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S. 2098 (is) To facilitate the transition to more competitive and efficient electric power markets, and to ensure electric reliability. [Introduced in Senate] ...


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                                                       Calendar No. 461

106th CONGRESS

  2d Session

                                S. 2097

                          [Report No. 106-243]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL

  To authorize loan guarantees in order to facilitate access to local 
television broadcast signals in unserved and underserved areas, and for 
                            other purposes.

_______________________________________________________________________

                             March 15, 2000

                       Reported with an amendment





                                                       Calendar No. 461
106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 2097

                          [Report No. 106-243]

  To authorize loan guarantees in order to facilitate access to local 
television broadcast signals in unserved and underserved areas, and for 
                            other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           February 24, 2000

 Mr. Burns (for himself, Mr. Gramm, Mr. Lott, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Crapo, 
 Mr. Hutchinson, Mr. Allard, Mr. Bunning, Ms. Snowe, Ms. Collins,  Mr. 
Grassley, Mr. Enzi, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Hagel, Mr. Lugar, and Mr. Cochran) 
introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the 
            Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

                             March 15, 2000

 Reported under authority of the order of the Senate of March 9, 2000, 
                    by Mr. Gramm, with an amendment
 [Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed 
                               in italic]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To authorize loan guarantees in order to facilitate access to local 
television broadcast signals in unserved and underserved areas, and for 
                            other purposes.

