| Home > 107th Congressional Bills > S. 909 (is) To improve the administration of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture, and for other purposes. [Introduced in Senate] ...
S. 909 (is) To improve the administration of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture, and for other purposes. [Introduced in Senate] ...
108th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 908 To establish the United States Consensus Council to provide for a consensus building process in addressing national public policy issues, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES April 11, 2003 Ms. Collins (for herself, Mr. Dorgan, Mr. Santorum, and Mr. Conrad) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Governmental Affairs _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To establish the United States Consensus Council to provide for a consensus building process in addressing national public policy issues, 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 ``United States Consensus Council Act of 2003''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE. (a) Findings.--Congress finds that-- (1) throughout the Nation there is increasing success in the use of collaborative and consensus-building approaches to address critical public policy issues at the national, State, and local levels; (2) there is a need for a national Council that serves the Nation by promoting and conducting consensus-building processes that primarily address legislative policy issues of national importance; (3) such a Council may enroll specific stakeholders, both public and private, to build agreements that ultimately may be implemented by Congress, Federal agencies, or other policymaking bodies; (4) such a Council will strive to create public policy agreements that integrate differing perspectives into highest common denominator solutions; (5) the establishment of such a Council is an appropriate investment by the people of this Nation in a capacity that works in cooperation with Congress and others to assist the current public policymaking processes on selected issues; (6) the existence of such a Council could contribute especially to resolving differences on contentious policy issues, preventing polarization on emerging policy issues and addressing issues of complexity that involve multiple parties and perspectives; (7) the establishment of such a Council may contribute significantly to a renewed sense of civility and respect for differences, while at the same time promoting vigorous interchange and open communications among those with differing points of view; and (8) the Council may become a repository of wisdom and experience on public policy collaboration and consensus- building that can be shared with public and private sector policymakers and the public in the interest of promoting more effective public policy and the increased use of collaborative processes. (b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to establish an independent, nonprofit, national Council to serve the Nation by seeking to produce consensus on policy issues of national importance through collaborative processes. SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS. In this Act, the term-- (1) ``Board'' means the Board of Directors of the Council; (2) ``Council'' means the United States Consensus Council established under this Act; and (3) ``Director'' means an individual appointed to the Board of Directors of the Council. SEC. 4. UNITED STATES CONSENSUS COUNCIL. (a) Establishment.--There is established the United States Consensus Council. (b) District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation; Status; Restrictions.--The Council shall be established as an independent nonprofit corporation under the District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act (D.C. Code, section 29-301 et seq.). Upon establishment under that Act, the Council shall conform to all the requirements applicable to a nonprofit corporation so established in the District and shall be subject to such oversight by the District of Columbia as is applicable to a nonprofit corporation so established. The Council is not an agency or instrumentality of the United States. (c) Trade Name and Trademark Rights; Vested Rights Protected; Condition for Use of Federal Identity.-- (1) In general.--The Council has the sole and exclusive right to use and to allow or refuse others the use of the term ``United States Consensus Council'' and the use of any official United States Consensus Council emblem, badge, seal, and other mark of recognition or any colorable simulation thereof. (2) United states references.--The Council may use ``United States'' or ``U.S.'' or any other reference to the United States Government or Nation in its title or in its corporate seal, emblem, badge, or other mark of recognition or colorable simulation thereof in any fiscal year only if there is an authorization of appropriations, or appropriations, for the Council for such fiscal year provided by law. SEC. 5. POWERS AND DUTIES. (a) In General.--The Council may exercise the powers conferred upon a nonprofit corporation by the District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act (D.C. Code, section 29-301 et seq.) consistent with this Act. (b) Description of Specific Activities.-- (1) In general.--The Council may-- (A) develop and conduct processes to build consensus on national policy issues; (B) enter into formal and informal relationships with other institutions, public and private, for purposes not inconsistent with this Act; (C) identify particular public policy issues as to which the Council's expertise would be useful in building a consensus; (D) subject to paragraph (2), coordinate with, make referrals to and receive referrals from, other conflict or dispute resolution instrumentalities of the United States, including the United States Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution or the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service; and (E) develop and apply criteria for the purpose of determining whether the Council will enter into a consensus-building process on a particular issue. (2) Limitations on certain activities.--The Council shall consult and coordinate with the United States Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to ensure that the activities of the Council do not-- (A) duplicate the activities of the Institute or Service; or (B) interfere with the Institute or Service in carrying out their respective statutory responsibilities. (3) Consensus-building process.