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105th Congress                                            Rept. 105-574
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 2d Session                                                      Part 1
_______________________________________________________________________


 
                    FASTENER QUALITY ACT AMENDMENTS

                                _______
                                

  June 9, 1998.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


    Mr. Sensenbrenner, from the Committee on Science, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 3824]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Science, to whom was referred the bill (H.R. 
3824) amending the Fastener Quality Act to exempt from its 
coverage certain fasteners approved by the Federal Aviation 
Administration for use in aircraft, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that 
the bill as amended do pass.



                            C O N T E N T S

                                                                   Page
   I. Amendment...................................................... 1
  II. Purpose of the Bill............................................ 1
 III. Background and Need for the Legislation........................ 3
  IV. Summary of Hearings............................................ 3
   V. Committee Actions.............................................. 5
  VI. Summary of Major Provisions of the Bill........................ 5
 VII. Section-By-Section Analysis and Committee Views................ 5
VIII. Committee Cost Estimate........................................ 8
  IX. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...................... 9
   X. Compliance With Public Law 104-4...............................10
  XI. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations...............10
 XII. Oversight Findings and Recommendations by the Committee on 
      Government Reform and Oversight................................10
XIII. Constitutional Authority Statement.............................10
 XIV. Federal Advisory Committee Statement...........................10
  XV. Congressional Accountability Act...............................10
 XVI. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported..........10
XVII. Committee Recommendations......................................11
XVIII.Exchange of Committee Correspondence...........................11

 XIX. Additional Views...............................................21
  XX. Proceedings of the Full Committee Markup.......................23

                              I. Amendment

  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. AMENDMENT.

  Section 15 of the Fastener Quality Act (15 U.S.C. 5414) is amended--
          (1) by inserting ``(a) Transitional Rule.--'' before ``The 
        requirements of this Act''; and
          (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:
  ``(b) Aircraft Exemption.--
          ``(1) In general.--The requirements of this Act shall not 
        apply to fasteners specifically manufactured or altered for use 
        on an aircraft if the quality and suitability of those 
        fasteners for that use has been approved by the Federal 
        Aviation Administration, except as provided in paragraph (2).
          ``(2) Exception.--Paragraph (1) shall not apply to fasteners 
        represented by the fastener manufacturer as having been 
        manufactured in conformance with standards or specifications 
        established by a consensus standards organization or a Federal 
        agency other than the Federal Aviation Administration.''.

SEC. 2. DELAYED IMPLEMENTATION OF REGULATIONS.

  The regulations issued under the Fastener Quality Act by the National 
Institute of Standards and Technology on April 14, 1998, and any other 
regulations issued by the National Institute of Standards and 
Technology covering the same or similar subjects, shall not take effect 
until after the later of June 1, 1999, or the expiration of 120 days 
after the Secretary of Commerce transmits to the Congress a report on--
          (1) changes in fastener manufacturing processes that have 
        occurred since the enactment of the Fastener Quality Act; and
          (2) any changes in that Act that may be warranted because of 
        the changes reported under paragraph (1).
The report required by this section shall be transmitted to the 
Congress by February 1, 1999.

                        II. Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of the bill as reported is to amend the 
Fastener Quality Act (FQA) (PL 101-592) to exempt from coverage 
certain fasteners approved by the Federal Aviation 
Administration (FAA), and to delay the implementation of FQA 
rule until June 1, 1999,or 120 days after the Secretary of 
Commerce has issued a report on changes needed to the law, whichever is 
later.

              III. Background and Need for the Legislation

    The FQA was signed into law in 1990. It requires all 
threaded, metallic, through-hardened fasteners of one-quarter 
inch diameter or greater that directly or indirectly reference 
a consensus standard to be tested or documented by a National 
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) certified 
laboratory.
    Despite its enactment in 1990, regulations to carry out the 
provisions of the Act have not been implemented. NIST's current 
final rule, published April 14, 1998, includes revisions to 
earlier proposed regulations which reflect legislative changes 
adopted to the Act in 1996 as part of the National Technology 
Transfer and Advancement Act (P.L. 104-113). NIST's April 16, 
1998, final rule takes effect on July 27, 1998.
    H.R. 3824, amends FQA by exempting fasteners produced to 
the standards and specifications of aviation manufacturers from 
the Act's regulations, so long as they are not specifically 
represented by their manufacturers to have been manufactured in 
conformance with standards or specifications established by a 
consensus standards organization or federal agency other than 
the FAA. Proprietary fasteners of aviation manufactures are 
currently subject to the federal quality assurance programs of 
the FAA. Aviation manufacturers are already required to 
demonstrate to the FAA that they have a quality control system 
which ensures that their products, including fasteners, meet 
design specifications. According to testimony taken by the 
Technology Subcommittee, both NIST and the FAA agree that 
requiring such fasteners to fall under FQA regulations would 
create duplicative and potentially confusing regulations that 
would not assist the Federal Government in its efforts to 
ensure the safety of the flying public. Furthermore, neither 
the FAA nor the National Transportation Safety Board are aware 
of any fatal aviation accidents caused by a substandard 
proprietary fastener.
    H.R. 3824 addresses this unnecessary duplicative regulatory 
burden, and, as amended, delays implementation of the April 16, 
1998, rule to give the Secretary of Commerce the opportunity to 
review the law to ensure that other sectors of our 
manufacturing economy are not harmed by outdated or unneeded 
regulation.

