 15 committee members review and select stamp 
subjects that are interesting, educational, and that meet the 
corporate goals of the Postal Service.
    CSAC screens over 50,000 letters of recommendations for 
stamps annually and evaluates the merits of each proposal 
before making its recommendations to the Postmaster General. 
Each year, CSAC members make many tough choices--choosing only 
a small number of subjects for their commemorative stamp 
program out of thousands. Congress advises CSAC on stamp 
subjects by writing letters or sponsoring Sense of Congress 
resolutions, but, until now, Congress has left the final 
decisionmaking on stamp issuance to the Postal Service, after 
receiving recommendations from CSAC.
    The authority to determine subjects for stamps, including 
semipostals, should remain with the Postal Service and the 
Postal Service only. The Postal Service is best equipped to 
balance the competing concerns to determine which stamps will 
have broad national interest and will meet the needs of the 
mailing public, free from politics. Other than making 
recommendations or suggestions, it is best that Congress stay 
out of the stamp selection process.
    At the markup of the Stamp Out Breast Cancer 
Reauthorization Act, I had planned to offer an amendment to 
treat future semipostal stamp selection in a similar manner as 
commemorative stamp selection, by authorizing the Postal 
Service to issue semipostals. My amendment would authorize the 
Postal Service to establish a committee similar to CSAC, or use 
CSAC itself to determine which semipostal stamps would have 
broad appeal to the public, and which of those stamps would 
generate sufficient revenue to offset costs.
    The Committee Report states that, ``concerns have been 
raised about this concept (my amendment) and whether it is 
appropriate for the Postal Service to exercise what is 
essentially a political decision, which rests with Congress.'' 
The suggestion that stamp selection is political is 
inconsistent with the lessons learned from the history of the 
Postal Service. Stamp selection has been apolitical for the 
last four decades and has been successfully achieved.
    Now, there are more than a dozen proposals pending in 
Congress calling for a special semipostal to fund a charitable 
cause or organization. Semipostal stamp selection is in the 
process of becoming highly politicized with each group lobbying 
Members of Congress to introduce stamp legislation for their 
particular cause or charity. These stamp proposals generally 
promote causes worthy of attention, but the Committee is right 
to note that ``some of the proposed subjects may not have broad 
appeal; and therefore, may not be financially viable.''
    For example, one semipostal stamp proposal that has already 
been approved by the Governmental Affairs Committee is the 
Look, Listen, and Live Stamp Act. That stamp would require the 
Postal Service to issue a semipostal stamp for an organization 
called Operation Lifesaver, a nonprofit organization dedicated 
to highway-rail safety through education. Operation Lifesaver 
is undoubtedly a fine organization, but it is not the only 
organization committed to preventing railroad casualties. In 
fact, advocates are split on the issue of grade crossings 
safety and the best method to prevent rail-related injuries. 
Operation Lifesaver, for example, emphasizes safety through 
education while other railway safety advocates promote safety 
by funding automatic lights and gates at crossings.
    Over the last months, railroad safety organizations have 
contacted my office to represent their strong disagreement with 
the Look, Listen, and Live Stamp, primarily because of the 
emphasis that Operation Lifesaver puts on education, and 
education only.
    Scott Gauvin, President of Coalition for Safer Crossings, 
wrote: ``I personally find Operation Lifesaver spin on 
education appalling. Three and a half years ago I lost a very 
dear and close friend of mine at an unprotected crossing in 
southwestern Illinois. Eric was nineteen. . . . When I was in 
high school I received the same driver safety training 
regarding grade crossings safety as my best friend Eric did. 
Eric is now gone. The funds from this proposed stamp would not 
have helped him. Now if this stamp would have been around prior 
to 1996 and funds were allocated to the State of Illinois for 
hardware and a set of automatic lights and gates were installed 
at this crossing in question I wouldn't be writing you this 
letter today. I hope you understand the difference.''
    In the case of this particular semipostal, Congress would 
not only be deciding to promote one worthy cause over another, 
Congress would be deciding to promote one specific organization 
over another--an organization that does not have the full 
support of the railroad safety community. This particular stamp 
is an example of a stamp that may not be ``financially 
viable,'' and yet, the full Committee has already reported this 
proposal favorably.
    Rather than using political criteria to choose one worthy 
cause over another, or in some cases, one organization over 
another, we should authorize the Postal Service, who with their 
expertise, can conduct cost-benefit analyses to determine which 
of the several semipostal stamp proposals will be effective, 
appropriate and profitable.
    At the May 25, 2000, subcommittee hearing on the ``Issuance 
of Semipostal Stamps by the United States Postal Service,'' 
Bernard Ungar of the GAO recommended that Congress review the 
problems with the U.S. Mint's commemorative coin program. Mr. 
Ungar pointed out that semipostals and commemorative coins are 
very similar, in that both are authorized by Congress and 
produced by government agencies, and both are used to raise 
money for a special purpose or a sponsoring group.
    According to Mr. Ungar, Congress can apply two major 
lessons learned by the pitfalls of the U.S. Mint's 
commemorative coin program to the future issuance of 
semipostals. The GAO's previously released report on the Mint 
program concluded that, ``as the number of commemorative coin 
programs authorized proliferated, the market became saturated 
and sales declined.'' He stated, ``As we noted in our report on 
the BCRS [Breast Cancer Research Stamp], there has already been 
a proliferation of semipostal bills in Congress since the act 
creating BCRS. Passage of several of these bills creating 
semipostals with similar sales time frames might saturate the 
market and strain, if not overwhelm, the Service's capacity to 
effectively develop, distribute, and market these 
semipostals.'' Furthermore, Mr. Ungar noted that, ``* * * just 
as some commemorative coins failed to sell well because of 
themes lacking broad market appeal, semipostals with limited 
public appeal and marketability might also fare poorly.'' In 
these situations, if sales are not sufficient to cover costs, 
the Postal Service will record a loss.
    Congress should not go down that path. Giving authority to 
issue semipostal stamps to the Postal Service will result in a 
more limited but more successful semipostal stamp program.

                                                        Carl Levin.

                      VII. Changes To Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
S. 2386 as reported are shown as follows (existing law proposed 
to be omitted is enclosed in brackets, new matter is printed in 
italic, and existing law in which no change is proposed is 
shown in roman):

                           UNITED STATES CODE

                        TITLE 39--POSTAL SERVICE

                      CHAPTER 4--GENERAL AUTHORITY

SEC. 414. SPECIAL POSTAGE STAMPS.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    (g) This section shall cease to be effective at the end of 
the [2-year] 4-year period beginning on the date on which 
special postage stamps under this section are first made 
available to the public.