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H.R. 5481 (111th): To give subpoena power to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

The text of the bill below is as of Jun 25, 2010 (Placed on Calendar in the Senate).


II

Calendar No. 442

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5481

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 24, 2010

Received and read the first time

June 25, 2010

Read the second time and placed on the calendar

AN ACT

To give subpoena power to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

1.

Subpoena power of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling

(a)

Subpoena power

The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling established by Executive Order No. 13543 of May 21, 2010 (in this section referred to as the Commission), may issue subpoenas to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, records, correspondence, memoranda, and other documents.

(b)

Issuance

(1)

Authorization

A subpoena may be issued under this section only by—

(A)

agreement of the Co-Chairs of the Commission; or

(B)

the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Commission.

(2)

Justice department coordination

(A)

Notification

The Commission shall notify the Attorney General or his or her designee of the Commission’s intent to issue a subpoena under this section, the identity of the witness, and the nature of the testimony sought before issuing such a subpoena. The form and content of such notice shall be set forth in the guidelines to be issued under subparagraph (D).

(B)

Conditions for objection to issuance

The Commission may not issue a subpoena under authority of this Act if the Attorney General objects to the issuance of the subpoena on the basis that the taking of the testimony is likely to interfere with any—

(i)

Federal or State criminal investigation or prosecution; or

(ii)

pending investigation under sections 3729 through 3732 of title 31, United States Code (commonly known as the Civil False Claims Act) or other Federal statute providing for civil remedies, or any civil litigation to which the United States or any of its agencies is or is likely to be a party.

(C)

Notification of objection

The Attorney General or relevant United States Attorney shall notify the Commission of an objection raised under this paragraph without unnecessary delay and as set forth in the guidelines to be issued under subparagraph (D).

(D)

Guidelines

As soon as practicable, but no later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Attorney General, after consultation with the Commission, shall issue guidelines to carry out this subsection.

(3)

Signature and service

A subpoena issued under this section may be—

(A)

issued under the signature of either Co-Chair or any member designated by a majority of the Commission; and

(B)

served by any person designated by the Co-Chairs or a member designated by a majority of the Commission.

(c)

Enforcement

(1)

Required procedures

In the case of contumacy of any person issued a subpoena under this section or refusal by such person to comply with the subpoena, the Commission shall request the Attorney General to seek enforcement of the subpoena. Upon such request the Attorney General shall seek enforcement of the subpoena in a court described in paragraph (2). The court in which the Attorney General seeks enforcement of the subpoena shall issue an order requiring the subpoenaed person to appear at any designated place to testify or to produce documentary or other evidence, and may punish any failure to obey the order as a contempt of that court.

(2)

Jurisdiction for enforcement

Any United States district court for a judicial district in which a person issued a subpoena under this section resides, is served, or may be found, or where the subpoena is returnable, shall have jurisdiction to enforce the subpoena as provided in paragraph (1).

Passed the House of Representatives June 23, 2010.

Lorraine C. Miller,

Clerk.

June 25, 2010

Read the second time and placed on the calendar