H.R. 3565 (112th): Reconnecting Congress with America Act of 2011

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Dec 06, 2011 (Introduced).

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112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3565

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

December 6, 2011

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on House Administration, and in addition to the Committees on Oversight and Government Reform, Agriculture, Rules, and Financial Services, 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 reduce the salaries of Members of Congress if a Federal budget deficit exists, prohibit commodities and securities trading based on non-public information relating to Congress, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Reconnecting Congress with America Act of 2011.

2.

Reduction in salaries of Members of Congress in response to federal budget deficit

(a)

Determination of salaries

The annual rate of pay for a Member of Congress (including a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to the Congress) for pay periods occurring in a calendar year shall be equal to the following:

(1)

If, with respect to the most recent fiscal year ending before that calendar year, the Federal deficit was equal to or greater than 3 percent of the gross domestic product, 80% of the base rate applicable to the Member.

(2)

If, with respect to the most recent fiscal year ending before that calendar year, the Federal deficit was less than 3 percent of the gross domestic product, 90% of the base rate applicable to the Member.

(3)

If, with respect to the most recent fiscal year ending before that calendar year, there was no Federal deficit, 100% of the base rate applicable to the Member.

(b)

Federal deficit

(1)

Definition

For purposes of this section, the term Federal deficit means, with respect to a fiscal year, the amount by which outlays of the Federal Government exceeded receipts of the Government for that fiscal year.

(2)

Report by secretary of the treasury

Not later than 30 days after the end of each fiscal year (beginning with fiscal year 2011), the Secretary of the Treasury shall—

(A)

make a determination of the gross domestic product for that fiscal year;

(B)

make a determination of whether a Federal deficit existed with respect to that fiscal year, and, if so, the amount of such Federal deficit; and

(C)

submit a report of such determinations to Congress.

(c)

Base rate

For purposes of this section, the base rate applicable to a Member of Congress means—

(1)

in the case of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, $223,500;

(2)

in the case of the President pro tempore of the Senate, the majority leader and the minority leader of the Senate, and the majority leader and the minority leader of the House of Representatives, $193,400; and

(3)

in the case of any other Member of Congress, $174,000.

(d)

Conforming amendment

Section 601(a) of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 (2 U.S.C. 31) is repealed.

(e)

Effective date

(1)

In general

This section and the amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to pay periods occurring on or after January 1, 2013.

(2)

Sense of congress regarding voluntary return of salary

It is the sense of Congress that, during pay periods occurring after the date of enactment of this Act and prior to the date referred to in paragraph (1), each Member of Congress should voluntarily adjust the amount of the Member’s salary to reflect the annual rates of pay that will take effect on such date.

3.

Retirement contributions for Members of Congress

(a)

Civil Service Retirement System

(1)

Member contribution

Notwithstanding any provision of subsection (a)(1)(A) or (k)(1)(A) of section 8334 of title 5, United States Code, for any period beginning on or after date of enactment of this Act, the contributions payable by a Member of Congress under such provision for such period shall be equal to the percentage that would otherwise apply plus 4.9 percentage points.

(2)

Government contribution

Notwithstanding any provision of subsection (a)(1)(B) or (k)(1)(B) of section 8334 of such title, for any period beginning on or after date of enactment of this Act, the contributions payable under such provision for a Member of Congress shall be equal to the percentage that would otherwise apply minus 4.9 percentage points.

(b)

Federal Employees’ Retirement System

(1)

Member contribution

Notwithstanding any provision of section 8422(a) of title 5, United States Code, for any period beginning on or after date of enactment of this Act, the contributions payable by a Member of Congress under such provision for such period shall be equal to the percentage that would otherwise apply plus 4.9 percentage points.

(2)

Government contribution

Notwithstanding any provision of section 8423 of such title, for any period beginning on or after date of enactment of this Act, the contributions payable under such provision for a Member of Congress shall be equal to the percentage that would otherwise apply (disregarding paragraph (1)) minus 4.9 percentage points.

4.

Prohibiting commodities and securities trading based on nonpublic information relating to congress

(a)

Nonpublic information relating to Congress and other Federal employees

(1)

Commodities transactions

Section 4c of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 6c) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(h)

Nonpublic information relating to Congress

Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Commission shall by rule prohibit any person from buying or selling any commodity for future delivery or swap while such person is in possession of material nonpublic information, as defined by the Commission, relating to any pending or prospective legislative action relating to such commodity if—

(1)

such information was obtained by reason of such person being a Member or employee of Congress; or

(2)

such information was obtained from a Member or employee of Congress, and such person knows that the information was so obtained.

(i)

Nonpublic information relating to other Federal employees

(1)

Rulemaking

Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Commission shall by rule prohibit any person from buying or selling any commodity for future delivery or swap while such person is in possession of material nonpublic information derived from Federal employment and relating to such commodity if—

(A)

such information was obtained by reason of such person being an employee of an agency, as such term is defined in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code; or

(B)

such information was obtained from such an employee, and such person knows that the information was so obtained.

(2)

Material nonpublic information

For purposes of this subsection, the term material nonpublic information means any information that an employee of an agency (as such term is defined in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code) gains by reason of Federal employment and that such employee knows or should know has not been made available to the general public, including information that—

(A)

is routinely exempt from disclosure under section 552 of title 5, United States Code, or otherwise protected from disclosure by statute, Executive order, or regulation;

(B)

is designated as confidential by an agency; or

(C)

has not actually been disseminated to the general public and is not authorized to be made available to the public on request.

.

(2)

Securities transactions

Section 10 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78j) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(d)

Nonpublic information relating to Congress

Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Commission shall by rule prohibit any person from buying or selling the securities or security based swaps of any issuer while such person is in possession of material nonpublic information, as defined by the Commission, relating to any pending or prospective legislative action relating to such issuer if—

(1)

such information was obtained by reason of such person being a Member or employee of Congress; or

(2)

such information was obtained from a Member or employee of Congress, and such person knows that the information was so obtained.

(e)

Nonpublic information relating to other Federal employees

(1)

Rulemaking

Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Commission shall by rule prohibit any person from buying or selling the securities or security based swaps of any issuer while such person is in possession of material nonpublic information derived from Federal employment and relating to such issuer if—

(A)

such information was obtained by reason of such person being an employee of an agency, as such term is defined in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code; or

(B)

such information was obtained from such an employee, and such person knows that the information was so obtained.

(2)

Material nonpublic information

For purposes of this subsection, the term material nonpublic information means any information that an employee of an agency (as such term is defined in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code) gains by reason of Federal employment and that such employee knows or should know has not been made available to the general public, including information that—

(A)

is routinely exempt from disclosure under section 552 of title 5, United States Code, or otherwise protected from disclosure by statute, Executive order, or regulation;

(B)

is designated as confidential by an agency; or

(C)

has not actually been disseminated to the general public and is not authorized to be made available to the public on request.

.

(b)

Committee hearings on implementation

(1)

In general

The Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives shall hold a hearing on the implementation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission of subsections (h) and (i) of section 4c of the Commodity Exchange Act (as added by subsection (a)), and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives shall hold a hearing on the implementation by the Securities Exchange Commission of subsections (d) and (e) of section 10 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (as added by subsection (a)).

(2)

Exercise of rulemaking authority

Paragraph (1) is enacted—

(A)

as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the House of Representatives and, as such, shall be considered as part of the rules of the House, and such rules shall supersede any other rule of the House only to the extent that rule is inconsistent therewith; and

(B)

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

5.

Sense of Congress regarding application of laws to members

It is the sense of Congress that any law enacted by Congress should apply to Members of Congress in the same manner and to the same extent as the law applies to other individuals.