H.R. 3351 (104th): Corporate Welfare Reform Act

104th Congress, 1995–1996. Text as of Apr 30, 1996 (Introduced).

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HR 3351 IH

104th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 3351

To establish a Corporate Independence Commission, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 30, 1996

Mr. FOGLIETTA (for himself, Mr. BONIOR, Mr. WAXMAN, Ms. MCKINNEY, Mr. RAHALL, Mr. KLECZKA, Mr. WATT of North Carolina, Mr. MINGE, Mr. MORAN, Mr. LANTOS, Mr. KENNEDY of Massachusetts, Mr. COLEMAN, Ms. NORTON, Mr. BARRETT of Wisconsin, Mr. EVANS, Ms. RIVERS, Mr. FILNER, Mr. DEUTSCH, Mr. SERRANO, Mr. LIPINSKI, and Mr. HINCHEY) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committee on Rules, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To establish a Corporate Independence Commission, 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 title may be cited as the ‘Corporate Welfare Reform Act’.

SEC. 2. CORPORATE INDEPENDENCE COMMISSION.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established an independent commission to be known as the ‘Corporate Independence Commission’ to study reductions in corporate subsidies to reduce the Federal budget deficit.

    (b) DUTIES- The Commission shall carry out the duties specified for it in this Act.

    (c) APPOINTMENT-

      (1) NUMBER OF MEMBERS- The Commission shall be composed of eight members appointed by the President.

      (2) TIME OF APPOINTMENTS- The President shall appoint the members of the Commission not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act.

      (3) CONSULTATION- In selecting individuals for appointments to the Commission, the President shall consult with--

        (A) the Speaker of the House of Representatives concerning the appointment of two members;

        (B) the majority leader of the Senate concerning the appointment of two members;

        (C) the minority leader of the House of Representatives concerning the appointment of one member; and

        (D) the minority leader of the Senate concerning the appointment of one member.

      (4) CHAIRMAN- At the time the President appoints members to the Commission, the President shall designate one such individual who shall serve as Chairman of the Commission.

    (d) TERMS- Each member of the Commission shall be appointed to serve for the life of the Commission.

    (e) MEETINGS- Each meeting of the Commission, other than meetings in which classified information is to be discussed, shall be open to the public.

    (f) VACANCIES- A vacancy in the Commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

    (g) PAY AND TRAVEL EXPENSES-

      (1) PAY-

        (A) IN GENERAL- Each member of the Commission, other than the Chairman, shall be paid at a rate not to exceed the daily equivalent of the minimum annual rate of basic pay payable for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code, for each day (including travel time) during which the member is engaged in the actual performance of duties vested in the Commission.

        (B) CHAIRMAN- The Chairman shall be paid for each day referred to in subparagraph

(A) at a rate not to exceed the daily equivalent of the minimum annual rate of basic pay payable for level III of the Executive Schedule under section 5314 of title 5, United States Code.

      (2) TRAVEL EXPENSES- Members of the Commission shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with sections 5702 and 5703 of title 5, United States Code.

      (3) PROHIBITION OF COMPENSATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES- Members of the Commission who are full-time officers or employees of the United States, or Members of Congress, may not receive additional pay, allowances, or benefits by reason of their service on the Commission.

    (h) DIRECTOR OF STAFF-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Commission shall appoint a Director.

      (2) PAY- The Director shall be paid at a rate not to exceed the rate of basic pay payable for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code.

    (i) STAFF-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the Director, with the approval of the Commission, may appoint and fix the pay of additional personnel.

      (2) APPOINTMENT AND PAY- The Director may make such appointments without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and any personnel so appointed may be paid without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of that title (relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates), except that an individual so appointed may not receive pay in excess of the annual rate of basic pay payable for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code.

      (3) DETAILING FROM FEDERAL DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES- Upon request of the Director, the head of any Federal department or agency may detail any of the personnel of that department or agency to the Commission to assist the Commission in carrying out its duties under this Act.

      (4) ASSISTANCE FROM COMPTROLLER GENERAL- The Comptroller General of the United States shall provide assistance, including the detailing of employees, to the Commission in accordance with an agreement entered into between the Comptroller General and the Commission.

    (j) OTHER AUTHORITY-

      (1) EXPERTS AND CONSULTANTS- The Commission may procure by contract, to the extent funds are available, the temporary or intermittent services of experts or consultants pursuant to section 3109 of title 5, United States Code.

      (2) LEASING AND PERSONAL PROPERTY- The Commission may lease space and acquire personal property to the extent funds are available. To the extent practicable, the Commission shall use suitable real property available under the most recent inventory of real property assets published by the Resolution Trust Corporation under section 21A(b)(11)(F) of the Federal Home Loan Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1441a(b)(11)(F)).

