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S. 3925: DEBRIS Act of 2022


The text of the bill below is as of Mar 24, 2022 (Introduced).


II

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3925

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 24, 2022

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

A BILL

To impose sanctions with respect to foreign persons responsible for the negligent creation of space debris, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Deterring Errant Behavior Risking International Space Act of 2022 or the DEBRIS Act of 2022.

2.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Admission; admitted; alien

The terms admission, admitted, and alien have the meanings given those terms in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101).

(2)

Foreign person

The term foreign person means a person that is not a United States person.

(3)

Person

The term person means an individual or entity.

(4)

Space debris

The term space debris means any human-made, Earth-orbiting object or fragment of an object that is nonfunctional and for which there is no reasonable expectation of assuming or resuming its intended function.

(5)

United states person

The term United States person means—

(A)

a United States citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence to the United States;

(B)

an entity organized under the laws of the United States or of any jurisdiction within the United States, including a foreign branch of such an entity; or

(C)

any person in the United States.

3.

Determination by President

(a)

In general

If persuasive information becomes available to the executive branch indicating the substantial possibility that a foreign person has created space debris without prior notification or warning to the United States Government, the President shall, not later than 30 days after the executive branch receives such information, submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that includes—

(1)

a determination with respect to whether that foreign person is responsible for creating space debris without prior notification to the United States Government, through—

(A)

deliberate action, including weapons or technical testing in orbit; or

(B)

negligence, including through—

(i)

an unintentional collision of a human-made object that the foreign person failed to track;

(ii)

a failure to properly dispose of human-made objects, such as through deorbiting; or

(iii)

other gross negligence; and

(2)

an identification of any other foreign person that the President determines—

(A)

acted as an agent of or on behalf of the foreign person described in paragraph (1) in a matter relating to the creation of the space debris; or

(B)

has materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, an activity resulting in the creation of the space debris.

(b)

Consideration of certain information in making a determination

In determining whether a foreign person has engaged in an activity described in subsection (a), the President shall consider—

(1)

information provided by the chairperson and ranking member of each of the appropriate congressional committees;

(2)

information provided by the Commander of the United States Space Command; and

(3)

credible information obtained by other countries and nongovernmental organizations that monitor space debris.

(c)

Requests by chairperson and ranking member of appropriate congressional committees

Not later than 120 days after receiving a written request from the chairperson and ranking member of one of the appropriate congressional committees with respect to whether a foreign person has engaged in an activity described in subsection (a), the President shall—

(1)

determine if that person has engaged in such an activity; and

(2)

submit a report to the chairperson and ranking member of that committee with respect to that determination that includes—

(A)

a statement of whether or not the President imposed or intends to impose sanctions under section 4 with respect to the person; and

(B)

if the President imposed or intends to impose sanctions, a description of those sanctions.

(d)

Form of report

The report required by subsection (a) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex.

(e)

Appropriate congressional committees defined

In this section, the term appropriate congressional committees means—

(1)

the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate; and

(2)

the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives.

4.

Imposition of sanctions

(a)

In general

Not later than 90 days after submitting a report under section 3(a), the President shall impose the sanctions described in subsection (b) with respect to any foreign person—

(1)

determined under paragraph (1) of section 3(a) to be responsible for creating space debris; or

(2)

identified under paragraph (2) of that section.

(b)

Sanctions described

The sanctions described in this subsection are the following:

(1)

Blocking of property

(A)

In general

The President shall exercise all of the powers granted to the President under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) to the extent necessary to block and prohibit all transactions in property and interests in property of a foreign person described in paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) if such property and interests in property are in the United States, come within the United States, or are or come within the possession or control of a United States person.

(B)

Inapplicability of national emergency requirement

The requirements of section 202 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701) shall not apply for purposes of this section.

(2)

Ineligibility for visas, admission, or parole

(A)

Visas, admission, or parole

An alien described in paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) is—

(i)

inadmissible to the United States;

(ii)

ineligible to receive a visa or other documentation to enter the United States; and

(iii)

otherwise ineligible to be admitted or paroled into the United States or to receive any other benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.).

(B)

Current visas revoked

(i)

In general

An alien described in paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) is subject to revocation of any visa or other entry documentation, regardless of when the visa or other entry documentation is or was issued.

(ii)

Immediate effect

A revocation under clause (i) shall—

(I)

take effect immediately; and

(II)

automatically cancel any other valid visa or entry documentation that is in the alien’s possession.

