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H.R. 1756 (104th): Department of Commerce Dismantling Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Sep 21, 1995.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Title I: Abolishment of Department of Commerce Title II: Disposition of Particular Programs, Functions, and Agencies of Department of Commerce Title III: Miscellaneous Provisions Department of Commerce Dismantling Act - Title I: Abolishment of Department of Commerce - Replaces the Department of Commerce (DOC) with the Commerce Programs Resolution Agency (CPRA), which is limited to three years to wind up and terminate the functions and obligations of the DOC before the CPRA itself is abolished. Directs the Comptroller General to report on the most efficient means of abolishing the DOC, and transferring or terminating its functions. Title II: Disposition of Particular Programs, Functions, and Agencies of Department of Commerce - Repeals the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 and transfers all financial obligations, liabilities, and related rights owned by DOC under such Act to the Department of the Treasury. Requires an audit by the Comptroller General of all DOC grants made under such Act in FY 1995. (Sec. 202) Transfers all export control functions of the DOC under the Export Administration Act of 1979 to the Secretary of State, the President, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Attorney General. Authorizes transfer of a limited number of specified DOC special agents to the Customs Service. Abolishes the Office of Foreign Availability and the Office of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, and provides for the appointment of an Industries Board to advise the Secretary of State. (Sec. 203) Transfers specified DOC national security functions granted by the Defense Production Act to the Secretaries of Defense and of the Treasury. Urges the President to appoint committees of industry representatives to advise the National Security Council. (Sec. 204) Renames the United States and Foreign Commercial Service the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service and abolishes specified functions. Transfers the authority to collect and evaluate information on international investment and trade services to the Secretary of the Treasury. Requires the appointment of industry boards to advise the Secretary of the Treasury and the United States Trade Representative (USTR) regarding their new functions. (Sec. 205) Transfers the Patent and Trademark Office to the Department of Justice, and requires that its activities be funded solely by fees. (Sec. 206) Terminates the Technology Administration and the Office of Technology Policy. Transfers the National Institute of Standards and Technology to the National Science Foundation, and transfers its laboratories to the CPRA to be sold. Eliminates funding for, and requires the sale of assets of, the National Technical Information Service. (Sec. 207) Transfers the Bureau of the Census to the Department of the Treasury. Expresses the sense of the Congress that such Bureau should: (1) implement the Census Address List Improvement Act of 1994 in a timely fashion; and (2) streamline census questionnaires to promote savings in the collection and tabulation of data. (Sec. 208) Transfers the Bureau of Economic Analysis to the Federal Reserve System, requiring the director of that Bureau to report to the Congress on: (1) the availability of private resources capable of handling a portion or all of the Bureau's assigned tasks; and (2) the feasibility of a fee system to defray costs. (Sec. 209) Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to terminate assistance to: (1) public telecommunications; (2) educational television programs; and (3) telecommunications demonstrations. Repeals establishment of the National Endowment for Children's Educational Television (thus abolishing it). (Sec. 210) Transfers specified functions under the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Organization Act to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. (Sec. 211) Terminates: (1) funding of specified fishery assistance programs; (2) the fisheries trade promotion program; (3) the authority to guarantee obligations for fishing vessels and facilities; (4) future compensation for damage, loss, or destruction of fishing vessels or fishing gear; and (5) funding of specified Federal fishery research projects. Eliminates the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Corps and the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, and conveys specified functions of both to the National Weather Service. Transfers the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information System Data Centers in part to the CPRA for sale of its property, and in part to the National Weather Service. Terminates certain functions of the National Weather Service, and transfers it to the Department of the Interior. Reallocates specified functions of the National Marine Fisheries Services to the Secretary of Transportation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Secretary of Agriculture. Conveys geodesy functions and marine and estuarine sanctuary functions of the National Ocean Service to the United States Geological Survey and the Secretary of the Interior, respectively. Transfers certain NOAA environmental research laboratories to the CPRA to be sold. (Sec. 212) Abolishes the following DOC agencies and programs: (1) Economic Development Administration; (2) Minority Business Development Administration; (3) United States Travel and Tourism Administration; (4) National Telecommunications and Information Administration; (5) Advanced Technology Program; and (6) Manufacturing Extension Programs. (Sec. 214) Expresses the sense of the Congress that the head of each agency performing a function vested by this Act should, wherever feasible, explore and implement user fees for services provided in the performance of such function, to offset operating costs. (Sec. 215) Trade Reorganization Act of 1995 - Amends the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act to terminate in FY 1995 the authorization of appropriations for: (1) the United States Section of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Secretariat that are established within each Federal department or agency; and (2) the U.S. contribution to the budget of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission. Establishes the United States Trade Administration (USTA). Transfers to the Administrator of the USTA all DOC functions under the Tariff Act of 1930 and the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, and powers granted by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. Terminates the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA), and divides CITA's tasks between the USTR and the International Trade Commission. Amends the Foreign Trade Zones Act to make the Administrator of the USTA chairman and executive officer of the Foreign Trade Zones Board. Transfers to the Administrator of the USTA all functions of DOC with respect to: (1) international economic policy analysis; and (2) trade adjustment assistance to firms injured by import competition. Abolishes the Trade and Development Agency. Amends the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States to repeal special tariff treatment for watches imported from the U.S. insular possessions. (Sec. 216) Directs the President to submit to the Congress a comprehensive plan to consolidate Federal export promotion activities. Title III: Miscellaneous Provisions - Limits annual expenditures for any function not terminated by this Act to 75 percent of FY 1994 expenditures for the performance of such function.