                        IV. Summary of Hearings

    On May 7, 1998, the Subcommittee on Technology held a 
hearing on ``Aviation Manufacturing and the Fastener Quality 
Act.'' The hearing was held to review FQA and determine if 
Congress should recognize the FAA as the quality authority for 
proprietary fasteners of aviation manufacturers. Witnesses 
included: The Honorable Don Fuqua, President, Aerospace 
Industries Association, Washington, DC.; The Honorable Ray 
Kammer, Director, NIST, Gaithersburg, MD; Mr. Thomas McSweeney, 
Director, Aircraft Certification, Federal Aviation 
Administration, Washington, DC.; Mr. Ed Bolen, President, 
General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Washington, DC.
    The Honorable Don Fuqua, testifying as President of the 
Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), commented on the fact 
that under NIST's FQA rule, airplane parts, including 
fasteners, currently regulated by the FAA still fall under FQA. 
This places an onerous and perhaps dangerous burden on aircraft 
manufacturers but does not add any value to aviation safety. 
Most importantly, the testing requirements for FQA are 
redundant as FAA already has in place its own stringent 
requirements for testing of aircraft parts. These requirements 
equal or exceed that of FQA. Additionally, Mr. Fuqua asserted 
that there are insufficient accredited laboratories to serve 
the needs of the aerospace industry in conforming to FQA. Mr. 
Fuqua stated that AIA believes that dual regulation of the 
aerospace manufacturing process, which includes fasteners, is 
unnecessary.
    The Honorable Ray Kammer, testifying as Director of NIST, 
explained that the intention of FQA is to improve fastener 
quality and reduce the danger of fastener failure. 
Additionally, the Act serves to protect public safety by 
requiring fasteners to conform to uniform specifications and be 
tested by accredited laboratories. Mr. Kammer further 
emphasized that NIST worked closely with affected industries to 
develop the necessary testing procedures, while attempting to 
reduce the cost of compliance. He testified that the original 
law would have had a $1 billion impact on industry, but NIST 
has streamlined the procedures so that the impact will be 
minimal. Mr. Kammer stated that with regard to aircraft 
manufacturing, NIST agrees that civil aviation manufacturers 
should not be bound by FQA, since the FAA currently assures 
quality and suitability for proprietary aircraft fasteners. Mr. 
Kammer, under questioning by the Subcommittee membership, 
stated that passage of FQA may have occurred because of 
anecdotal reports about fastener failures and not analytical 
studies. He additionally suggested that portions of FQA may no 
longer be needed. Additionally, he submitted a letter on June 
2, 1998, further clarifying the Administration's position. A 
copy of the letter can be found in Section XIX of this report.
    Mr. Thomas E. McSweeney, testifying as Director of the 
Aircraft Certification Service of the FAA, spoke to the process 
by which the FAA assures the quality of all aviation parts, 
including fasteners. First, the FAA, after approval of a design 
for an aircraft part, requires the manufacturer to establish 
and maintain a production and quality control system that 
ensures the production of conforming duplicates. Second, the 
FAA monitors manufacturers continuing production of aircraft 
parts through regular surveillance and periodic (every 18-24 
months) formal audits. Mr. McSweeney emphasized that this 
process assures fastener safety at a level necessary for their 
use in state-of-the-art airplanes and engines. FQA, on the 
other hand, is intended to apply to a much wider variety of 
fasteners. He stated that while different, the FAA system 
clearly meets or exceeds the safety standards generated by FQA 
and that subjecting the aviation industry to FQA would cause 
significant delays and financial losses to the industry without 
any added safety benefits. A copy of the FAA's letter to NIST 
on needed changes to FQA can be found in Section XIX of this 
report.
    Mr. Edward Bolen, testifying as President of the General 
Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), stated that the 
General Aviation (GA) manufacturing industry is seriously 
threatened by NIST's implementing regulations for FQA. 
Complying with FQA would force production lines to stop and 
safety to be compromised. Mr. Bolen emphasized that subjecting 
the aviation manufacturers to the requirements of FQA is 
unnecessary because the fasteners are already subject to the 
stringent quality program of the FAA. FAA's oversight has 
clearly worked and should be continued. Mr. Bolen also stated 
that requiring GA compliance with FQA may actually undermine 
safety as FQA and FAA approaches differ greatly and cannot 
necessarily be reconciled. A further concern with compliance, 
according to Mr. Bolen, is that neither FQA nor the 
implementing regulations define the key terms ``nut,'' 
``bolt,'' ``stud'' or ``screw.'' This forces companies to 
develop their own definitions causing confusion. In conclusion, 
Mr. Bolen articulated GAMA's position that proprietary 
fasteners of aviation manufacturers should continue to be 
regulated solely by the FAA.

                          V. Committee Actions

    On May 13, 1998, the Committee on Science convened to 
markup H.R. 3824. An Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute 
was adopted by voice vote. An Amendment in the Nature of a 
Substitute was offered and withdrawn.
    1. Mrs. Morella offered an Amendment in the Nature of a 
Substitute to add a new provision to H.R. 3824 delaying the 
implementation of FQA Rule until June 1, 1999, or 120 days 
after the Secretary of Commerce transmits a report to Congress 
on recommended changes to the Act, whichever is later.
    2. Mr. Bartlett offered an Amendment in the Nature of a 
Substitute striking the provisions of H.R. 3824 and replacing 
them with a repeal of FQA. The Amendment was withdrawn.
    With a quorum present, Mr. Barcia moved that H.R. 3824, as 
amended, be reported. The Motion was adopted by voice vote.

              VI. Summary of Major Provisions of the Bill

 H.R. 3824 exempts from the requirements of FQA 
        fasteners specifically manufactured or altered for use 
        on aircraft if the quality and suitability of those 
        fasteners, for that specified use, has been approved by 
        the FAA.
 Delays the implementation of NIST's April 14, 1998, 
        FQA rule until June 1, 1999, or 120 days after the 
        Secretary of Commerce transmits a report to Congress on 
        recommended changes to the Act, whichever is later.

          VII. Section-by-Section Analysis and Committee Views

Section 1. Amendment

    Section 1 amends Section 15 of FQA (15 USC 5414) to exempt 
from the requirements of FQA fasteners specifically 
manufactured or altered for use on aircraft, if the quality and 
suitability of those fasteners, for that specified use, has 
been approved by the FAA. The exemption does not apply to 
fasteners represented by their manufacturer as having been 
manufactured in conformance with standards or specifications 
established by a consensus standards organization or a federal 
agency other than the FAA.

