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114th Congress   }                                      {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session      }                                      {      114-671

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

 
  CONCRETE MASONRY PRODUCTS RESEARCH, EDUCATION, AND PROMOTION ACT OF 
                                  2015

                                _______
                                

  July 8, 2016.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Upton, from the Committee on Energy and Commerce, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 985]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Commerce, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 985) to enable concrete masonry products 
manufacturers to establish, finance, and carry out a 
coordinated program of research, education, and promotion to 
improve, maintain, and develop markets for concrete masonry 
products, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do 
pass.






                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................    11
Background and Need for Legislation..............................    12
Hearings.........................................................    12
Committee Consideration..........................................    13
Committee Votes..................................................    13
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................    13
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............    13
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures    13
Earmark, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff Benefits.......    13
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................    13
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................    14
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................    17
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................    17
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................    17
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................    17
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................    17
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................    18
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............    20
    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 ``Concrete Masonry Products Research, 
Education, and Promotion Act of 2015''.

SEC. 2. DECLARATION OF POLICY.

  (a) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to authorize the 
establishment of an orderly program for developing, financing, and 
carrying out an effective, continuous, and coordinated program of 
research, education, and promotion, including funds for marketing and 
market research activities, that is designed to--
          (1) strengthen the position of the concrete masonry products 
        industry in the domestic marketplace;
          (2) maintain, develop, and expand markets and uses for 
        concrete masonry products in the domestic marketplace; and
          (3) promote the use of concrete masonry products in 
        construction and building.
  (b) Limitation.--Nothing in this Act may be construed to provide for 
the control of production or otherwise limit the right of any person to 
manufacture concrete masonry products.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

  For the purposes of this Act:
          (1) Block machine.--The term ``block machine'' means a piece 
        of equipment that utilizes vibration and compaction to form 
        concrete masonry products.
          (2) Board.--The term ``Board'' means the Concrete Masonry 
        Products Board established under section 5.
          (3) Cavity.--The term ``cavity'' means the open space in the 
        mold of a block machine capable of forming a single concrete 
        masonry unit having nominal plan dimensions of 8 inches by 16 
        inches.
          (4) Commerce.--The term ``commerce'' includes interstate, 
        foreign, and intrastate commerce.
          (5) Concrete masonry products.--The term ``concrete masonry 
        products'' refers to a broader class of products, including 
        concrete masonry units as well as hardscape products such as 
        concrete pavers and segmental retaining wall units, 
        manufactured on a block machine using dry-cast concrete.
          (6) Concrete masonry unit.--The term ``concrete masonry 
        unit'' means a concrete masonry product that is a manmade 
        masonry unit having an actual width of 3 inches or greater and 
        manufactured from dry-cast concrete using a block machine. Such 
        term includes concrete block and related concrete units used in 
        masonry applications.
          (7) Conflict of interest.--The term ``conflict of interest'' 
        means, with respect to a member or employee of the Board, a 
        situation in which such member or employee has a direct or 
        indirect financial or other interest in a person that performs 
        a service for, or enters into a contract with, for anything of 
        economic value.
          (8) Department.--The term ``Department'' means the Department 
        of Commerce.
          (9) Dry-cast concrete.--The term ``dry-cast concrete'' means 
        a composite material that is composed essentially of aggregates 
        embedded in a binding medium composed of a mixture of 
        cementitious materials (including hydraulic cement, pozzolans, 
        or other cementitious materials) and water of such a 
        consistency to maintain its shape after forming in a block 
        machine.
          (10) Education.--The term ``education'' means programs that 
        will educate or communicate the benefits of concrete masonry 
        products in safe and environmentally sustainable development, 
        advancements in concrete masonry product technology and 
        development, and other information and programs designed to 
        generate increased demand for commercial, residential, multi-
        family, and institutional projects using concrete masonry 
        products and to generally enhance the image of concrete masonry 
        products.
          (11) Machine cavities.--The term ``machine cavities'' means 
        the cavities with which a block machine could be equipped.
          (12) Machine cavities in operation.--The term ``machine 
        cavities in operation'' means those machine cavities associated 
        with a block machine that have produced concrete masonry units 
        within the last 6 months of the date set for determining 
        eligibility and is fully operable and capable of producing 
        concrete masonry units.
          (13) Manufacturer.--The term ``manufacturer'' means any 
        person engaged in the manufacturing of commercial concrete 
        masonry products in the United States.
          (14) Masonry unit.--The term ``masonry unit'' means a 
        noncombustible building product intended to be laid by hand or 
        joined using mortar, grout, surface bonding, post-tensioning or 
        some combination of these methods.
          (15) Order.--The term ``order'' means an order issued under 
        section 4.
          (16) Person.--The term ``person'' means any individual, group 
        of individuals, partnership, corporation, association, 
        cooperative, or any other entity.
          (17) Promotion.--The term ``promotion'' means any action, 
        including paid advertising, to advance the image and 
        desirability of concrete masonry products with the express 
        intent of improving the competitive position and stimulating 
        sales of concrete masonry products in the marketplace.
          (18) Research.--The term ``research'' means studies testing 
        the effectiveness of market development and promotion efforts, 
        studies relating to the improvement of concrete masonry 
        products and new product development, and studies documenting 
        the performance of concrete masonry.
          (19) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of Commerce.
          (20) United states.--The term ``United States'' means the 
        several States and the District of Columbia.

SEC. 4. ISSUANCE OF ORDERS.

  (a) In General.--
          (1) Issuance.--The Secretary, subject to the procedures 
        provided in subsection (b), shall issue orders under this Act 
        applicable to manufacturers of concrete masonry products.
          (2) Scope.--Any order shall be national in scope.
          (3) One order.--Not more than one order shall be in effect at 
        any one time.
  (b) Procedures.--
          (1) Development or receipt of proposed order.--A proposed 
        order with respect to the generic research, education, and 
        promotion with regards to concrete masonry products may be--
                  (A) proposed by the Secretary at any time; or
                  (B) requested by or submitted to the Secretary by--
                          (i) an existing national organization of 
                        concrete masonry product manufacturers; or
                          (ii) any person that may be affected by the 
                        issuance of an order.
          (2) Publication of proposed order.--If the Secretary 
        determines that a proposed order received in accordance with 
        paragraph (1)(B) is consistent with and will effectuate the 
        purpose of this Act, the Secretary shall publish such proposed 
        order in the Federal Register not later than 90 days after 
        receiving the order, and give not less than 30 days notice and 
        opportunity for public comment on the proposed order.
          (3) Issuance of order.--
                  (A) In general.--After notice and opportunity for 
                public comment are provided in accordance with 
                paragraph (2), the Secretary shall issue the order, 
                taking into consideration the comments received and 
                including in the order such provisions as are necessary 
                to ensure that the order is in conformity with this 
                Act.
                  (B) Effective date.--If there is an affirmative vote 
                in a referendum as provided in section 7, the Secretary 
                shall issue the order and such order shall be effective 
                not later than 140 days after publication of the 
                proposed order.
  (c) Amendments.--The Secretary may, from time to time, amend an 
order. The provisions of this Act applicable to an order shall be 
applicable to any amendment to an order.

