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                                                        Calendar No. 93
114th Congress    }                                      {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session      }                                      {       114-51
_______________________________________________________________________



     UNITED STATES MERCHANT MARINE ACADEMY IMPROVEMENTS ACT OF 2015

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                 S. 143

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                  May 21, 2015.--Ordered to be printed
                                    ______

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

49-010                         WASHINGTON : 2015                 
                  
                  


















                  
       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                    one hundred fourteenth congress
                             first session

                   JOHN THUNE, South Dakota, Chairman
 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi         BILL NELSON, Florida
 ROY BLUNT, Missouri                  MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
 MARCO RUBIO, Florida                 CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
 KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire          AMY KLOBUCHAR , Minnesota
 TED CRUZ, Texas                      RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
 DEB FISCHER, Nebraska                BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
 JERRY MORAN, Kansas                  ED MARKEY, Massachusetts
 DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska                 CORY BOOKER, New Jersey
 RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               TOM UDALL, New Mexico
 DEAN HELLER, Nevada                  JOE MANCHIN, West Virginia
 CORY GARDNER, Colorado               GARY PETERS, Michigan
 STEVE DAINES, Montana
                    David Schwietert, Staff Director
                   Nick Rossi, Deputy Staff Director
                    Rebecca Seidel, General Counsel
                 Kim Lipsky, Democratic Staff Director
           Christopher Day, Democratic Deputy Staff Director
                 Clint Odom, Democratic General Counsel
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                                                        Calendar No. 93
114th Congress    }                                      {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session      }                                      {       114-51

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



 
     UNITED STATES MERCHANT MARINE ACADEMY IMPROVEMENTS ACT OF 2015

                                _______
                                

                  May 21, 2015.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Thune, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 143]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 143) to allow for improvements 
to the United States Merchant Marine Academy and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of S. 143, the United States Merchant Marine 
Academy Improvements Act of 2015, is to allow the United States 
Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) to accept a gift from its 
alumni foundation to complete renovations of the Officers' Club 
(known as Melville Hall) without federally-appropriated funds 
and to allow the United States Merchant Marine Academy Alumni 
Association and Foundation, Inc. (Foundation) to compete for 
the contract to operate Melville Hall.

                          Background and Needs

    The USMMA in Kings Point, New York, is one of five service 
academies that prepare college-aged students to be officers of 
the U.S. uniformed services. After graduation, midshipmen are 
commissioned as officers and obligated to serve a minimum of 
five years in the active or reserve components of the military, 
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
commissioned officer corps, or in Federal civil service within 
a national security program.\1\ The USMMA graduates 
approximately 200 midshipmen annually.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\R. Eric Petersen, Congressional Research Service (CRS). 
Congressional Nominations to U.S. Service Academies: An Overview and 
Resources for Outreach and Management. CRS Memo September 23, 2014.
    \2\Maritime Administration United States Merchant Marine Academy. 
Capital Improvement Program FY 2014 Annual Report and FY 2015-2019 
Plan: http://www.usmma.edu/sites/usmma.edu/files/docs/2014 CIP Report-
Final sent to Congress 4 1 14.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Maritime Administration (MARAD) provides support and 
oversight of the USMMA campus infrastructure. MARAD is 
currently allowed to accept gifts from non-prohibited sources 
to support the USMMA and its infrastructure; however, 
congressional approval is required to enter into a non-
competitive contract with the Foundation to operate Melville 
Hall.\3\ Melville Hall at the USMMA is eligible for use by 
USMMA midshipmen, faculty and staff, alumni, military members, 
community organizations, and government entities.\4\ The 
renovation of this building would improve its current use as a 
formal dining area for midshipmen events, sponsor dinners, 
meetings, and lectures. In addition, staff and faculty would be 
provided an updated place for conferences and social events.\5\ 
The cost of Melville Hall renovations to bring the building 
into compliance with all fire, environmental, and building 
codes, as well as Federal statutes, such as the Americans with 
Disabilities Act, and to improve its water, heating, drainage, 
and electrical systems is estimated at $4 million.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Ibid.
    \4\http://www.usmma.edu/facilities/melville-hall/hall-policies.
    \5\Maritime Administration United States Merchant Marine Academy. 
Capital Improvement Program FY 2014 Annual Report and FY 2015-2019 
Plan: http://www.usmma.edu/sites/usmma.edu/files/docs/2014 CIP Report-
Final sent to Congress 4 1 14.pdf.
    \6\Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                         Summary of Provisions