Committee Views

    The Committee notes that the FAA promotes aviation safety 
through comprehensive regulations that require FAA approval of 
civil aircraft design and civil aircraft production. In light 
of this regulatory oversight, the Committee believes that 
certain fasteners used in the production of civil aircraft and 
aircraft components should be exempt from the requirements of 
FQA. The bill is intended to provide such an exemption.
    FAA regulations include strict requirements and procedures 
to assure the quality and suitability of fasteners used in the 
design and production of civil aircraft components. The FAA 
approves the design of aircraft and aircraft components, 
including the selection and use of fasteners in that design. To 
this end, FAA engineers review product design to assure 
compliance with established FAA regulations. Once a design is 
approved, a manufacturer of civil aircraft or aircraft 
components is required to establish and maintain an FAA-
approved production and quality assurance system to assure that 
fasteners used in the production meet the requirements of the 
FAA-approved design. These requirements must be satisfied 
before any aircraft or aircraft component may enter service. 
FAA inspectors and engineers subsequently monitor these 
approved systems through surveillance and periodic audits to 
assure continuing compliance with the FAA requirements. These 
FAA regulations should ensure that fasteners used in the 
production of civil aircraft and aircraft components conform to 
the requirements of FAA-approved design and comply with FAA 
production system requirements, including quality assurance 
requirements.
    Because of this stringent FAA oversight, the Committee 
believes that proprietary fasteners of aviation manufactures 
should not be regulated by NIST under FQA. Proprietary 
fasteners include those fasteners manufactured or altered to 
standards or specifications of original equipment manufacturers 
regardless of whether they are manufactured by a subcontractor 
or sold by the original equipment manufacturer as spare parts, 
so long as the fasteners in question remain the subject of 
FAA's quality control programs.
    The Committee supports subjecting aviation fasteners to the 
provisions of FQA if they are not proprietary fasteners but 
manufactured by fastener manufacturers to conform specifically 
with standards established by consensus standards organizations 
or federal agencies other than the FAA.

Section 2. Delayed Implementation of Regulations

    Section 2 delays the implementation of the NIST April 14, 
1998, FQA rule until June 1, 1999, or 120 days after the 
Secretary of Commerce transmits a report to Congress on 
recommended changes to the Act, whichever is later.
    The Secretary's Report shall include:
    1. A discussion of changes in the fastener manufacturing 
process that have occurred since the original enactment of FQA 
in 1990; and
    2. Recommendations for changes that should be made to FQA 
as a result of improvement in the fastener manufacturing 
process.

Committee Views

    The Committee believes that much has changed since the 
passage of FQA in 1990. Both companies that manufacture or 
contract for the manufacture of fasteners and federal 
regulatory bodies with oversight responsibility for the safety 
of consumer products have improved the manner in which they 
assure the quality of not only fasteners, but also the products 
which require fasteners.
    According to both industry and NIST, since 1990, fastener 
quality assurance procedures have evolved substantially beyond 
the lot sampling procedure that forms the basis of FQA.
    In its final rule, NIST attempted to accommodate the new 
``process control'' quality approaches into the lot-sampling 
based requirements of the Act. However, the Committee is 
concerned that the NIST rule may be overly restrictive and may 
not fully accommodate advances in quality control procedures.
    Major industrial users of fasteners such as the auto 
industry typically have fasteners produced to their own 
proprietary standards by designated suppliers in a ``closed 
loop'' process. Such processes may meet the same safety 
requirements FQA was designed to address.
    Under Section 2, no regulations promulgated under FQA shall 
take effect until June 1, 1999, or the expiration of 120 days 
after the Secretary's report is submitted, whichever is later. 
The Committee has approved this delay in the implementation of 
NIST's regulations in light of testimony before the Technology 
Subcommittee that modern fastener quality assurance systems 
(QAS) can be both more reliable and less costly than testing 
techniques used when the Act was first passed.
    Indeed, in connection with its recent issuance of 
regulations under the Act and the 1996 amendments to the Act, 
NIST itself noted the ``strong evidence that QAS/SPC 
[statistical process control] reduces the defect rate in the 
fastener manufacturing process.'' 1
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ 63 Fed. Reg. 16259, at 16261 colt 2 (Apr. 14, 1998). NIST
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Based on these changes, and testimony taken by the 
Technology Subcommittee which indicates that many, if not all, 
of FQA's requirements may no longer be necessary, the Committee 
believes that the Secretary of Commerce should conduct a 
thorough review of FQA's provisions and recommend elimination 
of any of its requirements that are no longer needed to ensure 
public safety. The Committee has specifically directed the 
Secretary of Commerce to carry out this study and does not 
intend for this authority to be delegated back to NIST.
    The Committee also requests the Secretary to consider other 
FQA drafting and implementation issues that are brought to his 
attention in a timely manner, including issues that may be 
raised in Congressional hearings on this subject held 
subsequent to the filing of this Committee Report, and to 
include in his submission to Congress recommended legislative 
or administrative solutions to those issues as well. Finally, 
in preparing the report, the Secretary should consult with 
impacted industries including, but not limited to, the auto 
industry, the aviation industry and fastener manufacturers, 
and, to the extent the Secretary deems necessary, federal 
agencies involved in the investigations that led to to the 
passage of FQA in 1990 to ascertain if a problem with 
counterfeit fasteners still exists.
    The Committee notes that if the Secretary feels that he 
cannot conduct the study solely within his office, he has the 
authority to establish a task force to conduct the review. The 
task force should be established at the Assistant Secretary 
level and may include representatives from other agencies, 
including agencies such as the FAA and the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which regulate the safety 
of products which include large numbers of fasteners, and 
agencies involved in the original investigation of counterfeit 
fasteners.
    The Committee would like to reemphasize that the review 
should not be conducted or directed by NIST. This is not an 
indictment of the worked conducted by NIST. Rather, the 
Committee believes that Secretarial level review will avoid any 
perceived conflict of interest that may arise when an agency is 
asked to review its own work.

                     VIII. Committee Cost Estimate

    Clause 7(a) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires each Committee report accompanying 
each bill or joint resolution of a public character to contain: 
(1) an estimate, made by such Committee, of the costs which 
would be incurred in carrying out such bill or joint resolution 
in the fiscal year in which it is reported, and in each of the 
5 fiscal years following such fiscal year (or for the 
authorized duration of any program authorized by such bill or 
joint resolution, if less than 5 years); (2) a comparison of 
the estimate of costs described in subparagraph (1) of this 
paragraph made by such Committee with an estimate of such costs 
made by any government agency and submitted to such Committee; 
and (3) when practicable, a comparison of the total estimated 
funding level for the relevant program (or programs) with the 
appropriate levels under current law. However, clause 7(d) of 
that Rule provides that this requirement does not apply when a 
cost estimate and comparison prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under Section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 has been submitted prior to 
the filing of the report and included in the report pursuant to 
clause 2(l)(3)(C) of Rule XI. A cost estimate and comparison 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
under Section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 has 
been timely submitted prior to the filing of this report and 
included in Section IX of this report pursuant to clause 
2(l)(3)(C) of Rule XI.
    Clause 2(l)(3)(B) of Rule XI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires each Committee report that accompanies 
a measure providing new budget authority (other than continuing 
appropriations), new spending authority, or new credit 
authority, or changes in revenues or tax expenditures to 
contain a cost estimate, as required by Section 308(a)(1) of 
the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and, when practicable with 
respect to estimates of new budgetauthority, a comparison of 
the total estimated funding level for the relevant program (or 
programs) to the appropriate levels under current law. H.R. 3824 does 
not contain any new budget authority, credit authority, or changes in 
revenues or tax expenditures. Assuming that the sums authorized under 
the bill are appropriated, H.R. 3824 does authorize additional 
discretionary spending, as described in the Congressional Budget Office 
report on the bill, which is contained in Section IX of this report.

             IX. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, May 21, 1998.
Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.,
Chairman, Committee on Science,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3824, a bill 
amending the Fastener Quality Act to exempt from its coverage 
certain fasteners approved by the Federal Aviation 
Administration for use in aircraft.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Kathleen 
Gramp.
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.
Enclosure.

H.R 3824--A bill amending the Fastener Quality Act to exempt from its 
        coverage certain fasteners approved by the Federal Aviation 
        Administration for use in aircraft

    H.R. 3824 would amend existing law regarding the regulation 
of fasteners. The bill would direct the National Institute of 
Standards and Technology (NIST) to submit a report to the 
Congress by February 1, 1999, on trends in manufacturing 
fasteners and on legislative changes that may be needed to 
reflect current conditions. Implementation of NIST's 
regulations on fasteners would be delayed until June 1, 1999, 
or 120 days after submission of the report, whichever is later. 
Under this bill, fasteners made for aircraft would be exempt 
from those regulations if the suitability and quality of the 
fasteners have been approved by the Federal Aviation 
Administration.
    Based on information provided by the agency, CBO estimates 
that NIST would spend about $100,000 in 1999 to complete the 
study required by the bill, assuming appropriation of the 
necessary funds. Because H.R. 3824 would not affect direct 
spending or receipts, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply.
    H.R. 3824 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Kathleen Gramp. 
This estimate was approved by Robert A. Sunshine, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                  X. Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    H.R. 3824 contains no unfunded mandates.

          XI. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Clause 2(l)(3)(A) of rule XI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires each Committee report to include 
oversight findings and recommendations required pursuant to 
clause 2(b)(1) of rule X. The Committee has no oversight 
findings.

    XII. Oversight Findings and Recommendations by the Committee on 
                    Government Reform and Oversight

    Clause 2(l)(3)(D) of rule XI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires each Committee report to contain a 
summary of the oversight findings and recommendations made by 
the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee pursuant to 
clause 4(c)(2) of rule X, whenever such findings and 
recommendations have been submitted to the Committee in a 
timely fashion. The Committee on Science has received no such 
findings or recommendations from the Committee on Government 
Reform and Oversight.

                XIII. Constitutional Authority Statement

    Clause 2(l)(4) of rule XI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires each report of a Committee on a bill 
or joint resolution of a public character to include a 
statement citing the specific powers granted to the Congress in 
the Constitution to enact the law proposed by the bill or joint 
resolution. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution of the 
United States grants Congress the authority to enact H.R. 3824.

               XIV. Federal Advisory Committee Statement

    H.R. 3824 does not establish any new advisory committees.

                  XV. Congressional Accountability Act

    The Committee finds that H.R. 3824 does not relate to the 
terms and conditions of employment or access to public services 
or accommodations within the meaning of Section 102(b)(3) of 
the Congressional Accountability Act (Public Law 104-1).

       XVI. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, As Reported

  In compliance with clause 3 of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the 
bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is printed 
in italic and existing law in which no change is proposed is 
shown in roman):

                 SECTION 15 OF THE FASTENER QUALITY ACT

SEC. 15. APPLICABILITY.

  (a) Transitional Rule.--The requirements of this Act shall be 
applicable only to fasteners fabricated 180 days or more after 
the Secretary issues final regulations required under sections 
5, 6, and 8, except that the Secretary may extend such time 
period if the Secretary determines that an insufficient number 
of laboratories have been accredited to perform the volume of 
inspection and testing required. Upon any such extension, and 
every 6 months thereafter during such extension, the Secretary 
shall submit a report to the Congress explaining the reasons 
for such extension and the steps being taken to ensure the 
accreditation of a sufficient number of laboratories.
  (b) Aircraft Exemption.--
          (1) In general.--The requirements of this Act shall 
        not apply to fasteners specifically manufactured or 
        altered for use on an aircraft if the quality and 
        suitability of those fasteners for that use has been 
        approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, except 
        as provided in paragraph (2).
          (2) Exception.--Paragraph (1) shall not apply to 
        fasteners represented by the fastener manufacturer as 
        having been manufactured in conformance with standards 
        or specifications established by a consensus standards 
        organization or a Federal agency other than the Federal 
        Aviation Administration.

                    XVII. Committee Recommendations

    On May 13, 1998, a quorum being present, the Committee 
favorably reported H.R. 3824, a bill to amend the Fastener 
Quality Act to exempt from coverage certain fasteners approved 
by the Federal Aviation Administration, and for other purposes, 
by a voice vote, and recommends its enactment.

