H.R. 3157 (107th): Rediscover America Act of 2001

107th Congress, 2001–2002. Text as of Oct 17, 2001 (Introduced).

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HR 3157 IH

107th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3157

To authorize the Secretary of Commerce to establish a Travel and Tourism Promotion Bureau.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

October 17, 2001

Mr. UNDERWOOD (for himself, Mr. ACEVEDO-VILA, Mrs. CHRISTENSEN, Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA, and Mr. RODRIGUEZ) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce


A BILL

To authorize the Secretary of Commerce to establish a Travel and Tourism Promotion Bureau.

    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 ‘Rediscover America Act of 2001’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.

    (a) FINDINGS- Congress finds that--

      (1) the revitalization of the travel and tourism industry following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States is a national economic necessity;

      (2) in light of the effect that the attacks have had on the tourism industry, it is important to put measures immediately into place to restore consumer confidence in travel and in the economy;

      (3) safety and security in travel is of utmost importance in order to restore consumer confidence in the industry;

      (4) the travel and tourism industry has a large impact on the U.S. economy--adding nearly 5 percent to the GDP, generating more than $578,000,000 in revenues, supporting more than 17,000,000 jobs, and providing a $14,000,000 trade surplus for the country; and

      (5) more than 95 percent of the businesses in travel and tourism are small to medium sized enterprises.

    (b) PURPOSE- The purpose of this Act is to assist the travel and tourism industry in its effort to restore consumer confidence in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

SEC. 3. UNITED STATES TRAVEL AND TOURISM PROMOTION BUREAU.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established in the Department of Commerce a United States Travel and Tourism Promotion Bureau.

    (b) PURPOSE- The Bureau shall--

      (1) work to help restore consumer confidence in travel in the two years following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States; and

      (2) work in conjunction with private industry and industry employee representatives to design and implement public service announcements and advertising to promote tourism, encouraging Americans and foreign visitors to rediscover the nation’s treasures.

    (c) POWERS- To carry out the purposes of this Act, the Bureau may--

      (1) distribute funds to any travel and tourism related organization or association;

      (2) enter into contracts with private organizations or business;

      (3) utilize up to three existing employees of the Department of Commerce, as may be assigned by the Secretary; and

      (4) conduct any and all acts necessary and proper to carry out the purposes of this Act.

SEC. 4. UNITED STATES TRAVEL AND TOURISM PROMOTION BUREAU ADVISORY COMMITTEE.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established a United States Travel and Tourism Promotion Bureau Advisory Committee for the purpose of recommending activities to the Bureau.

    (b) MEMBERS- Within 30 days after enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Commerce shall appoint the members of the Advisory Committee as follows:

      (1) 1 member representing the aviation industry;

      (2) 1 member representing airline workers;

      (3) 1 member representing the hotel industry;

      (4) 1 member representing hotel workers;

      (5) 1 member representing the restaurant industry;

      (6) 1 member representing restaurant workers;

      (7) 1 member representing amusement parks; and

      (8) 1 member of the Rural Tourism Foundation;

    (c) CHAIR- The Advisory Committee shall elect a Chair for an initial term of 6 months. After such initial term, the Chair shall be elected for such term as the Committee may designate.

    (d) VACANCIES- If a vacancy occurs in the membership of the Committee, the Secretary of Commerce shall fill the vacancy, provided that the membership of the Committee remains consistent with subsection (b).

SEC. 5. QUARTERLY REPORTING PROVISION.

    Not less than once every 90 days, the Bureau shall report to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce on--

      (1) the Bureau’s activities to promote travel and tourism; and

      (2) the state of the travel and tourism industry.

SEC. 6. SUNSET.

    The provisions of this Act shall terminate two years after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 7. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (A) APPROPRIATION- Of the funds provided in Public Law 107-38, not less than $60,000,000 shall be used for the purpose of carrying out this Act.

    (b) AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS- The funds made available pursuant to subsection (a) shall be available to be expended in fiscal year 2002 and fiscal year 2003.