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By Mr. ENGEL (for himself, Ms. MOL
INARI, Mr. LANTOS, Mr. PORTER, Mr.
ABACHER): H. Con. Res. 155. Concurrent resolution concerning human and political rights and in support of a resolution of the crisis in Kosova; to the Committee on International Relations.
By Ms. DELAURO: H. Con. Res. 156. Concurrent resolution expressing the sense of the Congress regarding research on the human papillomavirus and its relation to cervical cancer; to the Committee on Commerce.
Mr. MORAN, Mr. FRANK of Massachu-
SHAYS, and Mr. REED): H.R. 3173. A bill to establish, wherever possible, nonanimal acute toxicity testing as an acceptable standard for Government regulations requiring an evaluation of the safety of products by the Federal Government; to the Committee on Commerce.
By Mrs. MORELLA: H.R. 3174. A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for programs regarding women and the human immunodeficiency virus; to the Committee on Commerce.
H.R. 3175. A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for an increase in the amount of Federal funds expended to conduct research on alcohol abuse and alcoholism among women; to the Committee on Commerce.
H.R. 3176. A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to establish programs of research with respect to women and cases of infection with the human immunodeficiency virus; to the Committee on Commerce.
By Mr. SENSENBRENNER (for himself
and Mr. OBEY): H.R. 3177. A bill to repeal the consent of Congress to the Northeast Interstate Dairy Compact, and for other purposes; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
By Ms. SLAUGHTER (for herself, Mrs.
MORELLA, Mrs. LOWEY, Ms. EDDIE
and Ms. WOOLSEY): H.R. 3178. A bill to promote greater equity in the delivery of health care services to American women through expanded research on women's health issues and through improved access to health care services, including preventive health services; to the Committee on Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Ways and Means, the Judiciary, Agriculture, International Relations, Veterans Affairs, Economic and Educational Opportunities, National Security, and Banking and Financial Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
By Ms. VELAZQUEZ: H.R. 3179. A bill to modify various Federal health programs to make available certain services to women who are members of racial or ethnic minority groups, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committees on Commerce, Economic and Educational Opportunities, and Agriculture, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
Under clause 4 of rule XXII, memorials were presented and referred as follows:
211. By the SPEAKER: Memorial of the Senate of the State of Kansas, relative to amending the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and the Public Health Service Act to facilitate the development and approval of new drugs and biologics; to the Committee on Commerce.
212. Also, memorial of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, relative to recognizing the injustices of human rights in Guatemala; to the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight.
213. Also, memorial of the Legislature of the State of California, relative to forced labor; to the Committee on the Judiciary. 136.31 ADDITIONAL SPONSORS
Under clause 4 of rule XXII, sponsors were added to public bills and resolutions as follows:
H.R. 528: Mr. EHLERS.
H.R. 820: Mr. FLAKE, Mr. GRAHAM, Mr. SISISKY, Mr. STENHOLM, Mr. ACKERMAN, Mr. SCHUMER, Ms. LOFGREN, Ms. PRYCE, Mr. SHAYS, and Mr. SERRANO.
H.R. 940: Mr. BRYANT of Texas.
H.R. 1023: Mr. GILCHREST, Mr. CHRYSLER, Mr. TAYLOR of North Carolina, Mr. YOUNG of Florida, Mrs. CLAYTON, Mr. DE LA GARZA, Mr. BALDACCI, Mr. LUCAS, and Mr. MYERS of Indiana.
H.R. 1127: Mr. POMEROY.
H.R. 1363: Mr. BALLENGER, Mr. BASS, Mr. BURR, Mr. CHRYSLER, Mrs. CHENOWETH, Mr. CREMEANS, Mr. TIAHRT, Mr. WELDON of Florida, Mr. MCINTOSH, and Mr. JONES.
H.R. 1386: Mr. BARCIA of Michigan, Mr. CLEMENT, and Mr. STENHOLM.