(c)

Implementation; penalties

(1)

Implementation

The President may exercise all authorities provided under sections 203 and 205 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1702 and 1704) to carry out this section.

(2)

Penalties

A person that violates, attempts to violate, conspires to violate, or causes a violation of this section or any regulation, license, or order issued to carry out this section shall be subject to the penalties set forth in subsections (b) and (c) of section 206 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1705) to the same extent as a person that commits an unlawful act described in subsection (a) of that section.

(d)

Exceptions

(1)

Exception relating to civil space cooperation

Sanctions under subsection (b) shall not apply with respect to a person that is a party to an agreement relating to civil space cooperation with any agency of the United States.

(2)

Exception to comply with united nations headquarters agreement and law enforcement objectives

Sanctions under subsection (b)(2) shall not apply with respect to an alien if admitting the alien into the United States—

(A)

would further important law enforcement objectives; or

(B)

is necessary to permit the United States to comply with the Agreement regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, signed at Lake Success June 26, 1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947, between the United Nations and the United States, or other applicable international obligations of the United States.

(3)

Exception relating to importation of goods

(A)

In general

The requirement to block and prohibit all transactions in all property and interests in property under subsection (b)(1) shall not include the authority or a requirement to impose sanctions on the importation of goods.

(B)

Good

In this paragraph, the term good means any article, natural or manmade substance, material, supply or manufactured product, including inspection and test equipment, and excluding technical data.

(e)

Termination of sanctions

The President may terminate the application of sanctions under this section with respect to a person if the President determines and reports to the appropriate congressional committees not later than 15 days before the termination of the sanctions that—

(1)

credible information exists that the person did not engage in the activity for which sanctions were imposed;

(2)

the person has been prosecuted appropriately for the activity for which sanctions were imposed; or

(3)

the termination of the sanctions is in the vital national security interests of the United States.

(f)

Appropriate congressional committees defined

In this section, the term appropriate congressional committees means—

(1)

the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the Committee on Armed Services, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate; and

(2)

the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Financial Services, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, the Committee on Armed Services, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives.

5.

Reports to Congress

(a)

In general

The President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees, in accordance with subsection (b), a report that includes—

(1)

a list of each foreign person with respect to which the President imposed sanctions pursuant to section 4 during the year preceding the submission of the report;

(2)

the number of foreign persons with respect to which the President—

(A)

imposed sanctions under section 4(a) during that year; and

(B)

terminated sanctions under section 4(e) during that year;

(3)

the dates on which such sanctions were imposed or terminated, as the case may be;

(4)

the reasons for imposing or terminating such sanctions; and

(5)

a description of the efforts of the President to encourage the governments of other countries to impose sanctions that are similar to the sanctions authorized by section 4.

(b)

Dates for submission

(1)

Initial report

The President shall submit the initial report under subsection (a) not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2)

Subsequent reports

(A)

In general

The President shall submit a subsequent report under subsection (a) on April 12, or the first day thereafter on which both Houses of Congress are in session, of—

(i)

the calendar year in which the initial report is submitted if the initial report is submitted before April 12 of that calendar year; and

(ii)

each calendar year thereafter.

(B)

Form of report

(i)

In general

Each report required by subsection (a) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex.

(ii)

Exception

The name of a foreign person to be included in the list required by subsection (a)(1) may be submitted in the classified annex authorized by paragraph (1) only if the President—

(I)

determines that it is vital for the national security interests of the United States to do so;

(II)

uses the annex in a manner consistent with congressional intent and the purposes of this Act; and

(III)

not later than 15 days before submitting the name in a classified annex, provides to the appropriate congressional committees notice of, and a justification for, including the name in the classified annex despite any publicly available credible information indicating that the person engaged in an activity described in section 4(a).

(c)

Public availability

(1)

In general

The unclassified portion of the report required by subsection (a) shall be made available to the public, including through publication in the Federal Register.

(2)

Nonapplicability of confidentiality requirement with respect to visa records

The President shall publish the list required by subsection (a)(1) without regard to the requirements of section 222(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1202(f)) with respect to confidentiality of records pertaining to the issuance or refusal of visas or permits to enter the United States.

(d)

Appropriate congressional committees defined

In this section, the term appropriate congressional committees means—

(1)

the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the Committee on Armed Services, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate; and

(2)

the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Financial Services, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, the Committee on Armed Services, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives.