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111th Congress                                            Rept. 111-358
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 1

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



 
 MULTINATIONAL SPECIES CONSERVATION FUNDS SEMIPOSTAL STAMP ACT OF 2009

                                _______
                                

December 7, 2009.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Rahall, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1454]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 1454) to provide for the issuance of a Multinational 
Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp, having considered 
the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and 
recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Multinational Species Conservation 
Funds Semipostal Stamp Act of 2009''.

SEC. 2. MULTINATIONAL SPECIES CONSERVATION FUNDS SEMIPOSTAL STAMP.

  (a) In General.--In order to afford a convenient way for members of 
the public to contribute to funding for the operations supported by the 
Multinational Species Conservation Funds, the United States Postal 
Service shall issue a semipostal stamp (hereinafter in this Act 
referred to as the ``Multinational Species Conservation Funds 
Semipostal Stamp'') in accordance with succeeding provisions of this 
section.
  (b) Cost.--The Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal 
Stamp shall be offered at a cost equal to the cost of mailing a letter 
weighing 1 ounce or less at the nonautomation single-piece first-ounce 
letter rate, in effect at the time of purchase, plus a differential of 
not less than 25 percent.
  (c) Other Terms and Conditions.--The issuance and sale of the 
Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp shall be 
governed by the provisions of section 416 of title 39, United States 
Code, and regulations issued under such section, subject to subsection 
(b) and the following:
          (1) Disposition of proceeds.--
                  (A) In general.--All amounts becoming available from 
                the sale of the Multinational Species Conservation 
                Funds Semipostal Stamp (as determined under section 
                416(d) of such title 39) shall be transferred to the 
                United States Fish and Wildlife Service, for the 
                purpose described in subsection (a), through payments 
                which shall be made at least twice a year, with the 
                proceeds to be divided equally among the African 
                Elephant Conservation Fund, the Asian Elephant 
                Conservation Fund, the Great Ape Conservation Fund, the 
                Marine Turtle Conservation Fund, the Rhinoceros and 
                Tiger Conservation Fund, and other international 
                wildlife conservation funds authorized by the Congress 
                after the date of the enactment of this Act and 
                administered by the Service as part of the 
                Multinational Species Conservation Fund.
                  (B) Proceeds not to be offset.--In accordance with 
                section 416(d)(4) of such title 39, amounts becoming 
                available from the sale of the Multinational Species 
                Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp (as so determined) 
                shall not be taken into account in any decision 
                relating to the level of appropriations or other 
                Federal funding to be furnished in any year to--
                          (i) the United States Fish and Wildlife 
                        Service; or
                          (ii) any of the funds identified in 
                        subparagraph (A).
          (2) Duration.--The Multinational Species Conservation Funds 
        Semipostal Stamp shall be made available to the public for a 
        period of at least 5 years, beginning no later than 12 months 
        after the date of the enactment of this Act.
          (3) Stamp depictions.--Stamps issued under this Act shall 
        depict images of flagship multinational species, such as 
        African and Asian elephants, rhinoceros and tigers, marine 
        turtles, and certain species of great apes.
          (4) Limitation.--The Multinational Species Conservation Funds 
        Semipostal Stamp shall not be subject to, or taken into account 
        for purposes of applying, any limitation under section 
        416(e)(1)(C) of such title 39.
          (5) Restriction on use of funds.--Amounts transferred under 
        paragraph (1) shall not be used to fund or support the Wildlife 
        Without Borders Program or to supplement funds made available 
        for the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Fund.
  (d) Definition.--For purposes of this Act, the term ``semipostal 
stamp'' refers to a stamp described in section 416(a)(1) of title 39, 
United States Code.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 1454 is to provide for the issuance of 
a Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The United States Postal Service (hereafter, the Postal 
Service) is authorized to issue a variety of stamp products, 
including semipostal stamps. Semipostal stamps have been 
defined as stamps issued and sold by the Postal Service, at a 
premium, in order to help provide funding for a specific cause 
considered to be appropriate and in the national interest. The 
price of a semipostal stamp reflects the First-Class single-
piece postage rate in effect at the time of purchase plus an 
amount to generate additional funds. By law, revenue from sales 
(minus postage and the reasonable costs of the Postal Service) 
is to be transferred to a selected executive agency or 
agencies.
    The Multinational Species Conservation Fund (MSCF) was 
created by Congress in 1999 as part of Title I of the 
Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations 
Act (16 U.S.C. 4246). Within the MSCF are specific wildlife 
conservation funds authorized under separate statutes that 
receive annual appropriations from Congress to support 
conservation activities in a wide range of countries to 
protect, recover or restore threatened and endangered species 
(specifically tigers, rhinoceroses, African elephants, Asian 
elephants, great apes and sea turtles). These wildlife species 
are all considered ``keystone'' or ``umbrella'' species, which 
means that they enrich ecosystem function in a unique or 
significant manner through their activities, and that their 
effect is disproportionate to their number. More than $115 
million in matching funds or in-kind support has been obtained 
since the first grant was awarded under the African Elephant 
Conservation Act in 1990, nearly tripling the effect of the $43 
million in federal appropriated funds. Including all of the 
funds, over 500 partners have worked with the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (hereafter, the Service) under such grants in 
44 countries to protect and conserve these species. In 
addition, coordination with the other federal agencies 
overseas, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development 
(USAID), has linked up species conservation and habitat 
management with economic development within range states.
    Despite the conservation success and high popularity of the 
MSCF programs, annual appropriations for the MSCF have never 
exceeded $10 million. Demand for grant funding, however, 
remains high and applications under the different MSCF programs 
far exceed available funding. In addition, proponents of MSCF 
programs note that each federal dollar invested in the MSCF 
routinely leverages three or four times the amount in non-
federal matching contributions and increases overall financial 
support for wildlife conservation. The issuance of a semipostal 
stamp with the images of charismatic wildlife would be an 
effective way to increase financial support for wildlife 
conservation without negative implications for other programs 
outside the MSCF.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 1454 was introduced on March 12, 2009 by 
Representative Henry E. Brown, Jr. (R-SC). The bill was 
referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, and within the 
Committee to the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and 
Wildlife. On May 5, 2009 the Subcommittee held a hearing on the 
bill.
    On June 10, 2009, the Subcommittee was discharged from 
further consideration of H.R 1454 and the full Natural 
Resources Committee met to consider the bill. Subcommittee 
Chairwoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU) offered an amendment in 
the nature of a substitute to clarify that stamp revenues 
transferred to the Service under the bill would apply only to 
the existing MSCF funds, or to new MSCF funds (such as funds 
for great cats and rare canids and for cranes) authorized by 
the Congress subsequent to the date of enactment and 
administered by the Service. Funds transferred would not be 
available to support activities implemented through the 
Wildlife Without Borders Program or to supplement funds 
available to support grants awarded under the Neotropical 
Migratory Bird Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.). The 
amendment was adopted by unanimous consent. The bill, as 
amended, was then ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by unanimous consent.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 provides that this Act may be cited as the 
``Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act 
of 2009.''