              XVIII. Exchange of Committee Correspondence





                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                              ----------                              


       XIX. Additional Views By Congressman George E. Brown, Jr.

    When the Subcommittee held its hearing on the Fastener 
Quality Act, we did not have the perspective of history. The 
members, staff, and witnesses present for the hearing for the 
most part were not present in the 100th and 101st Congress. 
This resulted in some unfortunate characterizations of the work 
of earlier Congresses as being based solely on anecdotal 
evidence.
    In actuality, the Fastener Quality Act was based on 
extraordinarily extensive investigative, legislative, and 
judicial records. The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee 
of the Committee on Energy and Commerce conducted an 18 month 
investigation during the 100th Congress including 5 open and 2 
closed hearings. The investigation also involved the U.S. 
Customs Service, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, 
various federal Inspectors General, and a number of U.S. 
attorneys. Defective fasteners, largely of overseas origin, 
turned up in tanks, submarines, aircraft carriers, planes of 
all types, bridges, and even nuclear power plants. There were 
dozens of criminal prosecutions, civil actions, and debarments 
arising from the investigation. Then in the 101st Congress, 
legislation was introduced both in the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology and the Committee on Energy and Commerce 
and legislative hearings resulting in H.R. 3000 were held in 
both Committees. A majority of the Congress, including 41 out 
of 49 members of this Committee, signed on as cosponsors 
including all but one of the members still on this Committee 
who served in the 100th Congress. Clearly more than anecdotes 
is necessary for that wide a cross-section of the Congress to 
lend their names to a bill.
    We face a much different situation in 1998 than we did in 
1990. Eight years have passed since enactment without 
implementing regulations; now the effective date of the 
regulations is less than 2 months away. Major industries are 
representing that in the interim they have developed quality 
assurance systems which provide protections to the public 
comparable to those under the Fastener Quality Act, but at less 
cost. NIST, the agency charged with regulating fasteners, is 
saying that advancements during the 1990's in quality assurance 
practice may have made parts of the statute obsolete. There are 
fewer press stories about defective fasteners than during the 
1980's. In the case of the aircraft manufacturing industry, 
industry and regulators alike testified that the Fastener 
Quality Act is redundant for fasteners regulated by the federal 
aviation industry. Yet despite widespread concern on our 
Committee that change was needed before promulgation of the 
regulations, the rapidly approaching effective date of the 
regulations precluded the careful analysis that must precede 
the relaxation of a key public health and safety statute.
    The Committee's solution is the best available under the 
circumstances. The effective date of FQA regulations is delayed 
from June 26, 1998, until the latter of June 1, 1999, or the 
expiration of 120 days after Congress receives the report 
required by this section. This will permit the Secretary of 
Commerce to study the extent to which the problems being 
addressed by FQA still exist including the potential for 
defective fasteners from overseas once again penetrating U.S. 
markets. It will also permit the Secretary to gather expert 
opinion on the degree of compatibility between the Fastener 
Quality Act and modern business practices and to make 
suggestions on how to update the Act. The Secretary has an 
awesome responsibility because he will be developing the main 
document that the Congress will use in deciding how to assure 
that the American public is shielded from the threat of loss, 
to defective fasteners, of life, limb, and property. The 
Secretary is to consider all FQA drafting and implementation 
issues that are brought to his attention in a timely manner 
during the moratorium period.
    I sincerely hope that the Secretary will use this time to 
draw upon the best advice available to him including at NIST 
and at the agencies who investigated defective fastener 
problems during the 1980's in an effort to come up with a 
definitive report on the extent to which defective fasteners 
still threaten U.S. transportation, infrastructure, and defense 
and recommendations on the most effective way in 1999 to meet 
that threat. Then and only then will we have the knowledge base 
upon which to make an intelligent decision concerning the 
extent to which we still need a Fastener Quality Act and the 
extent to which Quality Assurance Systems can now provide the 
American public with the protections this Act was designed to 
provide.

                                               George E. Brown, Jr.
              XX. Proceedings of the Full Committee Markup



                   FULL COMMITTEE MARKUP OF H.R. 3824

                              ----------                              


                        WEDNESDAY, MAY 13, 1998

             U.S. House of Representatives,
                              Committee on Science,
                                                    Washington, DC.
    The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:10 a.m., in 
room 2318 Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. F. James 
Sensenbrenner, Jr., Chairman of the Committee, presiding.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The Committee will be in order. The 
Chair notes the presence of a working quorum.
    Good morning, pursuant to notice, the Committee on Science 
is meeting today to consider the following measures.
    First, H.R. 3824, amendments to the Fastener Quality Act; 
second, H.R. 3332, the Next Generation Internet Research Act of 
1988; third, H.R. 2544, the Technology Transfer 
Commercialization Act of 1997; and fourth, H.R. 3007, the 
Commission on the Advancement of Women in Science, Engineering, 
and Technology Development Act.
    Before starting with the markup, we have two pieces of 
housekeeping. First, without objection, the Chair will be given 
authority to recess during votes in the House, and second, 
according to notice, we will also ratify Democratic 
Subcommittee assignments and I recognize the gentleman from 
California, Mr. Brown, for a motion.
    Mr. Brown of California. Mr. Chairman, the House has 
appointed Ms. Lois Capps and Ms. Barbara Lee as new Democratic 
members of the Committee on Science. By direction of the 
Democratic Caucus, I move that the Full Committee ratify the 
Democratic members' Subcommittee assignments as set out in the 
materials before the members.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. You've heard the motion. Without 
objection, the previous question is ordered. All those in favor 
signify by saying aye.
    Opposed, no.
    The ayes have it and the Subcommittee assignments are 
ratified.
    The next order of business is amendments to the Fastener 
Quality Act, H.R. 3824.
    [The amendment roster and the text of the amendments 
follow:]





