S 14

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 14

To establish a Commission on Congressional Budgetary Accountability and Review of Federal Agencies.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

January 25 (legislative day, January 5), 2011

Mr. ENSIGN (for himself, Mr. CHAMBLISS, Mr. ISAKSON, Mr. THUNE, Mr. CRAPO, Mr. JOHANNS, Mr. ALEXANDER, and Mr. COBURN) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs


A BILL

To establish a Commission on Congressional Budgetary Accountability and Review of Federal Agencies.

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

SECTION 1. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

      (1) AGENCY- The term `agency' means--

        (A) an Executive agency, as defined under section 105 of title 5, United States Code; and

        (B) the Executive Office of the President.

      (2) CALENDAR DAY- The term `calendar day' means a calendar day other than one on which either House is not in session because of an adjournment of more than 3 days to a date certain.

      (3) COMMISSION BILL- The term `Commission bill' means only a bill which is introduced as provided under section 6, and contains the proposed legislation included in the report submitted to Congress under section 3(b)(1), without modification.

      (4) PROGRAM- The term `program' means any activity or function of an agency.

SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMISSION.

    (a) Establishment- There is established the Commission on Congressional Budgetary Accountability and Review of Federal Agencies (referred to in this Act as the `Commission').

    (b) Membership-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Commission shall consist of 7 members, of which, not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act--

        (A) 1 shall be appointed by the President;

        (B) 1 shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate;

        (C) 1 shall be appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate;

        (D) 1 shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate;

        (E) 1 shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;

        (F) 1 shall be appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives; and

        (G) 1 shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives.

      (2) COCHAIRPERSONS- The President shall designate 2 Cochairpersons from among the members of the Commission. The Cochairpersons may not be affiliated with the same political party.

    (c) Date- Members of the Commission shall be appointed by not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

    (d) Period of Appointment; Vacancies- Members shall be appointed for the life of the Commission. Any vacancy in the Commission shall not affect its powers, but shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

    (e) Meetings-

      (1) INITIAL MEETING- Not later than 30 days after the date on which all members of the Commission have been appointed, the Commission shall hold its first meeting.

      (2) SUBSEQUENT MEETINGS- The Commission shall meet at the call of the Cochairpersons or a majority of its members.

    (f) Quorum- Four members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for purposes of voting, but a quorum is not required for members to meet and hold hearings.

SEC. 3. DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION.

    (a) Systematic Assessment of Programs by the Commission-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall establish a systematic method for assessing the effectiveness and accountability of agency programs in accordance with paragraph (2) and divide the programs into 4 approximately equal budgetary parts based on the size of the budget and number of personnel of the agency program.

      (2) METHOD OBJECTIVES- The method established under paragraph (1) shall--

        (A) recognize different types of Federal programs;

        (B) assess programs based on the achievement of performance goals (as defined under section 1115(g)(4) of title 31, United States Code);

        (C) assess programs based in part on the adequacy of the program's performance measures, financial management, and other factors;

        (D) assess programs based in part on whether the program has fulfilled the legislative intent surrounding the creation of the program, taking into account any change in legislative intent during the program's existence; and

        (E) assess programs based in part on collaborative analysis, with the program or agency, of program policy and goals which may not fit into easily measurable performance goals.

    (b) Evaluation, Plan, and Legislation-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Commission shall--

        (A) evaluate all agencies and programs within those agencies in each unit identified in the systemic assessment under subsection (a) (1 each year over the next 4 years), using the criteria under paragraph (3); and

        (B) submit to Congress each of the next 4 years beginning January 1, 2011, with respect to each evaluation under subparagraph (A)--

          (i) a plan with recommendations of the agencies and programs that should be realigned or eliminated within each part; and

          (ii) proposed legislation to implement the plan described under clause (i).

      (2) RELOCATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES- The proposed legislation under paragraph (1) shall provide that if the position of an employee of an agency is eliminated as a result of the implementation of the plan under paragraph (1)(A), the affected agency shall make reasonable efforts to relocate such employee to another position within the agency or within another Federal agency.

      (3) CRITERIA-

        (A) DUPLICATIVE- If 2 or more agencies or programs are performing the same essential function and the function can be consolidated or streamlined into a single agency or program, the Commission shall recommend that the agencies or programs be realigned.

        (B) WASTEFUL OR INEFFICIENT- The Commission may recommend the realignment or elimination of any agency or program that has wasted Federal funds by--

          (i) egregious spending;

          (ii) mismanagement of resources and personnel; or

          (iii) use of such funds for personal benefit or the benefit of a special interest group.

