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116th Congress    }                                    {        Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                    {       116-323

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



 
       NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2019

                                _______
                                

December 5, 2019.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Grijalva, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 2405]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 2405) to reauthorize and amend the National Sea 
Grant College Program Act, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
    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 ``National Sea Grant College Program 
Amendments Act of 2019''.

SEC. 2. REFERENCES TO THE NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM ACT.

  Except as otherwise expressly provided, wherever in this Act an 
amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or repeal 
of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to 
be made to a section or other provision of the National Sea Grant 
College Program Act (33 U.S.C. 1121 et seq.).

SEC. 3. MODIFICATION OF DEAN JOHN A. KNAUSS MARINE POLICY FELLOWSHIP.

  (a) In General.--Section 208(b) (33 U.S.C. 1127(b)) is amended by 
striking ``may'' and inserting ``shall''.
  (b) Placements in Congress.--Such section is further amended--
          (1) in the first sentence, by striking ``The Secretary'' and 
        inserting the following:
          ``(1) In general.--The Secretary''; and
          (2) in paragraph (1), as designated by paragraph (1) of this 
        section, in the second sentence, by striking ``A fellowship'' 
        and inserting the following:
          ``(2) Placement priorities.--
                  ``(A) In general.--In each year in which the 
                Secretary awards a legislative fellowship under this 
                subsection, when considering the placement of fellows, 
                the Secretary shall prioritize placement of fellows in 
                the following:
                          ``(i) Positions in offices of committees of 
                        Congress that have jurisdiction over the 
                        National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
                        Administration.
                          ``(ii) Positions in offices of Members of 
                        Congress who are on such committees.
                          ``(iii) Positions in offices of Members of 
                        Congress that have a demonstrated interest in 
                        ocean, coastal, or Great Lakes resources.
                  ``(B) Equitable distribution.--
                          ``(i) Finding and recognition.--Congress--
                                  ``(I) finds that both host offices 
                                and fellows benefit when fellows have 
                                the opportunity to choose from a range 
                                of host offices from different States 
                                and regions, both chambers of Congress, 
                                and both political parties; and
                                  ``(II) recognizes the steps taken by 
                                the National Sea Grant College Program 
                                to facilitate an equitable distribution 
                                of fellows among the political parties.
                          ``(ii) In general.--The Secretary shall 
                        ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that 
                        fellows have the opportunity to choose from 
                        offices that are described in clauses (i), 
                        (ii), and (iii) of subparagraph (A) and that 
                        are equitably distributed among--
                                  ``(I) the political parties; and
                                  ``(II) the Senate and the House of 
                                Representatives.
                          ``(iii) Political and cameral equity.--The 
                        Secretary shall ensure that placements are 
                        equitably distributed between--
                                  ``(I) the political parties; and
                                  ``(II) the Senate and the House of 
                                Representatives.
          ``(3) Duration.--A fellowship''.
  (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsection (b) shall 
apply with respect to the first calendar year beginning after the date 
of the enactment of this Act and each fiscal year thereafter.
  (d) Sense of Congress Concerning Federal Hiring of Former Fellows.--
It is the sense of Congress that in recognition of the competitive 
nature of the fellowship under section 208(b) of the National Sea Grant 
College Program Act (33 U.S.C. 1127(b)), and of the exceptional 
qualifications of fellowship awardees--
          (1) the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the Under 
        Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, should 
        encourage participating Federal agencies to consider 
        opportunities for fellowship awardees at the conclusion of 
        their fellowships for workforce positions appropriate for their 
        education and experience; and
          (2) Members and committees of Congress should consider 
        opportunities for such awardees for such positions.

SEC. 4. MODIFICATION OF AUTHORITY OF SECRETARY OF COMMERCE TO ACCEPT 
                    DONATIONS FOR NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM.

  (a) In General.--Section 204(c)(4)(E) (33 U.S.C. 1123(c)(4)(E)) is 
amended to read as follows:
                  ``(E) accept donations of money and, notwithstanding 
                section 1342 of title 31, United States Code, of 
                voluntary and uncompensated services;''.
  (b) Priorities.--The Secretary of Commerce, acting through the Under 
Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, shall establish 
priorities for the use of donations accepted under section 204(c)(4)(E) 
of the National Sea Grant College Program Act (33 U.S.C. 
1123(c)(4)(E)), and shall consider among those priorities the 
possibility of expanding the Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy 
Fellowship's placement of additional fellows in relevant legislative 
offices under section 208(b) of that Act (33 U.S.C. 1127(b)), in 
accordance with the recommendations under subsection (c) of this 
section.
  (c) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment 
of this Act, the Director of the National Sea Grant College Program, in 
consultation with the National Sea Grant Advisory Board and the Sea 
Grant Association, shall--
          (1) develop recommendations for the optimal use of any 
        donations accepted under section 204(c)(4)(E) of the National 
        Sea Grant College Program Act (33 U.S.C. 1123(c)(4)(E)); and
          (2) submit to Congress a report on the recommendations 
        developed under paragraph (1).
  (d) Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be construed to 
limit or otherwise affect any other amounts available for marine policy 
fellowships under section 208(b) of the National Sea Grant College 
Program Act (33 U.S.C. 1127(b)), including amounts--
          (1) accepted under section 204(c)(4)(F) of that Act (33 
        U.S.C. 1123(c)(4)(F)); or
          (2) appropriated under section 212 of that Act (33 U.S.C. 
        1131).

