Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 4437 (ih) To grant to the United States Postal Service the authority to issue semipostals, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 4437 (ih) To grant to the United States Postal Service the authority to issue semipostals, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...


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        H.R.4437

                       One Hundred Sixth Congress

                                 of the

                        United States of America


                          AT THE SECOND SESSION

           Begun and held at the City of Washington on Monday,
             the twenty-fourth day of January, two thousand


                                 An Act


 
  To grant to the United States Postal Service the authority to issue 
                  semipostals, 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 ``Semipostal Authorization Act''.

SEC. 2. AUTHORITY TO ISSUE SEMIPOSTALS.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 4 of title 39, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following:

``Sec. 416. Authority to issue semipostals

    ``(a) Definitions.--For purposes of this section--
        ``(1) the term `semipostal' means a postage stamp which is 
    issued and sold by the Postal Service, at a premium, in order to 
    help provide funding for a cause described in subsection (b); and
        ``(2) the term `agency' means an Executive agency within the 
    meaning of section 105 of title 5.
    ``(b) Discretionary Authority.--The Postal Service is hereby 
authorized to issue and sell semipostals under this section in order to 
advance such causes as the Postal Service considers to be in the 
national public interest and appropriate.
    ``(c) Rate of Postage.--The rate of postage on a semipostal issued 
under this section shall be established by the Governors, in accordance 
with such procedures as they shall by regulation prescribe (in lieu of 
the procedures under chapter 36), except that--
        ``(1) the rate established for a semipostal under this section 
    shall be equal to the rate of postage that would otherwise 
    regularly apply, plus a differential of not to exceed 25 percent; 
    and
        ``(2) no regular rates of postage or fees for postal services 
    under chapter 36 shall be any different from what they otherwise 
    would have been if this section had not been enacted.
The use of any semipostal issued under this section shall be voluntary 
on the part of postal patrons.
    ``(d) Amounts Becoming Available.--
        ``(1) In general.--The amounts becoming available from the sale 
    of a semipostal under this section shall be transferred to the 
    appropriate agency or agencies under such arrangements as the 
    Postal Service shall by mutual agreement with each such agency 
    establish.
        ``(2) Identification of appropriate causes and agencies.--
    Decisions concerning the identification of appropriate causes and 
    agencies to receive amounts becoming available from the sale of a 
    semipostal under this section shall be made in accordance with 
    applicable regulations under subsection (e).
        ``(3) Determination of amounts.--
            ``(A) In general.--The amounts becoming available from the 
        sale of a semipostal under this section shall be determined in 
        a manner similar to that provided for under section 414(c)(2) 
        (as in effect on July 1, 2000).
            ``(B) Administrative costs.--Regulations under subsection 
        (e) shall specifically address how the costs incurred by the 
        Postal Service in carrying out this section shall be computed, 
        recovered, and kept to a minimum.
        ``(4) Other funding not to be affected.--Amounts which have or 
    may become available from the sale of a semipostal under this 
    section shall not be taken into account in any decision relating to 
    the level of appropriations or other Federal funding to be 
    furnished to an agency in any year.
        ``(5) Recovery of costs.--Before transferring to an agency in 
    accordance with paragraph (1) any amounts becoming available from 
    the sale of a semipostal over any period, the Postal Service shall 
    ensure that it has recovered the full costs incurred by the Postal 
    Service in connection with such semipostal through the end of such 
    period.
    ``(e) Regulations.--
        ``(1) In general.--Except as provided in subsection (c), the 
    Postal Service shall prescribe any regulations necessary to carry 
    out this section, including provisions relating to--
            ``(A) which office or other authority within the Postal 
        Service shall be responsible for making the decisions described 
        in subsection (d)(2);
            ``(B) what criteria and procedures shall be applied in 
        making those decisions; and
            ``(C) what limitations shall apply, if any, relating to the 
        issuance of semipostals (such as whether more than one 
        semipostal may be offered for sale at the same time).
        ``(2) Notice and comment.--Before any regulation is issued 
    under this section, a copy of the proposed regulation shall be 
    published in the Federal Register, and an opportunity shall be 
    provided for interested parties to present written and, where 
    practicable, oral comment. All regulations necessary to carry out 
    this section shall be issued not later than 30 days before the date 
    on which semipostals are first made available to the public under 
    this section.
    ``(f) Annual Reports.--
        ``(1) In general.--The Postmaster General shall include in each 
    report rendered under section 2402, with respect to any period 
    during any portion of which this section is in effect, information 
    concerning the operation of any program established under this 
    section.
        ``(2) Specific requirement.--If any semipostal ceases to be 
    offered during the period covered by such a report, the information 
    contained in that report shall also include--
            ``(A) the commencement and termination dates for the sale 
        of such semipostal;
            ``(B) the total amount that became available from the sale 
        of such semipostal; and
            ``(C) of that total amount, how much was applied toward 
        administrative costs.
    For each year before the year in which a semipostal ceases to be 
    offered, any report under this subsection shall include, with 
    respect to that semipostal (for the year covered by such report), 
    the information described in subparagraphs (B) and (C).
    ``(g) Termination.--This section shall cease to be effective at the 
end of the 10-year period beginning on the date on which semipostals 
are first made available to the public under this section.''.
    (b) Reports by Agencies.--Each agency that receives any funding in 
a year under section 416 of title 39, United States Code (as amended by 
this section) shall submit a written report under this subsection, with 
respect to such year, to the congressional committees with jurisdiction 
over the United States Postal Service. Each such report shall include--
        (1) the total amount of funding received by such agency under 
    such section 416 during the year;
        (2) an accounting of how any funds received by such agency 
    under such section 416 were allocated or otherwise used by such 
    agency in such year; and
        (3) a description of any significant advances or 
    accomplishments in such year that were funded, in whole or in part, 
    out of amounts received by such agency under such section 416.
    (c) Reports by the General Accounting Office.--
        (1) Interim report.--The General Accounting Office shall submit 
    to the President and each House of Congress an interim report on 
    the operation of the program established under section 416 of title 
    39, United States Code (as amended by this section) not later than 
    4 years after semipostals are first made available to the public 
    under such section.
        (2) Final report.--The General Accounting Office shall transmit 
    to the President and each House of Congress a final report on the 
    operation of the program established under such section 416, not 
    later than 6 months before the date on which it is scheduled to 
    expire. The final report shall contain a detailed statement of the 
    findings and conclusions of the General Accounting Office, together 
    with any recommendations it considers appropriate.
    (d) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections for chapter 4 of 
title 39, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
following:
``416. Authority to issue semipostals.''.

    (e) Effective Date.--The program under section 416 of title 39, 
United States Code (as amended by this section) shall be established 
within 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 3. EXTENSION OF AUTHORITY TO ISSUE SEMIPOSTALS FOR BREAST CANCER 
              RESEARCH.

    (a) In General.--Section 414(g) of title 39, United States Code, is 
amended to read as follows:
    ``(g) This section shall cease to be effective after July 29, 2002, 
or the end of the 2-year period beginning on the date of the enactment 
of the Semipostal Authorization Act, whichever is later.''.
    (b) Reporting Requirement.--No later than 3 months and no earlier 
than 6 months before the date as of which section 414 of title 39, 
United States Code (as amended by this section) is scheduled to expire, 
the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to the 
Congress a report on the operation of such section. Such report shall 
be in addition to the report required by section 2(b) of Public Law 
105-41, and shall address at least the same matters as were required to 
be included in that earlier report.

                               Speaker of the House of Representatives.

                            Vice President of the United States and    
                                               President of the Senate.

Pages: 1

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