SEC. 5. REQUIRED TERMS IN ORDERS.

  (a) In General.--Any order issued under this Act shall contain the 
terms and provisions specified in this section.
  (b) Concrete Masonry Products Board.--
          (1) Establishment and membership.--
                  (A) Establishment.--The order shall provide for the 
                establishment of a Concrete Masonry Products Board to 
                carry out a program of generic promotion, research, and 
                education regarding concrete masonry products.
                  (B) Membership.--
                          (i) Number of members.--The board shall 
                        consist of not less than 15 and not more than 
                        25 members.
                          (ii) Appointment.--The members of the Board 
                        shall be appointed by the Secretary from 
                        nominations submitted as provided in the order.
                          (iii) Composition.--The Board shall consist 
                        of manufacturers. No employee of an industry 
                        trade organization exempt from tax under 
                        paragraphs (3) or (6) of section 501(c) of the 
                        Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 
                        501(c)) representing the concrete masonry 
                        industry or related industries shall serve as a 
                        member of the Board and no member of the Board 
                        may serve concurrently as an officer of the 
                        board of directors of a national concrete 
                        masonry products industry trade association. 
                        Only two individuals from any single company or 
                        its affiliates may serve on the Board at any 
                        one time.
          (2) Distribution of appointments.--
                  (A) Representation.--To ensure fair and equitable 
                representation of the concrete masonry products 
                industry, the composition of the Board shall reflect 
                the geographical distribution of the manufacture of 
                concrete masonry products in the United States, the 
                types of concrete masonry products manufactured, and 
                the range in size of manufacturers in the United 
                States.
                  (B) Adjustment in board representation.--Three years 
                after the assessment of concrete masonry products 
                commences pursuant to an order, and at the end of each 
                3-year period thereafter, the Board, subject to the 
                review and approval of the Secretary, shall, if 
                warranted, recommend to the Secretary the 
                reapportionment of the Board membership to reflect 
                changes in the geographical distribution of the 
                manufacture of concrete masonry products and the types 
                of concrete masonry products manufactured.
          (3) Nominations process.--The Secretary may make appointments 
        from nominations by manufacturers pursuant to the method set 
        forth in the order.
          (4) Failure to appoint.--If the Secretary fails to make an 
        appointment to the Board within 60 days of receiving 
        nominations for such appointment, the first nominee for such 
        appointment shall be deemed appointed, unless the Secretary 
        provides reasonable justification for the delay to the Board 
        and to Congress and provides a reasonable date by which 
        approval or disapproval will be made.
          (5) Alternates.--The order shall provide for the selection of 
        alternate members of the Board by the Secretary in accordance 
        with procedures specified in the order.
          (6) Terms.--
                  (A) In general.--The members and any alternates of 
                the Board shall each serve for a term of 3 years, 
                except that members and any alternates initially 
                appointed to the Board shall serve for terms of not 
                more than 2, 3, and 4 years, as specified by the order.
                  (B) Limitation on consecutive terms.--A member or an 
                alternate may serve not more than 2 consecutive terms.
                  (C) Continuation of term.--Notwithstanding 
                subparagraph (B), each member or alternate shall 
                continue to serve until a successor is appointed by the 
                Secretary.
                  (D) Vacancies.--A vacancy arising before the 
                expiration of a term of office of an incumbent member 
                or alternate of the Board shall be filled in a manner 
                provided for in the order.
          (7) Disqualification from board service.--The order shall 
        provide that if a member or alternate of the Board who was 
        appointed as a manufacturer ceases to qualify as a 
        manufacturer, such member or alternate shall be disqualified 
        from serving on the Board.
          (8) Compensation.--
                  (A) In general.--Members and any alternates of the 
                Board shall serve without compensation.
                  (B) Travel expenses.--If approved by the Board, 
                members or alternates shall be reimbursed for 
                reasonable travel expenses, which may include per diem 
                allowance or actual subsistence incurred while away 
                from their homes or regular places of business in the 
                performance of services for the Board.
  (c) Powers and Duties of the Board.--The order shall specify the 
powers and duties of the Board, including the power and duty--
          (1) to administer the order in accordance with its terms and 
        conditions and to collect assessments;
          (2) to develop and recommend to the Secretary for approval 
        such bylaws as may be necessary for the functioning of the 
        Board and such rules as may be necessary to administer the 
        order, including activities authorized to be carried out under 
        the order;
          (3) to meet, organize, and select from among members of the 
        Board a chairperson, other officers, and committees and 
        subcommittees, as the Board determines appropriate;
          (4) to establish regional organizations or committees to 
        administer regional initiatives;
          (5) to establish working committees of persons other than 
        Board members;
          (6) to employ such persons, other than the members, as the 
        board considers necessary, and to determine the compensation 
        and specify the duties of the persons;
          (7) to prepare and submit for the approval of the Secretary, 
        before the beginning of each fiscal year, rates of assessment 
        under section 6 and an annual budget of the anticipated 
        expenses to be incurred in the administration of the order, 
        including the probable cost of each promotion, research, and 
        information activity proposed to be developed or carried out by 
        the Board;
          (8) to borrow funds necessary for the startup expenses of the 
        order;
          (9) to carry out generic research, education, and promotion 
        programs and projects relating to concrete masonry products, 
        and to pay the costs of such programs and projects with 
        assessments collected under section 6;
          (10) subject to subsection (e), to enter into contracts or 
        agreements to develop and carry out programs or projects of 
        research, education, and promotion relating to concrete masonry 
        products;
          (11) to keep minutes, books, and records that reflect the 
        actions and transactions of the Board, and promptly report 
        minutes of each Board meeting to the Secretary;
          (12) to receive, investigate, and report to the Secretary 
        complaints of violations of the order;
          (13) to furnish the Secretary with such information as the 
        Secretary may request;
          (14) to recommend to the Secretary such amendments to the 
        order as the Board considers appropriate; and
          (15) to provide the Secretary with advance notice of meetings 
        to permit the Secretary or the Secretary's representative to 
        attend the meetings.
  (d) Programs and Projects; Budgets; Expenses.--
          (1) Programs and projects.--
                  (A) In general.--The order shall require the Board to 
                submit to the Secretary for approval any program or 
                project of research, education, or promotion relating 
                to concrete masonry products.
                  (B) Statement required.--Any educational or 
                promotional activity undertaken with funds provided by 
                the Board shall include a statement that such 
                activities were supported in whole or in part by the 
                Board.
          (2) Budgets.--
                  (A) Submission.--The order shall require the Board to 
                submit to the Secretary for approval a budget of the 
                anticipated expenses and disbursements of the Board in 
                the implementation of the order, including the 
                projected costs of concrete masonry products research, 
                education, and promotion programs and projects.
                  (B) Timing.--The budget shall be submitted before the 
                beginning of a fiscal year and as frequently as may be 
                necessary after the beginning of the fiscal year.
                  (C) Approval.--If the Secretary fails to approve or 
                reject a budget within 60 days of receipt, such budget 
                shall be deemed approved, unless the Secretary provides 
                to the Board and to Congress, in writing, reasonable 
                justification for the delay and provides a reasonable 
                date by which approval or disapproval will be made.
          (3) Administrative expenses.--
                  (A) Incurring expenses.--The Board may incur the 
                expenses described in paragraph (2) and other expenses 
                for the administration, maintenance, and functioning of 