SEC. 5. REPEAL OF REQUIREMENT FOR REPORT ON COORDINATION OF OCEANS AND 
                    COASTAL RESEARCH ACTIVITIES.

  Section 9 of the National Sea Grant College Program Act Amendments of 
2002 (33 U.S.C. 857-20) is repealed.

SEC. 6. REDUCTION IN FREQUENCY REQUIRED FOR NATIONAL SEA GRANT ADVISORY 
                    BOARD REPORT.

  Section 209(b)(2) (33 U.S.C. 1128(b)(2)) is amended--
          (1) in the heading, by striking ``Biennial'' and inserting 
        ``Periodic''; and
          (2) in the first sentence, by striking ``The Board shall 
        report to the Congress every two years'' and inserting ``Not 
        less frequently than once every 4 years, the Board shall submit 
        to Congress a report''.

SEC. 7. MODIFICATION OF ELEMENTS OF NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM.

  Section 204(b) (33 U.S.C. 1123(b)) is amended, in the matter 
preceding paragraph (1), by inserting ``for research, education, 
extension, training, technology transfer, public service,'' after 
``financial assistance''.

SEC. 8. DIRECT HIRE AUTHORITY; DEAN JOHN A. KNAUSS MARINE POLICY 
                    FELLOWSHIP.

  (a) In General.--During fiscal year 2019 and any fiscal year 
thereafter, the head of any Federal agency may appoint, without regard 
to the provisions of subchapter I of chapter 33 of title 5, United 
States Code, other than sections 3303 and 3328 of that title, a 
qualified candidate described in subsection (b) directly to a position 
with the Federal agency for which the candidate meets Office of 
Personnel Management qualification standards.
  (b) Qualified Candidate.--Subsection (a) applies with respect to a 
former recipient of a Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship 
under section 208(b) of the National Sea Grant College Program Act (33 
U.S.C. 1127(b)) who--
          (1) earned a graduate or post-graduate degree in a field 
        related to ocean, coastal, or Great Lakes resources or policy 
        from an institution of higher education accredited by an agency 
        or association recognized by the Secretary of Education 
        pursuant to section 496(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 
        (20 U.S.C. 1099b(a));
          (2) received a Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship 
        under section 208(b) of the National Sea Grant College Program 
        Act (33 U.S.C. 1127(b)) within 5 years before the date the 
        individual is appointed under this section; and
          (3) successfully fulfilled the requirements of the fellowship 
        within the executive or legislative branch of the United States 
        Government.

SEC. 9. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE 
                    PROGRAM.

  (a) In General.--Section 212(a) (33 U.S.C. 1131(a)) is amended--
          (1) by amending paragraph (1) to read as follows:
          ``(1) In general.--There are authorized to be appropriated to 
        the Secretary to carry out this title--
                  ``(A) $87,520,000 for fiscal year 2020;
                  ``(B) $91,900,000 for fiscal year 2021;
                  ``(C) $96,500,000 for fiscal year 2022;
                  ``(D) $101,325,000 for fiscal year 2023;
                  ``(E) $106,380,000 for fiscal year 2024; and
                  ``(F) $111,710,813 for fiscal year 2025.''; and
          (2) by amending paragraph (2) to read as follows:
          ``(2) Priority activities for fiscal years 2020 through 
        2025.--In addition to the amounts authorized to be appropriated 
        under paragraph (1), there are authorized to be appropriated 
        $6,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2020 through 2025 for 
        competitive grants for the following:
                  ``(A) University research on the biology, prevention, 
                and control of aquatic nonnative species.
                  ``(B) University research on oyster diseases, oyster 
                restoration, and oyster-related human health risks.
                  ``(C) University research on the biology, prevention, 
                and forecasting of harmful algal blooms.
                  ``(D) University research, education, training, and 
                extension services and activities focused on coastal 
                resilience and United States working waterfronts and 
                other regional or national priority issues identified 
                in the strategic plan under section 204(c)(1).
                  ``(E) University research and extension on 
                sustainable aquaculture techniques and technologies.
                  ``(F) Fishery research and extension activities 
                conducted by sea grant colleges or sea grant institutes 
                to enhance, and not supplant, existing core program 
                funding.''.
  (b) Modification of Limitations on Amounts for Administration.--
Paragraph (1) of section 212(b) (33 U.S.C. 1131(b)) is amended to read 
as follows:
          ``(1) Administration.--
                  ``(A) In general.--There may not be used for 
                administration of programs under this title in a fiscal 
                year more than 5.5 percent of the lesser of--
                          ``(i) the amount authorized to be 
                        appropriated under this title for the fiscal 
                        year; or
                          ``(ii) the amount appropriated under this 
                        title for the fiscal year.
                  ``(B) Critical staffing requirements.--
                          ``(i) In general.--The Director shall use the 
                        authority under subchapter VI of chapter 33 of 
                        title 5, United States Code, to meet any 
                        critical staffing requirement while carrying 
                        out the activities authorized under this title.
                          ``(ii) Exception from cap.--For purposes of 
                        subparagraph (A), any costs incurred as a 
                        result of an exercise of authority described in 
                        clause (i) shall not be considered an amount 
                        used for administration of programs under this 
                        title in a fiscal year.''.
  (c) Allocation of Funding.--
          (1) In general.--Section 204(d)(3) (33 U.S.C. 1123(d)(3)) is 
        amended--
                  (A) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by 
                striking ``With respect to sea grant colleges and sea 
                grant institutes'' and inserting ``With respect to sea 
                grant colleges, sea grant institutes, sea grant 
                programs, and sea grant projects''; and
                  (B) in subparagraph (B), in the matter preceding 
                clause (i), by striking ``funding among sea grant 
                colleges and sea grant institutes'' and inserting 
                ``funding among sea grant colleges, sea grant 
                institutes, sea grant programs, and sea grant 
                projects''.
          (2) Repeal of requirements concerning distribution of excess 
        amounts.--Section 212 (33 U.S.C. 1131) is amended--
                  (A) by striking subsection (c); and
                  (B) by redesignating subsections (d) and (e) as 
                subsections (c) and (d), respectively.