    Chairman Sensenbrenner. And the Chair recognizes the 
gentlewoman from Maryland, Mrs. Morella, the Chairwoman of the 
Subcommittee, for 5 minutes for an opening statement.
    Mrs. Morella. I thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman and 
members of the Committee. Last week the Technology Subcommittee 
held a hearing to examine the Fastener Quality Act in aviation 
manufacturing. There was wide agreement by the aviation 
industry, FAA, and NIST that there already is a federal quality 
assurance process in place to certify the quality and the 
safety of proprietary fasteners manufactured or altered 
specifically for use by aviation manufacturers. Adding another 
set of federal regulations and involving another federal agency 
in that process would hinder the efficiency of aviation 
manufacturing and add to its cost of production while degrading 
the level of safety currently provided by the FAA.
    During the hearing, I asked the Director of NIST, Mr. Ray 
Kammer, if legislation exempting the proprietary fasteners of 
aviation manufacturers currently reviewed and certified by the 
FAA was necessary. Director Kammer stated that a legislative 
clarification would be useful to address the concerns and the 
confusion currently surrounding NIST's interpretation of the 
Fastener Quality Act.
    Director Kammer went on to assure members that in his 
opinion the FAA currently undertakes a meticulous and rigorous 
certification process to ensure that safe fasteners are being 
used in the aviation industry. The FAA and the industry also 
agreed that legislation was necessary.
    So I'm pleased to be a cosponsor of H.R. 3824 which 
addresses those concerns raised by the FAA and aviation 
industry in a manner that is acceptable to NIST. I urge all my 
colleagues to support this legislation which eliminates 
unnecessary and duplicative regulations on the aviation 
industry while protecting the safety of our Nation's flying 
public.
    I would now like to, Mr. Chairman--I was going to yield to 
Mr. Gutknecht, but I will yield back my time, then, Mr. 
Chairman.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Who would like to make--the 
gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Barcia, is recognized for 5 
minutes for an opening statement.
    Mr. Barcia. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and I 
certainly won't take that long, but I did want to say that I'm 
very pleased to cosponsor this amendment with Chairwoman 
Morella.
    Last week the Technology Subcommittee held a hearing on 
aviation industry-related amendments to the Fastener Quality 
Act and, however, anyone who attended that meeting would have 
noticed that the questions focused mainly on the impact of FQA 
regulations on the automotive industry. The result of those 
questions and subsequent consultations with NIST and the 
affected auto manufacturers resulted in the development of this 
amendment.
    This amendment is an attempt to address the immediate 
concerns of those affected and to provide the Congress and the 
Administration the necessary time to review and, if necessary, 
amend the Fastener Quality Act to reflect current industry 
quality control practices.
    While I recognize this amendment may not be perfect, we 
have tried to develop a pragmatic solution to address all the 
concerns that have been raised.
    I want to thank Chairwoman Morella for working closely with 
the Minority members of the Subcommittee and other members, 
and, of course, the Majority members to craft this language in 
a very short time frame. I applaud her leadership on this issue 
and say that I am grateful that we can work together and would 
urge my colleagues to support this amendment. Thank you, Mr. 
Chairman.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentleman's----
    Mrs. Morella. Mr. Chairman, I was just going to suggest 
that my Ranking Member is always ahead of himself, and he was 
this time on the amendment, and I very much appreciate that.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Well, just an observation, we've 
developed a reputation of being kind of speedy in this 
Committee and today will be no exception.
    The opening statements have been made. The bill is now open 
for amendment and by unanimous consent the bill will be open 
for amendment at any point. The first amendment on the roster 
is the amendment by the gentlewoman from Maryland and she is 
recognized to propose her amendment.
    Mrs. Morella. Yes, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I ask unanimous 
consent that it be accepted as read.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The Clerk will designate the 
amendment, or read the amendment.
    The Clerk. ``Amendment to H.R. 3824, offered by Mrs. 
Morella''----
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Without objection, the amendment 
will be considered as read and open for amendment at any point, 
the gentlewoman from Maryland is recognized for 5 minutes.
     Mrs. Morella. Thanks, Mr. Chairman. You know the Fastener 
Quality Act was signed into law in 1990. It requires that all 
threaded metallic through hardened fasteners of one-quarter 
inch diameter or greater, that directly or indirectly reference 
the consensus standard, to be tested or documented by a 
National Institute of Standards and Technology certified 
laboratory.
    Although the legislation has been on the books for 8 years, 
and counting, difficulty in developing the regulations of the 
Act have delayed NIST from implementing them until July of this 
year.
    The legislation that I've introduced and that we're marking 
up today, H.R. 3824, amends the Fastener Quality Act by 
exempting fasteners produced to the standards and 
specifications of aviation manufacturers from the regulations 
of the act.
    Legislation exempting the proprietary fasteners of aviation 
manufacturers from the Fastener Quality Act makes sense, 
considering that they are currently subject to the federal 
quality assurance programs of the FAA.
    We've already discussed that and, therefore, in addition to 
that, the amendment that I am offering, with Mr. Barcia's 
cosponsorship, we discussed at the Technology Subcommittee 
hearing last week additional issues raised regarding the 
Fastener Quality Act. In addition to the Act's impact on the 
aviation industry, several members, including myself, raised 
questions about the Act's impacton other industries. For 
example, the automotive industry projects the cost of compliance for 
the motor vehicle industry could be greater than $300 million, adding 
$20 to the cost of each vehicle manufactured.
    However, it is not clear that if it is necessary to include 
the automobile industry under the Act since the National 
Highway Transportation Safety Administration is already 
involved in assuring the safety of motor vehicles, or if there 
are even enough NIST-certified laboratories for the industry to 
comply with the Act without causing delays in production. 
Therefore this amendment.
    This amendment is very straightforward. First, it delays 
the regulations issued by NIST under the Fastener Quality Act 
on this subject until after June 1, 1999. Second, it requires 
the Secretary of Commerce to transmit to Congress a report on 
changes in fastener manufacturing processes that have occurred 
since enactment of the Fastener Quality Act and any changes to 
the act that may be warranted because of the changes.
    Delaying NIST's regulations until next year gives us the 
opportunity to take a closer look at the Fastener Quality Act, 
especially considering it was crafted over 8 years ago. The 
Secretary's report to Congress will be a useful tool in our 
efforts. We may find that changes in the fastener manufacturing 
process have diminished the need for further regulations in 
this area.
    I do, however, wish to make clear that my amendment in no 
way impacts the exemption from the Fastener Quality Act 
contained in H.R. 3824 for proprietary fasteners manufactured 
or altered specifically for aviation manufacturers. I agree 
with the FAA and NIST on the need for the legislation and 
support its passage.
    So, this amendment, Mr. Chairman, and members of the 
Committee, simply gives us more time to examine the need and 
projected impact of the act before more federal regulations are 
implemented on other industries.
    So I am offering this amendment in bipartisan cooperation 
with the Ranking Member of the Technology Subcommittee, Mr. 
Barcia of Michigan, and I urge all of our colleagues to support 
it. Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentlewoman's time has expired. 
The gentleman from Michigan.
    Mr. Barcia. Mr. Chairman, I just----
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentleman is recognized for 5 
minutes.
    Mr. Barcia. Thanks. I apologize for my inattentiveness 
making my statement and ask that my previous statement be 
inserted in the appropriate place in the record and yield----
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Without objection.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Barcia follows:]