--With respect to each consensus-building process, the Council-- (A) shall consider such factors as the degree of congressional interest in the issue, as well as issue complexity, cost, ripeness, likelihood of participation by key stakeholders, and any other relevant indices that may assist the Council in determining whether to enter into a particular consensus process; (B) may identify any appropriate facilitator for the negotiation process; (C) may identify the key stakeholders involved or interested in the outcome of a particular issue, including those individuals who have the authority to implement the recommendations that result from the Council's consensus building processes; (D) may develop and publish a common set of facts to inform and assist consensus-building processes; (E) may establish ground rules, including matters related to confidentiality, representation of counsel, and ex parte communications; (F) may work to promote consensus among the stakeholders by methods such as negotiation, discussion, meetings, and any other process of dispute resolution; (G) may build and construct agreements among stakeholders; (H) may issue a report reflecting the results of consideration by the Council on consensus-building efforts; and (I) may provide training and technical assistance on any issue within the Council's competence. (4) Other activities.--The Council also may engage in any other activity consistent with its mission. (c) General Authority.--The Council may do any and all lawful acts necessary or desirable to carry out the objectives and purposes of this Act. (d) Guidelines for Council Operations.--As necessary, the Council shall develop guidelines, through its bylaws or otherwise, to address-- (1) policies relating to personal service contracts; (2) standards to ensure that the Council, its Directors, employees, and agents, avoid conflicts of interest that may arise; (3) fundraising policies, donor development programs, and matters related to the acceptance of private donations; (4) procedures to ensure that all participants in a consensus-building process are informed of-- (A) the sources of funding of the Council; and (B) the source and purpose of any donation for which a purpose is specified when donated to the Council; (5) the duties and responsibilities of the Council, its Board, officers, employees, and agents; and (6) the establishment of advisory committees, councils, or other bodies, as the efficient administration of the business and purposes of the Council may require. SEC. 6. BOARD OF DIRECTORS. (a) Vested Powers.--The powers of the Council shall be vested in a Board of Directors unless otherwise specified in this Act or delegated by the Board. (b) Appointments.--The Board of Directors shall consist of 12 voting members as follows: (1) Four individuals, including private citizens or State or local employees, no more than 2 of whom shall be of the same political party, appointed by the President. The President shall appoint members of the opposing party only on the recommendation of the leaders of Congress from that party. (2) Two individuals, including private citizens or State or local employees, appointed by the Majority Leader of the Senate. (3) Two individuals, including private citizens or State or local employees, appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate. (4) Two individuals, including private citizens or State or local employees, appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. (5) Two individuals, including private citizens or State or local employees, appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives. (c) Term of Office: Commencement and Termination, Interim and Remainder Service, Limitation.-- (1) Term of office.--Directors appointed under subsection (b) of this section shall be appointed to 4-year terms, with no Director serving more than 2 consecutive terms, except that-- (A) as designated by the President, the terms of 2 of the 4 Directors initially appointed under subsection (b)(1) shall be 2 years, subject to appointment to no more than 2 additional 4-year terms in the manner set forth in this section; (B) as designated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the terms of the 2 Directors initially appointed under subsection (b)(4) shall be 2 years, subject to appointment to no more than 2 additional 4- year terms in the manner set forth in this section; and (C) as designated by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, the terms of the 2 Directors initially appointed under subsection (b)(5) shall be 2 years, subject to appointment to no more than 2 additional 4-year terms in the manner set forth in this section. (2) Remainder service.--Any Director appointed to the Board to replace a Director whose term has not expired shall be appointed to serve the remainder of that term. (3) President of council.--The President of the Council shall serve as a nonvoting Director of the Board. (d) Qualifications.-- (1) In general.--A demonstrated interest in the mission of the Council or expertise in consensus building shall be considered in appointments made under this section. (2) Non-federal employees.--No Director may be an officer or employee of the Federal Government, including a Member of Congress. (e) Removal From Office.--A Director may be replaced by the appointing official or may be removed by a process to be established in the Council's bylaws. (f) Meetings; Notice in Federal Register.--Meetings of the Board shall be conducted pursuant to the Council's bylaws, except as provided in the following: (1) Initial organizational meeting.-- (A) In general.--The Board shall hold an initial organizational meeting within 60 days after the appointment of at least \1/3\ of the members under this section. The purpose of the meeting shall be to provide for the incorporation of the Council as a non-profit corporation in the District of Columbia as provided under section 4 and to adopt the interim bylaws and guidelines required under this section for its operation. (B) Required ratification of actions of organizational meeting.--The Articles of Incorporation and the interim bylaws and guidelines adopted in the initial organizational meeting shall be effective only until the first meeting of the Board after the appointment of all members under this section, at which time the articles, bylaws, or guidelines may be ratified or modified by the Board. (2) Meetings; quorum.--The Board shall meet at least semiannually. A majority of the Directors in office shall constitute a quorum for any Board meeting.
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