SEC. 10. TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS.

  The National Sea Grant College Program Act (33 U.S.C. 1121 et seq.) 
is amended--
          (1) in section 204(d)(3)(B) (33 U.S.C. 1123(d)(3)(B)), by 
        moving clause (vi) 2 ems to the right; and
          (2) in section 209(b)(2) (33 U.S.C. 1128(b)(2)), as amended 
        by section 6 of this Act, in the third sentence, by striking 
        ``The Secretary shall'' and inserting the following:
          ``(3) Availability of resources of department of commerce.--
        The Secretary shall''.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 2405 is to reauthorize and amend the 
National Sea Grant College Program Act, and for other purposes.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The National Sea Grant College Program authorizes grants 
and contracts to initiate and support thirty-three state-level 
programs for research, education, and advisory services related 
to marine, coastal, and Great Lakes conservation and 
development. The National Sea Grant College Program Act\1\ (33 
U.S.C. 1121 et seq.) was last reauthorized in 2008 and formally 
expired in 2014.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\National Sea Grant College and Program Act of 1966, Pub. L. No. 
89-688, 80 Stat. 998 (1966).
    \2\See 33 U.S.C. Sec. 1131 (Office of the Law Revision Counsel, 
current through Pub. L. No. 116-59, Sept. 27, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sea Grant sends nearly 95 percent of its appropriated funds 
to coastal states for competitive grants that enhance the 
practical use and conservation of coastal, marine, and Great 
Lakes resources. For every federal dollar appropriated, Sea 
Grant leverages nearly $3 from partnerships among state 
universities, state and local governments, and coastal 
communities and businesses. For example, in 2017, the Sea Grant 
Program was appropriated $63 million,\3\ and the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that in 
that year Sea Grant programs generated $579 million in positive 
economic impacts; created or supported 12,500 jobs; assisted 
462 communities to improve their resilience; restored or 
protected more than 700,000 acres of coastal ecosystems; and 
supported the education and training of more than 1,800 
undergraduate and graduate students.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\See Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, Pub. L. No. 115-31, 
Sec. 4, 131 Stat. 135, 137 (2017); 163 Cong. Rec. H3327, H3367 (daily 
ed. May 3, 2017) (Explanatory Statement Submitted by Mr. Frelinghuysen 
of N.J., Chairman of the H. Comm. on Appropriations, Regarding the H. 
Amendment to the S. Amendments on H.R. 244).
    \4\NOAA Sea Grant, A Smart Investment in our Coastal Economy 
(Winter 2019), https://seagrant.noaa.gov/Portals/0/Documents/Handouts/
Seagrant-MainFactsheet-Nov2018-accessible.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 2405 reauthorizes and updates the National Sea Grant 
College Program, increasing the efficacy of Sea Grant's 
educational, research, and extension programs. Congress 
recognizes the role that fellowship programs play in developing 
a diverse marine and coastal science and policy workforce. This 
legislation therefore provides additional direction for 
fellowship placement and a new authority for the direct hire of 
Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy fellows. Furthermore, 
Congress encourages the National Sea Grant College Program to 
promote diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout its 
fellowship programs and other activities.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 2405 was introduced on April 30, 2019, by 
Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA). The bill was referred 
solely to the Committee on Natural Resources, and within the 
Committee to the Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife. 
On May 8, 2019, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On 
September 18, 2019, the Natural Resources Committee met to 
consider the bill. The Subcommittee was discharged by unanimous 
consent. A technical amendment offered by Chair Grijalva #1 was 
agreed to by voice vote. No additional amendments were offered, 
and the bill, as amended, was ordered favorably reported to the 
House of Representatives by a roll call vote of 23 yeas and 12 
nays, as follows:

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

                                Hearings

    For the purposes of section 103(i) of H. Res. 6 of the 
116th Congress--the following hearing was used to develop or 
consider H.R. 2405: legislative hearing by the Subcommittee on 
Water, Oceans, and Wildlife held on May 8, 2019.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    Section 3. Provides management instructions for the Dean 
John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, including requiring, 
to the maximum extent practicable, that legislative fellows are 
equitably distributed among political parties and chambers, and 
directs NOAA to encourage participating federal agencies, 
Members of Congress, and Committees of Congress to hire former 
fellows.
    Section 4. Requires the National Sea Grant College Program 
to establish priorities for the use of donations and report 
them to Congress.
    Section 5. Repeals the reporting requirement on 
coordination of oceans and coastal research activities.
    Section 6. Reduces the frequency of reports from the 
National Sea Grant advisory board to Congress from two years to 
four years.
    Section 7. Clarifies that financial assistance provided by 
the National Sea Grant College Program is for research, 
education, extension, training, technology transfer, and public 
service.
    Section 8. Establishes direct hire authority for 
participants in the Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy 
Fellowship for five years in any federal agency in which the 
fellow meets qualification standards.
    Section 9. Authorizes $87.52 million for FY 2020, 
increasing by approximately 5 percent annually through FY 2025. 
An additional $6 million is authorized per year to support 
competitive grants for coastal resiliency and aquaculture 
projects, in addition to previously authorized grants for 
aquatic nonnative species, oyster restoration and disease, 
harmful algal blooms, and fisheries research and extension 
activities.
    Section 10. Makes technical corrections.

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

      Compliance With House Rule XIII and Congressional Budget Act

    1. Cost of Legislation and the Congressional Budget Act. 
With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) and (3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
sections 308(a) and 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974, the Committee has received the following estimate for the 
bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 30, 2019.
Hon. Raul M. Grijalva,
Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2405, the National 
Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2019.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Robert Reese.
            Sincerely,
                                             Mark P. Hadley
                                 (For Phillip L. Swagel, Director).
    Enclosure.

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
    

    The National Sea Grant College Program is a partnership 
between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
(NOAA) and 33 university-based programs that focuses on 
studying, conserving, and effectively using U.S. coastal 
resources. H.R. 2405 would amend the program and would 
authorize appropriations totaling $631 million over the 2020-
2025 period for NOAA to implement that program. The bill would 
restrict the use of funds allocated to the program's policy 
fellowship, reduce the frequency of reports to the Congress, 
and streamline the process for federal agencies to hire former 
recipients of a Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.
    Based on historical spending patterns and assuming 
appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that 
implementing the bill would cost $631 million over the 2020-
2029 period. In 2019, NOAA allocated $80 million to the 
program. The costs of the legislation, detailed in Table 1, 
fall within budget function 300 (natural resources and 
environment).

                                   TABLE 1.--ESTIMATED INCREASES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION UNDER H.R. 2405
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                         By fiscal year, millions of dollars--
                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   2025   2026   2027   2028   2029  2020-2024  2020-2029
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Authorization...............................................     94     98    103    107    112    118      0      0      0      0       514        631
Estimated Outlays...........................................     55     80     97    104    109    115     47     20      3      0       446        631
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.

    On May 2, 2019, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 910, 
the National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2019, 
as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation on April 3, 2019. The differences 
in CBO estimated costs for the two pieces of legislation 
reflect differences in the amounts each bill would authorize to 
be appropriated.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Robert Reese. 
The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goals and 
objectives of this bill is to reauthorize and amend the 
National Sea Grant College Program Act.

                           Earmark Statement

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                 Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Statement

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                           Existing Programs

    This bill does not establish or reauthorize a program of 
the federal government known to be duplicative of another 
program. Such program was not included in any report from the 
Government Accountability Office to Congress pursuant to 
section 21 of Public Law 111-139. The Sea Grant Support (CFDA 
No. 11.417) and other programs authorized by this bill are 
related and complementary to, but not duplicative of, the 
following programs identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance published pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 
6104: U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (CFDA No. 20.807), Coastal 
Zone Management Estuarine Research Reserves (CFDA No. 11.420), 
Geosciences (CFDA No. 47.050), State Maritime Schools (CFDA No. 
20.806), Coastal Zone Management Administration Awards (CFDA 
No. 11.419), Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act of 1986 (CFDA 
No. 11.407), Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research 
Coastal Ocean Program (CFDA No. 11.478), Financial Assistance 
for National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (CFDA No. 
11.426), and Great Lakes Program (CFDA No. 66.469).

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    Section 3 of the bill, as reported, does not apply to the 
legislative branch because the section explicitly relates to 
the placement authority of the Secretary of Commerce only. 
Section 8 of the bill, as reported, does not apply to the 
legislative branch because the section explicitly relates to 
hiring by heads of federal agencies only. The Committee finds 
that the legislation does not otherwise 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.

               Preemption of State, Local, or Tribal Law

    Any preemptive effect of this bill over state, local, or 
tribal law is intended to be consistent with the bill's 
purposes and text and the Supremacy Clause of Article VI of the 
U.S. Constitution.

         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):

                 NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM ACT

TITLE II--NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 204. NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM.

  (a) Program Maintenance.--The Secretary shall maintain within 
the Administration a program to be known as the national sea 
grant college program. The national sea grant college program 
shall be administered by a national sea grant office within the 
Administration.
  (b) Program Elements.--The national sea grant college program 
shall consist of the financial assistance for research, 
education, extension, training, technology transfer, public 
service, and other activities authorized in this title, and 
shall provide support for the following elements--
          (1) sea grant programs that comprise a national sea 
        grant college program network, including international 
        projects conducted within such programs and regional 
        and national projects conducted among such programs;
          (2) administration of the national sea grant college 
        program and this title by the national sea grant office 
        and the Administration;
          (3) the fellowship program under section 208; and
          (4) any regional or national strategic investments in 
        fields relating to ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes 
        resources developed in consultation with the Board and 
        with the approval of the sea grant colleges and the sea 
        grant institutes.
  (c) Responsibilities of the Secretary.--
          (1) The Secretary, in consultation with the Board, 
        sea grant colleges, and sea grant institutes, shall 
        develop at least every 4 years a strategic plan that 
        establishes priorities for the national sea grant 
        college program, provides an appropriately balanced 
        response to local, regional, and national needs, and is 
        reflective of integration with the relevant portions of 
        the strategic plans of the Department of Commerce and 
        of the Administration.
          (2) The Secretary, in consultation with the Board, 
        sea grant colleges, and sea grant institutes, shall 
        establish guidelines related to the activities and 
        responsibilities of sea grant colleges and sea grant 
        institutes. Such guidelines shall include requirements 
        for the conduct of merit review by the sea grant 
        colleges and sea grant institutes of proposals for 
        grants and contracts to be awarded under section 205, 
        providing, at a minimum, for standardized documentation 
        of such proposals and peer review of all research 
        projects.
          (3) The Secretary shall by regulation prescribe the 
        qualifications required for designation of sea grant 
        colleges and sea grant institutes under section 207.
          (4) To carry out the provisions of this title, the 
        Secretary may--
                  (A) appoint, assign the duties, transfer, and 
                fix the compensation of such personnel as may 
                be necessary, in accordance with civil service 
                laws;
                  (B) make appointments with respect to 
                temporary and intermittent services to the 
                extent authorized by section 3109 of title 5, 
                United States Code;
                  (C) publish or arrange for the publication 
                of, and otherwise disseminate, in cooperation 
                with other offices and programs in the 
                Administration and without regard to section 
                501 of title 44, United States Code, any 
                information of research, educational, training 
                or other value in fields related to ocean, 
                coastal, or Great Lakes resources;
                  (D) enter into contracts, cooperative 
                agreements, and other transactions without 
                regard to section 5 of title 41, United States 
                Code;
                  [(E) notwithstanding section 1342 of title 
                31, United States Code, accept donations and 
                voluntary and uncompensated services;]
                  (E) accept donations of money and, 
                notwithstanding section 1342 of title 31, 
                United States Code, of voluntary and 
                uncompensated services;
                  (F) accept funds from other Federal 
                departments and agencies, including agencies 
                within the Administration, to pay for and add 
                to grants made and contracts entered into by 
                the Secretary; and
                  (G) promulgate such rules and regulations as 
                may be necessary and appropriate.
  (d) Director of the National Sea Grant College Program.--
          (1) The Secretary shall appoint, as the Director of 
        the National Sea Grant College Program, a qualified 
        individual who has appropriate administrative 
        experience and knowledge or expertise in fields related 
        to ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources. The 
        Director shall be appointed and compensated, without 
        regard to the provisions of title 5, United States 
        Code, governing appointments in the competitive 
        service, at a rate payable under section 5376 of title 
        5, United States Code.
          (2) Subject to the supervision of the Secretary, the 
        Director shall administer the national sea grant 
        college program and oversee the operation of the 
        national sea grant office. In addition to any other 
        duty prescribed by law or assigned by the Secretary, 
        the Director shall--
                  (A) facilitate and coordinate the development 
                of a strategic plan under subsection (c)(1);
                  (B) advise the Secretary with respect to the 
                expertise and capabilities which are available 
                within or through the national sea grant 
                college program and encourage the use of such 
                expertise and capabilities, on a cooperative or 
                other basis, by other offices and activities 
                within the Administration, and other Federal 
                departments and agencies;
                  (C) advise the Secretary on the designation 
                of sea grant colleges and sea grant institutes, 
                and, if appropriate, on the termination or 
                suspension of any such designation; and
                  (D) encourage the establishment and growth of 
                sea grant programs, and cooperation and 
                coordination with other Federal activities in 
                fields related to ocean, coastal, and Great 
                Lakes resources.
          (3) [With respect to sea grant colleges and sea grant 
        institutes] With respect to sea grant colleges, sea 
        grant institutes, sea grant programs, and sea grant 
        projects, the Director shall--
                  (A) evaluate and assess the performance of 
                the programs of sea grant colleges and sea 
                grant institutes, using the priorities, 
                guidelines, and qualifications established by 
                the Secretary under subsection (c), and 
                determine which of the programs are the best 
                managed and carry out the highest quality 
                research, education, extension, and training 
                activities;
                  (B) subject to the availability of 
                appropriations, allocate [funding among sea 
                grant colleges and sea grant institutes] 
                funding among sea grant colleges, sea grant 
                institutes, sea grant programs, and sea grant 
                projects so as to--
                          (i) promote healthy competition among 
                        sea grant colleges and institutes;
                          (ii) encourage collaborations among 
                        sea grant colleges and sea grant 
                        institutes to address regional and 
                        national priorities established under 
                        subsection (c)(1);
                          (iii) ensure successful 
                        implementation of sea grant programs;
                          (iv) to the maximum extent consistent 
                        with other provisions of this Act, 
                        provide a stable base of funding for 
                        sea grant colleges and institutes;
                          (v) encourage and promote 
                        coordination and cooperation between 
                        the research, education, and outreach 
                        programs of the Administration and 
                        those of academic institutions; and
                          (vi) encourage cooperation with 
                        Minority Serving Institutions to 
                        enhance collaborative research 
                        opportunities and increase the number 
                        of such students graduating in NOAA 
                        science areas; and
                  (C) ensure compliance with the guidelines for 
                merit review under subsection (c)(2).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 208. FELLOWSHIPS.

  (a) In General.--To carry out the educational and training 
objectives of this Act, the Secretary shall support a program 
of fellowships for qualified individuals at the graduate and 
post-graduate level. The fellowships shall be related to ocean, 
coastal, and Great Lakes resources and awarded pursuant to 
guidelines established by the Secretary. The Secretary shall 
strive to ensure equal access for minority and economically 
disadvantaged students to the program carried out under this 
subsection. Every 2 years, the Secretary shall submit a report 
to the Congress describing the efforts by the Secretary to 
ensure equal access for minority and economically disadvantaged 
students to the program carried out under this subsection, and 
the results of such efforts.
  (b) Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.--[The 
Secretary]
          (1) In general._The Secretary  [may] shall award 
        marine policy fellowships to support the placement of 
        individuals at the graduate level of education in 
        fields related to ocean, coastal and Great Lakes 
        resources in positions with the executive and 
        legislative branches of the United States Government. 
        [A fellowship]
          (2) Placement priorities._
                  (A) In general._In each year in which the 
                Secretary awards a legislative fellowship under 
                this subsection, when considering the placement 
                of fellows, the Secretary shall prioritize 
                placement of fellows in the following:
                          (i) Positions in offices of 
                        committees of Congress that have 
                        jurisdiction over the National Oceanic 
                        and Atmospheric Administration. 
                          (ii) Positions in offices of Members 
                        of Congress who are on such committees. 

                          (iii) Positions in offices of Members 
                        of Congress that have a demonstrated 
                        interest in ocean, coastal, or Great 
                        Lakes resources. 
                  (B) Equitable distribution._
                          (i) Finding and recognition._
                        Congress--
                                  (I) finds that both host 
                                offices and fellows benefit 
                                when fellows have the 
                                opportunity to choose from a 
                                range of host offices from 
                                different States and regions, 
                                both chambers of Congress, and 
                                both political parties; and 
                                  (II) recognizes the steps 
                                taken by the National Sea Grant 
                                College Program to facilitate 
                                an equitable distribution of 
                                fellows among the political 
                                parties. 
                          (ii) In general._The Secretary shall 
                        ensure, to the maximum extent 
                        practicable, that fellows have the 
                        opportunity to choose from offices that 
                        are described in clauses (i), (ii), and 
                        (iii) of subparagraph (A) and that are 
                        equitably distributed among--
                                  (I) the political parties; 
                                and 
                                  (II) the Senate and the House 
                                of Representatives. 
                          (iii) Political and cameral equity._
                        The Secretary shall ensure that 
                        placements are equitably distributed 
                        between--
                                  (I) the political parties; 
                                and 
                                  (II) the Senate and the House 
                                of Representatives. 
          (3) Duration._A fellowship  awarded under this 
        subsection shall be for a period of not more than 1 
        year.
  (c) Restriction on Use of Funds.--Amounts available for 
fellowships under this section, including amounts accepted 
under section 204(c)(4)(F) or appropriated under section 212 to 
implement this section, shall be used only for award of such 
fellowships and administrative costs of implementing this 
section.

SEC. 209. NATIONAL SEA GRANT ADVISORY BOARD.