H.R. 1406: Mr. ABERCROMBIE, Mr. MARTINI, and Mr. THORNBERRY.
H.R. 1462: Mr. BALDACCI, Mr. FROST, Ms. MOLINARI, Mr. FRAZER, Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA, Mr. CLAY, and Ms. MCKINNEY.
H.R. 1484: Mr. ABERCROMBIE.
H.R. 1619: Mr. FIELDS of Texas, Ms. JACKSON-LEE, and Mr. STOCKMAN.
H.R. 1776: Mr. GINGRICH, Mr. CAMPBELL, Mr. BERMAN, Mr. KENNEDY of Rhode Island, and Mr. DEUTSCH.
H.R. 1802: Mr. QUINN.
H.R. 1863: Mr. BRYANT of Texas and Mr. ANDREWS.
H.R. 1883: Mr. ZIMMER.
H.R. 2579: Mr. GIBBONS.
H.R. 2745: Mr. MANTON, Mr. FOGLIETTA, and Mr. RUSH.
H.R. 2856: Mr. MARTINI and Mr. MCNULTY.
H.R. 2927: Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania, Mr. MOORHEAD and Mr. LEWIS of California.
H.R. 2935: Mr. COOLEY and Mr. TATE.
H.R. 2976: Mr. BALDACCI, Mr. CALVERT, Mr. CHAMBLISS, Mr. CRAPO, Mr. DEUTSCH, Mr. DUNCAN, Ms. MCKINNEY, Ms. MOLINARI, and Ms. RIVERS.
H.R. 2994: Mr. MCCOLLUM, Mr. GUNDERSON, and Mr. BROWN of California.
H.R. 3002: Mr. EHLERS.
H.R. 3004: Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota, Mr. NEY, Mr. DEUTSCH, Mr. BILBRAY, Mr. GILLMOR, and Mr. EHLERS.
H.R. 3012: Mr. HEFLEY, Mr. DELLUMS, Mr. SMITH of New Jersey, Mr. BARCIA of Michigan, Mrs. MINK of Hawaii, Mr. FRAZER, Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts, Mr. MANTON, and Mr. MATSUI.
H.R. 3045: Mr. RAHALL.
H.R. 3048: Mr. CASTLE, Mr. CUNNINGHAM, and Mr. WAMP.
H.R. 3050: Mr. BARCIA of Michigan and Ms. KAPTUR.
H.R. 3059: Mr. BARRETT of Wisconsin, Mr. FOGLIETTA, Mr. FRAZER, Mr. FROST, Mr. JEFFERSON, Mr. KLECZKA, Mr. LIPINSKI, Ms. LOFGREN, Ms. MCKINNEY, Mr. MILLER of California, Ms. RIVERS, Mr. THOMPSON, Mr. WAXMAN.
H.R. 3114: Mr. NEAL of Massachusetts, Mrs. JOHNSON of Connecticut, and Mr. FUNDERBURK.
H.R. 3118: Mr. ACKERMAN, Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas, and Mr. CRAMER.
H.R. 3130: Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas.
H.R. 3142: Mr. ENSIGN, Mrs. LOWEY, Mr. GONZALEZ, Mr. CALVERT, Mr. HAYES, Mr. SAXTON, Mr. MONTGOMERY, Mrs. KELLY, Mr. ABERCROMBIE, Mr. FROST, Mr. FORBES, Mr. CLINGER, Mr. TALENT, Mr. CANADY, Mr. METCALF, Mr. BRYANT of Texas, and Mr. HUNTER.
H.R. 3149: Mr. HANCOCK.
H.J. Res. 159: Mr. WHITFIELD, Mr. BILBRAY, and Mr. ROSE.
