S 1210

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 1210

To improve domestic procurement policies by providing rules and guidance, waiver notices, and departmental and agency actions applicable to the domestic content standards of Federal grants administered by the Department of Transportation, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 15, 2011

Mr. BROWN of Ohio (for himself and Mr. MERKLEY) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs


A BILL

To improve domestic procurement policies by providing rules and guidance, waiver notices, and departmental and agency actions applicable to the domestic content standards of Federal grants administered by the Department of Transportation, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Strengthening Manufacturing and Rebuilding Transit Act of 2011' or the `SMART Act'.

SEC. 2. PREFERENCE IN AWARDING COMPETITIVE TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE GRANTS.

    (a) Preference- In awarding grants for projects that include the purchase of transit vehicle rolling stock, rail, and supporting equipment, the Secretary of Transportation shall give preference to a project if the manufactured goods to be purchased have a domestic content percentage that--

      (1) exceeds otherwise applicable Federal requirements; and

      (2) in the case of rolling stock, is consistent with industry-recognized standards, if available.

    (b) Covered Grants- The grants referred to in subsection (a) are discretionary or competitive grants, loans, loan guarantees, and lines of credit--

      (1) authorized under chapter 53 of title 49, United States Code;

      (2) used to fund in full or in part projects eligible for Federal assistance under such chapter; or

      (3) provided by the Department of Transportation for entities eligible for financial assistance under chapter 53 of title 49, United States Code.

SEC. 3. INCREASING THE TRANSPARENCY OF DOMESTIC CONTENT WAIVERS.

    (a) Clarity in Domestic Content Regulations- The Secretary of Transportation shall establish a centralized Web site that provides rules and guidance, waiver notices, and departmental and agency actions applicable to the domestic content standards of the Federal-aid programs within the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation.

    (b) Transparency in Waivers-

      (1) PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ASSISTANCE- Section 5323(j) of title 49, United States Code, is amended--

        (A) in paragraph (2)(C)(i), by inserting `(excluding labor costs involved in final assembly)' after `United States';

        (B) by striking paragraph (4);

        (C) by redesignating paragraph (5) as paragraph (4); and

        (D) by inserting after paragraph (4), as redesignated, the following:

    `(5) Limitations on Waivers-

      `(A) REQUESTS FOR WAIVERS- Not later than 7 days after the Secretary receives a written request for a waiver of any requirement under this subsection or section 5307(d)(1)(E)(iii), the Secretary shall--

        `(i) publish the request on a publicly available agency Web site in an easily identifiable location; and

        `(ii) provide the public with at least 30 days for notice and comment before issuing the requested waiver.

      `(B) WAIVERS GRANTED- Not later than 30 days after the Secretary decides to waive any requirement under this subsection or section 5307(d)(1)(E)(iii), the Secretary shall publish the decision and the justification for such decision in the Federal Register and on the publicly available Web site described in subparagraph (A).

      `(C) NOTIFICATION OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET- If the Secretary grants a waiver of any requirement under this subsection or section 5307(d)(1)(E)(iii), the Secretary shall submit to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget--

        `(i) a notification of the application of the exception; and

        `(ii) a statement describing the procurement and the exception being applied.'.

      (2) AMTRAK- Section 24305(f) of title 49, United States Code, is amended--

        (A) in paragraph (4), by striking `exempt Amtrak from this subsection' and inserting `waive paragraph (2)'; and

        (B) by adding at the end the following:

    `(5) Limitations on Waivers-

      `(A) REQUESTS FOR WAIVERS- Not later than 7 days after the Secretary of Transportation receives a written request for a waiver of paragraph (2), the Secretary shall--

        `(i) publish the request on a publicly available agency Web site in an easily identifiable location; and

        `(ii) provide the public with at least 30 days for notice and comment before issuing the requested waiver.

      `(B) WAIVERS GRANTED- Not later than 30 days after the Secretary decides to waive paragraph (2), the Secretary shall publish the decision and the justification for such decision in the Federal Register and on the publicly available Web site described in subparagraph (A).

      `(C) NOTIFICATION OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET- If the Secretary grants a waiver of paragraph (2), the Secretary shall submit to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget--

        `(i) a notification of the application of the exception; and

        `(ii) a statement describing the procurement and the exception being applied.'.

      (3) INTERCITY PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE- Section 24405(a) of title 49, United States Code, is amended--

        (A) by redesignating paragraphs (7) through (11) as paragraphs (8) through (12), respectively; and

        (B) by inserting after paragraph (6) the following:

    `(7) Limitations on Waivers-

      `(A) REQUESTS FOR WAIVERS- Not later than 7 days after the Secretary of Transportation receives a written request for a waiver of any requirement under this subsection, the head of such agency shall--

        `(i) publish the request on a publicly available agency Web site in an easily identifiable location; and

        `(ii) provide the public with a minimum of 30 days for notice and comment before issuing the requested waiver.

      `(B) WAIVERS GRANTED- Not later than 30 days after the Secretary decides to waive any requirement under this subsection, the Secretary shall publish the decision and the justification for such decision in the Federal Register and on the publicly available Web site described in subparagraph (A).

      `(C) NOTIFICATION OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET- If the Secretary grants a waiver of any requirement under this subsection, the Secretary shall submit to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget--

        `(i) a notification of the application of the exception; and

        `(ii) a statement describing the procurement and the exception being applied.'.

SEC. 4. REQUIREMENT FOR ANNUAL REPORTING ON EXCEPTIONS TO DOMESTIC SOURCE REQUIREMENTS FOR TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENTS.

    (a) In General- Not later than 60 days after the end of a fiscal year, the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation shall submit a report to Congress on the acquisitions supported by Federal transportation infrastructure investments which did not satisfy applicable domestic content standards.

    (b) Contents of Report- The report submitted under subsection (a) shall include, for the fiscal year covered by such report--

      (1) the number of all domestic content waivers issued for transportation infrastructure, rolling stock, and supporting equipment purchases;

      (2) the countries and specifications of the products for which waivers were granted;

      (3) an itemized list of all waivers granted with respect to articles, materials, and supplies;

      (4) any law that requires procurement of goods from a domestic source;

      (5) a citation to the treaty, international agreement, or other law under which each waiver was granted, if applicable;

      (6) the specific exception under the applicable domestic content standards that was used to purchase such articles, materials, or supplies, if any articles, materials, or supplies were acquired from entities that manufacture articles, materials, or supplies outside of the United States; and

      (7) a summary of--

        (A) the total procurement funds expended on articles, materials, and supplies manufactured inside the United States; and

        (B) the total procurement funds expended on articles, materials, and supplies manufactured outside of the United States.

END