    (k) FUNDING- There are authorized to be appropriated to the Commission such funds as are necessary to carry out its duties under this Act. Such funds shall remain available until expended.

    (l) TERMINATION- The Commission shall terminate not later than September 30, 2003.

SEC. 3. PROCEDURE FOR MAKING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CORPORATE SUBSIDY REDUCTIONS.

    (a) CRITERIA-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 8 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Chairman of the Commission shall publish in the Federal Register and transmit to the Congress a preliminary draft of the criteria which the Chairman proposes should be used in making recommendations for reductions in corporate subsidies under this Act. Before the publication required by this paragraph, the Chairman shall provide an opportunity for public comment on the proposed criteria for a period of at least 30 days and shall hold a public hearing on the proposed criteria. The Chairman shall provide the public with appropriate notice of such opportunity to comment and of such hearing.

      (2) FACTORS CONSIDERED- In developing the criteria, the Chairman shall consider--

        (A) the income categories of individuals affected by any reduction in corporate subsidies,

        (B) the number of individuals affected by any such reduction,

        (C) the impact of any such reduction on various geographic regions,

        (D) the number, type, and size of businesses affected by any such reduction, and

        (E) the impact of any such reduction on job loss.

      (3) PUBLICATION AND TRANSMISSION- Not later than 10 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Chairman shall publish in the Federal Register and transmit to the Congress the final criteria to be used in making recommendations for reductions in corporate subsidies under this Act.

      (4) AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION- The Chairman shall make available to the Commission and to the Comptroller General of the United States all information used by the Chairman in formulating the criteria.

    (b) REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE COMMISSION-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Once during the term of every Congress, for the life of the Commission, the Commission shall identify and review corporate subsidies and shall publish in the Federal Register and transmit to the President and the Congress a report containing a list of corporate subsidy reductions that the Commission recommends on the basis of--

        (A) the final criteria referred to in subsection (a), and

        (B) a weighing of the cost of each subsidy recommended to be reduced or eliminated against the value of the subsidy in creating jobs.

      (2) DATE OF SUBMISSION- The Commission shall submit the first report required by paragraph (1) not later than 7 months after the date of the publication required by subsection (a)(3).

      (3) RECOMMENDATIONS- In each report required by paragraph (1), the Commission shall recommend corporate subsidy reductions sufficient to raise the appropriate amount of revenue in each of the first 2 fiscal years (or 1 fiscal year, in the case of the 4th such report) beginning in calendar years beginning after the date of the transmission of such report under paragraph (1), as determined under the following table:

If the calendar year is:

--The appropriate amount is:

The 1st beginning after the 1st report

--$3,000,000,000

The 2d beginning after the 1st report

--$3,000,000,000

The 1st beginning after the 2d report

--$5,000,000,000

The 2d beginning after the 2d report

--$5,000,000,000

The 1st beginning after the 3d report

--$7,000,000,000

The 2d beginning after the 3d report

--$12,000,000,000

The 1st beginning after the 4th report

--$15,000,000,000.

      (4) PUBLIC HEARINGS- Before the transmission of any report under paragraph (1), the Commission shall conduct public hearings on the recommendations contained in such report.

      (5) ADDITIONAL CONTENTS OF REPORT- The Commission shall include, with each list of recommendations published and transmitted under paragraph (1)--

        (A) a summary of the selection process that resulted in the recommendations,

        (B) with respect to each subsidy which the Commission recommends to be reduced or eliminated, an analysis of the costs (including costs resulting from job loss) and savings that would result from such elimination or reduction, and

        (C) legislative language which if enacted would have the effect of carrying out all of the corporate subsidy reductions which are recommended by the Commission on such list.

      (6) RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF FUNDING- The Commission may include, with such list, recommendations for alternative methods for funding some or all of the corporate subsidies contained on such list. The recommended alternative methods for funding may include, but need not be limited to, the imposition of user fees.

      (7) AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION- After transmitting a report under paragraph (1), the Commission shall make available to the Congress and the Comptroller General of the United States all information used by the Commission in making the recommendations contained in such report.

    (c) ASSISTANCE FROM COMPTROLLER GENERAL- The Comptroller General of the United States shall--

      (1) assist the Commission, to the extent requested by the Commission, in the Commission’s review and analysis of the criteria transmitted by the Chairman under subsection (a); and

      (2) not later than 45 days after each transmission required by subsection (b)(1), transmit to the Congress, to the President, and to the Commission a report containing a detailed analysis of the Commission’s recommendations and selection process.

    (d) REVIEW BY THE PRESIDENT-

      (1) NOTICE OF APPROVAL, DISAPPROVAL, OR PARTIAL APPROVAL- Not later than 90 days after each transmission under subsection (c)(2), the President shall transmit to the Commission and to the

Congress either a notice of the President’s approval of all of the recommendations contained in the Commission’s report or a notice of the President’s disapproval or partial approval of such recommendations.