H. Con. Res. 47: Mr. CONYERS, Mr. DE LA GARZA, Mr. HILLIARD, Mr. NEY, Mr. SABO, and Ms. VELÁZQUEZ.
H. Con. Res. 144: Mr. TORKILDSEN.
H. Res. 49: Mr. THOMPSON and Mrs. MEEK of Florida.
H. Res. 348: Mr. MCCOLLUM and Mr. GOODLING.
H. Res. 374: Mr. CAMP, Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN, Mr. COBLE, Mr. HUNTER, Mr. PORTER, Mr. MARTINI, Mrs. CUBIN, Mr. NETHERCUTT, Mr. CALVERT, Mr. EHRLICH, Mr. HANCOCK, Mr. NCNULTY, Ms. WOOLSEY, Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas, Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania, Mr. TRAFICANT, and Mr. YATES.
H. Res. 378: Mrs. MEYERS of Kansas, Mr. ENGLISH of Pennsylvania, Mr. BATEMAN, Mr. WOLF, Ms. NORTON, Mr. DELLUMS, Mr. CALVERT, Mr. BERMAN, and Ms. PELOSI.
136.32 PETITIONS, ETC.
Under clause 1 of rule XXII, 69. The SPEAKER presented a petition of the Transportation Policy Board of the Abilene Metropolitan Planning Organization, Abilene, TX, relative to the issues of appropriate taxation and adequate provision of transportation infrastructure; which was referred jointly, to the Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Budget.
THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 1996 (37) The House was called to order by the SPEAKER
137.1 APPROVAL OF THE JOURNAL
The SPEAKER announced he had examined and approved the Journal of the proceedings of Wednesday, March 27, 1996.
Pursuant to clause 1, rule I, the Journal was approved.
Executive and other communications, pursuant to clause 2, rule XXIV, were referred as follows:
2311. A letter from the Secretary of Defense, transmitting the Department's report entitled “Annual Report to the President and the Congress, March 1996," pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 113 (c) and (e); to the Committee on National Security.
2312. A letter from the Comptroller General of the United States, transmitting the list of all reports issued or released in February 1996, pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 719(h); to the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight.
2313. A letter from the Executive Director, District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority, transmitting a report entitled “Report on the Mayor's District of Columbia FY 1997 Budget and Multiyear Plan" adopted by the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority on March 21, 1996, pursuant to section 202(d) of Public Law 104–8; to the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight.
2314. A letter from the Chairman, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, transmitting a copy of the annual report in compliance with the Government in the Sunshine Act during the calendar year 1995, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b(j); to the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight.
2315. A letter from the Commissioner, Social Security Administration, transmitting a report of activities under the Freedom of Information Act for the calendar year 1995, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(d); to the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight.
atives and transmit an enrolled copy thereof to the family of the deceased.
Resolved, That when the Senate adjourns today, it adjourn as a further mark of respect to the memory of the deceased Senator.
The message also announced that the Senate had passed without amendment concurrent resolutions of the House of the following titles:
H. Con. Res. 146. Concurrent resolution authorizing the 1996 Special Olympics Torch Relay to be run through the Capitol Grounds; and
H. Con. Res. 147. Concurrent resolution authorizing the use of the Capitol grounds for the fifteenth annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Service.
The message also announced that the Senate agrees to the report of the committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the amendments of the House to the bill (S. 4) "An act to grant the power to the President to reduce budget authority.”
The message also announced that the Senate had passed a concurrent resolution of the following title, in which the concurrence of the House is requested:
S. Con. Res. 49. Concurrent resolution providing for certain corrections to be made in the enrollment of the bill (H.R. 2854) to modify the operation of certain agricultural programs.
ment, if offered by the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, which shall be in order without intervention of any point of order (except those arising under section 425(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974) or demand for division of the question, shall be considered as read, and shall be separately debatable for 10 minutes equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent; and (3) one motion to recommit, which may include instructions only if offered by the Minority Leader or his designee.
