H. R. 2015
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
May 26, 2011
Mr. Fattah introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
To establish the Commission on American Discoveries and American Jobs to study and recommend improvements to the Federal funding of research.
This Act may be cited as the
American Discoveries and American Jobs
Commission Act of 2011 or the
Herb Vederman Commission on American Discoveries and
American Jobs Act of 2011 .
There is established a commission to be
known as the
Commission on American Discoveries and American
Jobs (in this Act referred to as the Commission).
Congress finds the following:
The Federal Government is estimated to have spent $147,400,000,000 in fiscal year 2010 on research and development (not including funds allocated under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Public Law 111–5)) to meet the mission requirements of the Federal departments and agencies.
Federal Government research and development has led to new products and processes for the commercial marketplace, including antibiotics, plastics, airplanes, computers, microwaves, and bioengineered drugs.
There are many other technologies and techniques generated in the Federal laboratory system that could have market value if further developed by the industrial community, and the knowledge base created by the research and development activities of such system can serve as a foundation for additional commercially relevant efforts in the private sector.
Technological progress is responsible for up to half the growth of the United States economy and is the principal driving force behind long-term economic growth and increases in our standard of living.
It is only through commercialization, a function of the business sector, that a significant stimulus to economic growth occurs. Thus, there is congressional interest in accelerating development and commercialization activities in the private sector through legislation.
Royalties derived from intellectual property rights provide the academic community a way to support further research and the business sector a means to obtain a return on their financial contributions to such research.
Duties of Commission
The Commission shall conduct a study to examine—
the state of technology transfer from federally funded research to the private sector;
the possibilities for the Federal Government to collect royalties from early research that leads to the commercialization of a profitable product or technology;
the potential adverse consequences of such royalties on technology transfer, commercialization, and economic growth; and
the potential benefits of reinvesting revenues from Federal royalties into science, technology, engineering, and math education, and seeding future federally funded research;
Not later than one year after the first meeting of the Commission, the Commission shall submit to Congress a written report of the results of the study conducted under subsection (a) and recommendations of regulatory and statutory changes that would enable the Federal Government to—
claim royalties from the investment of the Federal Government in early research;
reinvest such royalties in science, technology, engineering, and math education and future Federal research;
ensure products resulting from Federal research are manufactured in the United States; and
affix a symbol, marker, or insignia on commercialized products to show that they had originated from federally supported research.
Staff of Commission; experts and consultants
The Commission may, without regard to section 5311(b) of title 5, United States Code, appoint and fix the compensation of such personnel as the Commission considers appropriate.
Applicability of Certain Civil Service Laws
The staff of the Commission may be appointed without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates, except that the compensation of any employee of the Commission may not exceed a rate equal to the annual rate of basic pay payable for GS–15 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5, United States Code.
Experts and Consultants
The Commission may procure temporary and intermittent services of experts and consultants under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, but at rates for individuals not to exceed the daily equivalent of the maximum annual rate of basic pay under section 5332 of such title.
Number and appointment
The Commission shall be composed of nine members appointed, not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, as follows:
Three members shall be appointed by the President.
Two members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
One member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives.
Two members shall be appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate.
One member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate.
All members of the Commission shall be persons who are especially qualified to serve on the Commission by virtue of their education, training, or experience, particularly in the fields of scientific research and commercialization.
Each member shall be appointed for the life of the Commission.
A vacancy in the Commission shall not affect the powers of the Commission and shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made.
Members of the Commission shall be awarded compensation as follows:
Rates of pay
Except as provided in paragraph (2), members shall each be paid at a rate equal to the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay for grade GS–15 of the General Schedule for each day (including travel time) during which they are engaged in the actual performance of duties vested in the Commission.
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.
Each member shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with applicable provisions under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code.
Four members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum but a lesser number may hold hearings.
Chair; Vice Chair
The Commission shall elect a Chair and Vice Chair from among its members. The term of office of the Chair and Vice Chair shall be for the life of the Commission.
The Commission shall meet at the call of the President not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act or not later than 30 days after the date on which legislation is enacted making appropriations available to carry out this Act, whichever date is later.
Powers of Commission
Hearings and sessions
The Commission may, for the purpose of carrying out this Act, hold hearings, sit and act at times and places, take testimony, and receive evidence relating to any matter under investigation by the Commission. The Commission may refer requests for testimony or evidence that are not fulfilled to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives or the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate.
Powers of Members and agents
Any member or agent of the Commission may, if authorized by the Commission, take any action which the Commission is authorized to take by this section.
Obtaining Official Data
The Commission may secure directly from any department or agency of the United States information necessary to enable it to carry out this Act. Upon request of the Chair or Vice Chair of the Commission, the head of that department or agency shall furnish that information to the Commission.
Administrative Support Services
The Commission may enter into agreements with the Administrator of General Services for procurement of financial and administrative services necessary for the discharge of the duties of the Commission. Payment for such services shall be made by reimbursement from funds of the Commission in such amounts as may be agreed upon by the Chair of the Commission and the Administrator.
To the extent or in the amounts provided in advance in appropriation Acts, the Commission may contract with and compensate government and private agencies or persons for supplies, services, and property.
The Commission shall terminate on the date that is 90 days after the date on which the Commission submits the report required under section 4(b).
Authorization of Appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated $2,500,000 to carry out this Act.