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H.R. 720 (112th): Anthrax Attacks Investigation Act


The text of the bill below is as of Feb 15, 2011 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


I

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 720

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 15, 2011

(for himself and Mr. Nadler) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To establish the National Commission on the Anthrax Attacks Upon the United States to examine and report upon the facts and causes relating to the anthrax letter attacks of September and October 2001, and investigate and report to the President and Congress on its findings, conclusions, and recommendations for corrective measures that can be taken to prevent and respond to acts of bioterrorism.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Anthrax Attacks Investigation Act .

2.

Establishment of commission

There is established a commission to be known as the National Commission on the Anthrax Attacks Upon the United States (in this Act referred to as the Commission).

3.

Purposes

The purposes of the Commission are to—

(1)

examine and report upon the facts and causes relating to the anthrax letter attacks of September and October 2001;

(2)

ascertain, evaluate, and report on the evidence developed by all relevant governmental agencies regarding the facts and circumstances surrounding the attacks;

(3)

determine whether all credible leads and information regarding the potential perpetrator of the attacks were pursued with due diligence by Federal investigators;

(4)

ascertain the full range of individuals who could have had access to the type of anthrax used in the attacks, and determine the full extent to which all such individuals were thoroughly investigated for any potential involvement in the attacks;

(5)

make a full and complete accounting of the circumstances surrounding the attacks, and the extent of the Federal Government’s preparedness for, and immediate response to, the attacks; and

(6)

investigate and report to the President and Congress on its findings, conclusions, and recommendations for corrective measures that can be taken to prevent and respond to acts of bioterrorism.

4.

Membership

(a)

Number and appointment

The Commission shall be composed of 11 members appointed as follows:

(1)

One member appointed by the President.

(2)

One member appointed by the majority leader of the Senate, in consultation with the minority leader of the Senate, who shall serve as chairman of the Commission.

(3)

One member appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in consultation with the minority leader of the House, who shall serve as vice chairman of the Commission.

(4)

Two members appointed by the majority leader of the Senate.

(5)

Two members appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives.

(6)

Two members appointed by the minority leader of the Senate.

(7)

Two members appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives.

(b)

Qualifications

(1)

Political party affiliation

Not more than 6 members appointed to the Commission shall be from the same political party.

(2)

Nongovernmental appointees

An individual appointed to the Commission may not be an officer or employee of the Federal Government or any State or local government.

(3)

Other qualifications

It is the sense of Congress that individuals appointed to the Commission should be prominent United States citizens with national recognition and significant depth of experience in professions such as governmental service, law enforcement, law, public health, public administration, science and technology, intelligence gathering, commerce, transportation, and foreign affairs.

(4)

Deadline for appointment

All members of the Commission shall be appointed no later than 60 days after the enactment of this Act.

(c)

Subcommittees

The Chairman may establish subcommittees for the purpose of carrying out the duties of the Commission.

(d)

Meetings

(1)

Initial meeting

The Commission shall meet and begin the operations of the Commission as soon as practicable following the appointment of the 11 members.

(2)

Subsequent meetings

The Commission shall meet upon the call of the chairman or a majority of its members. All such meetings shall be open to the public unless classified information or internal personnel matters involving the Commission are to be discussed, in which case such meetings shall be closed to the public.

(e)

Quorum

Six members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum.

(f)

Vacancies

Any vacancy in the Commission shall not affect its powers, but shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made.

5.

Duties of commission

(a)

In general

The duties of the Commission are to—

(1)

conduct an investigation relating to the anthrax letter attacks of September and October 2001 that investigates relevant facts and circumstances surrounding the attacks, including any relevant legislation, Executive order, regulation, plan, policy, practice, or procedure;

(2)

ascertain, evaluate, and report on the evidence developed by all relevant governmental agencies regarding the facts and circumstances surrounding the attacks;

(3)

determine whether all credible leads and information regarding the potential perpetrator of the attacks were pursued with due diligence by Federal investigators;

(4)

ascertain the full range of individuals who could have had access to the type of anthrax used in the attacks and determine the full extent to which all such individuals were thoroughly investigated for any potential involvement in the attacks;

(5)

make a full and complete accounting of the circumstances surrounding the attacks, and the extent of the Federal Government’s preparedness for, and immediate response to, the attacks;

(6)

identify, review, and evaluate the lessons learned from the attacks regarding the structure, coordination, management policies, and procedures of the Federal Government, and, if appropriate, State and local governments and nongovernmental entities, relative to detecting, preventing, and responding to bioterrorism attacks;

(7)

submit to the President and Congress reports in accordance with section 10; and

(8)

bring to the attention of the Attorney General and Congress any evidence of potential violations of Federal law or regulations uncovered by the Commission during the course of its investigation.

(b)

Investigations and Reports

The investigation and report authorized under subsection (a) may include relevant facts and circumstances relating to—

(1)

intelligence and law enforcement agencies;

(2)

diplomacy;

(3)

the delivery, processing, and handling of mail, parcels, or packages within the United States or its territories by either government or commercial entities worldwide;

(4)

the ability of individuals or terrorist organizations to acquire the scientific knowledge and means to manufacture and deliver chemical, biological, or radiological weapons via mail, parcels, or packages;

(5)

the physical and personnel security measures and procedures employed by government, nonprofit, and private sector laboratories or other entities using, storing or shipping agents on the Centers for Disease Control’s Select Agents and Toxins List;

(6)

the role of Congressional oversight and resource allocation; and

(7)

other areas of the public and private sectors determined relevant by the Commission for its inquiry.

6.

Powers of commission

(a)

In general

The Commission or, on the authority of the Commission, any subcommittee or member thereof, shall, for the purpose of carrying out its duties—

(1)

hold hearings and sit and act at such times and places as the Commission considers appropriate, take testimony, receive evidence, and administer oaths; and

(2)

in accordance with subsection (b), require, by subpoena or otherwise, the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, and documents, as the Commission or designated subcommittee or member may determine advisable.

(b)

Subpoenas

(1)

Issuance

A subpoena may be issued by the Commission only—

(A)

by the agreement of the chairman and the vice chairman; or

(B)

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

(2)

Signature

Subject to paragraph (1), subpoenas issued under this subsection may be issued under the signature of the chairman or any member designated by a majority of the Commission, and may be served by any person designated by the chairman or by a member designated by a majority of the Commission.

(3)

Service of subpoenas

The subpoenas of the Commission shall be served in the manner provided for subpoenas issued by a United States district court under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for the United States district courts.

(4)

Service of process

All process of any court to which an application is made under paragraph (3) may be served in the judicial district in which the person required to be served resides or may be found.

(5)

Enforcement

(A)

In general

In the case of contumacy or failure to obey a subpoena issued under this subsection, the United States district court for the judicial district in which the subpoenaed person resides, is served, or may be found, or where the subpoena is returnable, may issue an order requiring such person to appear at any designated place to testify or to produce documentary or other evidence. Any failure to obey the order of the court may be punished by the court as civil contempt.

(B)

Additional enforcement

In the case of any failure of any witness to comply with any subpoena or to testify when summoned under authority of this section, the Commission may, by majority vote, certify a statement of fact constituting such failure to the appropriate United States attorney, who shall bring the matter before the grand jury for its action, under the same authority and procedures as if the United States attorney had received a certification under section 104 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (2 U.S.C. 194).

(c)

Public reports; hearings

(1)

Requiring public access

The Commission shall hold public hearings and meetings and release public versions of the reports submitted in accordance with section 10.

(2)

Protection of information

Any public hearings of the Commission shall be conducted in a manner consistent with the protection of information provided to or developed for or by the Commission as required by any applicable statute, regulation, or Executive order.

(d)

Contract authority

The Commission may contract with and compensate government and private agencies or persons for services without regard to section 3709 of the Revised Statutes (41 U.S.C. 5).

(e)

Information from federal agencies

(1)

In general

The Commission is authorized to secure directly from any executive department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality of the Government, information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics for the purposes of this Act.

(2)

Declassification Requests

Each department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality shall—

(A)

review on an expedited basis any requests for declassification of classified material made by the Commission; and

(B)

declassify and supply to the Commission such information as the Commission requests consistent with applicable requirements to protect sources and methods.

(f)

Assistance from Federal agencies

(1)

General services administration

The Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Commission on a reimbursable basis administrative support and other services for the performance of the Commission’s functions.

(2)

Other departments and agencies

In addition to the assistance prescribed in paragraph (1), departments and agencies of the United States at the request of the Commission shall provide such services, funds, facilities, staff, and other support services as may be authorized by law.

(g)

Gifts

The Commission may accept, use, and dispose of gifts, bequests, devises of services or property, both real and personal, or donations of services or property, for the purpose of aiding or facilitating the work of the Commission.

(h)

Postal services

The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the United States.

(i)

Nonapplicability of federal advisory committee act

The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Commission.

7.

Security clearances for commission members and staff

The appropriate Federal agencies or departments shall cooperate with the Commission to provide the Commission members appropriate security clearances pursuant to existing procedures and requirements.

8.

Compensation and travel expenses

(a)

Compensation

Each member of the Commission may be compensated at a rate not to exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay in effect for a position at level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code, for each day during which that member is engaged in the actual performance of the duties of the Commission.

(b)

Travel expenses

While away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Commission, members of the Commission shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in the same manner as persons employed intermittently in the Government service are allowed expenses under section 5703(b) of title 5, United States Code.

9.

Staff of commission

(a)

Appointment and compensation

Subject to the rules of the Commission, the chairman, in consultation with the vice chairman, may appoint and fix the compensation of an executive director and such other personnel as may be necessary to enable the Commission to carry out its functions, 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 no rate of pay fixed under this subsection may exceed the equivalent of that payable for a position at level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of title 5, United States Code.

(b)

Detailees

Any Federal Government employee may be detailed to the Commission without reimbursement from the Commission, and shall retain the rights, status, and privileges of his or her regular employment without interruption.

(c)

Consultant services

The Commission may procure the services of experts and consultants in accordance with section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, but at rates not to exceed the daily rate paid under level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code.

(d)

National academy of sciences staff recommendations

The chairman and vice chairman of the Commission shall seek the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences regarding the desired qualifications of scientific staff to be hired directly or on a consultant basis by the Commission.

(e)

Prohibiting conflicts of interest

No individual who participated in the criminal investigation into the anthrax letter attacks may be detailed to, or may provide any paid or unpaid services to, the Commission.

10.

Reports of the commission

(a)

Final report

Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commission shall transmit a final report containing such findings, conclusions, and recommendations for corrective measures as have been agreed to by a majority of the Commission, including proposing organization, coordination, planning and management arrangements, procedures, rules, and regulations. The final report shall be unclassified but may include a classified annex, if necessary.

(b)

Interim reports

The Commission may submit to the President and Congress interim reports containing findings, conclusions, and recommendations for corrective measures as have been agreed to by a majority of the Commission members.

(c)

Dissenting views

Both the interim and final reports shall contain the dissenting views of any commission member who wishes to have his or her views published.

11.

Termination

The Commission shall terminate 60 days after submitting its final report under section 10(a).

12.

Funding

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary for the operation of the Commission.