    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Further discussion on the 
amendment?
    [No response.]
    Hearing none, all of those in favor of the amendment by the 
gentlewoman from Maryland please signify by saying aye.
    Opposed, no.
    The ayes have it and the amendment is agreed to.
    The next item is the amendment by Mr. Bartlett of Maryland. 
For what purpose does the gentleman from Maryland seek 
recognition?
    Mr. Bartlett. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the 
desk.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The Clerk will report the 
amendment.
    The Clerk. ``Amendment in the nature of a substitute to 
H.R. 3824, offered by Mr. Bartlett of Maryland''----
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Without objection, the amendment is 
considered as read and opened for amendment at any point. The 
Chair reserves a point of order on the amendment and recognizes 
the gentleman from Maryland for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Bartlett. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like, first, 
to address your reservation of a point of order. I know that 
whatever we do on this part of the bill may require a 
sequential referral. I've spoken to Mr. Tom Bliley, the 
Chairman of the Commerce Committee, and he assured me that he 
would bring this to a speedy vote in his Committee.
    My amendment would simply repeal the Fastener Quality Act. 
This was enacted 8 years ago. It has never been implemented 
simply because those who are responsible for its implementation 
do not feel that it is a needed law and they do not want to 
implement it.
    Ray Kammer, the head of NIST, who is now charged with the 
only regulatory function in NIST said 8 years ago in a hearing, 
``in conclusion we believe that the development of private-
sector initiatives such as the one being launched by ASME for 
fasteners is the best way to deal with the underlying problem 
and misrepresentation of the quality and performance 
characteristics of high-strength and other special purpose 
fasteners. Accordingly we oppose H.R. 777.''
    Just last week in a hearing here he said that he was 
unaware then or now of any analytical study, anything that I 
would regard as a scientific study that was presented. There 
was in his view no basis for the initial passage of this 
legislation.
    He has only certified a hundred-and-some labs that would 
require more than double this number to comply with the 
legislation. He noted that the industry already has an industry 
standard, the ASTM standard. The problem of counterfeits would 
not be addressed by this. Counterfeits are made by people who 
ignore the law and having this law would not have anything to 
do with counterfeits.
    It has already been noted this would cost the automobile 
industry $300 million a year. This is a pro-business amendment. 
There is no scientific basis for this law; it has not been 
implemented now in 8 years. We're going to be pressured to 
exclude the auto industry, there's just no basis for this bill 
at all. And so I would ask fora positive vote on this. It will 
go to the Commerce Committee. They will vote very quickly on it and 
they will sustain our position, I'm certain, on repealing this law.
    Thank you very much. I yield back the balance of my time.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentlewoman from Michigan, Ms. 
Rivers----
    Ms. Rivers. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner (continuing). Is recognized for 5 
minutes.
    Ms. Rivers. Thank you. Although I will not be voting for 
this, I have great sympathy for the arguments that Rep. 
Bartlett is putting forward. I was highly distressed in the 
Technology Subcommittee discussion last week when I asked a 
series of questions, looking for the supporting arguments for 
the passage of this bill originally and for the continuation of 
this bill and received virtually nothing from the Director of 
NIST.
    He stated clearly that the evidence was anecdotal; there 
were no data that were compiled in a systematic way; that he 
could not explain what the problem to be solved by this bill 
was; and the kinds of concerns that were raised were about, as 
Rep. Bartlett suggested, counterfeiting rather than issues of 
safety or quality.
    I was not in Congress when this bill was passed, which is 
the reason I'm not going to vote today to repeal; I've not had 
an opportunity to search the record. But I think that in a time 
when we are always supposed to be looking for legislation that 
has been passed inappropriately or with unintended 
consequences, this particular provision is a candidate for that 
and I think if there are not strong scientific and policy 
reasons to sustain this kind of imposition of cost and energy 
requirements on industry, we should not be moving this bill 
forward. So, as I said, I am very sympathetic and very 
supportive of the proposal but I am not going to vote for it 
only because I have not had a chance to research the original 
record.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Will the gentlewoman yield to me?
    Ms. Rivers. Yes.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Let me say that there is some 
urgency to move the bill as amended by the gentlewoman from 
Maryland today because if Congress doesn't act by, I believe, 
July 27, the onerous regulations will become effective, and my 
feeling is, is that we can get a bill on the President's desk 
and signed to delay these regulations until the Secretary of 
Commerce makes his report. But I do agree with both what the 
gentlewoman from Michigan and the gentleman from Maryland said 
is that I think this is a useless and onerous law and I 
certainly am not opposed to repealing it, but I am afraid that 
if we put the repealer in the mix, we're not going to be able 
to delay the regulation, so we will end up making a bad 
situation worse. Next year we'll have the time to look at the 
law on its merits, whatever they may be, and deal with it 
accordingly.
    Ms. Rivers. Thank you.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentleman from Minnesota.
    Mr. Gutknecht. Mr. Chairman, with due respect to you and to 
the Chairman of the Subcommittee, sometimes a bad situation 
does have to get worse. I mean, I think that this was a bad 
idea when it passed, the evidence was overwhelming, the people 
from NIST testified that essentially this came about as a 
result of a walkway down in Kansas City that collapsed.
    And the argument was it was because of fasteners which were 
not adequate for the structural requirements. But NIST went 
ahead and did a study and found out that was not the case, but 
the bill had already passed. This is a solution seeking a 
problem. It is a classic example of a $50 solution to a $5 
problem.
    And, frankly, I think the answer is not to exempt the 
aviation industry and then exempt the automobile industry. If 
you are going to exempt people, we ought to exempt everybody 
except Congress and trial lawyers, and then we would have a 
bill that everybody could support, at least except the trial 
lawyers.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Will the gentleman yield?
    Mr. Gutknecht. Yes.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Probably that lack of an exemption 
is because Congress and trial lawyers have many loose screws 
would----
    [Laughter.]
    Mr. Gutknecht. But this is a bad, the bill----
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Yes, I'll let Mr. Davis respond.
    Mr. Gutknecht. But this was a bad idea when it was 
