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H.R. 2154 (ih) To suspend temporarily the duty on myristic acid (tetrabecanoic acid). [Introduced in House] ...


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108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2153

 To review, reform, and terminate unnecessary and inequitable Federal 
                               subsidies.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              May 19, 2003

   Mr. Gephardt (for himself, Mr. Meeks of New York, Mr. Rangel, Mr. 
   Markey, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Sanders, Mr. Brown of Ohio, Mr. Udall of 
Colorado, Mr. Frost, Mr. Waxman, Mr. Filner, Mrs. Maloney, Mr. Hoeffel, 
  Mr. Israel, Mr. Scott of Virginia, Mr. Stupak, Ms. DeLauro, and Mr. 
   Kennedy of Rhode Island) introduced the following bill; which was 
referred to the Committee on Government Reform, and in addition to the 
Committees on Ways and Means, Rules, and the Budget, for a period to be 
subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration 
  of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee 
                               concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To review, reform, and terminate unnecessary and inequitable Federal 
                               subsidies.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Corporate Subsidy Reform Commission 
Act of 2003''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds that--
            (1) Federal subsidies, including tax advantages, which may 
        have been enacted with a valid purpose for specific industries 
        or industry segments can--
                    (A) fall subject to abuse, causing unanticipated 
                and unjustified windfalls to some industries and 
                industry segments; or
                    (B) become obsolete, anticompetitive, or no longer 
                in the public interest, making such subsidies 
                unnecessary or undesired;
            (2) it is unfair to force the United States taxpayer to 
        support unnecessary subsidies, including tax advantages, that 
        do not provide a substantial public benefit or serve the public 
        interest;
            (3) Congress and the President have been unable to evaluate 
        methodically those Federal subsidies that are unfair and 
        unnecessary and require reform or elimination; and
            (4) a Commission to advise the President and Congress is 
        essential to a comprehensive review of such unfair corporate 
        subsidies and to the reform or elimination of such subsidies.

SEC. 3. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to establish a fair and deliberative 
process that will result in the timely identification, review, and 
reform or elimination of unnecessary and inequitable subsidies, 
including tax advantages, provided by the Federal Government to 
entities or industries engaged in profitmaking enterprises.

SEC. 4. DEFINITION.

    In this Act, the term ``inequitable Federal subsidy'' means a 
payment, benefit, service, or tax advantage that--
            (1) is provided by the Federal Government to any 
        corporation, partnership, joint venture, association, or 
        business trust, not to include--
                    (A) a nonprofit organization described under 
                section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 
                that is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of 
                the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or
                    (B) a State or local government or Indian tribe or 
                Alaska Native village or regional or village 
                corporation as defined in or established pursuant to 
                the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 
                et seq.);
            (2) is provided without a reasonable expectation, 
        demonstrated with the use of reliable performance criteria, 
        that actions or activities undertaken or performed in return 
        for such payment, benefit, service, or tax advantage would 
        result in a return or benefit, quantifiable or nonquantifiable, 
        to the public at least as great as the payment, benefit, 
        service, or tax advantage;
            (3) provides an unfair competitive advantage or financial 
        windfall; and
            (4) shall not include a payment, benefit, service, or tax 
        advantage that--
                    (A) is awarded for the purposes of research and 
                development that--
                            (i) is in the broad public interest on the 
                        basis of a peer reviewed or other open, 
                        competitive, merit-based procedure;
                            (ii) is for a purpose consistent with the 
                        mission of the agency;
                            (iii) supports competing technologies at 
                        levels appropriate to their potential, as 
                        determined by an appropriate priority setting 
                        process; and
                            (iv) the private sector cannot reasonably 
                        be expected to undertake without Federal 
                        support at a level or in a timeframe consistent 
                        with the payment, benefit, service, or tax 
                        advantage's potential to provide broad economic 
                        or other public benefit;
                    (B) primarily benefits public health, safety, the 
                environment, or education;
                    (C) is necessary to comply with international trade 
                or treaty obligations;
                    (D) is certified by the United States Trade 
                Representative as specifically intended and as 
                substantially needed to protect the foreign trade 
                interests of the United States; or
                    (E) is for the purpose of procurement of property 
                or services by the United States Government.

SEC. 5. THE COMMISSION.

    (a) Establishment.--There is established an independent commission 
to be known as the ``Corporate Subsidy Reform Commission'' (in this Act 
referred to as the ``Commission'').
    (b) Duties.--The Commission shall--
            (1) examine the programs and tax laws of the Federal 
        Government and identify programs and tax laws that provide 
        inequitable Federal subsidies;
            (2) review inequitable Federal subsidies; and
            (3) submit the report required under section 6(b) to the 
        President and Congress.
    (c) Limitations.--
            (1) Creation of new programs or taxes.--This Act is not 
        intended to result in the creation of new programs or taxes, 
        and the Commission established in this section shall limit its 
        activities to reviewing existing programs or tax laws with the 
        goal of ensuring fairness and equity in the operation and 
        application of such programs and laws.
            (2) Elimination of agencies and departments.--The 
        Commission shall limit its recommendations to the termination 
        or reform of payments, benefits, services, or tax advantages, 
        rather than the termination of Federal agencies or departments.
    (d) Advisory Committee.--The Commission shall be considered an 
advisory committee within the meaning of the Federal Advisory Committee 
Act (5 U.S.C. App.).
    (e) Appointment.--
            (1) Members.--The Commissioners shall be appointed for the 
        life of the Commission and shall be composed of nine members of 
        whom--
                    (A) 3 shall be appointed by the President of the 
                United States;
                    (B) 2 shall be appointed by the Speaker of the 
                House of Representatives;
                    (C) 1 shall be appointed by the minority leader of 
                the House of Representatives;
                    (D) 2 shall be appointed by the majority leader of 
                the Senate; and
                    (E) 1 shall be appointed by the minority leader of 
                the Senate.
            (2) Consultation required.--The President, the Speaker of 
        the House of Representatives, the minority leader of the House 
        of Representatives, the majority leader of the Senate, and the 
        minority leader of the Senate shall consult among themselves 
        prior to the appointment of the members of the Commission in 
        order to achieve, to the maximum extent possible, fair and 
        equitable representation of various points of view with respect 
        to the matters to be studied by the Commission under subsection 
        (b).
            (3) Appointments.--During the period of January 1, 2004 
        through January 31, 2004, the President shall submit to the 
        Senate the names of 3 individuals for appointment to the 
        Commission.
            (4) Failure to appoint.--If the President does not submit 
        to Congress the names of 3 individuals for appointment to the 
        Commission on or before the date specified in paragraph (3), 
        the process established under this Act shall be terminated.
            (5) Chairman.--At the time the President nominates 
        individuals for appointment to the Commission the President 
        shall designate 1 such individual who shall serve as Chairman 
        of the Commission.
            (6) Background.--The members shall represent a broad array 
        of expertise covering, to the extent practical, all subject 
        matter, programs, and tax laws the Commission is likely to 
        review.
    (f) Terms.--Each member of the Commission including the Chairman 
shall serve until the termination of the Commission.
    (g) Meetings.--
            (1) Initial meeting.--Not later than April 1, 2004, the 
        Commission shall conduct its first meeting.
            (2) Open meetings.--Each meeting of the Commission shall be 
        open to the public. In cases where classified information, 
        trade secrets, or personnel matters are discussed, the Chairman 
        may close the meeting. All proceedings, information, and 
        deliberations of the Commission shall be available, upon 
        request, to the chairman and ranking member of the relevant 
        committees of Congress.
    (h) Vacancies.--A vacancy on the Commission shall be filled in the 
same manner as the original appointment.
    (i) Pay and Travel Expenses.--
            (1) Pay.--Notwithstanding section 7 of the Federal Advisory 
        Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), each Commissioner, other than 
        the Chairman, shall be paid at a rate equal to the daily 
        equivalent of the minimum annual rate of basic pay for level IV 
        of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United 
        States Code, for each day (including travel time) during which 
        the member is engaged in the actual performance of duties 
        vested in the Commission.
            (2) Chairman.--Notwithstanding section 7 of the Federal 
        Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), the Chairman shall be 
        paid for each day referred to in paragraph (1) at a rate equal 
        to the daily payment of the minimum annual rate of basic pay 
        payable for level III of the Executive Schedule under section 
        5314 of title 5, United States Code.
            (3) Travel expenses.--Members shall receive travel 
        expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in 
        accordance with sections 5702 and 5703 of title 5, United 
        States Code.
    (j) Director of Staff.--
            (1) Qualifications.--The Chairman shall appoint a Director 
        who has not served in any of the entities or industries that 
        the Commission intends to review during the 12 months preceding 
        the date of such appointment.
            (2) Pay.--Notwithstanding section 7 of the Federal Advisory 
        Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), the Director shall be paid at 
        the rate of basic pay payable for level IV of the Executive 
        Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code.
            (3) Reports.--On administrative and personnel matters, the 
        Director shall submit periodic reports to the Chairman of the 
        Commission and the chairman and ranking member of the Committee 
        on Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on 
        Government Reform and Oversight of the House of the 
        Representatives.
    (k) Staff.--
            (1) Additional personnel.--Subject to paragraphs (2) and 
        (4), the Director, with the approval of the Commission, may 
        appoint and fix the pay of additional personnel.
            (2) Appointments.--The Director may make such appointments 
        without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States 
        Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and 
        any personnel so appointed may be paid without regard to the 
        provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of 
        that title relating to classification and General Schedule pay 
        rates.
            (3) Detailees.--Upon the request of the Director, the head 
        of any Federal department or agency may detail any of the 
        personnel of that department or agency to the Commission to 
        assist the Commission in accordance with an agreement entered 
        into with the Commission.
            (4) Restrictions on personnel and detailees.--The following 
        restrictions shall apply to personnel and detailees of the 
        Commission:
                    (A) Personnel.--Not more than one-third of the 
                personnel detailed to the Commission may be on detail 
                from Federal agencies that deal directly or indirectly 
                with the Federal subsidies the Commission intends to 
                review.
                    (B) Analysts.--Not more than one-fifth of the 
                professional analysts of the Commission may be persons 
                detailed from a Federal agency that deals directly or 
                indirectly with the Federal subsidies the Commission 
                intends to review.
                    (C) Lead analyst.--No person detailed from a 
                Federal agency to the Commission may be assigned as the 
                lead professional analyst with respect to an entity or 
                industry the Commission intends to review if the person 
                has been involved in regulatory or policymaking 
                decisions affecting any such entity or industry in the 
                12 months preceding such assignment.
                    (D) Detailee.--A person may not be detailed from a 
                Federal agency to the Commission if, within 12 months 
                before the detail is to begin, that person participated 
                personally and substantially in any matter within that 
                particular agency concerning the preparation of 
                recommendations under this Act.
                    (E) Federal officer or employee.--No member of a 
                Federal agency, and no officer or employee of a Federal 
                agency, may--
                            (i) prepare any report concerning the 
                        effectiveness, fitness, or efficiency of the 
                        performance on the staff of the Commission of 
                        any person detailed from a Federal agency to 
                        that staff;
                            (ii) review the preparation of such report; 

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