IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 11, 2015
Mr. Cornyn (for himself and Ms. Klobuchar) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
To provide for alternative financing arrangements for the provision of certain services and the construction and maintenance of infrastructure at land border ports of entry, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Cross-Border Trade Enhancement Act of 2015.
In this Act:
The terms Administrator and Administration mean the Administrator of General Services and the General Services Administration, respectively.
The term Commissioner means the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The term person means—
an individual; or
a corporation, partnership, trust, association, or any other public or private entity, including a State or local government.
Relevant committees of Congress
The term relevant committees of Congress means—
the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate;
the Committee on Finance of the Senate;
the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate;
the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate;
the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives;
the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives; and
the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.
Authority to enter into agreements for the provision of certain services at land border ports of entry
Authority To enter into agreements
Notwithstanding section 451 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1451), and consistent with section 560 of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2013 (division D of Public Law 113–6; 127 Stat. 378) and section 559 of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2014 (division F of Public Law 113–76; 6 U.S.C. 211 note) the Commissioner may, during the 10-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and upon the request of any person, enter into an agreement with that person under which—
U.S. Customs and Border Protection will provide the services described in paragraph (2) at a land border port of entry; and
that person will pay the fee described in subsection (b) to reimburse U.S. Customs and Border Protection for the costs incurred in providing such services.
Services described in this paragraph are any services related to customs, agricultural processing, border security, or inspection-related immigration matters provided by an employee or contractor of U.S. Customs and Border Protection at land border ports of entry.
The Commissioner may not modify existing requirements or reimbursement fee agreements in effect as of the date of the enactment of this Act unless the relevant person requests a modification to include services described in this section.
Nothing in this paragraph may be construed to reduce the responsibilities or duties of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to provide services at land border ports of entry that have been authorized or mandated by law and are funded in any appropriation Act or from any accounts in the Treasury of the United States derived by the collection of fees.
A person requesting U.S. Customs and Border Protection services shall pay a fee pursuant to an agreement under subsection (a) in an amount equal to the sum of—
a proportionate share of the salaries and expenses of the individuals employed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection who provided such services; and
other costs incurred by U.S. Customs and Border Protection relating to such services, such as temporary placement or permanent relocation of such individuals.
Oversight of fees
The Commissioner shall develop a process to oversee the activities reimbursed by the fees authorized under paragraph (1) that includes—
a determination and report on the full cost of providing services, including direct and indirect costs;
a process for increasing such fees, as necessary;
the establishment of a monthly remittance schedule to reimburse appropriations; and
the identification of overtime costs to be reimbursed by such fees.
Deposit of funds
Amounts collected in fees under paragraph (1)—
shall be deposited as an offsetting collection;
shall remain available until expended, without fiscal year limitation; and
shall directly reimburse each appropriation account for the amount paid out of such account for—
any expenses incurred for providing U.S. Customs and Border Protection services to the person paying such fee; and
any other costs incurred by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection relating to such services.
The Commissioner shall terminate the services provided pursuant to an agreement with a private sector or government entity under subsection (a) upon receiving notice from the Commissioner that such entity failed to pay the fee imposed under paragraph (1) in a timely manner.
Effect of termination
At the time services are terminated pursuant to subparagraph (A), all costs incurred by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to provide services to the entity described in subparagraph (A), which have not been reimbursed by the entity, will become immediately due and payable.
Interest on unpaid fees will accrue from the date of termination based on current Treasury borrowing rates.
Any private sector or government entity that fails to pay any fee incurred under paragraph (1) in a timely manner, after notice and demand for payment, shall be liable for a penalty or liquidated damage equal to 2 times the amount of such fee.
Not later than 3 days before entering into an agreement under this section, the Commissioner shall notify—
the relevant committees of Congress; and
the members of Congress who represent the State or district in which the facility at which services will be provided under the agreement.
Evaluation of alternative financing arrangements for construction and maintenance of infrastructure at land border ports of entry
Consistent with section 559 of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2014 (division F of Public Law 113–76; 6 U.S.C. 211 note), during the 10-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commissioner and the Administrator may, for purposes of facilitating the construction, alteration, operation, or maintenance of a new or existing facility or other infrastructure at a port of entry under the jurisdiction, custody, and control of the Commissioner or the Administrator—
enter into cost-sharing or reimbursement agreements with any person; or
accept donations from any person of—
real or personal property (including monetary donations); or
Allowable uses of agreements
The Commissioner and the Administrator, with respect to an agreement authorized under subsection (a), may—
use such agreements for activities related to an existing or new port of entry, including expenses related to—
land acquisition, design, construction, repair, or alternation;
furniture, fixtures, or equipment;
the deployment of technology or equipment; or
operations and maintenance; or
subject to chapter 33 of title 40, United States Code, transfer such property or services between the Commissioner and the Administrator for activities described in paragraph (1) that are related to a new or existing port of entry under the jurisdiction, custody, and control of the relevant agency.
Requirements for procedures
The Commissioner, in consultation with the Administrator and consistent with section 559 of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2014 (division F of Public Law 113–76; 6 U.S.C. 211 note), shall issue procedures for evaluating a proposal submitted by a person for an agreement authorized under subsection (a).
The procedures issued under subparagraph (A) shall be made available to the public through the Department of Homeland Security website.
In making a donation under subsection (a)(2), a person may—
designate the land port of entry facility or facilities that the donation is intended to support; and
specify the period during which the contributed property or nonpersonal services shall be used.
Any property, including monetary donations and nonpersonal services donated pursuant to subsection (a) may be used in addition to any other funds, including appropriated funds, property, or services made available for the same purpose.
Return of donation
If the Commissioner or the Administrator does not use the property or services donated pursuant to subsection (a) for the specific facility or facilities designated under paragraph (2)(A) or during the period specified under paragraph (2)(B), such donated property or services shall be returned to the person that made the donation.
No interest may be owed on any donation returned to a person pursuant to subparagraph (A).
Determination and notification
Not later than 90 days after receiving a proposal pursuant to subsection (a) with respect to the construction or maintenance of a facility or other infrastructure at a land border port of entry, the Commissioner or the Administrator shall—
make a determination with respect to whether or not to approve the proposal; and
notify the person that submitted the proposal of—
the determination; and
if the Administrator did not approve the proposal, the reasons for such determination.
In making the determination under subparagraph (A)(i), the Commissioner or the Administrator shall consider—
the impact of the proposal on reducing wait times at that port of entry and other ports of entry on the same border;
the potential of the proposal to increase trade and travel efficiency through added capacity; and
the potential of the proposal to enhance the security of the port of entry.
Annual report and notice to Congress
The Commissioner, in collaboration with the Administrator, shall—
submit an annual report to the relevant committees of Congress on the agreements entered into under subsection (a); and
not less than 3 days before entering into an agreement with a person under subsection (a), notify the members of Congress that represent the State or district in which the affected facility is located.