SEC. 2. If, before March 30, 1996, the House has received a message informing it that the Senate has adopted the conference report to accompany the bill (S. 4) to grant the power to the President to reduce budget authority, and for other purposes, then
(a) in the engrossment of H.R. 3136 the Clerk shall strike title II (unless it has been amended) and redesignate the subsequent titles accordingly; and
(b) the House shall be considered to have adopted that conference report.
When said resolution was considered.
Mr. SOLOMON, by unanimous consent, submitted the following amendment which was agreed to:
Page 2, line 9, strike "one hour” and all that follows through “Means“ on line 12, and insert in lieu thereof the following:
“80 minutes of debate on the bill, as amended, with 60 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Ways and Mean and 20 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight or their designees.”.
Mr. SOLOMON moved the previous question on the resolution, as amended, to its adoption or rejection.
The question being put, viva voce,
Will the House now order the previous question?
The SPEAKER pro tempore, Mr. HASTINGS of Washington, announced that the yeas had it.
Mr. BEILENSON objected to the vote on the ground that a quorum was not present and not voting.
A quorum not being present,
The roll was called under clause 4, rule XV, and the call was taken by electronic device.
232 When there appeared
137.4 COMMITTEES TO SIT
On motion of Mr. SOLOMON, by unanimous consent, the following committees and their subcommittees were granted permission to sit today during the 5-minute rule: the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, the Committee on Commerce, the Committee on Economic and Educational Opportunities, the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, the Committee on International Relations, the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on National Security, the Committee on Resources, the Committee on Science, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
137.3 MESSAGE FROM THE SENATE
A message from the Senate by Mr. Lundregan, one of its clerks,
announced that the Senate agreed to the following resolution:
S. RES. 234 Whereas, the Senate fondly remembers former Secretary of State, former Governor of Maine, and former Senator from Maine, Edmund S. Muskie;
Whereas, Edmund S. Muskie spent six years in the Maine House of Representatives, becoming minority leader;
Whereas, in 1954, voters made Edmund S. Muskie the State's first Democratic Governor in 20 years;
Whereas, after a second two-year term, he went on in 1958 to become the first popularly elected Democratic Senator in Maine's history;
Whereas, Edmund S. Muskie in 1968, was chosen as Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee;
Whereas, Edmund S. Muskie left the Senate to become President Carter's Secretary of State; and
Whereas, Edmund S. Muskie served with honor and distinction in each of these capacities: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate has heard with profound sorrow and deep regret the announcement of the death of the Honorable Edmund S. Muskie, formerly a Senator from the State of Maine.
Resolved, That the Secretary communicate these resolutions to the House of Represent
137.5 PROVIDING FOR THE
CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 3161 Mr. SOLOMON, by direction of the Committee on Rules, called up the following resolution (H. Res. 391):
Resolved, That upon the adoption of this resolution it shall be in order without intervention of any point of order (except those arising under section 425(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974) to consider in the House the bill (H.R. 3136) to provide for the enactment of the Senior Citizens' Right to Work Act of 1996, the Line Item Veto Act, and the Small Business Growth and Fairness Act of 1996, and to provide for a permanent increase in the public debt limit. The amendments specified in the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution shall be considered as adopted. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill, as amended, and on any further amendment thereto to final passage without intervening motion except: (1) one hour of debate on the bill, as amended, equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Ways and Means; (2) a further amend
Taylor (MS) Williams
Lazio So the previous question on the resolution, as amended, was ordered.
The question being put, viva voce,
Will the House agree to said resolution, as amended?
The SPEAKER pro tempore, Mr. HASTINGS of Washington, announced that the yeas had it.
Mr. BEILENSON demanded a recorded vote on agreeing to said resolution, as amended, which demand was supported by one-fifth of a quorum, so a recorded vote was ordered.
The vote was taken by electronic device.
It was decided in the Yeas ....... 232 affirmative ....
