S. Rept. 113-109 - CONGRESSIONAL AWARD PROGRAM REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2013113th Congress (2013-2014)
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113th Congress Report SENATE 1st Session 113-109 ====================================================================== CONGRESSIONAL AWARD PROGRAM REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2013 _______ September 23, 2013.--Ordered to be printed _______ Mr. Carper, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, submitted the following R E P O R T [To accompany S. 1348] The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 1348) to reauthorize the Congressional Award Act, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass. I. Purpose and Summary S. 1348 reauthorizes the Congressional Award Program through October 1, 2018. Designed to promote initiative, achievement, and excellence among the youth of America, the Program arranges for medals to be awarded to young people who have satisfied specified standards of achievement. Members of Congress sit on the Board that administers the program and participate in the presentation of awards. II. Background Congress enacted the Congressional Award Act in 1979, establishing the Congressional Award Program, under which young people between the ages of 14 and 23 earn awards by completing hours of effort in each of four areas of achievement--volunteer public service, personal development, physical fitness, and expedition/exploration. The Congressional Award is non- competitive, and participants, with the guidance of adult advisors, establish their own goals and work to achieve them. Depending on the number of hours they complete, participants earn Bronze, Silver, and Gold certificates or Bronze, Silver, and Gold medals. Individual Members of the House and Senate recognize their constituents who earn Bronze and Silver medals at in-state ceremonies, and the Congress recognizes Gold-medal winners at an annual ceremony in the Capitol presided over by House and Senate leadership. In fiscal year 2012, 1166 participants were recognized with certificates, and 1247 received medals, including 276 who earned Gold medals. The Act establishes a 25-member Congressional Award Board, which is responsible for administering the Congressional Award Program. Twenty-four of the Board members are appointed by Congressional leadership--six members by each of the Majority Leader of the Senate, the Minority Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives. The National Director, appointed by a majority vote of the Board, is the principal executive of the Program and sits as a non-voting member of the Board. By statute, four of the Board members must be Members of Congress. At present, the four Members of Congress appointed to the Board are Senator Max Baucus, Senator Johnny Isakson, Representative Gus Bilirakis, and Representative Sheila Jackson Lee. Under the Act, the Board incorporated a private, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization (qualified under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code) called the Congressional Award Foundation. Financial sponsors of the Program include business corporations, charitable foundations, and individuals. The Foundation also receives a small amount of in-kind services from the federal government. As the patron of the Congressional Award program, the U.S. Congress provides office space in a House Office Building, and, under the terms of the Act, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) provides an annual audit of the program, and the U.S. Mint designs and strikes the award medals.\1\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \1\In evaluating the cost of S. 1248, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the Board's continued use of House Office Building space and an annual audit by GAO would cost less than $500,000 a year in appropriated funds, and that the U.S. Mint's production of Congressional Award medals would increase spending by less than $500,000 a year. These costs are beneath the threshold under which CBO does not report more precise estimates. Also, estimates provided by the U.S. Mint to CBO indicate that the Mint's costs for production of the medals are less than $100,000 annually. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- The legislation first establishing the Congressional Award Program was introduced in the 96th Congress by Senator Malcolm Wallop (R-WY) as S. 221 and by Representative James J. Howard (D-NJ) as H.R. 2196 and was enacted into law as Public Law 96- 114, the Congressional Award Act, on November 16, 1979. The authorization under that statute extended for six years and has been extended eight times: by Public Law 99-161, enacted on November 25, 1985; by Public Law 100-674, enacted on November 17, 1988; by Public Law 101-525, enacted on November 6, 1990; by Public Law 102-457, enacted on October 23, 1992; by Public Law 104-208, enacted on September 30, 1996; Public Law 106-63, enacted on October 1, 1999; by Public Law 109-143, enacted on December 22, 2005; and by Public Law 111-200, enacted on July 7, 2010. The Congressional Award Program has grown substantially in recent years, with the number of participants increasing from approximately 20,000 in 2005 to over 27,000 in 2009 and over 35,000 in 2013. More than 2,000 adult mentors are also involved in the program. By statute, GAO audits the Foundation's financial statements and compliance with the Act annually and has issued generally favorable reports. The Committee believes that the Congressional Award Program performs a valuable service at minimal cost to the taxpayer, encouraging initiative, achievement, public service, and personal development in the Nation's youth, as well as providing an opportunity for service for the adult volunteers. The Committee therefore supports and recommends reauthorization of the Program. III. Legislative History On July 23, 2013, Senator Carper introduced S. 1348, which was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The Committee considered the bill on July 31, 2013, and ordered the bill reported by voice vote without amendment. Members present for the vote on the bill were Senators Carper, Levin, McCaskill, Tester, Begich, Baldwin, Coburn, Johnson, Ayotte, and Chiesa. IV. Section-by-Section Analysis Section 1--Short title This section states that the Act may be cited as the ``Congressional Award Program Reauthorization Act of 2013''. Section 2--Termination This section amends section 108 the Congressional Award Act (2 U.S.C. Sec. 808) to reauthorize the program until October 1, 2018. V. Estimated Cost of Legislation August 9, 2013. Hon. Thomas R. Carper, 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 S. 1348, the Congressional Award Program Reauthorization Act of 2013. If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew Pickford. Sincerely, Douglas W. Elmendorf. Enclosure. S. 1348--Congressional Award Program Reauthorization Act of 2013 S. 1348 would extend authorization for the Congressional Award Act through fiscal year 2018. The Congressional Award Program recognizes excellence in public service and personal development among young people. The program is overseen by the Congressional Award Board, a nonprofit organization that does not receive any appropriated federal funds. Under S. 1348, the Congressional Award Board would continue to receive free office space in a Congressional office building. In addition, young people recognized by the Congressional Award Program are awarded medals produced by the U.S. Mint. Based on information from the board, CBO estimates that extending authorization for the program would increase direct spending from the U.S. Mint Public Enterprise Fund by less than $500,000 annually. Because the bill would affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. S. 1348 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. The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Maggie Morrissey and Matthew Pickford. The estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant Director for Budget Analysis. VI. 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. CBO states that there are no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and no costs on State, local, or tribal governments. The enactment of this legislation will not have any other significant regulatory impact. VII. Changes in Existing Law In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI 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 and existing law, in which no change is proposed, is shown in roman): UNITED STATES CODE TITLE 2, THE CONGRESS CHAPTER 19--CONGRESSIONAL AWARD PROGRAM Subchapter I--Congressional Award Program * * * * * * * SEC. 808. TERMINATION. The Board shall terminate [October 1, 2013] October 1, 2018. * * * * * * *