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116th Congress    }                                  {         Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                  {        116-139

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



 
                       21ST CENTURY PRESIDENT ACT

                                _______
                                

  July 9, 2019.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Nadler, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 677]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 677) to amend gendered terms in Federal law relating 
to the President and the President's spouse, having considered 
the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommend that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     1
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     2
Hearings.........................................................     2
Committee Consideration..........................................     2
Committee Votes..................................................     2
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     2
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     3
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     3
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     4
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     4
Advisory on Earmarks.............................................     4
Section-by-Section Analysis......................................     4
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     4

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 677, the ``21st Century President Act,'' would amend 
gendered terms in section 879 of title 18 of the United States 
Code, which provides that it is a criminal offense to threaten 
to kill, kidnap or inflict bodily harm upon the President, the 
President's spouse, and certain other individuals.

                Background and Need for the Legislation


                               BACKGROUND

    Section 879(a) of title 18 of the United States Code 
provides that it is a criminal offense to threaten to kill, 
kidnap, or inflict bodily harm upon: (1) a former President, or 
immediate family member; (2) an immediate family member of the 
current President, President-elect, Vice President, or Vice 
President-elect; or (3) a major candidate for President or Vice 
President, or their immediate family; or any other individual 
receiving protection by the Secret Service. In pertinent part, 
Section 879(b) defines ``immediate family'' as ``the wife of a 
former President during his lifetime, [and] the widow of a 
former President until her death.'' This statute was signed 
into law by then President Ronald Reagan on October 12, 1982, 
in the aftermath of the attempt on his life by then John 
Hinckley, Jr. one year earlier.

                        NEED FOR THE LEGISLATION

    Our Nation has long struggled with voting and equality in 
representation. For example, the U.S. Constitution did not 
recognize women's right to vote until it was amended in 1920, 
with the adoption of the 19th Amendment. It would take another 
96 years before a major political party would nominate a woman 
for candidacy in a presidential election. Currently, one member 
of the LGBTQ community and six women have declared themselves 
to be candidates for the presidency. It is time that section 
879, the statute concerning threats against former Presidents 
and Vice Presidents and their families, be revised to remove 
outdated terms such as, ``wife,'' ``her,'' and ``widow'' in the 
statute.

                                Hearings

    There were no legislative hearings on H.R. 677.

                        Committee Consideration

    On June 12, 2019, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered the bill, H.R. 677, favorably reported, without 
amendment, by voice vote, a quorum being present.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that no 
rollcall votes occurred during the Committee's consideration of 
H.R. 677.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives is inapplicable because this legislation does 
not provide new budgetary authority or increased tax 
expenditures.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets forth, with 
respect to the bill, H.R. 677, the following estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, July 8, 2019.
Hon. Jerrold Nadler,
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 677, the 21st 
Century President Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz.
            Sincerely,
                                         Phillip L. Swagel,
                                                          Director.

Enclosure.

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


    H.R. 677 would update certain gender-related terms used for 
family members of the President who are protected by law from 
threats. Specifically, the bill would replace the words wife 
and widow with spouse and surviving spouse in the law. The bill 
would not affect the total number of persons protected by such 
laws, so CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 677 would result 
in no cost to the federal government.

    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H.R. 677 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.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H.R. 
677 would amend gendered terms in Federal law relating to the 
President and the President's spouse, by removing ``wife,'' 
her,'' and ``widow,'' and replace them instead with `spouse.'

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In accordance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.R. 677 does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    The following discussion describes the bill as reported by 
the Committee.
    Section 1. Short Title. Section 1 sets forth the short 
title of the legislation as the ``21st Century President Act''.
    Section 2. Modernization of Terms Relating to the President 
and the Spouse of the President. Section 2 amends 18 U.S.C 
Sec. 879 to replace ``the wife of a former President during his 
lifetime, the widow of a former President until her death or 
remarriage'' with ``the spouse of a former President during the 
former President's lifetime, the surviving spouse of a former 
President until the surviving spouse's death or remarriage''.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, H.R. 677, as reported, are shown as follows (existing 
law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no changes 
are proposed is shown in roman):

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, 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):

                      TITLE 18, UNITED STATES CODE




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
PART I--CRIMES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 41--EXTORTION AND THREATS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 879. Threats against former Presidents and certain other persons

  (a) Whoever knowingly and willfully threatens to kill, 
kidnap, or inflict bodily harm upon--
          (1) a former President or a member of the immediate 
        family of a former President;
          (2) a member of the immediate family of the 
        President, the President-elect, the Vice President, or 
        the Vice President-elect;
          (3) a major candidate for the office of President or 
        Vice President, or a member of the immediate family of 
        such candidate; or
          (4) a person protected by the Secret Service under 
        section 3056(a)(6);
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 
years, or both.
  (b) As used in this section--
          (1) the term ``immediate family'' means--
                  (A) with respect to subsection (a)(1) of this 
                section, [the wife of a former President during 
                his lifetime, the widow of a former President 
                until her death or remarriage] the spouse of a 
                former President during a former President's 
                lifetime, the surviving spouse of a former 
                President until the surviving spouse's death or 
                remarriage, and minor children of a former 
                President until they reach sixteen years of 
                age; and
                  (B) with respect to subsection (a)(2) and 
                (a)(3) of this section, a person to whom the 
                President, President-elect, Vice President, 
                Vice President-elect, or major candidate for 
                the office of President or Vice President--
                          (i) is related by blood, marriage, or 
                        adoption; or
                          (ii) stands in loco parentis;
          (2) the term ``major candidate for the office of 
        President or Vice President'' means a candidate 
        referred to in subsection (a)(7) of section 3056 of 
        this title; and
          (3) the terms ``President-elect'' and ``Vice 
        President-elect'' have the meanings given those terms 
        in section 871(b) of this title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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