[Roll No. 98]
AYES-232 Crapo Cremeans Cubin Cunningham Davis Deal DeLay Deutsch Diaz-Balart Doolittle Dornan Dreier Duncan Dunn Ehlers Ehrlich Emerson English Ensign Everett Ewing Fawell Fields (TX) Flanagan Foley Forbes Fox Franks (CT) Franks (NJ) Frelinghuysen Frisa Funderburk Gallegly Ganske Gekas Gilchrest Gillmor Gilman Goodlatte Goodling Goss Graham Greenwood Gunderson Gutknecht Hall (TX) Hancock Hansen Hastert
Nethercutt Smith (WA) Tauzin
Weldon (PA) So the resolution, as amended, was agreed to.
A motion to reconsider the vote whereby said resolution, as amended, was agreed to was, by unanimous consent, laid on the table.
Pursuant to section 2 of House Resolution 391, the conference report on the bill of the Senate (S. 4) to grant the power to the President to reduce budget authority was considered as adopted by the House.
137.8 MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
A message in writing from the President of the United States was communicated to the House by Mr. Edwin Thomas, one of his secretaries. 137.9 DEBT LIMIT EXTENSION
Mr. ARCHER, pursuant to House Resolution 391, called up the bill (H.R. 3136) to provide for enactment of the Senior Citizens' Right to Work Act of 1996, the Line Item Veto Act, and the Small Business Growth and Fairness Act of 1996, and to provide for a permanent increase in the public debt limit.
When said bill was considered and read twice.
Pursuant to House Resolution 391, the following amendments specified in House Report 104-500 were considered as adopted: Strike title III and insert the following: TITLE III—SMALL BUSINESS
REGULATORY FAIRNESS SEC. 301. SHORT TITLE.
This title may be cited as the “Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996”. SEC. 302. FINDINGS.
Congress finds that,
(1) a vibrant and growing small business sector is critical to creating jobs in a dynamic economy;
(2) small businesses bear a disproportionate share of regulatory costs and burdens;
(3) fundamental changes that are needed in the regulatory and enforcement culture of Federal agencies to make agencies more responsive to small business can be made without compromising the statutory missions of the agencies;
(4) three of the top recommendations of the 1995 White House Conference on Small Business involve reforms to the way government regulations are developed and enforced, and reductions in government paperwork requirements;
(5) the requirements of chapter 6 of title 5, United States Code, have too often been ignored by government agencies, resulting in greater regulatory burdens on small entities than necessitated by statute; and
(6) small entities should be given the opportunity to seek judicial review of agency actions required by chapter 6 of title 5, United States Code. SEC. 303. PURPOSES.
The purposes of this title are
(1) to implement certain recommendations of the 1995 White House Conference on Small Business regarding the development and enforcement of Federal regulations;
(2) to provide for judicial review of chapter 6 of title 5, United States Code;
(3) to encourage the effective participation of small businesses in the Federal regulatory process;
(4) to simplify the language of Federal regulations affecting small businesses;
(5) to develop more accessible sources of information on regulatory and reporting requirements for small businesses;
(6) to create a more cooperative regulatory environment among agencies and small businesses that is less punitive and more solution-oriented; and
(7) to make Federal regulators more accountable for their enforcement actions by providing small entities with a meaningful opportunity for redress of excessive enforcement activities. Subtitle A-Regulatory Compliance
Simplification SECTION 311. DEFINITIONS.
For purposes of this subtitle
(1) the terms “rule” and “small entity": have the same meanings as in section 601 of title 5, United States Code;
(2) the term "agency” has the same meaning as in section 551 of title 5, United States Code; and
(3) the term "small entity compliance guide” means a document designated as such by an agency. SEC. 312. COMPLIANCE GUIDES.