        (C) OUTDATED, IRRELEVANT, OR FAILED- The Commission shall recommend the elimination of any agency or program that--

          (i) has completed its intended purpose;

          (ii) has become irrelevant; or

          (iii) has failed to meet its objectives.

SEC. 4. POWERS OF THE COMMISSION.

    (a) Hearings- Subject to subsection (d), the Cochairpersons of the Commission may, for the purpose of carrying out this Act--

      (1) hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, and administer such oaths as the Chairperson of the Commission considers advisable;

      (2) require, by subpoena or otherwise, the attendance and testimony of such witnesses as the Chairperson of the Commission considers advisable; and

      (3) require, by subpoena or otherwise, the production of such books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, documents, tapes, and other evidentiary materials relating to any matter under investigation by the Commission.

    (b) Subpoenas-

      (1) ISSUANCE-

        (A) IN GENERAL- A subpoena may be issued under this section only by--

          (i) the agreement of the Cochairpersons; or

          (ii) the affirmative vote of 4 members of the Commission.

        (B) SIGNATURE- Subpoenas issued under this section may be issued under the signature of both Cochairpersons of the Commission and may be served by any person designated by the Cochairpersons or by a member designated by a majority of the Commission.

      (2) ENFORCEMENT- In the case of contumacy or failure to obey a subpoena issued under this section, the United States district court for the judicial district in which the subpoenaed person resides, is served, or may be found, may issue an order requiring such person to appear at any designated place to testify or to produce documentary or other evidence. Any failure to obey the order of the court may be punished by the court as a contempt of that court.

    (c) Technical Assistance- Upon the request of the Commission, the head of a Federal agency shall provide such technical assistance to the Commission as the Commission determines to be necessary to carry out its duties.

    (d) Information-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Commission shall have reasonable access to budgetary, performance or programmatic materials, resources, statistical data, and other information the Commission determines to be necessary to carry out its duties from the Congressional Budget Office, and other agencies and representatives of the executive and legislative branches of the Federal Government. The Cochairpersons shall make requests for such access in writing when necessary.

      (2) RECEIPT, HANDLING, STORAGE, AND DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION- Information shall only be received, handled, stored, and disseminated by members of the Commission and its staff consistent with all applicable statutes, regulations, and Executive orders.

      (3) LIMITATION OF ACCESS TO PERSONAL TAX INFORMATION- Information requested, subpoenaed, or otherwise accessed under this Act shall not include tax data from the United States Internal Revenue Service, the release of which would otherwise be in violation of law.

    (e) Postal Services- The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the Federal Government.

SEC. 5. COMMISSION PERSONNEL MATTERS.

    (a) Compensation of Members-

      (1) NON-FEDERAL MEMBERS- Except as provided under subsection (b), each member of the Commission who is not an officer or employee of the Federal Government shall not be compensated.

      (2) FEDERAL OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES- All members of the Commission who are officers or employees of the United States shall serve without compensation in addition to that received for their services as officers or employees of the United States.

    (b) Travel Expenses- The members of the Commission shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Commission.

    (c) Staff-

      (1) IN GENERAL- With the approval of the majority of the Commission, the Cochairpersons of the Commission may, appoint an executive director and such other additional personnel as may be necessary to enable the Commission to perform its duties.

      (2) COMPENSATION- Upon the approval of the Cochairpersons, the executive director may fix the compensation of the executive director and other personnel without regard to chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates, except that the rate of pay for the executive director and other personnel may not exceed the maximum rate payable for a position at GS-15 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of such title.

      (3) PERSONNEL AS FEDERAL EMPLOYEES-

        (A) IN GENERAL- The executive director and any personnel of the Commission who are employees shall be employees under section 2105 of title 5, United States Code, for purposes of chapters 63, 81, 83, 84, 85, 87, 89, 89A, 89B, and 90 of that title.

        (B) MEMBERS OF COMMISSION- Subparagraph (A) shall not be construed to apply to members of the Commission.

    (d) Detail of Government Employees- Any Federal Government employee may be detailed to the Commission without reimbursement from the Commission, and such detail shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.

    (e) Procurement of Temporary and Intermittent Services- With the approval of the majority of the Commission, the Chairperson of the Commission may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at 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 such title.

SEC. 6. EXPEDITED CONSIDERATION OF REFORM PROPOSALS.