                the Board as authorized by the Secretary.
                  (B) Payment of expenses.--Expenses incurred under 
                subparagraph (A) shall be paid by the Board using 
                assessments collected under section 6, earnings 
                obtained from assessments, and other income of the 
                Board. Any funds borrowed by the Board shall be 
                expended only for startup costs and capital outlays.
                  (C) Limitation on spending.--For fiscal years 
                beginning 3 or more years after the date of the 
                establishment of the Board, the Board may not expend 
                for administration (except for reimbursement to the 
                Secretary required under subparagraph (D)), 
                maintenance, and functioning of the Board in a fiscal 
                year an amount that exceeds 10 percent of the 
                assessment and other income received by the Board for 
                the fiscal year.
                  (D) Reimbursement of secretary.--The order shall 
                require that the Secretary be reimbursed by the Board 
                from assessments for all expenses incurred by the 
                Secretary in the implementation, administration, and 
                supervision of the order, including all referenda costs 
                incurred in connection with the order.
  (e) Contracts and Agreements.--
          (1) In general.--The order shall provide that, with the 
        approval of the Secretary, the Board may--
                  (A) enter into contracts and agreements to carry out 
                generic research, education, and promotion programs and 
                projects relating to concrete masonry products, 
                including contracts and agreements with manufacturer 
                associations or other entities as considered 
                appropriate by the Secretary;
                  (B) enter into contracts and agreements for 
                administrative services; and
                  (C) pay the cost of approved generic research, 
                education, and promotion programs and projects using 
                assessments collected under section 6, earnings 
                obtained from assessments, and other income of the 
                Board.
          (2) Requirements.--Each contract or agreement shall provide 
        that any person who enters into the contract or agreement with 
        the Board shall--
                  (A) develop and submit to the Board a proposed 
                program or project together with a budget that 
                specifies the cost to be incurred to carry out the 
                program or project;
                  (B) keep accurate records of all of transactions 
                relating to the contract or agreement;
                  (C) account for funds received and expended in 
                connection with the contract or agreement;
                  (D) make periodic reports to the Board of activities 
                conducted under the contract or agreement; and
                  (E) make such other reports as the Board or the 
                Secretary considers relevant.
          (3) Failure to approve.--If the Secretary fails to approve or 
        reject a contract or agreement entered into under paragraph (1) 
        within 60 days of receipt, the contract or agreement shall be 
        deemed approved, unless the Secretary provides to the Board and 
        to Congress, in writing, reasonable justification for the delay 
        and provides a reasonable date by which approval or disapproval 
        will be made.
  (f) Books and Records of Board.--
          (1) In general.--The order shall require the Board to--
                  (A) maintain such books and records (which shall be 
                available to the Secretary for inspection and audit) as 
                the Secretary may require;
                  (B) collect and submit to the Secretary, at any time 
                the Secretary may specify, any information the 
                Secretary may request; and
                  (C) account for the receipt and disbursement of all 
                funds in the possession, or under the control, of the 
                Board.
          (2) Audits.--The order shall require the Board to have--
                  (A) the books and records of the Board audited by an 
                independent auditor at the end of each fiscal year; and
                  (B) a report of the audit submitted directly to the 
                Secretary.
  (g) Prohibited Activities.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), the Board shall 
        not engage in any program or project to, nor shall any funds 
        received by the Board under this Act be used to--
                  (A) influence legislation, elections, or governmental 
                action;
                  (B) engage in an action that would be a conflict of 
                interest;
                  (C) engage in advertising that is false or 
                misleading;
                  (D) engage in any promotion, research, or education 
                that would be disparaging to other construction 
                materials; or
                  (E) engage in any promotion or project that would 
                benefit any individual manufacturer.
          (2) Exceptions.--Paragraph (1) does not preclude--
                  (A) the development and recommendation of amendments 
                to the order;
                  (B) the communication to appropriate government 
                officials of information relating to the conduct, 
                implementation, or results of research, education, and 
                promotion activities under the order except 
                communications described in paragraph(1)(A); or
                  (C) any lawful action designed to market concrete 
                masonry products directly to a foreign government or 
                political subdivision of a foreign government.
  (h) Periodic Evaluation.--The order shall require the Board to 
provide for the independent evaluation of all research, education, and 
promotion programs or projects undertaken under the order, beginning 
five years after the date of enactment of this Act and every three 
years thereafter. The Board shall submit to the Secretary and make 
available to the public the results of each such evaluation.
  (i) Objectives.--The Board shall establish annual research, 
education, and promotion objectives and performance metrics for each 
fiscal year subject to approval by the Secretary.
  (j) Biennial Report.--Every two years the Board shall prepare and 
make publicly available a comprehensive and detailed report that 
includes an identification and description of all programs and projects 
undertaken by the Board during the previous two years as well as those 
planned for the subsequent two years and detail the allocation or 
planned allocation of Board resources for each such program or project. 
Such report shall also include--
          (1) the Board's overall financial condition;
          (2) a summary of the amounts obligated or expended during the 
        two preceding fiscal years; and
          (3) a description of the extent to which the Board's 
        objectives were met according to the metrics required under 
        subsection (i).
  (k) Books and Records of Persons Covered by Order.--
          (1) In general.--The order shall require that manufacturers 
        shall--
                  (A) maintain records sufficient to ensure compliance 
                with the order and regulations; and
                  (B) make the records described in subparagraph (A) 
                available, during normal business hours, for inspection 
                by employees or agents of the Board or the Department.
          (2) Time requirement.--Any record required to be maintained 
        under paragraph (1) shall be maintained for such time period as 
        the Secretary may prescribe.
          (3) Confidentiality of information.--
                  (A) In general.--Except as otherwise provided in this 
                subparagraph (B) trade secrets and commercial or 
                financial information that is privileged or 
                confidential reported to, or otherwise obtained by the 
                Board or the Secretary (or any representative of the 
                Board or the Secretary) under this Act shall not be 
                disclosed by any officers, employees, and agents of the 
                Department or the Board.
                  (B) Suits and hearings.--Information referred to in 
                subparagraph (A) may be disclosed only if--
                          (i) the Secretary considers the information 
                        relevant; and
                          (ii) the information is revealed in a 
                        judicial proceeding or administrative hearing 
                        brought at the direction or on the request of 
                        the Secretary or to which the Secretary or any 
                        officer of the Department is a party.
                  (C) General statements and publications.--This 
                paragraph does not prohibit--
                          (i) the issuance of general statements based 
                        on reports or on information relating to a 
                        number of persons subject to an order if the 
                        statements do not identify the information 
                        furnished by any person; or
                          (ii) the publication, by direction of the 
                        Secretary, of the name of any person violating 
                        any order and a statement of the particular 
                        provisions of the order violated by the person.
                  (D) Penalty.--Any officer, employee, or agent of the 
                Department of Commerce or any officer, employee, or 
                agent of the Board who willfully violates this 
                subsection shall be fined not more than $1,000 and 
                imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both.
          (4) Withholding information.--This subsection does not 
        authorize the withholding of information from Congress.