    S. 143 would authorize the Administrator of MARAD to accept 
money from the Foundation for renovations of Melville Hall. It 
would also allow the Administrator of MARAD to enter into a 
contract with the Foundation for the hall's operation, 
contingent on certain terms being met.

                          Legislative History

    S. 143 was introduced by Senator Wicker on January 9, 2015. 
Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX) introduced a companion bill 
in the House, H.R. 143. On February 26, 2015, the Committee met 
in open Executive Session and, by a voice vote, ordered S. 143 
to be reported favorably without amendment.

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

S. 143--United States Merchant Marine Academy Improvements Act of 2015

    S. 143 would authorize the Maritime Administration (MARAD) 
to accept a monetary donation from the United States Merchant 
Marine Academy Alumni Association and Foundation to renovate 
Melville Hall of the Merchant Marine Academy in the state of 
New York. If the foundation chooses to make a donation that is 
25 percent greater than the minimum amount required to renovate 
Melville Hall, the bill would authorize MARAD to enter into a 
contract with the foundation to operate the hall for certain 
purposes. Under the contract, the foundation would maintain the 
hall and make its facilities available for official academy 
functions, as well as industry events, conferences, and other 
activities. The foundation would retain sufficient income to 
cover its costs of hosting such events in the hall and remit 
any remaining amounts to a federal fund that would be used, 
without further appropriation, to promote the morale and 
welfare of the academy's cadets.
    Based on information provided by MARAD, CBO estimates that 
the foundation would need to donate $9 million to allow MARAD 
to renovate the hall and to contract with the foundation to 
operate the hall. CBO estimates that the gift would be spent, 
without further appropriation, for the authorized purposes and 
that any net income from using the hall to host events would 
also be spent, resulting in no significant net budgetary 
impact. Because enacting S. 143 would affect direct spending, 
pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Enacting S. 143 would not 
affect revenues.
    S. 143 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 contact for this estimate is Martin von 
Gnechten. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                           Regulatory Impact

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       NUMBER OF PERSONS COVERED

    S. 143 as reported does not create any new programs or 
impose any new regulatory requirements, and therefore would not 
subject any individuals or businesses to new regulations.

                            ECONOMIC IMPACT

    Enactment of this legislation is not expected to have any 
significant adverse impacts on the Nation's economy.

                                PRIVACY

    The bill would not impact the personal privacy of 
individuals.

                               PAPERWORK

    The Committee does not anticipate an increase in paperwork 
burdens resulting from the passage of this legislation.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title.

    This section would designate the short title of this bill 
as the ``United States Merchant Marine Academy Improvements Act 
of 2015.''

Section 2. Melville Hall of United States Merchant Marine Academy.

    This section would clarify section 51315 of title 46, 
United States Code, to allow the Administrator of MARAD to 
accept a gift of money that covers the minimum amount 
sufficient (plus 25 percent of that total) from the Foundation 
for the purpose of renovating Melville Hall. The Administrator 
of MARAD may also enter into a contract with the Foundation to 
operate the hall. The bill, if the Administrator of MARAD 
enters into a contract with the Foundation, would direct the 
proceeds, after expenses for operation and maintenance of the 
hall, to be returned to the Merchant Marine Academy cadet 
welfare fund. Additionally, if operation of the hall is awarded 
to the Foundation, the Foundation would be required to return 
the hall to MARAD in its renovated condition. Further, the bill 
would prohibit the use of Melville Hall as lodging or an office 
other than for Government purposes or the administration or 
operation of the hall.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that the 
bill as reported would make no change to existing law.

                                  [all]