    (a) Introduction and Committee Consideration-

      (1) INTRODUCTION- The Commission bill language provisions submitted pursuant to section 3(b)(1) shall be introduced in the Senate by the majority leader, or the majority leader's designee, and in the House of Representatives, by the Speaker, or the Speaker's designee. Upon such introduction, the Commission bill shall be referred to the appropriate committees of Congress under paragraph (2). If the Commission bill is not introduced in accordance with the preceding sentence, then any member of Congress may introduce the Commission bill in their respective House of Congress beginning on the date that is the 5th calendar day that such House is in session following the date of the submission of such aggregate legislative language provisions.

      (2) COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION-

        (A) REFERRAL- A Commission bill introduced under paragraph (1) shall be referred to any appropriate committee of jurisdiction in the Senate, any appropriate committee of jurisdiction in the House of Representatives, the Committee on the Budget of the Senate and the Committee on the Budget of the House of Representatives. A committee to which a Commission bill is referred under this paragraph may review and comment on such bill, may report such bill to the respective House, and may not amend such bill.

        (B) REPORTING- Not later than 30 calendar days after the introduction of the Commission bill, each Committee of Congress to which the Commission bill was referred shall report the bill.

        (C) DISCHARGE OF COMMITTEE- If a committee to which is referred a Commission bill has not reported such Commission bill at the end of 30 calendar days after its introduction or at the end of the first day after there has been reported to the House involved a Commission bill, whichever is earlier, such committee shall be deemed to be discharged from further consideration of such Commission bill, and such Commission bill shall be placed on the appropriate calendar of the House involved.

    (b) Expedited Procedure-

      (1) CONSIDERATION-

        (A) IN GENERAL- Not later than 5 calendar days after the date on which a committee has reported a Commission bill or been discharged from consideration of a Commission bill, the majority leader of the Senate, or the majority leader's designee, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, or the Speaker's designee, shall move to proceed to the consideration of the Commission bill. It shall also be in order for any member of the Senate or the House of Representatives, respectively, to move to proceed to the consideration of the Commission bill at any time after the conclusion of such 5-day period.

        (B) MOTION TO PROCEED- A motion to proceed to the consideration of a Commission bill is highly privileged in the House of Representatives and is privileged in the Senate and is not debatable. The motion is not subject to amendment or to a motion to postpone consideration of the Commission bill. If the motion to proceed is agreed to, the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, shall immediately proceed to consideration of the Commission bill without intervening motion, order, or other business, and the Commission bill shall remain the unfinished business of the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, until disposed of.

        (C) LIMITED DEBATE- Debate on the Commission bill and on all debatable motions and appeals in connection therewith shall be limited to not more than 10 hours, which shall be divided equally between those favoring and those opposing the Commission bill. A motion further to limit debate on the Commission bill is in order and is not debatable. All time used for consideration of the Commission bill, including time used for quorum calls (except quorum calls immediately preceding a vote) and voting, shall come from the 10 hours of debate.

        (D) AMENDMENTS- No amendment to the Commission bill shall be in order in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

        (E) VOTE ON FINAL PASSAGE- Immediately following the conclusion of the debate on the Commission bill, the vote on final passage of the Commission bill shall occur.

        (F) OTHER MOTIONS NOT IN ORDER- A motion to postpone consideration of the Commission bill, a motion to proceed to the consideration of other business, or a motion to recommit the Commission bill is not in order. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the Commission bill is agreed to or not agreed to is not in order.

      (2) CONSIDERATION BY OTHER HOUSE- If, before the passage by one House of the Commission bill that was introduced in such House, such House receives from the other House a Commission bill as passed by such other House--

        (A) the Commission bill of the other House shall not be referred to a committee and may only be considered for final passage in the House that receives it under subparagraph (C);

        (B) the procedure in the House in receipt of the Commission bill of the other House, shall be the same as if no Commission bill had been received from the other House; and

        (C) notwithstanding subparagraph (B), the vote on final passage shall be on the Commission bill of the other House.

      (3) Upon disposition of a Commission bill that is received by one House from the other House, it shall no longer be in order to consider the Commission bill that was introduced in the receiving House.

    (c) Rules of the Senate and the House of Representatives- This section is enacted--

      (1) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the Senate and the House of Representatives, respectively, and is deemed to be part of the rules of each House, respectively, but applicable only with respect to the procedure to be followed in that House in the case of a Commission bill, and it supersedes other rules only to the extent that it is inconsistent with such rules; and

      (2) with full recognition of the constitutional right of either House to change the rules (so far as they relate to the procedure of that House) at any time, in the same manner, and to the same extent as in the case of any other rule of that House.

SEC. 7. TERMINATION OF THE COMMISSION.

    The Commission shall terminate 90 days after the date on which the Commission submits the final evaluation and plan report under section 3.

SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for carrying out this Act for each of the fiscal years 2012 through 2016.

END