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107th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     107-477

======================================================================



 
                   EMBASSY EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION ACT

                                _______
                                

  May 20, 2002.--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 the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3375]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 3375) to provide compensation for the United States 
citizens who were victims of the bombings of United States 
embassies in East Africa on August 7, 1998, on the same basis 
as compensation is provided to victims of the terrorist-related 
aircraft crashes on September 11, 2001, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     1
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     2
Hearings.........................................................     2
Committee Consideration..........................................     2
Vote of the Committee............................................     2
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     2
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     3
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     3
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     3
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion.......................     5
Markup Transcript................................................     7

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 3375, the ``Embassy Employee Compensation Act'' 
directs the Attorney General to provide compensation for those 
American citizens who were victims of the bombings of the 
United States Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, and of the United 
States Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on August 7, 1998, 
through the Special Master appointed to administer the 
September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001. The bill would 
authorize payments for physical harm, economic losses and 
noneconomic losses, such as physical and emotional pain and 
loss of enjoyment of life, for individuals present at either of 
the bombings or their immediate aftermath. These are the same 
standards for payment that are applied to individuals receiving 
payment under the September 11th Fund. In the case of a 
deceased individual, the bill would allow relatives of that 
individual to be compensated.
    If a claim is filed under the act, all rights are waived to 
participate in civil suits in any Federal or State court for 
damages sustained in the bombings with the exception of suits 
that involve recovery of ``collateral source'' obligations such 
as life insurance, pension funds, death benefit programs and 
payments by Federal, State and local governments. Punitive 
damages may not be awarded under the act. Additionally, any 
award from the fund will be reduced by any other amount of 
compensation the claimant has received or is entitled to 
receive as a result of the bombings.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    On September 22, 2001, the ``September 11th Victim 
Compensation Fund of 2001,'' was signed into law.\1\ That fund 
created a compensation program, administered by the Attorney 
General through a Special Master, for any individual who was 
injured or killed as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft 
crashes of September 11, 2001.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Pub. L. No. 107-42.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On August 7, 1998, agents of Osama bin Laden orchestrated 
near simultaneous vehicular bombings of the U.S. embassies in 
Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. These terrorist 
incidents cost the lives of over 220 persons and wounded more 
than 4,000 others. Twelve American U.S. Government employees 
and family members were among those killed.
    As a matter of fairness and equity, the bombing victims at 
the U.S. embassies should have access to the same compensation 
system as those killed and injured during the September 11th 
attacks on U.S. targets by agents of Osama bin Laden.

                                Hearings

    No hearings were held on H.R. 3375.

                        Committee Consideration

    On April 24, 2002, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered favorably reported the bill H.R. 3375 without amendment 
by voice vote, a quorum being present.

                         Vote of the Committee

    There were no recorded votes on H.R. 3375.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee reports that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    H.R. 3375 will provide the victims of the bombing of the 
U.S. embassies access to the same compensation system that is 
available to those killed and injured during the September 11th 
attacks on U.S. targets by agents of Osama bin Laden.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of House rule XIII is applicable because 
this legislation provides new budgetary authority.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets forth, with 
respect to the bill, H.R. 3375, the following estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, May 20, 2002.
Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., Chairman,
Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman:
    The Congressional Budget Office has prepared the enclosed 
cost estimate for H.R. 3375, the Embassy Employee Compensation 
Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Lanette J. 
Walker, who can be reached at 226-2860.
            Sincerely,
                                  Dan L. Crippen, Director.

Enclosure

cc:
        Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
        Ranking Member
H.R. 3375--Embassy Employee Compensation Act.

                                SUMMARY

    H.R. 3375 would authorize the Special Master administering 
the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund to provide monetary 
compensation to U.S. citizens that were injured, and to the 
families of those killed, in the embassy bombings in East 
Africa on August 7, 1998. Compensation would be for economic 
and noneconomic losses (including pain, suffering, and loss of 
companionship). Based on information from the State Department, 
and on the regulations established for the September 11th 
Victim Compensation Fund, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3375 
would cost about $10 million to compensate those bombing 
victims and relatives. We expect that those payments would be 
made in fiscal year 2003. Because enactment of H.R. 3375 would 
affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures would apply.
    H.R. 3375 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on State, local, or tribal 
governments.

                ESTIMATED COST TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

    The estimated budgetary impact of H.R. 3375 is shown in the 
following table. The cost of this legislation falls within 
budget function 750 (administration of justice).