(a) COMPLIANCE GUIDE.—For each rule or group of related rules for which an agency is required to prepare a final regulatory flexibility analysis under section 604 of title 5, United States Code, the agency shall publish one or more guides to assist small entities in complying with the rule, and shall designate such publications as "small entity compliance guides”. The guides shall explain the actions a small entity is required to take to comply with a rule or group of rules. The agency shall, in its sole discretion, taking into account the subject matter of the rule and the language of relevant statutes, ensure that the guide is written using sufficiently plain language likely to be understood by affected small entities. Agencies may prepare separate guides covering groups or classes of similarly affected small entities, and may cooperate with associations of small entities to develop and distribute such guides.
(b) COMPREHENSIVE SOURCE OF INFORMATION.—Agencies shall cooperate to make available to small entities through comprehensive sources of information, the small entity compliance guides and all other available information on statutory and regulatory requirements affecting small entities.
(c) LIMITATION ON JUDICIAL REVIEW.-An agency's small entity compliance guide shall not be subject to judicial review, except that in any civil or administrative action against a small entity for a violation occurring after the effective date of this section, the content of the small entity compliance guide may be considered as evidence of the reasonableness or appropriateness of any proposed fines, penalties or damages. SEC. 313. INFORMAL SMALL ENTITY GUIDANCE.
(a) GENERAL.-Whenever appropriate in the interest of administering statutes and regulations within the jurisdiction of an agency which regulates small entities, it shall be the practice of the agency to answer inquiries by small entities concerning information on, and advice about, compliance with such statutes and regulations, interpreting and applying the law to specific sets of facts supplied by the small entity. In any civil or administrative action against a small entity, guidance given by an agency applying the law to facts provided by the small entity may be considered as evidence of the reasonableness or appropriateness of any proposed fines, penalties or damages sought against such small entity.
(b) PROGRAM.-Each agency regulating the activities of small entities shall establish a program for responding to such inquiries no
later than 1 year after enactment of this section, utilizing existing functions and personnel of the agency to the extent practicable.
(c) REPORTING.-Each agency regulating the activities of small business shall report to the Committee on Small Business and Committee on Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Small Business and Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives no later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this section on the scope of the agency's program, the number of small entities using the program, and the achievements of the program to assist small entity compliance with agency regulations. SEC. 314. SERVICES OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVEL
OPMENT CENTERS. (a) Section 21(c)(3) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 648(c)(3)) is amended
(1) in subparagraph (O), by striking “and” at the end;
(2) in subparagraph (P), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and
(3) by inserting after subparagraph (P) the following new subparagraphs:
“(Q) providing information to small business concerns regarding compliance with regulatory requirements; and
"(R) developing informational publications, establishing resource centers of reference materials, and distributing compliance guides published under section 312(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.”.
(b) Nothing in this Act in any way affects or limits the ability of other technical assistance or extension programs to perform or continue to perform services related to compliance assistance. SEC. 315. COOPERATION ON GUIDANCE.
Agencies may, to the extent resources are available and where appropriate, in cooperation with the states, develop guides that fully integrate requirements of both Federal and state regulations where regulations within an agency's area of interest at the Federal and state levels impact small entities. Where regulations vary among the states, separate guides may be created for separate states in cooperation with State agencies. SEC. 316. EFFECTIVE DATE.
This subtitle and the amendments made by this subtitle shall take effect on the expiration of 90 days after the date of enactment of this subtitle. Subtitle B-Regulatory Enforcement Reforms SECTION 321. DEFINITIONS.
For purposes of this subtitle
(1) the terms "rule" and "small entity" have the same meanings as in section 601 of title 5, United States Code;
(2) the term “agency” has the same meaning as in section 551 of title 5, United States Code: and
(3) the term "small entity compliance guide” means a document designated as such by an agency. SEC. 322. SMALL BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURE
ENFORCEMENT OMBUDSMAN. The Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 631 et seq.) is amended
(1) by redesignating section 30 as section 31; and
(2) by inserting after section 29 the following new section: “SEC. 30. OVERSIGHT OF REGULATORY ENFORCE
MENT. “(a) DEFINITIONS.-For purposes of this section, the term
“(1) "Board” means a Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board established under subsection (c); and
“(2) “Ombudsman” means the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman designated under subsection (b).