SEC. 6. ASSESSMENTS.

  (a) Assessments.--The order shall provide that assessments shall be 
paid by a manufacturer if the manufacturer has manufactured concrete 
masonry products during a period of at least 180 days prior to the date 
the assessment is to be remitted.
  (b) Collection.--
          (1) In general.--Assessments required under the order shall 
        be remitted by the manufacturer to the Board in the manner 
        prescribed by the order.
          (2) Timing.--The order shall provide that assessments 
        required under the order shall be remitted to the Board not 
        less frequently than quarterly.
          (3) Records.--As part of the remittance of assessments, 
        manufacturers shall identify the total amount due in 
        assessments on all sales receipts, invoices or other commercial 
        documents of sale as a result of the sale of concrete masonry 
        units in a manner as prescribed by the Board to ensure 
        compliance with the order.
  (c) Assessment Rates.--With respect to assessment rates, the order 
shall contain the following terms:
          (1) Initial rate.--The assessment rate on concrete masonry 
        products shall be $0.01 per concrete masonry unit sold.
          (2) Changes in the rate.--
                  (A) Authority to change rate.--The Board shall have 
                the authority to change the assessment rate. A two-
                thirds majority of voting members of the Board shall be 
                required to approve a change in the assessment rate.
                  (B) Limitation on increases.--An increase or decrease 
                in the assessment rate with respect to concrete masonry 
                products may not exceed $0.01 per concrete masonry unit 
                sold.
                  (C) Maximum rate.--The assessment rate shall not be 
                in excess of $0.05 per concrete masonry unit.
                  (D) Limitation on frequency of changes.--The 
                assessment rate may not be increased or decreased more 
                than once annually.
  (d) Late-Payment and Interest Charges.--
          (1) In general.--Late-payment and interest charges may be 
        levied on each person subject to the order who fails to remit 
        an assessment in accordance with subsection (b).
          (2) Rate.--The rate for late-payment and interest charges 
        shall be specified by the Secretary.
  (e) Investment of Assessments.--Pending disbursement of assessments 
under a budget approved by the Secretary, the Board may invest 
assessments collected under this section in--
          (1) obligations of the United States or any agency of the 
        United States;
          (2) general obligations of any State or any political 
        subdivision of a State;
          (3) interest-bearing accounts or certificates of deposit of 
        financial institutions that are members of the Federal Reserve 
        System; or
          (4) obligations fully guaranteed as to principal and interest 
        by the United States.
  (f) Assessment Funds for Regional Initiatives.--
          (1) In general.--The order shall provide that no less than 50 
        percent of the assessments (less administration expenses) paid 
        by a manufacturer shall be used to support research, education, 
        and promotion programs and projects in support of the 
        geographic region of the manufacturer.
          (2) Geographic regions.--The order shall provide for the 
        following geographic regions:
                  (A) Region I shall comprise Connecticut, Delaware, 
                the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, 
                Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, 
                Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia.
                  (B) Region II shall comprise Alabama, Florida, 
                Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, 
                Tennessee, and Virginia.
                  (C) Region III shall comprise Illinois, Indiana, 
                Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North 
                Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
                  (D) Region IV shall comprise Arizona, Arkansas, 
                Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and 
                Texas.
                  (E) Region V shall comprise Alaska, California, 
                Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, 
                Washington, and Wyoming.
          (3) Adjustment of geographic regions.--The order shall 
        provide that the Secretary may, upon recommendation of the 
        Board, modify the composition of the geographic regions 
        described in paragraph (2).

SEC. 7. REFERENDA.

  (a) Initial Referendum.--
          (1) Referendum required.--During the 60-day period 
        immediately preceding the proposed effective date of the order 
        issued under section 4, the Secretary shall conduct a 
        referendum among manufacturers eligible under subsection (b)(2) 
        subject to assessments under section 6.
          (2) Approval of order needed.--The order shall become 
        effective only if the Secretary determines that the order has 
        been approved by a majority of manufacturers voting who also 
        represent a majority of the machine cavities in operation of 
        those manufacturers voting in the referendum.
  (b) Votes Permitted.--
          (1) In general.--Each manufacturer eligible to vote in a 
        referendum conducted under this section shall be entitled to 
        cast one vote.
          (2) Eligibility.--For purposes of paragraph (1), a 
        manufacturer shall be considered to be eligible to vote if the 
        manufacturer has manufactured concrete masonry products during 
        a period of at least 180 days prior to the first day of the 
        period during which voting in the referendum will occur.
  (c) Manner of Conducting Referenda.--
          (1) In general.--Referenda conducted pursuant to this section 
        shall be conducted in a manner determined by the Secretary.
          (2) Advance registration.--A manufacturer who chooses to vote 
        in any referendum conducted under this section shall register 
        with the Secretary prior to the voting period, after receiving 
        notice from the Secretary concerning the referendum under 
        paragraph (4).
          (3) Voting.--The Secretary shall establish procedures for 
        voting in any referendum conducted under this section. The 
        ballots and other information or reports that reveal or tend to 
        reveal the identity or vote of voters shall be strictly 
        confidential.
          (4) Notice.--Not later than 30 days before a referendum is 
        conducted under this section with respect to an order, the 
        Secretary shall notify all manufacturers, in such a manner as 
        determined by the Secretary, of the period during which voting 
        in the referendum will occur. The notice shall explain any 
        registration and voting procedures established under this 
        subsection.
  (d) Subsequent Referenda.--If an order is approved in a referendum 
conducted under subsection (a), the Secretary shall conduct a 
subsequent referendum--
          (1) at the request of the Board, subject to the voting 
        requirements of subsections (b) and (c), to ascertain whether 
        eligible manufacturers favor suspension, termination, or 
        continuance of the order; or
          (2) effective beginning on the date that is 5 years after the 
        date of the approval of the order, and at 5-year intervals 
        thereafter, at the request of 25 percent or more of the total 
        number of persons eligible to vote under subsection (b).
  (e) Suspension or Termination.--If, as a result of a referendum 
conducted under subsection (d), the Secretary determines that 
suspension or termination of the order is favored by a majority of all 
votes cast in the referendum as provided in subsection (a)(2), the 
Secretary shall--
          (1) not later than 180 days after the referendum, suspend or 
        terminate, as appropriate, collection of assessments under the 
        order; and
          (2) suspend or terminate, as appropriate, programs and 
        projects under the order as soon as practicable and in an 
        orderly manner.
  (f) Costs of Referenda.--The Board established under an order with 
respect to which a referendum is conducted under this section shall 
reimburse the Secretary from assessments for any expenses incurred by 
the Secretary to conduct the referendum.