Section 2. Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp.

    Section 2 directs the U.S. Postal Service to issue a 
Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp 
depicting flagship multinational species which would be 
available for purchase for five years following enactment. All 
amounts available from the sale of the stamp are to be 
transferred twice yearly to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
and equally divided for operations among the African Elephant 
Conservation Fund, the Asian Elephant Conservation Fund, the 
Great Ape Conservation Fund, the Marine turtle Conservation 
Fund, the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund, and other 
international wildlife conservation funds authorized by 
Congress after the date of the enactment of this Act. These 
funds are not to be considered as an offset in the level of 
appropriations or other federal funding.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of 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 in carrying out this bill. 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 of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by 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, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to provide for the issuance of a 
Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

H.R. 1454--Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp 
        Act of 2009

    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1454 would have no 
significant discretionary cost to the federal government. 
Enacting the bill would affect direct spending, but such costs 
would not be significant. This 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.
    H.R. 1454 would direct the United States Postal Service to 
issue a special postage stamp for first-class mail that would 
cost participating customers at least 25 percent more than the 
regular rate. Any amounts collected from the special stamp 
(called a semipostal), after accounting for the Postal 
Service's administrative costs, would be transferred to the 
United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for expenditure 
on programs to support endangered species. The Postal Service 
would have 12 months after enactment to make the semipostal 
available to the public, and the program would terminate no 
sooner then five years after that.
    Payments of amounts above the regular first-class postage 
rate (currently 44 cents) would be treated as offsetting 
collections (that is, negative outlays) of the Postal Service. 
Based on sales of sales of other semipostals in recent years, 
we expect that the increase in offsetting collections would be 
less than $1 million annually. Payments of those funds to the 
USFWS would be outlays of the Postal Service and offsetting 
collections to the USFWS, which would spend those amounts 
mostly in the same year. CBO estimates that the net change in 
outlays of the Postal Service (which is off-budget) and the 
USFWS (which is on-budget) would not be significant in any 
year.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    H.R. 1454 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                         CHANGE IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.