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109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     109-449

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



 
    AUTHORITY TO INCLUDE JUDICIAL BRANCH EMPLOYEES IN FEDERAL LEAVE 
             TRANSFER PROGRAM FOR DISASTERS AND EMERGENCIES

                                _______
                                

  May 2, 2006.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Tom Davis of Virginia, from the Committee on Government Reform, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1736]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Government Reform, to whom was referred 
the bill (S. 1736) to provide for the participation of 
employees in the judicial branch in the Federal leave transfer 
program for disasters and emergencies, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend 
that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Committee Statement and Views....................................     2
Section-by-Section...............................................     2
Explanation of Amendments........................................     2
Committee Consideration..........................................     2
Rollcall Votes...................................................     2
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................     3
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................     3
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     3
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     3
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................     3
Unfunded Mandate Statement.......................................     3
Committee Estimate...............................................     3
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...     4
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............     5

                     Committee Statement and Views


                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    The purpose of S. 1736 is to provide for the participation 
of judicial branch employees in the emergency leave transfer 
program for major disasters and emergencies. The legislation 
requires the Office of Personnel Management, after consultation 
with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, to allow 
federal judicial branch employees to participate in an 
emergency leave transfer program for disasters and emergencies.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Under existing law, in the event of a major disaster or 
emergency, as declared by the President, that results in severe 
adverse effects for a substantial number of employees, the 
President may direct the Office of Personnel Management to 
establish an emergency leave transfer program under which any 
employee in any agency may donate unused annual leave for 
transfer to employees of the same or other agencies who are 
adversely affected by such disaster or emergency.
    In response to Hurricane Katrina, the Judicial Conference 
of the United States requested legislative authority to provide 
the judicial branch with the same flexibility and authority 
available to the executive branch.
    S. 1736 would require the Office of Personnel Management, 
after consultation with the Administrative Office of the U.S. 
Courts, to allow federal judicial branch employees to 
participate in an emergency leave transfer program for 
disasters and emergencies.

                           Section-by-Section

    S. 1736 would amend 5 U.S.C. 6391, United States Code, by 
redesignating subsection (f) as subsection (g) and inserting 
the following new subsection (f):

          ``(f) After consultation with the Administrative 
        Office of the United States Courts, the Office of 
        Personnel Management shall provide for the 
        participation of employees in the judicial branch in 
        any emergency leave transfer program under this 
        section.''

                       Explanation of Amendments

    There were no amendments offered.

                        Committee Consideration

    On Thursday, March 9, 2006, the Committee met in open 
session and ordered reported favorably the bill, S. 1736, as 
amended, by voice vote, a quorum being present.

                             Rollcall Votes

    No roll call votes were held.

              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch where the bill relates to the terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations. 
This bill authorizes employees of the judicial branch to 
participate in emergency leave transfer programs. Legislative 
branch employees and their families, to the extent that they 
are otherwise eligible for the benefits provided by this 
legislation, have equal access to its benefits.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goals and objectives are reflected in the descriptive portions 
of this report.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Under clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, the Committee must include a statement 
citing the specific powers granted to Congress to enact the law 
proposed by H.R. 4975. Article I, Section 8, Clause 18 of the 
Constitution of the United States grants the Congress the power 
to enact this law.

                     Federal Advisory Committee Act

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not establish 
or authorize the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the definition of 5 U.S.C. App., Section 5(b).

                       Unfunded Mandate Statement

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandate Reform Act, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement whether 
the provisions of the reported bill include unfunded mandates. 
In compliance with this requirement the Committee has received 
a letter from the Congressional Budget Office included herein.

                           Committee Estimate

    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 that would be incurred in carrying out 
H.R. 4975. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 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 402 of the Congressional Budget Act.

     Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements 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 and with respect 
to requirements 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. 4975 from the Director of 
Congressional Budget Office:

S. 1736--An act to provide for the participation of employees in the 
        judicial branch in the federal leave program for disasters and 
        emergencies

    S. 1736 would provide for the participation of employees of 
the judicial branch in the federal emergency leave transfer 
program. CBO estimates that the legislation would have no 
significant budgetary impact. Enacting S. 1736 would not affect 
direct spending or revenues. The Legislation contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets 
of state, local, or tribal governments.
    Under current law, judicial branch employees are allowed to 
donate annual leave through a leave bank to co-workers who have 
exhausted their annual and sick leave as a result of a personal 
or family medical emergency. Any unused donated annual leave is 
returned to the leave bank. Emergency leave transfer programs 
within the executive branch also allow employees to donate 
annual leave to be transferred to employees of their own agency 
or other agencies in the event of a major disaster or emergency 
declared by the President. However, unlike the leave bank 
program, any unused annual leave donated to the emergency leave 
transfer program is returned to the donor.
    S. 1736 would provide the judicial branch with the same 
emergency leave transfer authority as the executive branch. The 
cost of expanding this authority to the judicial branch would 
depend upon the number of times a major disaster or emergency 
occurs that results in a Presidential request for a special 
leave program and whether the leave donated would have been 
donated under current law.
    Since 1997, emergency leave transfer authority has been 
used for the executive branch three times. It was used after 
the African Embassy bombings in 1998, the terrorist attacks of 
September 11, 2001, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina 
in 2005. Most of the leave donations after the first two events 
were returned to their donors.
    According to the administrative Office of the United States 
Courts, there are now about 200 displaced judicial branch 
employees currently on paid administrative leave since 
hurricane Katrina struck. Most of these employees are based at 
the federal courthouse facility in New Orleans, which is open 
with limited court operations. CBO expects that any annual 
leave donations made under S. 1736 would mostly be annual leave 
that would otherwise be donated for medical emergencies. Thus, 
we expect that enacting S. 1736 would not have a significant 
cost.
    On September 30, 2005, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for 
S. 1736, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on 
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on September 22, 
2005. The two pieces of legislation are identical and the cost 
estimates are the same.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Matthew 
Pickford and Gregory Waring. This estimate was approved by 
Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget 
Analysis.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



PART III--EMPLOYEES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subpart E--Attendance and Leave

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 63--LEAVE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SUBCHAPTER VI--LEAVE TRANSFER IN DISASTERS AND EMERGENCIES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 6391. Authority for leave transfer program in disasters and 
                    emergencies

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (f) After consultation with the Administrative Office of the 
United States Courts, the Office of Personnel Management shall 
provide for the participation of employees in the judicial 
branch in any emergency leave transfer program under this 
section.
  [(f)] (g) The Office shall prescribe regulations necessary 
for the administration of this section.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *