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H.R. 2607 (enr) Making appropriations for the government of the District of Columbia and other activities chargeable in whole or in part against the revenues of said District for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1998, and for other purposes. %%Filenam...


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106th CONGRESS

  1st Session

                               H. R. 2607

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT

   To promote the development of the commercial space transportation 
 industry, to authorize appropriations for the Office of the Associate 
    Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation, to authorize 
appropriations for the Office of Space Commercialization, and for other 
                               purposes.
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
106th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2607

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
   To promote the development of the commercial space transportation 
 industry, to authorize appropriations for the Office of the Associate 
    Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation, to authorize 
appropriations for the Office of Space Commercialization, and for other 
                               purposes.

    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 ``Commercial Space Transportation 
Competitiveness Act of 1999''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds that--
            (1) a robust United States space transportation industry is 
        vital to the Nation's economic well-being and national 
        security;
            (2) a 5-year extension of the excess third party claims 
        payment provision of chapter 701 of title 49, United States 
        Code, (Commercial Space Launch Activities) is necessary at this 
        time to protect the private sector from uninsurable levels of 
        liability;
            (3) enactment of this extension will have a beneficial 
        impact on the international competitiveness of the United 
        States space transportation industry;
            (4) space transportation may eventually move into more 
        airplane-style operations;
            (5) during the next 3 years the Federal Government and the 
        private sector should analyze and determine whether a more 
        appropriate and effective liability risk-sharing regime can be 
        achieved and, if so, develop and propose the new regime to 
        Congress at least 2 years prior to the expiration of the 
        extension contained in this Act;
            (6) the areas of responsibility of the Office of the 
        Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation 
        have significantly increased as a result of--
                    (A) the rapidly expanding commercial space 
                transportation industry and associated government 
                licensing requirements;
                    (B) regulatory activity as a result of the emerging 
                commercial reusable launch vehicle industry; and
                    (C) the increased regulatory activity associated 
                with commercial operation of launch and reentry sites; 
                and
            (7) the Office of the Associate Administrator for 
        Commercial Space Transportation should engage in only those 
        promotional activities which directly support its regulatory 
        mission.

SEC. 3. OFFICE OF COMMERCIAL SPACE TRANSPORTATION.

    (a) Amendment.--Section 70119 of title 49, United States Code, is 
amended to read as follows:
``Sec. 70119. Office of Commercial Space Transportation
    ``There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of 
Transportation for the activities of the Office of the Associate 
Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation--
            ``(1) $6,275,000 for fiscal year 1999;
            ``(2) $7,000,000 for fiscal year 2000;
            ``(3) $8,300,000 for fiscal year 2001; and
            ``(4) $9,840,000 for fiscal year 2002.''.
    (b) Table of Sections Amendment.--The item relating to section 
70119 in the table of sections of chapter 701 of title 49, United 
States Code, is amended to read as follows:

``70119.  Office of Commercial Space Transportation.''.

SEC. 4. OFFICE OF SPACE COMMERCIALIZATION.

    (a) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary of Commerce for the activities of the 
Office of Space Commercialization--
            (1) $530,000 for fiscal year 2000;
            (2) $550,000 for fiscal year 2001; and
            (3) $570,000 for fiscal year 2002.
    (b) Report to Congress.--Not later than 90 days after the date of 
the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Commerce shall transmit to 
the Congress a report on the Office of Space Commercialization 
detailing the activities of the Office, the materials produced by the 
Office, the extent to which the Office has fulfilled the functions 
established for it by the Congress, and the extent to which the Office 
has participated in interagency efforts.

SEC. 5. COMMERCIAL SPACE TRANSPORTATION INDEMNIFICATION EXTENSION.

    Section 70113(f) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by 
striking ``December 31, 1999'' and inserting ``December 31, 2004''.

SEC. 6. LIABILITY REGIME FOR COMMERCIAL SPACE TRANSPORTATION.

    (a) Report Requirement.--Not later than 18 months after the date of 
the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall 
transmit to the Congress a report on the liability risk-sharing regime 
in the United States for commercial space transportation.
    (b) Contents.--The report required by this section shall--
            (1) analyze the adequacy, propriety, and effectiveness of, 
        and the need for, the current liability risk-sharing regime in 
        the United States for commercial space transportation;
            (2) examine the current liability and liability risk-
        sharing regimes in other countries with space transportation 
        capabilities;
            (3) examine whether it is appropriate for all space 
        transportation activities to be deemed ``ultrahazardous 
        activities'' for which a strict liability standard may be 
        applied and, if not, what liability regime should attach to 
        space transportation activities, whether ultrahazardous 
        activities or not;
            (4) examine how relevant international treaties affect the 
        Federal Government's liability for commercial space launches 
        and whether the current domestic liability risk-sharing regime 
        meets or exceeds the requirements of those treaties;
            (5) examine whether and when the commercial space 
        transportation liability regime could be conformed to the 
        approach of the airline liability regime; and
            (6) include recommendations on whether the commercial space 
        transportation liability regime should be modified and, if so, 
        what modifications are appropriate and what actions are 
        required to accomplish those modifications.
    (c) Sections.--The report required by this section shall include--
            (1) a section containing the views of--
                    (A) the Office of the Associate Administrator for 
                Commercial Space Transportation;
                    (B) the National Aeronautics and Space 
                Administration;
                    (C) the Department of Defense;
                    (D) the Office of Space Commercialization; and
                    (E) any other interested Federal agency,
        on the issues described in subsection (b);
            (2) a section containing the views of United States 
        commercial space transportation providers on the issues 
        described in subsection (b);
            (3) a section containing the views of United States 
        commercial space transportation customers on the issues 
        described in subsection (b);
            (4) a section containing the views of the insurance 
        industry on the issues described in subsection (b); and
            (5) a section containing views obtained from public comment 
        received as a result of notice in Commerce Business Daily, the 
        Federal Register, and appropriate Federal agency Internet 
        websites on the issues described in subsection (b).
The Secretary of Transportation shall enter into appropriate 
arrangements for a non-Federal entity or entities to provide the 
sections of the report described in paragraphs (2), (3), and (4).

SEC. 7. STUDY OF APPROPRIATIONS IMPACT ON SPACE COMMERCIALIZATION.

    Within 90 days after the later of the date of the enactment of this 
Act or the date of enactment of the Departments of Veterans Affairs and 
Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations 
Act, 2000, the Comptroller General, in consultation with the 
Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and 
United States commercial space industry providers and customers, shall 
transmit to the Congress a report on the impact of that appropriations 
Act on the future development of the United States commercial space 
industry.

            Passed the House of Representatives October 4, 1999.

            Attest:

                                                                 Clerk.

Pages: 1

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