< Back to S. 599 (112th Congress, 2011–2013)

Text of the Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission Act

This bill was introduced on March 16, 2011, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Mar 16, 2011 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

II

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 599

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 16, 2011

(for himself and Ms. Landrieu) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

A BILL

To establish a commission to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission Act.

2.

Purpose

The purpose of this Act is to establish a Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration Commission to—

(1)

ensure a suitable national observance of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War that includes recognition of the historic, social, legal, cultural, and political forces that—

(A)

brought about the Civil War; and

(B)

influenced the course and outcomes of the Civil War;

(2)

explore the causes of the Civil War to gain a better understanding of the reasons that the democratic framework of the United States failed to resolve the sectional issues without resorting to war;

(3)

fully examine and reflect on the consequences of the Civil War, which Congress directed the National Park Service to address in National Park Service programs and materials beginning in 1999, including consequences such as—

(A)

the Reconstruction era and the aftermath of that era;

(B)

the economic devastation of the entire South as a result of long-term post-war policies;

(C)

the concomitant constriction of equal rights for African-American citizens; and

(D)

the ultimate economic recovery of the region and the extension of civil rights for the descendants of enslaved peoples almost a century later;

(4)

assist States and national organizations with programs and activities for the observance of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War;

(5)

assist in ensuring that any observance of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War is inclusive and appropriately recognizes the experiences and points of view of all people affected by the Civil War; and

(6)

provide assistance for the development of programs, projects, and activities on the Civil War that have lasting educational and preservation value.

3.

Civil war sesquicentennial commemoration commission

The Secretary of the Interior shall establish a commission to be known as the Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration Commission (referred to in this Act as the Commission).

4.

Composition of the commission

(a)

In General

The Commission shall be composed of 25 members as follows:

(1)

Government members

The Commission shall include—

(A)

2 Members of the Senate appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate, in consultation with the majority leader and the minority leader of the Senate;

(B)

2 Members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in consultation with the minority leader of the House of Representatives;

(C)

the Secretary of the Interior or the designee of the Secretary;

(D)

the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, or the designee of the Secretary;

(E)

the Secretary of Education, or the designee of the Secretary;

(F)

the Secretary of Defense, or the designee of the Secretary;

(G)

the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, or the designee of the Chairman;

(H)

the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, or the designee of the Chairman;

(I)

the Archivist of the United States, or the designee of the Archivist;

(J)

the Librarian of Congress, or the designee of the Librarian; and

(K)

the Director of the National Park Service, or the designee of the Director.

(2)

Private members

The Commission shall include—

(A)

3 members appointed by the President from among individuals who are representative of the corporate community and nonprofit community; and

(B)

9 individuals, appointed by the President, from among persons who by reason of education, training, and experience, are experts on the Antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction eras and the preservation, interpretation, and presentation of those eras to the public, including—

(i)

5 individuals with expertise in history or related academic disciplines germane to the Civil War, including—

(I)

individuals representing the museum community, in particular history museums and historical societies, such as the National Civil War Museum;

(II)

individuals with expertise in art history, historic preservation, or a related field;

(III)

individuals with expertise in anthropology, cultural geography, sociology, or a related field; and

(IV)

individuals with expertise in political science, law, economics, or a related field;

(ii)

1 individual with expertise in the preservation of Civil War historic sites and battlefields; and

(iii)

3 individuals representing State Civil War sesquicentennial efforts.

(b)

Terms

(1)

Government members

If any member of the Commission who was appointed as an officer under subsection (a)(1) leaves that office, the member may continue as a member of the Commission for not longer than the 30-day period beginning on the date on which the member leaves the office.

(2)

Private members

Private members appointed under subsection (a)(2) shall be appointed for the life of the Commission.

(c)

Vacancies

Any vacancy in the Commission shall not affect its powers, and shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

(d)

Initial Appointments

The appointment of the members of the Commission shall be made not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

5.

General provisions

(a)

Meetings

(1)

Initial meeting

Not later than 60 days after the date on which all members of the Commission have been appointed, the members appointed under subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 4(a)(2) shall call the first meeting of the Commission.

(2)

Subsequent meetings

The Commission shall hold subsequent meetings at the call of the chairperson.

(b)

Chairperson and Vice Chairperson

At the initial meeting, the Commission shall elect a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson from among its voting members.

(c)

Quorum

A majority of voting members shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number may hold meetings.

(d)

Voting

(1)

In general

The Commission shall act only on an affirmative vote of a majority of the voting members of the Commission.

(2)

Nonvoting members

The individuals appointed under subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 4(a)(1) shall be nonvoting members, and shall serve only in an advisory capacity.

6.

Duties of the commission

(a)

Activities Related to the Sesquicentennial

The Commission shall—

(1)

plan, develop, and carry out programs and activities appropriate to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, including activities in recognition of the historic, social, legal, cultural, and political forces that—

(A)

caused the Civil War; and

(B)

influenced the course and outcomes of the Civil War;

(2)

encourage interdisciplinary examination of the Civil War;

(3)

facilitate and promote Civil War-related activities throughout the United States;

(4)

encourage civic, historical, educational, economic, preservation, and other organizations throughout the United States to organize and participate in activities to expand the understanding and appreciation of the significance of the Civil War;

(5)

coordinate and facilitate the public distribution of scholarly research, publications, and interpretations of the Civil War through institutions such as the Virginia Center for Digital History at the University of Virginia, the Valley of the Shadow, Center for Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina, and the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi;

(6)

coordinate with, and provide technical assistance to, States, units of local government, and nonprofit organizations (including State and local sesquicentennial commemoration entities) to further the commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War;

(7)

coordinate and facilitate commemoration activities of Federal agencies relating to the sesquicentennial of the Civil War;

(8)

develop programs and facilities to ensure that the sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War results in a positive legacy and long-term public benefit;

(9)

encourage and facilitate the preservation of Civil War-related historic sites and battlefields as a lasting legacy of the sesquicentennial commemoration;

(10)

plan, develop, and carry out programs and activities to use funds raised from individuals, foundations, and corporations for sesquicentennial activities at the national level;

(11)

at the election of the Commission, provide funds to State and local programs to carry out activities that advance the goals of the Commission; and

(12)

encourage the development and conduct of programs designed to involve the international community in activities that commemorate the Civil War.

(b)

Plans and report

(1)

Strategic plan and annual performance plans

The Commission shall prepare a strategic plan in accordance with section 306 of title 5, United States Code, and annual performance plans in accordance with section 1115 of title 31, United States Code, for the activities of the Commission carried out under this Act.

(2)

Reports

(A)

Annual report

The Commission shall submit to Congress an annual report that contains a list of each gift, bequest, or devise with a value of more than $250, together with the identity of the donor of each such gift, bequest, or devise.

(B)

Final report

Not later than December 30, 2015, the Commission shall submit to Congress a final report that contains—

(i)

a summary of activities of the Commission;

(ii)

a final accounting of funds received and expended by the Commission; and

(iii)

the findings and recommendations of the Commission.

7.

Grant program

(a)

Grants authorized

The National Endowment for the Humanities shall award grants under this section for the uses described in subsection (b).

(b)

Use of Grants

Grants awarded under this section shall be used for appropriate activities relating to the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

(c)

Consideration

In awarding grants under this section, the National Endowment of the Humanities shall consider and give priority to programs carried out by institutions of higher education, museums, nonprofit organizations, professional associations, or State sesquicentennial commissions with a national scope that support the duties of the Commission described in section 6, including programs that concentrate on the role of African Americans in the Civil War.

8.

Powers of the commission

The Commission may—

(1)

solicit, accept, use, and dispose of gifts, bequests, or devises of money or other real or personal property for the purpose of aiding or facilitating the work of the Commission;

(2)

appoint any advisory committee as the Commission considers appropriate for the purposes of this Act;

(3)

authorize any voting member or employee of the Commission to take any action that the Commission is authorized to take under this Act;

(4)

procure supplies, services, and property, and make or enter into contracts, leases, or other legal agreements to carry out this Act (except that any contracts, leases, or other legal agreements entered into by the Commission shall not extend beyond the date of the termination of the Commission);

(5)

use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other Federal agencies; and

(6)

establish a foundation that is independent from, but affiliated with, the Commission to support, as the Commission determines to be necessary, the efforts of the Commission.

9.

Personnel matters

(a)

Compensation of members

Members of the Commission, and members of any advisory committee appointed under section 8(2), shall serve without compensation.

(b)

Travel expenses

Members of the Commission, and members of any advisory committees appointed under section 8(2), shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for an employee of an agency under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from the home or regular place of business of the member in the performance of the duties of the Commission.

(c)

Staff

(1)

In general

The Chairperson of the Commission may, without regard to civil service laws (including regulations), appoint and terminate an executive director and such other additional personnel as are necessary to enable the Commission to perform the duties of the Commission.

(2)

Confirmation of executive director

The employment of an executive director shall be subject to confirmation by the Commission.

(3)

Compensation

(A)

In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the Chairperson of the Commission may fix the compensation of the executive director and other personnel without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates.

(B)

Maximum rate of pay

The rate of pay for the executive director and other personnel shall not exceed the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of title 5, United States Code.

(d)

Detail of Government Employees

(1)

In general

At the request of the Commission, the head of any Federal agency may detail, on a reimbursable or nonreimbursable basis, any of the personnel of the agency to the Commission to assist the Commission in carrying out the duties of the Commission under this Act.

(2)

Civil service status

The detail of an employee under paragraph (1) shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.

(e)

Volunteer and Uncompensated Services

Notwithstanding section 1342 of title 31, United States Code, the Commission may accept and use voluntary and uncompensated services as the Commission determines necessary.

(f)

Support services

The Director of the National Park Service shall provide to the Commission, on a reimbursable basis, such administrative support services as the Commission may request.

(g)

Procurement of Temporary and Intermittent Services

The Chairperson of the Commission may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at daily rates for individuals which do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of that title.

(h)

FACA Nonapplicability

Section 14(b) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Commission.

(i)

Termination

The Commission shall terminate on the date that is 90 days after the date on which the Commission submits its report under section 6(b)(2).

10.

Audit of commission

The Inspector General of the Department of the Interior shall perform an annual audit of the Commission and shall make the results of the audit available to the public.

11.

Authorization of appropriations

(a)

In General

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act (other than section 7) $500,000 for each of fiscal years 2012 through 2016.

(b)

Grants

There is authorized to be appropriated $3,500,000 to the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide grants under section 7, to remain available until expended.