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

<DELETED>SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    This Act may be cited as the ``Launching Our Communities' 
Access to Local Television Act of 2000''.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 2. PURPOSE.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    The purpose of this Act is to facilitate access, on a 
technologically neutral basis and by December 31, 2006, to signals of 
local television stations in unserved areas and underserved areas for 
the households located in such areas that seek access to such 
signals.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 3. LOCAL TELEVISION LOAN GUARANTEE BOARD.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    (a) Establishment.--There is established the LOCAL 
Television Loan Guarantee Board (in this Act referred to as the 
``Board'').</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (b) Members.--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), the 
        Board shall consist of the following members:</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) The Secretary of the Treasury, or the 
                designee of the Secretary.</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) The Chairman of the Board of Governors 
                of the Federal Reserve System, or the designee of the 
                Chairman.</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (C) The Secretary of Agriculture, or the 
                designee of the Secretary.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) Requirement as to designees.--An individual 
        may not be designated a member of the Board under paragraph (1) 
        unless the individual is an officer of the United States 
        pursuant to an appointment by the President, by and with the 
        advice and consent of the Senate.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (c) Functions of the Board.--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) In general.--The Board shall determine whether 
        or not to approve loan guarantees under this Act. The Board 
        shall make such determinations consistent with the purpose of 
        this Act and in accordance with this subsection and section 
        4.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) Consultation authorized.--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) In general.--In carrying out its 
                functions under this Act, the Board shall consult with 
                such departments and agencies of the Federal Government 
                as the Board considers appropriate, including the 
                Department of Commerce, the Department of Agriculture, 
                the Department of the Treasury, the Department of 
                Justice, the Department of the Interior, the Board of 
                Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal 
                Communications Commission, the Federal Trade 
                Commission, and the National Aeronautics and Space 
                Administration.</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) Response.--A department or agency 
                consulted by the Board under subparagraph (A) shall 
                provide the Board such expertise and assistance as the 
                Board requires to carry out its functions under this 
                Act.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) Approval by majority vote.--The determination 
        of the Board to approve a loan guarantee under this Act shall 
be by a vote of a majority of the Board.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 4. APPROVAL OF LOAN GUARANTEES.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    (a) Authority To Approve Loan Guarantees.--Subject to the 
provisions of this section and consistent with the purpose of this Act, 
the Board may approve loan guarantees under this Act</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (b) Regulations.--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) Requirements.--The Board shall prescribe 
        regulations to implement the provisions of this Act.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) Elements.--The regulations prescribed under 
        paragraph (1) shall--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) set forth the form of any application 
                to be submitted to the Board under this Act;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) set forth time periods for the review 
                and consideration by the Board of applications to be 
                submitted to the Board under this Act, and for any 
                other action to be taken by the Board with respect to 
                such applications;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (C) provide appropriate safeguards against 
                the evasion of the provisions of this Act;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (D) set forth the circumstances in which 
                an applicant, together with any affiliate of an 
                applicant, shall be treated as an applicant for a loan 
                guarantee under this Act;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (E) include requirements that appropriate 
                parties submit to the Board any documents and 
                assurances that are required for the administration of 
                the provisions of this Act; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (F) include such other provisions 
                consistent with the purpose of this Act as the Board 
                considers appropriate.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) Construction.--(A) Nothing in this Act shall 
        be construed to prohibit the Board from requiring, to the 
        extent and under circumstances considered appropriate by the 
        Board, that affiliates of an applicant be subject to certain 
        obligations of the applicant as a condition to the approval or 
        maintenance of a loan guarantee under this Act.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (B) If any provision of this Act or the 
        application of such provision to any person or entity or 
        circumstance is held to be invalid by a court of competent 
        jurisdiction, the remainder of this Act, or the application of 
        such provision to such person or entity or circumstance other 
        than those as to which it is held invalid, shall not be 
        affected thereby.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (c) Authority Limited by Appropriations Acts.--The Board 
may approve loan guarantees under this Act only to the extent provided 
for in advance in appropriations Acts.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (d) Requirements and Criteria Applicable to Approval.--
</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) In general.--The Board shall utilize the 
        underwriting criteria developed under subsection (g), and any 
        relevant information provided by the departments and agencies 
        with which the Board consults under section 3, to determine 
        which loans may be eligible for a loan guarantee under this 
        Act.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) Prerequisites.--In addition to meeting the 
        underwriting criteria under paragraph (1), a loan may not be 
        guaranteed under this Act unless--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) the loan is made to finance the 
                acquisition, improvement, enhancement, construction, 
                deployment, launch, or rehabilitation of the means by 
                which local television broadcast signals will be 
                delivered to an unserved area or underserved 
                area;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) the proceeds of the loan will not be 
                used for operating expenses;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (C) the proposed project, as determined by 
                the Board in consultation with the National 
                Telecommunications and Information Administration, is 
                not likely to have a substantial adverse impact on 
                competition that outweighs the benefits of improving 
                access to the signals of a local television station in 
                an unserved area or underserved area;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (D) the loan is provided by an insured 
                depository institution (as that term is defined in 
                section 3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act) that is 
                acceptable to the Board, and has terms, in the judgment 
                of the Board, that are consistent in material respects 
                with the terms of similar obligations in the private 
                capital market;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (E) repayment of the loan is required to 
                be made within a term of the lesser of--</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (i) 25 years from the date of the 
                        execution of the loan; or</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (ii) the economically useful life, 
                        as determined by the Board, of the primary 
                        assets to be used in the delivery of the 
                        signals concerned; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (F) the loan meets any additional criteria 
                developed under subsection (g).</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) Protection of united states financial 
        interests.--The Board may not approve the guarantee of a loan 
        under this Act unless--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) the Board has been given 
                documentation, assurances, and access to information 
                and persons necessary, as determined by the Board, to 
                address issues relevant to the review of the loan by 
                the Board for purposes of this Act; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) the Board makes a determination in 
                writing that--</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (i) the assets, facilities, or 
                        equipment covered by the loan will be utilized 
                        economically and efficiently;</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (ii) the terms, conditions, 
                        security, and schedule and amount of repayments 
                        of principal and the payment of interest with 
                        respect to the loan protect the financial 
                        interests of the United States and are 
                        reasonable;</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (iii) all necessary and required 
                        regulatory and other approvals, spectrum 
                        rights, and delivery permissions have been 
                        received for the loan and the project under the 
                        loan;</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (iv) the loan would not be 
                        available on reasonable terms and conditions 
                        without a loan guarantee under this Act; 
                        and</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (v) repayment of the loan can 
                        reasonably be expected.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (e) Priority Considerations.--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) Type of market.--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) Priority consideration to unserved 
                areas.--To the maximum extent practicable, the Board 
                shall give priority in the approval of loan guarantees 
                under this Act for projects that will serve unserved 
                areas.</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) Prohibition.--The Board may not 
                approve a loan guarantee under this Act for a project 
                that is designed primarily to serve one or more of the 
                40 most populated designated market areas (as that term 
                is defined in section 122(j) of title 17, United States 
                Code).</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) Projects that would reduce consumer costs.--To 
        the maximum extent practicable, the Board shall also give 
        priority in the approval of loan guarantees under this Act to 
        projects that would--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) offer a separate tier of local 
                broadcast signals, but for applicable Federal, State, 
                or local laws or regulations;</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) provide lower projected costs to 
                consumers of such separate tier; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (C) enable the delivery of local broadcast 
                signals consistent with the purpose of this Act by a 
                means reasonably compatible with existing systems or 
                devices predominantly in use.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (f) Guarantee Limits.--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) Limitation on aggregate value of loans.--The 
        aggregate value of all loans for which loan guarantees are 
        issued under this Act may not exceed $1,250,000,000.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) Guarantee level.--A loan guarantee issued 
        under this Act may not exceed an amount equal to 70 percent of 
        a loan meeting in its entirety the requirements of subsection 
        (d)(2)(A). If only a portion of a loan meets the requirements 
        of that subsection, the Board shall determine that percentage 
        of the loan meeting such requirements (the ``applicable 
        portion'') and may issue a loan guarantee in an amount not 
exceeding 70 percent of the applicable portion.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (g) Underwriting Criteria.--Not later than 180 days after 
the date of the enactment of this Act, the Board shall, in consultation 
with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and an 
independent public accounting firm, develop underwriting criteria 
relating to the guarantee of loans that are consistent with the purpose 

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