“(b) SBA ENFORCEMENT OMBUDSMAN.
“(1) Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this section, the Administrator shall designate a Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman, who shall report directly to the Administrator, utilizing personnel of the Small Business Administration to the extent practicable. Other agencies shall assist the Ombudsman and take actions as necessary to ensure compliance with the requirements of this section. Nothing in this section is intended to replace or diminish the activities of any Ombudsman or similar office in any other agency.
“(2) The Ombudsman shall
“(A) work with each agency with regulatory authority over small businesses to ensure that small business concerns that receive or are subject to an audit, on-site inspection, compliance assistance effort, or other enforcement related communication or contact by agency personnel are provided with a means to comment on the enforcement activity conducted by such personnel;
“(B) establish means to receive comments from small business concerns regarding actions by agency employees conducting compliance or enforcement activities with respect to the small business concern, means to refer comments to the Inspector General of the affected agency in the appropriate circumstances, and otherwise seek to maintain the identity of the person and small business concern making such comments on a confidential basis to the same extent as employee identities are protected under section 7 of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C.App.);
“(C) based on substantiated comments received from small business concerns and the Boards, annually report to Congress and affected agencies evaluating the enforcement activities of agency personnel including a rating of the responsiveness to small business of the various regional and program offices of each agency;
“(D) coordinate and report annually on the activities, findings and recommendations of the Boards to the Administrator and to the heads of affected agencies; and
“(E) provide the affected agency with an opportunity to comment on draft reports prepared under subparagraph (C), and include a section of the final report in which the affected agency may make such comments as are not addressed by the Ombudsman in revisions to the draft.
“(C) REGIONAL SMALL BUSINESS REGULATORY FAIRNESS BOARDS.
“(1) Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this section, the Administrator shall establish a Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board in each regional office of the Small Business Administration.
“(2) Each Board established under paragraph (1) shall
“(A) meet at least annually to advise the Ombudsman on matters of concern to small businesses relating to the enforcement activities of agencies;
“(B) report to the Ombudsman on substantiated instances of excessive enforcement actions of agencies against small business concerns including any findings or recommendations of the Board as to agency enforcement policy or practice; and
“(C) prior to publication, provide comment on the annual report of the Ombudsman prepared under subsection (b).
“(3) Each Board shall consist of five members, who are owners, operators, or officers of small business concerns, appointed by the Administrator, after receiving the recommendations of the chair and ranking minority member of the Committees on Small Business of the House of Representatives and
the Senate. Not more than three of the Board members shall be of the same political party. No member shall be an officer or employee of the Federal Government, in either the executive branch or the Congress.
“(4) Members of the Board shall serve at the pleasure of the Administrator for terms of three years or less.
“(5) The Administrator shall select a chair from among the members of the Board who shall serve at the pleasure of the Administrator for not more than 1 year as chair.
“(6) A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business, but a lesser number may hold hearings.
“(d) POWERS OF THE BOARDS.
“(1) The Board may hold such hearings and collect such information as appropriate for carrying out this section.
“(2) The Board may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the Federal Government.
“(3) The Board may accept donations of services necessary to conduct its business, provided that the donations and their sources are disclosed by the Board.
“(4) Members of the Board shall serve without compensation, provided that, members of the Board 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 Board.". SEC. 323. RIGHTS OF SMALL ENTITIES IN EN
FORCEMENT ACTIONS. (a) IN GENERAL.-Each agency regulating the activities of small entities shall establish a policy or program within 1 year of enactment of this section to provide for the reduction, and under appropriate circumstances for the waiver, of civil penalties for violations of a statutory or regulatory requirement by a small entity. Under appropriate circumstances, an agency may consider ability to pay in determining penalty assessments on small entities.