SEC. 8. PETITION AND REVIEW.

  (a) Petition.--
          (1) In general.--A person subject to an order issued under 
        this Act may file with the Secretary a petition--
                  (A) stating that the order, any provision of the 
                order, or any obligation imposed in connection with the 
                order, is not established in accordance with law; and
                  (B) requesting a modification of the order or an 
                exemption from the order.
          (2) Hearing.--The Secretary shall give the petitioner an 
        opportunity for a hearing on the petition, in accordance with 
        regulations issued by the Secretary.
          (3) Ruling.--After the hearing, the Secretary shall make a 
        ruling on the petition. The ruling shall be final, subject to 
        review as set forth in subsection (b).
          (4) Limitation on petition.--Any petition filed under this 
        subsection challenging an order, any provision of the order, or 
        any obligation imposed in connection with the order, shall be 
        filed not less than 2 years after the effective date of the 
        order, provision, or obligation subject to challenge in the 
        petition.
  (b) Review.--
          (1) Commencement of action.--The district courts of the 
        United States in any district in which a person who is a 
        petitioner under subsection (a) resides or conducts business 
        shall have jurisdiction to review the ruling of the Secretary 
        on the petition of the person, if a complaint requesting the 
        review is filed no later than 30 days after the date of the 
        entry of the ruling by the Secretary.
          (2) Process.--Service of process in proceedings under this 
        subsection shall be conducted in accordance with the Federal 
        Rules of Civil Procedure.
          (3) Remands.--If the court in a proceeding under this 
        subsection determines that the ruling of the Secretary on the 
        petition of the person is not in accordance with law, the court 
        shall remand the matter to the Secretary with directions--
                  (A) to make such ruling as the court shall determine 
                to be in accordance with law; or
                  (B) to take such further action as, in the opinion 
                the court, the law requires.
  (c) Enforcement.--The pendency of proceedings instituted under this 
section shall not impede, hinder, or delay the Attorney General or the 
Secretary from obtaining relief under section 9.

SEC. 9. ENFORCEMENT.

  (a) Jurisdiction.--A district court of the United States shall have 
jurisdiction to enforce, and to prevent and restrain any person from 
violating, this Act or an order or regulation issued by the Secretary 
under this Act.
  (b) Referral to Attorney General.--A civil action authorized to be 
brought under this section shall be referred to the Attorney General of 
the United States for appropriate action.
  (c) Civil Penalties and Orders.--
          (1) Civil penalties.--A person who willfully violates an 
        order or regulation issued by the Secretary under this Act may 
        be assessed by the Secretary a civil penalty of not more than 
        $5,000 for each violation.
          (2) Separate offense.--Each violation and each day during 
        which there is a failure to comply with an order or regulation 
        issued by the Secretary shall be considered to be a separate 
        offense.
          (3) Cease-and-desist orders.--In addition to, or in lieu of, 
        a civil penalty, the Secretary may issue an order requiring a 
        person to cease and desist from violating the order or 
        regulation.
          (4) Notice and hearing.--No order assessing a penalty or 
        cease-and-desist order may be issued by the Secretary under 
        this subsection unless the Secretary provides notice and an 
        opportunity for a hearing on the record with respect to the 
        violation.
          (5) Finality.--An order assessing a penalty or a cease-and-
        desist order issued under this subsection by the Secretary 
        shall be final and conclusive unless the person against whom 
        the order is issued files an appeal from the order with the 
        appropriate district court of the United States.
  (d) Additional Remedies.--The remedies provided in this Act shall be 
in addition to, and not exclusive of, other remedies that may be 
available.

SEC. 10. INVESTIGATION AND POWER TO SUBPOENA.

  (a) Investigations.--The Secretary may conduct such investigations as 
the Secretary considers necessary for the effective administration of 
this Act, or to determine whether any person has engaged or is engaging 
in any act that constitutes a violation of this Act or any order or 
regulation issued under this Act.
  (b) Subpoenas, Oaths, and Affirmations.--
          (1) Investigations.--For the purpose of conducting an 
        investigation under subsection (a), the Secretary may 
        administer oaths and affirmations, subpoena witnesses, compel 
        the attendance of witnesses, take evidence, and require the 
        production of any records that are relevant to the inquiry. The 
        production of the records may be required from any place in the 
        United States.
          (2) Administrative hearings.--For the purpose of an 
        administrative hearing held under section 8(a)(2) or section 
        9(c)(4), the presiding officer may administer oaths and 
        affirmations, subpoena witnesses, compel the attendance of 
        witnesses, take evidence, and require the production of any 
        records that are relevant to the inquiry. The attendance of 
        witnesses and the production of the records may be required 
        from any place in the United States.
  (c) Aid of Courts.--
          (1) In general.--In the case of contumacy by, or refusal to 
        obey a subpoena issued under subsection (b) to, any person, the 
        Secretary may invoke the aid of any court of the United States 
        within the jurisdiction of which the investigation or 
        proceeding is conducted, or where the person resides or 
        conducts business, in order to enforce a subpoena issued under 
        subsection (b).
          (2) Order.--The court may issue an order requiring the person 
        referred to in paragraph (1) to comply with a subpoena referred 
        to in paragraph (1).
          (3) Failure to obey.--Any failure to obey the order of the 
        court may be punished by the court as a contempt of court.
          (4) Process.--Process in any proceeding under this subsection 
        may be served in the United States judicial district in which 
        the person being proceeded against resides or conducts 
        business, or wherever the person may be found.

SEC. 11. SUSPENSION OR TERMINATION.