      (2) TRANSMISSION IF APPROVAL- If the President approves all of the recommendations of the Commission, the President shall transmit to the Congress a copy of such recommendations, a certification of such approval, and a copy of the legislative language submitted by the Commission under subsection (b)(5).

      (3) TRANSMISSION AND REVISED LIST IF DISAPPROVAL- If the President disapproves the recommendations of the Commission, in whole or in part, the President shall transmit to the Commission and the Congress the reasons for such disapproval. The Commission shall then transmit to the President, not later than 30 days after the transmission of such reasons, a revised list of recommendations for corporate subsidy reductions and revised legislative language which if enacted would have the effect of carrying out all corporate subsidy reductions which are recommended by the Commission on such revised list.

      (4) TRANSMISSION AFTER REVISED RECOMMENDATIONS- Not later than 30 days after the Commission transmits a revised list of recommendations and revised language under paragraph (3), the President shall transmit to the Congress--

        (A) a copy of such revised list of recommendations and such revised language,

        (B) a report containing the President’s approval, partial approval, or disapproval of the recommendations on the revised list, and

        (C) if the President approves all of the recommendations on the revised list, a certification of such approval.

SEC. 4. INTRODUCTION OF DRAFT LEGISLATION FOR CORPORATE SUBSIDY REDUCTION.

    The legislative language transmitted to the Congress under section 3(d) shall be introduced as a bill by the majority leader of the House of Representatives and the majority leader of the Senate.

SEC. 5. JOINT COMMITTEE ON CORPORATE SUBSIDY REDUCTION.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established a Joint Committee on Corporate Subsidy Reduction.

    (b) MEMBERSHIP-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Joint Committee shall consist of 22 members as follows:

        (A) 11 members of the House of Representatives, to be appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, 6 from the majority and 5 from the minority party.

        (B) 11 members of the Senate, to be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate, 6 from the majority and 5 from the minority party.

      (2) MANNER OF APPOINTMENTS- In making appointments under paragraph (1), the majority leader of the House of Representatives and the majority leader of the Senate shall give due consideration to providing appropriate representation on the Joint Committee to committees of the House and Senate, respectively, which have jurisdiction over matters relating to corporate subsidies.

      (3) TIME OF APPOINTMENTS- The appointments referred to in paragraph (1) shall be made not later than 30 days after the first transmission of recommendations under section 3(b)(1).

    (b) VACANCIES- Vacancies in the membership of the Joint Committee shall not affect the power of the remaining members to execute the functions of the Joint Committee and shall be filled in the same manner as in the case of the original appointment.

    (c) CHAIRMAN AND VICE CHAIRMAN- The Joint Committee shall elect a chairman and vice chairman from among its members at the beginning of each Congress in which the Joint Committee exists. The vice chairman shall be chosen from among the members of that House of Congress other than the House of Congress of which the chairman is a member. The vice chairman shall act in the place and stead of the chairman in the absence of the chairman.

    (d) STAFF- The Joint Committee is authorized to appoint and fix the compensation of such professional and clerical staff and such experts as it deems appropriate.

    (e) LEGISLATIVE JURISDICTION AND POWERS-

      (1) LEGISLATIVE JURISDICTION- Bills introduced under section 4 and other bills and resolutions which if enacted would accomplish the government-wide reduction or elimination of corporate subsidies shall be referred to the Joint Committee. The members of the Joint Committee who are Members of the Senate shall from time to time report to the Senate, and the members of the Joint Committee who are Members of the House of Representatives shall from time to time report to the House of Representatives, by bill or otherwise, their recommendations with

respect to matters within the jurisdiction of their respective Houses which are referred to the Joint Committee.

      (2) POWERS- The Joint Committee, or any duly authorized subcommittee thereof, is authorized to sit and act at such places and times and to hold such hearings as it deems appropriate. The Joint Committee, or any duly authorized subcommittee thereof, is authorized to require by subpoena (to be issued under the signature of the chairman or vice chairman) or otherwise the attendance of such witnesses and the production of such books, papers, and documents, to administer such oaths and affirmations, to take such testimony, to procure such printing and binding, and to make such expenditures as it deems advisable.

    (f) HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES EXPENSES- Notwithstanding any law, rule, or other authority, there shall be paid out of the applicable accounts of the House of Representatives such sums as may be necessary for one-half of the expenses of the Joint Committee. Such payments shall be made on vouchers signed by the House of Representatives chairman or vice chairman of the Joint Committee and approved in the manner directed by the Committee on House Oversight of the House of Representatives. Amounts made available under this paragraph shall be expended in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Committee on House Oversight of the House of Representatives.