(b) CONDITIONS AND EXCLUSIONS.—Subject to the requirements or limitations of other statutes, policies or programs established under this section shall contain conditions or exclusions which may include, but shall not be limited to
(1) requiring the small entity to correct the violation within a reasonable correction period;
(2) limiting the applicability to violations discovered through participation by the small entity in a compliance assistance or audit program operated or supported by the agency or a state;
(3) excluding small entities that have been subject to multiple enforcement actions by the agency;
(4) excluding violations involving willful or criminal conduct;
(5) excluding violations that pose serious health, safety or environmental threats; and
(6) requiring a good faith effort to comply with the law.
(c) REPORTING.–Agencies shall report to the Committee on Small Business and Committee on Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Small Business and Committee on Judiciary of the House of Representatives no later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this section on the scope of their program or policy, the number of enforcement actions against small entities that qualified or failed to qualify for the program or policy, and the total amount of penalty reductions and waivers. SEC. 324. EFFECTIVE DATE.
This subtitle and the amendments made by this subtitle shall take effect on the expira
tion of 90 days after the date of enactment of this subtitle. Subtitle C-Equal Access to Justice Act
Amendments SECTION 331. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS.
(a) Section 504(a) of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
"(4) If, in an adversary adjudication arising from an agency action to enforce a party's compliance with a statutory or regulatory requirement, the demand by the agency is substantially in excess of the decision of the adjudicative officer and is unreasonable when compared with such decision, under the facts and circumstances of the case, the adjudicative officer shall award to the party the fees and other expenses related to defending against the excessive demand, unless the party has committed a willful violation of law or otherwise acted in bad faith, or special circumstances make an award unjust. Fees and expenses awarded under this paragraph shall be paid only as a consequence of appropriations provided in advance.”.
(b) Section 504(b) of title 5, United States Code, is amended
(1) in paragraph (1)(A), by striking "$75” and inserting '$125";
(2) at the end of paragraph (1)(B), by inserting before the semicolon “or for purposes of subsection (a)(4), a small entity as defined in section 601";
(3) at the end of paragraph (1)(D), by striking “and”;
(4) at the end of paragraph (1)(E), by striking the period and inserting “; and”; and
(5) at the end of paragraph (1), by adding the following new subparagraph:
“(F) ‘demand' means the express demand of the agency which led to the adversary adjudication, but does not include a recitation by the agency of the maximum statutory penalty (i) in the administrative complaint, or (ii) elsewhere when accompanied by an express demand for a lesser amount.”. SEC. 332. JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS.
(a) Section 2412(d)(1) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
"(D) If, in a civil action brought by the United States or a proceeding for judicial review of an adversary adjudication described in section 504(a)(4) of title 5, the demand by the United States is substantially in excess of the judgment finally obtained by the United States and is unreasonable when compared with such judgment, under the facts and circumstances of the case, the court shall award to the party the fees and other expenses related to defending against the excessive demand, unless the party has committed a willful violation of law or otherwise acted in bad faith, or special circumstances make an award unjust. Fees and expenses awarded under this subparagraph shall be paid only as a consequence of appropriations provided in advance.”.
(b) Section 2412(d) of title 28, United States Code, is amended
(1) in paragraph (2)(A), by striking "$75" and inserting "$125";
(2) at the end of paragraph (2)(B), by inserting before the semicolon “or for purposes of subsection (d)(1)(D), a small entity as defined in section 601 of title 5””;
(3) at the end of paragraph (2)(G), by striking "and'';
(4) at the end of paragraph (2)(H), by striking the period and inserting “; and”; and
(5) at the end of paragraph (2), by adding the following new subparagraph:
“(I) 'demand' means the express demand of the United States which led to the adversary adjudication, but shall not include a recitation of the maximum statutory penalty (i) in the complaint, or (ii) elsewhere when accompanied by an express demand for a lesser amount.”.