  (a) Establishment.--There shall be an independent committee 
to be known as the National Sea Grant Advisory Board.
  (b) Duties.--
          (1) In general.--The Board shall advise the Secretary 
        and the Director concerning--
                  (A) strategies for utilizing the sea grant 
                college program to address the Nation's highest 
                priorities regarding the understanding, 
                assessment, development, management, 
                utilization, and conservation of ocean, 
                coastal, and Great Lakes resources;
                  (B) the designation of sea grant colleges and 
                sea grant institutes; and
                  (C) such other matters as the Secretary 
                refers to the Board for review and advice.
          (2)  [Biennial] Periodic report.--[The Board shall 
        report to the Congress every two years] Not less 
        frequently than once every 4 years, the Board shall 
        submit to Congress a report on the state of the 
        national sea grant college program. The Board shall 
        indicate in each such report the progress made toward 
        meeting the priorities identified in the strategic plan 
        in effect under section 204(c). [The Secretary shall]
          (3) Availability of resources of department of 
        commerce._The Secretary shall  make available to the 
        Board such information, personnel, and administrative 
        services and assistance as it may reasonably require to 
        carry out its duties under this title.
  (c) Membership, Terms, and Powers.--(1) The Board shall 
consist of 15 voting members who shall be appointed by the 
Secretary. The Director and a director of a sea grant program 
who is elected by the various directors of sea grant programs 
shall serve as nonvoting members of the Board. Not less than 8 
of the voting members of the Board shall be individuals who, by 
reason of knowledge, experience, or training, are especially 
qualified in one or more of the disciplines and fields included 
in marine science. The other voting members shall be 
individuals who, by reason of knowledge, experience, or 
training, are especially qualified in, or representative of, 
education, marine affairs and resource management, coastal 
management, extension services, State government, industry, 
economics, planning, or any other activity which is appropriate 
to, and important for, any effort to enhance the understanding, 
assessment, development, management, utilization, or 
conservation of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources. No 
individual is eligible to be a voting member of the Board if 
the individual is (A) the director of a sea grant college or 
sea grant institute; (B) an applicant for, or beneficiary (as 
determined by the Secretary) of, any grant or contract under 
section 205; or (C) a full-time officer of employee of the 
United States.
  (2) The term of office of a voting member of the Board shall 
be 3 years for a member appointed before the date of enactment 
of the National Sea Grant College Program Act Amendments of 
2002, and 4 years for a member appointed or reappointed after 
the date of enactment of the National Sea Grant College Program 
Act Amendments of 2002. The Director may extend the term of 
office of a voting member of the Board appointed before the 
date of enactment of the National Sea Grant College Program Act 
Amendments of 2002 by up to 1 year. At least once each year, 
the Secretary shall publish a notice in the Federal Register 
soliciting nominations for membership on the Board.
  (3) Any individual appointed to a partial or full term may be 
reappointed for one addition full term. The Director may extend 
the term of office of a voting member of the Board once by up 
to 1 year.
  (4) The Board shall select one voting member to serve as the 
Chairman and another voting member to serve as the Vice 
Chairman. The Vice Chairman shall act as Chairman in the 
absence or incapacity of the Chairman.
  (5) Voting members of the Board shall--
          (A) receive compensation at a rate established by the 
        Secretary, not to exceed the maximum daily rate payable 
        under section 5376 of title 5, United States Code, when 
        actually engaged in the performance of duties for such 
        Board; and
          (B) be reimbursed for actual and reasonable expenses 
        incurred in the performance of such duties.
  (6) The Board shall meet on a biannual basis and, at any 
other time, at the call of the Chairman or upon the request of 
a majority of the voting members or of the Director.
  (7) The Board may exercise such powers as are reasonably 
necessary in order to carry out its duties under subsection 
(b).
  (8) The Board may establish such subcommittees as are 
reasonably necessary to carry out its duties under subsection 
(b). Such subcommittees may include individuals who are not 
Board members.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 212. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  (a) Authorization.--
          [(1) In general.--There are authorized to be 
        appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this title--
          [(A) $72,000,000 for fiscal year 2009;
          [(B) $75,600,000 for fiscal year 2010;
          [(C) $79,380,000 for fiscal year 2011;
          [(D) $83,350,000 for fiscal year 2012;
          [(E) $87,520,000 for fiscal year 2013; and
          [(F) $91,900,000 for fiscal year 2014.
          [(2) Priority activities.--In addition to the amounts 
        authorized under paragraph (1), there are authorized to 
        be appropriated for each of fiscal years 2009 through 
        2014--
                  [(A) $5,000,000 for competitive grants for 
                university research on the biology, prevention, 
                and control of aquatic nonnative species;
                  [(B) $5,000,000 for competitive grants for 
                university research on oyster diseases, oyster 
                restoration, and oyster-related human health 
                risks;
                  [(C) $5,000,000 for competitive grants for 
                university research on the biology, prevention, 
                and forecasting of harmful algal blooms; and
                  [(D) $3,000,000 for competitive grants for 
                fishery extension activities conducted by sea 
                grant colleges or sea grant institutes to 
                enhance, and not supplant, existing core 
                program funding.]
          (1) In general.--There are authorized to be 
        appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this title--
                  (A) $87,520,000 for fiscal year 2020;
                  (B) $91,900,000 for fiscal year 2021;
                  (C) $96,500,000 for fiscal year 2022;
                  (D) $101,325,000 for fiscal year 2023;
                  (E) $106,380,000 for fiscal year 2024; and
                  (F) $111,710,813 for fiscal year 2025.
          (2) Priority activities for fiscal years 2020 through 
        2025.--In addition to the amounts authorized to be 
        appropriated under paragraph (1), there are authorized 
        to be appropriated $6,000,000 for each of fiscal years 
        2020 through 2025 for competitive grants for the 
        following:
                  (A) University research on the biology, 
                prevention, and control of aquatic nonnative 
                species.
                  (B) University research on oyster diseases, 
                oyster restoration, and oyster-related human 
                health risks.
                  (C) University research on the biology, 
                prevention, and forecasting of harmful algal 
                blooms.
                  (D) University research, education, training, 
                and extension services and activities focused 
                on coastal resilience and United States working 
                waterfronts and other regional or national 
                priority issues identified in the strategic 
                plan under section 204(c)(1).
                  (E) University research and extension on 
                sustainable aquaculture techniques and 
                technologies.
                  (F) Fishery research and extension activities 
                conducted by sea grant colleges or sea grant 
                institutes to enhance, and not supplant, 
                existing core program funding.
  (b) Limitations.--
          [(1) Administration.--There may not be used for 
        administration of programs under this title in a fiscal 
        year more than 5 percent of the lesser of--
                  [(A) the amount authorized to be appropriated 
                under this title for the fiscal year; or
                  [(B) the amount appropriated under this title 
                for the fiscal year.]
          (1) Administration.--
                  (A) In general.--There may not be used for 
                administration of programs under this title in 
                a fiscal year more than 5.5 percent of the 
                lesser of--
                          (i) the amount authorized to be 
                        appropriated under this title for the 
                        fiscal year; or
                          (ii) the amount appropriated under 
                        this title for the fiscal year.
                  (B) Critical staffing requirements.--
                          (i) In general.--The Director shall 
                        use the authority under subchapter VI 
                        of chapter 33 of title 5, United States 
                        Code, to meet any critical staffing 
                        requirement while carrying out the 
                        activities authorized under this title.
                          (ii) Exception from cap.--For 
                        purposes of subparagraph (A), any costs 
                        incurred as a result of an exercise of 
                        authority described in clause (i) shall 
                        not be considered an amount used for 
                        administration of programs under this 
                        title in a fiscal year.
          (2) Use for other offices or programs.--Sums 
        appropriated under the authority of subsection (a)(2) 
        shall not be available for administration of this title 
        by the National Sea Grant Office, for any other 
        Administration or department program, or for any other 
        administrative expenses.
  [(c) Distribution of Funds.--In any fiscal year in which the 
appropriations made under subsection (a)(1) exceed the amounts 
appropriated for fiscal year 2003 for the purposes described in 
such subsection, the Secretary shall distribute any excess 
amounts (except amounts used for the administration of the sea 
grant program) to any combination of the following:
          [(1) sea grant programs, according to their 
        performance assessments;
  [(2) regional or national strategic investments authorized 
under section 204(b)(4);
          [(3) a college, university, institution, association, 
        or alliance for activities that are necessary for it to 
        be designated as a sea grant college or sea grant 
        institute; and
          [(4) a sea grant college or sea grant institute 
        designated after the date of enactment of the National 
        Sea Grant College Program Act Amendments of 2002 but 
        not yet evaluated under section 204(d)(3)(A).]
  [(d)] (c) Availability of Sums.--Sums appropriated pursuant 
to this section shall remain available until expended.
  [(e)] (d) Reversion of Unobligated Amounts.--The amount of 
any grant, or portion of a grant, made to a person under any 
section of this Act that is not obligated by that person during 
the first fiscal year for which it was authorized to be 
obligated or during the next fiscal year thereafter shall 
revert to the Secretary. The Secretary shall add that reverted 
amount to the funds available for grants under the section for 
which the reverted amount was originally made available.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


       NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM ACT AMENDMENTS OF 2002



           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
[SEC. 9. COORDINATION.

  [Not later than February 15 of each year, the Under Secretary 
of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and the Director of the 
National Science Foundation shall jointly submit to the 
Committees on Resources and Science of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate a report on how the oceans and 
coastal research activities of the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, including the Coastal Ocean Program 
and the National Sea Grant College Program, and of the National 
Science Foundation will be coordinated during the fiscal year 
following the fiscal year in which the report is submitted. The 
report shall describe in detail any overlapping ocean and 
coastal research interests between the agencies and specify how 
such research interests will be pursued by the programs in a 
complementary manner.]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    The funding authority for the National Sea Grant College 
Program expired in fiscal year (FY) 2014. This inconvenient 
truth has not affected the program as it continues to receive 
funding from Congress. In FY 2019, it was appropriated $72 
million despite being eliminated in the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration's FY 2019 budget justification. H.R. 
2405 would reauthorize the program at $87.5M for FY 2020 and 
would increase the authorization by 5% annually through FY 
2025.
    As members of the authorizing committee, we have the 
responsibility to review programs such as the National Sea 
Grant College Program to ensure the program is still necessary 
and if it is working as intended. Instead of holding an 
oversight hearing to discuss the merits of program, the 
Democratic-majority skipped this process entirely and chose to 
blindly reauthorize the program. H.R. 2405 not only would 
reauthorize the Sea Grant program at much higher levels without 
any justification, but the bill goes beyond a simple 
reauthorization and adds several Democrat-priorities to a 
program that already heavily benefits Democrat offices through 
the Congressional fellowship program, which supplies free 
college-level fellows (usually graduate students) to 
Congressional personal offices and to a lesser extent, 
Committee offices.
    One of these ``priorities'' is giving Sea Grant fellows 
preferential access to federal jobs. The bill allows the direct 
hire of fellows to a position in any federal agency, regardless 
if there are better qualified candidates. Fellows already 
receive a unique educational and professional experience that 
provide advancement opportunities others in the same field may 
not have. Yet, we are now being asked to reduce competition in 
the federal work force to help the select few in this program; 
that is unacceptable. For these reasons we oppose this 
legislation.
                                   Rob Bishop (UT).
                                   Jody Hice.
                                   Kevin Hern.




                                  [all]