SEC. 6. CONGRESSIONAL CONSIDERATION OF COMMISSION REPORT.

    (a) DISCHARGE OF CORPORATE SUBSIDY REDUCTION LEGISLATION- If the Joint Committee has not reported a bill introduced under section 4 by the end of the 20-day period beginning on the date of such introduction, the Joint Committee shall be, at the end of such period, discharged from further consideration of such bill, and such bill shall be placed on the appropriate calendar of the House involved.

    (b) CONSIDERATION-

      (1) IN GENERAL- On or after the third day after the date on which the Joint Committee has reported, or has been discharged (under subsection (a)) from further consideration of, a bill introduced under section 4, it is in order (even though a previous motion to the same effect has been disagreed to) for any Member of the respective House to move to proceed to the consideration of such bill (but only on the day after the calendar day on which such Member announces to the House concerned the Member’s intention to do so). All points of order against the bill (and against consideration of the bill) are waived. The motion is highly privileged in the House of Representatives and is privileged in the Senate and is not debatable. The motion is not subject to amendment, or to a motion to postpone, or to a motion to proceed to the consideration of other business. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to shall not be in order. If a motion to proceed to the consideration of the bill is agreed to, the respective House shall immediately proceed to consideration of the bill without intervening motion, order, or other business, and the bill shall remain the unfinished business of the respective House until disposed of.

      (2) DEBATE, ETC- Debate on the subsidy reduction bill, and on all debatable motions and appeals in connection therewith, shall be limited to not more than 2 hours, which shall be divided equally between those favoring and those opposing the bill. An amendment to the bill is not in order. A motion further to limit debate is in order and not debatable. A motion to postpone, or a motion to proceed to the consideration of other business, or a motion to recommit the bill is not in order. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the bill is agreed to or disagreed to is not in order.

      (3) VOTE- Immediately following the conclusion of the debate on the subsidy reduction bill and a single quorum call at the conclusion of the debate (if requested in accordance with the rules of the appropriate House), the vote on final passage of the bill shall occur.

      (4) APPEALS- Appeals from the decisions of the Chair relating to the application of the rules of the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, to the procedure relating to the subsidy reduction bill shall be decided without debate.

SEC. 7. AUTHORITY OF COMMISSION TO IMPLEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS UNLESS CONGRESS ACTS.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, upon the expiration of the 45-day period beginning on the later of the date of the introduction of a bill under section 4 in the House and the date of such introduction in the Senate, the Commission shall have the authority to reduce or eliminate any corporate subsidy identified under section 3(b) to the extent specified in the recommendations transmitted under section 3(d), unless--

      (1) a Joint Resolution disapproving of all of such recommendations becomes law before the expiration of such period, or

      (2) a bill introduced under section 4, a bill which the Joint Committee reports under section 6(a), or a bill with respect to which the Joint Committee has been discharged under such section from further consideration, becomes law before the expiration of such period.

SEC. 8. RULES OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE.

    Sections 5 and 6 are enacted by the Congress--

      (1) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively, and as such sections 5 and 6 are deemed a part of the rules of each House, respectively, but applicable only with respect to the procedure to be followed in that House in the case of the subsidy reduction bill, and such sections supersede other rules only to the extent that such sections are inconsistent with such rules; and

      (2) with full recognition of the constitutional right of either House to change the rules (so far as relating to the procedure of that House) at any time, in the same manner, and to the same extent as in the case of any other rule of that House.

SEC. 9. DEFINITIONS.

    For purposes of this Act:

      (1) CHAIRMAN- The term ‘Chairman’ means the Chairman of the Corporate Independence Commission.

      (2) COMMISSION- The term ‘Commission’ means the Corporate Independence Commission.

      (3) CORPORATE SUBSIDY- The term ‘corporate subsidy’--

        (A) includes spending subsidies (including those for inland waterway operators), tax subsidies, free or below-market-rate services, and trade protections, which are provided by the Federal government to or with respect to any corporation, and

        (B) does not include any subsidy, service, or protection provided directly or indirectly by the Federal government to any Federal entity, Federal agency, government-sponsored enterprise, or Government corporation (as defined in section 9101 of title 31, United States Code).

      (4) GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED ENTERPRISE- The term ‘government-sponsored enterprise’ means the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, the Federal Home Loan Bank System, the Farm Credit Banks, the Banks for Cooperatives, the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, the Student Loan Marketing Association, the College Construction Loan Insurance Association, and any of their affiliated or member institutions.

      (5) JOINT COMMITTEE- The term ‘Joint Committee’ means the Joint Committee on Corporate Subsidy Reduction.

      (6) SUBSIDY REDUCTION BILL- The term ‘subsidy reduction bill’ means a bill introduced under section 4 which the Joint Committee has reported or with respect to which the Joint Committee has been discharged under section 6(a) from further consideration.