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                                                       Calendar No. 486

111th Congress 
 2d Session                      SENATE                          Report
                                                                111-234
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                                       

 
 MULTINATIONAL SPECIES CONSERVATION FUNDS SEMIPOSTAL STAMP ACT OF 2010

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                        [to accompany H.R. 1454]

  TO PROVIDE FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A MULTINATIONAL SPECIES CONSERVATION 
                         FUNDS SEMIPOSTAL STAMP




                 July 27, 2010.--Ordered to be printed



        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

               JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut, Chairman
CARL LEVIN, Michigan                 SUSAN M. COLLINS, Maine
DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii              TOM COBURN, Oklahoma
THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware           SCOTT P. BROWN, Massachusetts
MARK L. PRYOR, Arkansas              JOHN McCAIN, Arizona
MARY L. LANDRIEU, Louisiana          GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, Ohio
CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri           JOHN ENSIGN, Nevada
JON TESTER, Montana                  LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
ROLAND W. BURRIS, Illinois
EDWARD E. KAUFMAN, Delaware

                  Michael L. Alexander, Staff Director
                     Kevin J. Landy, Chief Counsel
               Kristine V. Lam, Professional Staff Member
     Brandon L. Milhorn, Minority Staff Director and Chief Counsel
                   Jennifer L. Tarr, Minority Counsel
                  Trina Driessnack Tyrer, Chief Clerk
                                                       Calendar No. 486
111th Congress
                                 SENATE
                                                                 Report
 2d Session                                                     111-234

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




 MULTINATIONAL SPECIES CONSERVATION FUNDS SEMIPOSTAL STAMP ACT OF 2010

                                _______
                                

                 July 27, 2010.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Lieberman, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1454]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (H.R. 1454) to provide 
for the issuance of a Multinational Species Conservation Funds 
Semipostal Stamp, having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon with an amendment and recommends that the bill, as 
amended, do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and Need for the Legislation..........................2
III. Legislative History..............................................3
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................3
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................4
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................4
VII. Changes to Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............5

                         I. PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    H.R. 1454 would require the United States Postal Service to 
issue a Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal 
Stamp. The Multinational Species Conservation Funds is a small 
program administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It 
supports conservation efforts benefiting tigers, rhinoceroses, 
Asian and African elephants, marine turtles and great apes. 
Semipostals are stamps bearing a surcharge above typical postal 
rates. Members of the public may voluntarily purchase 
semipostals as a means of donating to the cause promoted by the 
stamp. Directing funds raised from the sale of this semipostal 
to the Multinational Species Conservation Funds is an effective 
way to increase financial support for the Funds' important work 
without having to increase its annual appropriations.

              II. BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR THE LEGISLATION

    Since 1998, the U.S. Postal Service (``the Postal Service'' 
or ``USPS'') has issued several ``semipostal'' stamps--stamps 
purchasers may use to mail a first class letter, but for which 
they voluntarily pay a surcharge over the usual first-class 
rates as a means to donate to the cause commemorated by the 
stamp. Since that time, all of the semipostals issued have been 
done so at the direction of Congress.\1\ A variety of causes 
have benefited from the sale of these stamps, including breast 
cancer research,\2\ domestic violence prevention programs,\3\ 
and assistance to the families of rescue workers killed or 
disabled in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\In 2000, Congress gave the Postal Service authority to issue 
semipostals pursuant to the Semipostal Authorization Act (P.L. 106-
253). However, the Postal Service has not yet issued a semipostal 
pursuant to the Act because it had decided not to approve new 
semipostals while any other semipostals are in circulation. Such stamps 
have been on sale continuously since the initial enactment of the Stamp 
Out Breast Cancer Act (P.L. 105-41).
    \2\Stamp Out Breast Cancer Act (P.L. 105-41).
    \3\Stamp Out Domestic Violence Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-67).
    \4\The 9/11 Heroes Stamp Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-67).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee agrees with the House of Representatives that 
the Multinational Species Conservation Funds (``MSCF'' or ``the 
Funds'') is equally deserving of a semipostal stamp. Congress 
created the MSCF in 1999 to recognize an unprecedented 
international decline of certain species and to help save some 
of the world's fastest disappearing animals in their natural 
habitats.\5\ The MSCF currently benefits tigers, six species of 
rhinoceroses, Asian and African elephants, marine turtles, and 
great apes, and has generated tremendous amounts of interest 
among interest groups such as the World Conservation Society 
and citizens. The Funds supports conservation efforts 
benefiting these species, often in conjunction with efforts 
under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered 
Species (CITES), to which the United States is a party. The 
MSCF provides funding in the form of cost-sharing grants for 
species and habitat conservation as well as law enforcement. 
Additionally, the Funds offer technical assistance for 
conserving species under the MSCF. These efforts also benefit 
from funding and in-kind support provided by partners and 
collaborators. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
which runs the program, $75 million was provided by partners 
and collaborators for efforts under the MSCF from Fiscal Year 
2004 to Fiscal Year 2009. This is nearly double the amount 
appropriated for these efforts during the same period.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\The MSCF was created as part of Title I of the Department of the 
Interior and Relation Agencies Appropriations Act (16 U.S.C. 4246) 
which was later incorporated into Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency 
Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999 (P.L. 105-277).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite the success and 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 
benefiting the MSCF would be an effective way to increase 
financial support for wildlife conservation without affecting 
appropriations for other programs outside the MSCF.

