Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                       Calendar No. 439
111th Congress                                                   Report
 2d Session                                                     111-214




                 June 22, 2010.--Ordered to be printed

          Mr. Kerry, from the Committee on Foreign Relations,
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 3104]

    The Committee on Foreign Relations, having had under 
consideration the bill (S. 3104) to permanently authorize Radio 
Free Asia, and for other purposes, reports favorably thereon, 
with an amendment in the nature of a substitute, and recommends 
that the bill as amended do pass.



  I. Purpose..........................................................1
 II. Committee Action.................................................1
III. Discussion.......................................................1
 IV. Cost Estimate....................................................2
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................3
 VI. Changes in Existing Law..........................................3

                               I. Purpose

    The purpose of S. 3104 is to amend Section 309 of the 
United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994 (22 U.S.C. 
6208) to permanently authorize funding for Radio Free Asia.

                          II. Committee Action

    S. 3104 was introduced by Senators Lugar, Franken, Inouye, 
Kaufman, Risch, and Webb on March 11, 2010. On May 25, 2010, 
the committee ordered the bill, with an amendment in the nature 
of a substitute, reported favorably by voice vote.

                            III. Discussion

    Radio Free Asia provides daily broadcasting of news, 
commentary, analysis, and cultural programming to Asian 
countries in several languages, including: Mandarin, three 
Tibetan dialects, Korean, Burmese, Cantonese, Vietnamese, 
Laotian, Khmer, Uyghur, and Wu. These programs, broadcast in 
shortwave frequencies and on the Internet, serve as substitutes 
for indigenous free media in regions lacking free media outlets 
and enable informed decision-making by the people within Asia.
    S. 3104 reaffirms that it is the policy of the United 
States to support free press in Asia and to promote 
governmental accountability and the protection of human rights. 
It authorizes the permanent funding of Radio Free Asia and 
calls for more congressional funding for cyber security 
initiatives and Internet censorship circumvention.

                           IV. Cost Estimate

    In accordance with Rule XXVI, paragraph 11(a) of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee provides this 
estimate of the costs of this legislation prepared by the 
Congressional Budget Office.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, June 2, 2010.
Hon. John F. Kerry, Jr.,
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 3104, a bill to 
permanently authorize Radio Free Asia, and for other purposes. 
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Sunita 
                                      Douglas W. Elmendorf,

S. 3104--A bill to permanently authorize Radio Free Asia, and for other 

                                25, 2010

    S. 3104 would permanently extend the authorization for 
Radio Free Asia (RFA). RFA is a private, nonprofit corporation 
that broadcasts news, cultural programming, and other 
information in several languages to countries in Asia. Under 
current law, the authorization for RFA expires at the end of 
fiscal year 2010. Based on the 2010 appropriated level of $37 
million, CBO estimates that RFA would require an appropriation 
of $38 million for 2011 (that amount is identical to the 
President's request for 2011). After adjusting for inflation, 
CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $188 
million over the 2011-2015 period, assuming appropriation of 
the necessary amounts. Enacting this legislation would not 
affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures would not apply.
    S. 3104 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 
    The estimated budgetary impact of S. 3104 is shown in the 
following table. The costs of this legislation fall within 
budget function 150 (international affairs).

                                                             By fiscal year, in millions of dollars
                                                   2011       2012       2013       2014       2015    2011-2015
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
Estimated Authorization Level.................       38         38         39         40         41          196
Estimated Outlays.............................       32         38         39         39         40          188

    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Sunita D'Monte. 
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to Rule XXVI, paragraph 11(b) of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, the committee has determined that there is 
no regulatory impact as a result of this legislation.

                      VI. Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with Rule XXVI, paragraph 12 of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, 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 

United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    (a) Authority.--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (c) Grant Agreement.--Any grant agreement or grants under 
this section shall be subject to the following limitations and 
          (1) The Board may not make any grant to Radio Free 
        Asia unless the headquarters of Radio Free Asia and its 
        senior administrative and managerial staff are in a 
        location which ensures economy, operational 
        effectiveness, and accountability to the Board.
          (2) Any grant agreement under this section shall 
        require that any contract entered into by Radio Free 
        Asia shall specify that all obligations are assumed by 
        Radio Free Asia and not by the United States Government 
        [, and shall further specify that funds to carry out 
        the activities of Radio Free Asia may not be available 
        after September 30, 2010].

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    [(f) Sunset Provision.--The Board may not make any grant 
for the purpose of operating Radio Free Asia after September 
30, 2009.]
    [(g)] (f) Notification and Consultation Regarding 
Displacement of Voice of America Broadcasting.--[The Board]  
(1) Notification._ The Board shall notify the appropriate 
congressional committees [before entering] before--
          (A) entering into any agreements for the utilization 
        of Voice of America transmitters, equipment, or other 
        resources that will significantly reduce the 
        broadcasting activities of the Voice of America in Asia 
        or any other region in order to accommodate the 
        broadcasting activities of [Radio Free Asia.] Radio 
        Free Asia; or
          (B) entering into any agreements in regard to the 
        utilization of Radio Free Asia transmitters, equipment, 
        or other resources that will significantly reduce the 
        broadcasting activities of Radio Free Asia.
    (2) Consultation._The Chairman of the Board shall consult 
with such committees on the impact of any such reduction in 
Voice of America broadcasting activities or Radio Free Asia 
broadcasting activities.
    [(h)] (g) Not a Federal Agency or Instrumentality.--Nothing 
in this title may be construed to make Radio Free Asia a 
Federal agency or instrumentality.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *