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S. 3097 (114th): SelectUSA Authorization Act of 2016

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Dec 6, 2016.

SelectUSA Authorization Act of 2016

(Sec. 2) This bill establishes in the Department of Commerce a government-wide SelectUSA program to attract and retain domestic and foreign investment in the U.S. economy.

SelectUSA shall:

coordinate outreach and engagement by the federal government to promote the United States as the premier location to operate a business; serve as an ombudsman to facilitate resolution of issues involving federal programs or activities related to pending investments; inform domestic and foreign firms on the U.S. investment climate, federal programs and available investor incentives, and state and local economic development organizations; and endeavor to increase foreign direct investment opportunities for rural areas and smaller states, and make its services increasingly available to such states and areas. (Sec. 3) The bill also establishes the Federal Interagency Investment Working Group to coordinate activities to promote business investment and respond to specific issues that affect business investment decisions.

(Sec. 4) Commerce shall, by December 31 of each year, report to Congress on SelectUSA's activities during the preceding fiscal year.

(Sec. 5) The Government Accountability Office shall, within one year after this bill's enactment, assess SelectUSA's effectiveness in increasing, encouraging, and supporting foreign direct investment in the United States.

(Sec. 6) At the beginning of each fiscal year, Commerce shall certify to Congress that each of its newly appointed political officials has received training on:

regulations and policies governing the use of subordinates for non-official business; restrictions against the use of the political appointee's title or position for personal gain or creating the appearance of such use; key regulations and policies governing official travel, including the Federal Travel Regulation, as well as departmental travel policies, particularly regarding the necessity for adequately documented justification to support any per diem overages; and the advisability of monitoring renovation work done to their office suites to ensure the cost of such work does not contravene congressional budget restrictions. Within 30 days after enactment of this bill, Commerce shall:

report to Congress on the renovations to the office suite of its Under Secretary for International Trade as to whether expenditures associated with those renovations exceeded the $5,000 limit imposed by Congress and whether the expenditures contravened the Anti-Deficiency Act; certify to Congress that it has implemented procedures requiring thorough documentation to support the categorization of any work performed on an official office suite of a politically appointed official as general or routine maintenance, or renovation work that is subject to congressional budget restrictions; and report to Congress on the steps it has taken to make subordinates working for politically appointed officials feel empowered to report instances of potential regulatory, policy, or rule violations (i.e., whistleblowing) to their superiors or to the Inspector General of Commerce.