  (a) Mandatory Suspension or Termination.--The Secretary shall suspend 
or terminate an order or a provision of an order if the Secretary finds 
that an order or provision of an order obstructs or does not tend to 
effectuate the purpose of this Act, or if the Secretary determines that 
the order or a provision of an order is not favored by a majority of 
all votes cast in the referendum as provided in section 7(a)(2).
  (b) Implementation of Suspension or Termination.--If, as a result of 
a referendum conducted under section 7, the Secretary determines that 
the order is not approved, the Secretary shall--
          (1) not later than 180 days after making the determination, 
        suspend or terminate, as the case may be, collection of 
        assessments under the order; and
          (2) as soon as practicable, suspend or terminate, as the case 
        may be, activities under the order in an orderly manner.

SEC. 12. AMENDMENTS TO ORDERS.

  The provisions of this Act applicable to the order shall be 
applicable to any amendment to the order, except that section 8 shall 
not apply to an amendment.

SEC. 13. EFFECT ON OTHER LAWS.

  This Act shall not affect or preempt any other Federal or State law 
authorizing research, education, and promotion relating to concrete 
masonry products.

SEC. 14. REGULATIONS.

  The Secretary may issue such regulations as may be necessary to carry 
out this Act and the power vested in the Secretary under this Act.

SEC. 15. LIMITATION ON EXPENDITURES FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES.

  Funds appropriated to carry out this Act may not be used for the 
payment of the expenses or expenditures of the Board in administering 
the order.

SEC. 16. STUDY AND REPORT BY THE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE.

  Not later than 5 years and 8 years after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall prepare a 
study and submit to Congress and the Secretary a report examining--
          (1) how the Board spends assessments collected;
          (2) the extent to which the Board's reported activities help 
        achieve its annual objectives;
          (3) any changes in demand for concrete masonry products 
        relative to other building materials;
          (4) any impact of the Board's activities on the market share 
        of competing products;
          (5) any impact of the Board's activities on the overall size 
        of the market for building products;
          (6) any impact of the Board's activities on the total number 
        of concrete masonry related jobs, including manufacturing, 
        sales, and installation;
          (7) any significant effects of the Board's activities on 
        downstream purchasers of concrete masonry products and real 
        property into which concrete masonry products are incorporated;
          (8) effects on prices of concrete masonry products as a 
        result of the Board's activities;
          (9) the cost to the federal government of an increase in 
        concrete masonry product prices, if any, as a result of the 
        program established by this Act;
          (10) the extent to which key statutory requirements are met;
          (11) the extent and strength of federal oversight of the 
        program established by this Act;
          (12) the appropriateness of administering the program from 
        within the Office of the Secretary of Commerce and the 
        appropriateness of administering the program from within any 
        division of the Department of Commerce, including whether the 
        Department has the expertise, knowledge, or other capabilities 
        necessary to adequately administer the program; and
          (13) any other topic that the Comptroller General considers 
        appropriate.

SEC. 17. STUDY AND REPORT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE.

  Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the 
Secretary shall prepare a study and submit to Congress a report 
examining the appropriateness and effectiveness of applying the 
commodity check-off program model (such as those programs established 
under subchapter II of chapter 101 of title 7, United States Code) to a 
nonagricultural industry, taking into account the program established 
by this Act and any other check-off program involving a nonagricultural 
industry.

                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    The purpose of H.R. 985, the Concrete Masonry Products 
Research, Education, and Promotion Act of 2015, is to enable 
concrete masonry products manufacturers to establish, finance, 
and carry out a ``check-off'' program--a coordinated program of 
research, education, and promotion to improve, maintain, and 
develop markets--for concrete masonry products.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Designed to enable cooperation among generic commodity 
products--such as beef, milk, mushrooms, peanuts, and certain 
heating fuel products--check-off programs support generic 
research, education, and promotion campaigns and are 
established at the request of the affected industry. Funding 
for check-off program activities typically comes from mandatory 
fees assessed on relevant members of the affected industry. 
Board members from industry producers carry out the check-off 
program's activities, while the appropriate federal agency 
oversees the Board to ensure compliance with the law and to 
ensure resources support activities in furtherance of the 
Board's purposes.
    Most check-off programs cover agricultural commodities and 
are authorized under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and 
Information Act of 1996.\1\ Under that statute, the 
Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), a division of the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture (USDA), is responsible for overseeing 
at least 20 check-off programs.\2\ AMS is authorized to 
establish new check-off programs and to promulgate regulations 
fleshing out additional rules for each of the programs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Pub. L. No. 104-127.
    \2\U.S. Department of Agriculture, Federal Research and Promotion 
Programs (Jul. 27, 2015), (online at http://www.ams.usda.gov/ AMSv1.0/ 
ams.fetch Template Data.do?template=
TemplateB &leftNav;=Research and Promotion&page;=ResearchandPromotion).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The activities of each agricultural check-off program are 
carried out and governed by a board appointed by the Secretary 
of Agriculture from producers' nominations. All existing check-
off programs are funded and operated by the relevant 
industries. According to the USDA, every $1 dollar spent in a 
check-off program can yield an investment return as high as 
$18.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\U.S. Department of Agriculture, Industry Insight: Checkoff 
Programs Empower Business (Sept. 21, 2011) (online at http://
blogs.usda.gov/2011/09/21/industry-insight-checkoff-
programs-empower-business).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition to the USDA administered programs, there are 
also two check-off programs for heating fuel products. The 
first involves propane and was authorized by the Propane 
Education and Research Act of 1996.\4\ The second covers 
heating oil, which was initially authorized by the National 
Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000,\5\ and was recently 
reauthorized by the 2014 Agricultural Act.\6\ The Department of 
Energy oversees both programs. The intent of H.R. 985 is to 
establish a similar check-off program for the concrete masonry 
industry.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Pub. L. No. 104-284.
    \5\Pub. L. No. 106-469.
    \6\Pub. L. No. 113-79.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                HEARINGS

    The Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade held 
a hearing on H.R. 985 on July 10, 2015. The Subcommittee 
received testimony from:
           Ellen Herbst, Chief Financial Officer and 
        Assistant Secretary for Administration, U.S. Department 
        of Commerce;
           Franklin Rusco, Director, Natural Resources 
        and Environment-Energy Issues, U.S. Government 
        Accountability Office;
           Major Ogilvie, General Manager, Ready Mix 
        USA, LLC.;
           Kent Waide, President, Ruby Concrete 
        Company; and
           Kate Offringa, President, Vinyl Siding 
        Institute Incorporated.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On July 23, 2015, the Subcommittee on Commerce, 
Manufacturing, and Trade met in open markup session and 
forwarded H.R. 985 to the full Committee, as amended, by a 
voice vote. On July 29, 2015, the full Committee on Energy and 
Commerce met in open markup session and ordered H.R. 985 
reported to the House, as amended, by a voice vote.