originally passed, it was passed on flawed assumptions, and now 
we have groups who are beginning to realize that there, there 
are severe consequences of this. The real answer is not just to 
exempt people, the real answer is to repeal the law and so I 
support the Bartlett amendment and, in failing that, if this 
amendment fails, I would hope that the Chairman would allow us 
another opportunity to come back before July and pass a 
complete repeal. There's no, there's nothing in any of our 
rules that say that we couldn't pass this bill as well as pass 
a total repeal and let the President decide which one he wants 
to sign, if not both.
    Mr. Bartlett. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentleman's time--the gentleman 
from Maryland has already been recognized once and under the 
rules you can't be recognized more than once on the same 
question.
    Mr. Ehlers. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentleman from Michigan, Mr. 
Ehlers----
    Mr. Ehlers. Mr. Chairman----
    Chairman Sensenbrenner (continuing). Is recognized for 5 
minutes.
    Mr. Ehlers. Primarily as a courtesy to my colleague to 
yield time to him but I--following your line of speech, I can't 
help but note this is really a nuts and bolts issue. I notice 
everyone's attention is riveted on it. [Laughter.]
    And I want to yield the remainder of my time to Mr. 
Bartlett so he can nail it down. [Laughter.]
    Mr. Bartlett. Thank you very much. Mr. Chairman. I do not 
want to, in your words, make a bad matter worse, and so if you 
would see fit to commit to holding a hearing to explore this 
issuefurther, with the view to--if the results of that hearing 
indicate moving expeditiously to repeal this law, I will ask unanimous 
consent to withdraw the amendment at this time.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Well, I think we have a deal. The 
Subcommittee on Technology has so directed to hold the hearing 
and without objection, the amendment is withdrawn.
    Mrs. Morella. And the Subcommittee will hold a hearing, Mr. 
Bartlett.
    Mr. Bartlett. Thank you very much.
    Mr. Brown of California. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Are there further--the gentleman 
from California is recognized for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Brown of California. Mr. Chairman, I applaud you for 
working out this diplomatic settlement to this situation, but I 
am constrained to offer a short rebuttal to the apparent 
assumption that there was no basis for the enactment of this 
law and that it has done no good and that it should be 
summarily disposed of. I have in my hand here, as Sen. Joe 
McCarthy used to say, a document which documents the need for 
this bill in about 60-odd pages of examples of the damage 
caused by defective fasteners and that is convincing. I should 
point out that when the bill was originally passed, I think it 
was 41 out of the 49 members of the Committee at that time were 
cosponsors, including the present Chairman and the past three 
Chairmen and also Mr. Fawell, Mrs. Morella, Mr. Weldon, Mr. 
Rohrabacher, Mr. Boehlert, Mr. Hall, and Mr. Traficant who are 
still on the Committee.
     All of whom were convinced at the time that the threat was 
serious and that it needed remedy. We may not have picked the 
perfect remedy. This, I'm willing to stipulate, and we need to 
review that, but I would make note of the fact as some of you 
probably already are aware, that Ford Motor Company has just 
recalled 1.7 million vehicles for faulty lug nuts which cause 
the wheels to fall off. And 1.7 million vehicles times the cost 
of recalling one vehicle, which I will estimate at $100 and 
it's probably more, is $1.7 billion and it is not proper to say 
that this is a situation which is no particular monetary 
concern or relevance because today's news indicates that it is 
a serious concern and something needs to be done.
    Now I would prefer a private standard-setting solution to 
this problem and that is what we are moving in the direction 
of. I think, however, that sometimes these kinds of solutions 
move faster if there is some indication that the problem is 
important enough to warrant the Federal Government to look at 
the possibility of legislative changes.
    If the private-sector solution is the one that's desired 
and can be worked out promptly, I certainly would have no 
objections to abolishing this piece of legislation, but I need 
to have some evidence that in fact, is occurring.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentleman's time has expired. 
For what purpose does the gentleman from Indiana seek 
recognition?
    Mr. Roemer. Mr. Chairman, just like----
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentleman is recognized for 5 
minutes.
    Mr. Roemer (continuing). Just as Mr. Brown has just 
commented on where you came to resolve this question, I do want 
to comment on it very briefly. I applaud you for trying to 
resolve this with a hearing in the Subcommittee and hope that 
the hearing in the Subcommittee can enlighten us a little bit 
further on how to come up with a reasonable solution to a 
vexing problem.
    The gentleman from Minnesota stated that it is a $50 
solution to a $5 problem. He may be correct, but we still have 
a $5 problem. We've had 100 indictments, civil actions, and 
debarments in this matter, with phony fasteners coming into our 
markets. It is very difficult to tell the difference between a 
15-cent or 20-cent fastener that comes in from a foreign 
country and a quality $2 or $3 fastener that is going to do the 
job and protect lives, whether that be on a construction 
project or whether that be on a fighter jet or in a submarine.
    With the Asian problem now, and the Asian economies going 
through the turmoil that they are going through, we want to 
make sure that the Asian economies do not conduct themselves in 
unscrupulous fashion and flood our markets with low-cost 
counterfeit fasteners coming into the United States markets.
    So, while Mr. Bartlett's solution may be to completely 
repeal the act, we may need to revise and modify the act so 
that it does solve a problem that exists out there. The current 
regulations may not be sufficient to address that, but the fact 
of the matter is that we continue to have a problem and we need 
a common-sense solution to that problem which we do not have at 
this point.
    But we do have a vexing problem that I hope that the 
Committee can solve in a bipartisan way and one that might get 
worse if the economies in Asia continue to get worse and flood 
our markets with low-quality products. So with that, I hope 
that we can come up with a solution. I yield back the balance 
of my time.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentleman's time has expired. 
Are there further amendments? If not, the Chair recognizes the 
gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Barcia, to make a motion to report 
the bill.
    Mr. Barcia. So moved, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The question is on the motion and 
the Chair notes the presence of a reporting quorum. All of 
those in favor will signify by saying aye.
    Opposed, no.
    The ayes have it, and the bill is reported.
    Without objection, the Minority will be given the 
appropriate number of days to file dissenting, additional, or 
supplemental views; without objection the bill will be reported 
in the form of a single Amendment in the Nature of a 
Substitute; and without objection, the Chair is given 
permission to make appropriate motions to go to conference 
pursuant to House Rule 20.