                        III. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    On December 7, 2009, the House of Representatives passed 
H.R. 1454, sponsored by Representative Henry E. Brown, Jr. and 
154 co-sponsors, by voice vote. The bill was received in the 
Senate on December 9, 2009, and referred to the Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, where it was 
subsequently referred to the Subcommittee on Federal Financial 
Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and 
International Security (FFM), which has jurisdiction over 
matters relating to the U.S. Postal Service.
    Having been polled out of the Subcommittee, the full 
Committee considered the bill on April 28, 2010. Senator 
Carper, Chairman of the FFM Subcommittee, offered an amendment 
in the nature of a substitute to address concerns of the Postal 
Service. The substitute amendment makes the MSCF semipostal 
stamp consistent with requirements under the Semipostal 
Authorization Act (39 U.S.C. Sec.  14) by lowering the rate of 
the semipostal from ``no less than 25%'' to ``no less than 
15%'' above the rate of a first class stamp and mandating that 
the MSCF semipostal be sold at an amount that is evenly 
divisible by 5. Additionally, the substitute amendment lowers 
the authorization period for the MSCF semipostal stamp from 
five years to two years and eliminates the requirement in the 
original bill that the images of the flagship multinational 
species be depicted on the semipostal. The Committee adopted 
the substitute amendment by voice vote, but the April 28, 2010, 
meeting adjourned before the Committee had a chance to vote on 
reporting the bill. Members present for the voice vote on the 
substitute amendment were Senators Lieberman, Akaka, Carper, 
Pryor, Kaufman, Collins, and Graham. The Committee met again on 
May 17, 2010 and reported the bill, as amended, by voice vote 
with a recorded ``no'' for Senators Akaka and Burris.\6\ 
Additional Senators present were Lieberman, Carper, Pryor, 
Landrieu, Collins, Brown, Voinovich, and Graham.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\During debate over this bill, Senator Akaka stated that while he 
supports the MSCF and funding for the program, he opposed the bill 
because he believes that the Postal Service, not Congress, should 
determine the issuance of semipostals through the process it 
established as a result of enactment of the Semipostal Authorization 
Act in 2000.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                    IV. SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 designates the name of the act as the 
``Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act 
of 2010.''

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 which 
would be available for voluntary purchase on the part of postal 
patrons for a period of two years after the enactment of this 
bill. In keeping with the requirements of the Semipostal 
Authorization Act (39 U.S.C. Sec. 14), Section 2 sets the rate 
of the semipostal at a cost equal to the rate of a first class 
stamp, plus a differential of no less than 15%. It also 
requires the rate to be evenly divisible by 5.
    The Section also directs the transfer of all amounts 
available from the sale of the stamp twice yearly to the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service and directs the Fish and Wildlife 
Service to divide the proceeds equally 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 the 
Act. These funds are not to be considered as an offset in the 
level of appropriations or other federal funding.

                   V. EVALUATION OF REGULATORY IMPACT

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this bill. The 
Congressional Budget Office states that the bill contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandate Reform Act and would impose no costs on state, 
local, or tribal governments, or private entities. The 
enactment of this legislation will not have significant 
regulatory impact.

             VI. CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

                                                      May 26, 2010.
Hon. Joseph I. Lieberman,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1454, the 
Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act 
of 2010.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1454--Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp 
        Act of 2010

    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1454 would have no 
significant discretionary cost to the federal government. 
Because the act would affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go 
procedures would apply, but CBO estimates that those effects 
would not be significant. H.R. 1454 would not affect revenues. 
H.R. 1454 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 15 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 than two years after that.
    Payments of amounts above the regular first-class postage 
rate (currently 44 cents) would be treated as offsetting 
collections (that is, a credit against spending) of the Postal 
Service. Based on sales of other semipostals in recent years, 
we expect that the increase in offsetting collections would 
total 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.
    On June 23, 2009, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 
1454 as ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural 
Resources on June 10, 2009. The two versions of the legislation 
are similar, and the estimated costs are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

       VII. CHANGES TO EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

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