                            COMMITTEE VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto. 
There were no record votes taken in connection with ordering 
H.R. 985 reported.

                      COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee held a hearing and made 
findings that are reflected in this report.

         STATEMENT OF GENERAL PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    The goal of H.R. 985 is to enable concrete masonry products 
manufacturers to establish, finance, and carry out a ``check-
off'' program--a coordinated program of research, education, 
and promotion to improve, maintain, and develop markets--for 
concrete masonry products.

   NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY, ENTITLEMENT AUTHORITY, AND TAX EXPENDITURES

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that H.R. 
985 would result in no new or increased budget authority, 
entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or revenues.

       EARMARK, LIMITED TAX BENEFITS, AND LIMITED TARIFF BENEFITS

    In compliance with clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI 
of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee 
finds that H.R. 985 contains no earmarks, limited tax benefits, 
or limited tariff benefits.

                        COMMITTEE COST ESTIMATE

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate prepared 
by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                  CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ESTIMATE

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                 Washington, DC, September 4, 2015.
Hon. Fred Upton,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 985, the Concrete 
Masonry Products Research, Education, and Promotion Act of 
2015.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Susan Willie.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 985--Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education, and Promotion 
        Act of 2015

    Summary: H.R. 985 would establish the Concrete Masonry 
Products Board (Board), upon approval of a referendum by 
producers of masonry products made from concrete (CMP), such as 
cinder blocks. The Board would develop research and education 
programs as well as efforts to promote CMP in domestic markets. 
Funding for those activities would be derived from assessments 
on CMP manufacturers based on the number of masonry units sold 
each year. The bill would direct the Secretary of Commerce to 
organize and hold the referendum; the agency's costs would be 
reimbursed by the Board from initial collections of 
assessments.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 985 would increase direct 
spending by $111 million and increase net revenues by $85 
million over the 2016-2025 period, leading to a net increase in 
the deficit of $26 million over the 10-year period. Pay-as-you-
go procedures apply because enacting the legislation would 
affect direct spending and revenues. In addition, CBO estimates 
that implementing H.R. 985 would cost $2 million over the 2016-
2020 period; such spending would be subject to the availability 
of appropriated funds.
    H.R. 985 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined 
in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would not affect 
the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.
    H.R. 985 would impose private-sector mandates on 
manufacturers of CMP. Based on information from industry 
experts, CBO estimates that the annual cost of the mandates 
would fall well below the threshold established in UMRA for 
private-sector mandates ($154 million in 2015, adjusted 
annually for inflation).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary effects of H.R. 985 are shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 370 
(commerce and housing credit).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                       By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   2025  2016-2020  2016-2025
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING
 
Estimated Budget Authority..................................      0      9     12     12     13     13     13     14     14     14        46        114
Estimated Outlays...........................................      0      6     12     12     13     13     13     14     14     14        43        111
 
                                                                  CHANGES IN REVENUESa
 
Estimated Revenues..........................................      0      7      9      9     10     10     10     10     10     10        35         85
 
                                NET INCREASE OR DECREASE (-) IN THE DEFICIT FROM CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING AND REVENUES
 
Impact on Deficit...........................................      0     -1      3      3      3      3      3      4      4      4         8         26
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 985 would cost about $2 million over the 2016-2020 period for administrative costs and reports; such spending would
  be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
aWhen excise taxes and other types of revenue, such as assessments by the Board, are imposed on goods or services, they tend to reduce income for
  workers or business owners in that industry and through the economy. As a consequence, revenue derived from other tax sources--such as income and
  payroll taxes--will be diminished. As a result, CBO applies an offset when estimating the net revenue effect for proposals that generate such indirect
  tax. The amount of the offset ranges from 25.6 percent in 2016 to 26.2 percent in 2025.

    Basis of estimate: In CBO's view, the Board that would be 
established under H.R. 985 should be considered to be acting on 
behalf of the federal government, thus all of its financial 
transactions should be reflected in the federal budget. While 
the Board would be formed only upon approval by a majority of 
the producers of CMP, once created, the requirement to pay 
assessments would be compulsory and could be enforced by the 
federal government's sovereign authority.
    Based on information from industry representatives, CBO 
anticipates that the referendum would be approved by the 
industry and that the Board and supporting staff would be 
appointed near the end fiscal year 2016. We expect that 
assessments would be collected beginning in the first half of 
fiscal year 2017; the bill would require assessments to be paid 
quarterly.
    While the bill would apply to producers of both concrete 
block and concrete pavers, CBO expects that only producers of 
concrete block would participate in the referendum. Because 
there is little differentiation among concrete blocks across 
manufacturers, all producers of concrete blocks would benefit 
from an industry-wide research and promotion program. 
Manufacturers of concrete pavers, on the other hand, are able 
to distinguish their products in a way that allows consumers to 
recognize individual brands. Consequently, those producers have 
little incentive to participate in an industry-wide marketing 
effort. Based on information from manufacturers of concrete 
pavers, CBO expects that those producers would not participate 
in the referendum.

Direct spending

    H.R. 985 would authorize the Board to spend amounts 
collected, without further appropriation, on research and 
education efforts as well as on programs to promote sales of 
CMP. The bill also would authorize the Board to borrow funds to 
cover the Board's start-up expenses and to invest collections 
in interest-bearing securities issued by the Treasury, thereby 
generating additional funding for its activities. Expenditures 
of assessments and accrued interest would be considered direct 
spending. Based on historical patterns for similar activities, 
CBO estimates that expenditures by the proposed Board would 
total $111 million over the 2016-2025 period.

Revenues

    H.R. 985 would authorize the Board to levy an assessment of 
one cent on each concrete block product sold by all CMP 
manufacturers in the United States. Based on information from 
industry experts and historical sales information, CBO expects 
about 1.2 billion concrete blocks will be sold in 2016 and we 
expect sales to grow with inflation, yielding, on average, 
estimated collections of $13 million per year. Those amounts 
would be recorded in the budget as revenues, because payment of 
the assessments would be compulsory, and could be enforced by 
federal courts. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 985 would 
increase gross revenues by $114 million over the 2016-2025 
period.
    Because excise taxes and other indirect business taxes 
(such as assessments by the Board) reduce the base of income 
and payroll taxes, higher amounts of those indirect business 
taxes would lead to reductions in revenues from income and 
payroll taxes. As a result, gross assessments would be 
partially offset by a loss of receipts of about 25 percent each 
year. Thus, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 985 would increase 
net revenues by $85 million over the 2016-2025 period.

Spending subject to appropriation

    H.R. 985 would direct the Secretary of Commerce to develop 
an order to establish the Board and set out its authorities, 
and to conduct a referendum among eligible CMP manufacturers to 
approve the order. After passage of the referendum, the 
Secretary would be responsible for approving the Board's 
programs and budgets each year. The bill also would direct the 
Secretary of Commerce and the Government Accountability Office 
to prepare several reports for the Congress to explain the 
effect the Board has on the concrete masonry block industry and 
the effectiveness of the referendum model on a nonagricultural 
industry.
    Based on the cost of similar reports and activities, CBO 
estimates that implementing those provisions would cost about 
$2 million over the 2016-2020 period, assuming the availability 
of appropriated funds.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go 
Act of 2010 establishes budget-reporting and enforcement 
procedures for legislation affecting direct spending or 
revenues. The net changes in outlays and revenues that are 
subject to those pay-as-you-go procedures are shown in the 
following table.

          CBO Estimate of Pay-As-You-Go Effects for H.R. 985 as ordered reported by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on July 29, 2015
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                       By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   2025  2016-2020  2016-2025
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       NET INCREASE OR DECREASE (-) IN THE DEFICIT
 
Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Impact..............................      0     -1      3      3      3      3      3      4      4      4         8         26
Memorandum:
    Changes in Outlays......................................      0      6     12     12     13     13     13     14     14     14        43        111
    Changes in Revenues.....................................      0      7      9      9     10     10     10     10     10     10        35         85
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.

    Estimated impact on state, local, and tribal governments: 
H.R. 985 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in 
UMRA and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: H.R. 985 would 
impose private-sector mandates on manufacturers of concrete 
masonry products, such as cinder blocks. Those manufacturers 
would be required to pay to the Board an assessment of one cent 
per masonry unit sold. CBO estimates that the cost of this 
mandate would amount to about $13 million annually on average. 
The bill also would impose mandates on CMP manufacturers by 
requiring them to maintain records and make those records 
available for inspection as required by the Board. Based on 
information from industry experts, the cost of complying with 
the recordkeeping requirements would be small. Consequently, 
CBO estimates that the aggregate cost of the private-sector 
mandates in the bill would fall well below the annual threshold 
established in UMRA ($154 million in 2015, adjusted annually 
for inflation).
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Susan Willie; Impact 
on state, local, and tribal governments: Melissa Merrell; 
Impact on the private sector: Logan Smith.
    Estimate approved by: H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                       FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

                    DUPLICATION OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS

    No provision of H.R. 985 establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the Federal Government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  DISCLOSURE OF DIRECTED RULE MAKINGS

    The Committee estimates that enacting H.R. 985 specifically 
directs to be completed 1 rulemaking within the meaning of 5 
U.S.C. 551.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                  APPLICABILITY TO LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF THE LEGISLATION

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 provides that this Act may be cited as the 
``Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education, and Promotion 
Act of 2015.''

Section 2. Declaration of policy

    Section 2 sets forth the purpose of the Act to establish a 
program that strengthens the market position and promotes the 
use of concrete masonry products.

Section 3. Definitions

    Section 3 sets forth definitions for terms contained within 
the Act.

Section 4. Issuance of orders

    Section 4 authorizes the Secretary of the Department of 
Commerce to issue orders under this Act that are applicable to 
manufacturers of concrete masonry products. It also sets forth 
procedures the Secretary must follow in issuing a proposed 
order, amending a current order, and making orders available 
for public comment and review.

Section 5. Required terms in orders

    Section 5 sets forth the specified terms and conditions 
that an order must contain. This section authorizes the 
establishment of a Concrete Masonry Products Board, the 
criteria for board membership, and the powers and duties of the 
board in carrying out the promotion, research, and education 
programs related to concrete masonry products.

Section 6. Assessments

    Section 6 requires and authorizes the collection of 
mandatory assessments paid by manufacturers of concrete masonry 
products manufactured and marketed in the United States. It 
also sets forth the collection processes of the assessment and 
details how the assessments must be disbursed to support 
research, education, and promotion programs and projects.

Section 7. Referenda

    Section 7 requires the Secretary to conduct a referendum 
among manufacturers required to pay the assessments to formally 
adopt an order under this Act. The Secretary will deem the 
order in effect only if it has been approved by a majority of 
manufacturers voting who also represent a majority of the 
machine cavities in operation of those manufacturers voting in 
the referendum. This section also sets forth the terms of 
eligibility among manufacturers to participate and cast votes 
on the referendum.

Section 8. Petition and review

    Section 8 authorizes concrete masonry product manufacturers 
covered by an order to file a petition challenging the legality 
of the order. It also authorizes manufacturers to file a 
petition requesting a modification to the order or an exemption 
from the order.

Section 9. Enforcement

    Section 9 gives U.S. District courts authority to enforce 
this Act. It also authorizes the U.S. Attorney General to bring 
civil actions. It establishes civil penalties and orders for 
violations of the Act of not more than $5,000 for each 
violation. It also provides that any remedies for enforcement 
listed in this Act are in addition to, and not exclusive of, 
other remedies that may be available.

Section 10. Investigation and power to subpoena

    Section 10 authorizes the Secretary to conduct 
investigations, issue subpoenas, and take other actions to 
determine whether any persons are engaging in conduct that 
violates the Act.

Section 11. Suspension or termination

    Section 11 gives the Secretary authority to suspend or 
terminate an order or provision of an order that obstructs or 
does not effectuate the purpose of the Act. It also gives the 
Secretary authority to suspend or terminate the collection of 
assessments under an order and all other activities if it is 
determined that the order is not approved as a result of a 
referendum conducted under 
Section 7.

Section 12. Amendments to orders

    Section 12 establishes that all the provisions of the Act 
that are applicable to the order will be applicable to any 
amendment to the order, except Section 8 will not apply to an 
amendment.

Section 13. Effect on other laws

    Section 13 establishes that this Act will not affect or 
preempt any other Federal or State laws authorizing research, 
education, and promotion relating to concrete masonry products.

Section 14. Regulations

    Section 14 authorizes the Secretary to issue regulations 
that may be necessary under the power vested in the Secretary 
under this Act to carry out the Act.

Section 15. Limitation on expenditures for administrative expenses

    Section 15 prohibits the use of any funds appropriated to 
carry out the Act to be used for the payment of expenses or 
expenditures of the Board in administering the order.

Section 16. Study and report by the Government Accountability Office

    Section 16 requires the Government Accountability Office to 
conduct two studies examining several factors related to the 
efficacy of the program. The first study must be submitted to 
Congress no later than five years after the Act's enactment, 
and the second study must be submitted no later than eight 
years after the Act's enactment.

Section 17. Study and report by the Department of Commerce

    Section 17 requires the Department of Commerce to prepare a 
study and submit to Congress a report examining the 
appropriateness and effectiveness of applying the Department of 
Agriculture's check-off program model to other non-agricultural 
industries.

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    This legislation does not amend any existing Federal 
statute.

                                  [all]