                           BASIS OF ESTIMATE

    H.R. 3375 would direct the Special Master to issue 
regulations for accepting claims and hearing evidence within 90 
days of enactment of H.R. 3375. The Special Master would then 
have 140 days following the submission of a claim to determine 
the amount of compensation and pay the claim.
    Based on background information about the 12 deceased 
victims, and 16 of the injured victims, and considering the 
regulations published for the September 11th Victim 
Compensation Fund, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3375 would 
cost $10 million over the 2003-2007 period to compensate the 
victims and the families.
    Under the bill, the amount of compensation payable from the 
fund will be reduced by the amount of compensation victims 
receive from other sources--for example, life insurance, 
pension funds, death benefit programs, and other government 
payments related to the bombings. CBO has no information about 
the specific circumstances of any particular victims of the 
embassy bombings in East Africa, nor does it have any basis for 
judging how much compensation any individual victim or victim's 
family would receive. For the purposes of this estimate, CBO 
has assumed that the Special Master would provide compensation 
in amounts similar to those indicated in the regulations for 
the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund.
    Using that information, CBO estimates that the families of 
the 12 deceased victims would be entitled to payments averaging 
about $1.5 million before reductions for the compensation 
received from collateral sources. Based on information from the 
State Department about the likely amounts of such compensation 
under current law, CBO estimates that net payments to families 
of the deceased victims would total about $5 million.
    The bill also would compensate victims that were injured. 
According to the State Department, 16 U.S. citizens were 
evacuated to Europe for treatment of injuries resulting from 
the bombings, and some additional victims received medical 
treatment locally. Payments for each victim would be determined 
by the particular circumstances of that victim. CBO has no 
information on the severity of the injures, nor the degree of 
disability suffered, but we assume that these victims would 
receive compensation averaging between $100,000 and $200,000, 
for total payments of about $5 million. Compensation for these 
victims could be significantly higher if many of them were 
severely injured.

                      PAY-AS-YOU-GO CONSIDERATIONS

    The Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act sets 
up pay-as-you-go procedures for legislation affecting direct 
spending or receipts. The changes in direct spending that would 
be subject to pay-as-you-go procedures are shown in the 
following table.


              INTERGOVERNMENTAL AND PRIVATE-SECTOR IMPACT

    H.R. 3375 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in UMRA and would impose no cost on State, 
local, or tribal governments.

                         ESTIMATE PREPARED BY:

Federal Costs: Lanette J. Walker (226-2860)
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Angela Seitz 
    (225-3220)
Impact on the Private Sector: Paige Piper/Bach (226-2940)

                         ESTIMATE APPROVED BY:

Peter H. Fontaine
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds the authority for 
this legislation in article 1, section 8 of the Constitution.

               Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion

Sec. 1. Short Title
    This section establishes the short title of the act as the 
``Embassy Employee Compensation Act.''
Sec. 2. Definitions
    This section defines the terms ``claimant,'' ``collateral 
source,'' ``economic loss,'' ``eligible individual,'' 
``noneconomic losses,'' and ``Special Master'' for purposes of 
the act.
Sec. 3. Purpose
    This section states that the purpose of the act is to 
provide compensation to individuals or their family who were 
injured or killed as a result of the bombings of the U.S. 
embassies on August 7, 1998.
Sec. 4. Administration
    Subsection 4(a) provides that the Attorney General, through 
the Special Master, will administer the established 
compensation act; promulgate procedural and substantive rules 
for that administration; and employ and supervise necessary 
personnel to fulfill the duties of the Special Master.
    Subsection 4(b) authorizes the appropriation of such sums 
as are necessary to pay administrative and support costs for 
the Special Master to carry out the act.
Sec. 5. Determination of Eligibility for Compensation
    Subsection 5(a) provides that a claimant can file a claim 
for compensation under the act with the Special Master. That 
claim shall be filed on a form developed by the Special Master 
which the claimant will be able to file electronically (if 
practical). The information requested by the form will include 
information concerning the physical harm suffered, the economic 
and noneconomic losses suffered; and the collateral sources of 
compensation which the claimant has received or is entitled to 
receive as a result of the bombings. In the case of a claim 
filed on behalf of a deceased individual, the form will require 
information confirming the decedent's death as a result of the 
August 7, 1998, bombings. The subsection provides that no claim 
under the act may be filed after the date that is 2 years after 
the date regulations necessary to the act are promulgated.
    Subsection 5(b) provides that the Special Master review 
claims and first determines the claimant's eligibility. Once 
eligibility has been confirmed, the Special Master is to 
determine the extent of harm done to the claimant and the 
amount of compensation they are entitled to based on the harm 
done; facts of the claim; and individual circumstances of the 
claimant. When evaluating a claim, the Special Master will not 
consider negligence with respect to the claimant. The review 
and determination of the claim must be completed within 120 
days after the date the claim is filed. The Special Master will 
provide written notice of the final determination and the basis 
for that determination to the claimant within that timeframe. 
The Special Master's determination is final and not subject to 
judicial review. The claimants will have the right to be 
represented by an attorney, and to present written evidence and 
witnesses to support their claim. They will also retain due 
process rights that are deemed appropriate by the Special 
Master. The act does not allow for the granting of any punitive 
damages. Any amounts received under the act are to be reduced 
by the amount of any collateral source compensation the 
claimant has received or is entitled to as a result of the 
bombings.
    Subsection 5(c) provides that an individual will be 
considered eligible for compensation if he is a citizen of the 
United States who was present at the embassies at the time or 
the bombings or in the immediate aftermath and suffered 
physical harm or death as a result. In the case of a decedent, 
the personal representative of the decedent will be considered 
an eligible individual. The subsection further provides that no 
more than one claim may be filed by an one individual or on 
behalf of a deceased individual. Upon the filing of a claim, 
the individual waives all rights to file a civil action or be a 
party to an action in Federal or State court for damages 
resulting from the bombings. If an individual is a party to a 
civil action at the time of enactment of this act, they are 
prohibited from filing a claim under the act unless they 
withdraw from that civil action within 90 days after the 
regulation have been promulgated for the act. These 
restrictions do not apply to civil actions to recover 
collateral source compensation.
Sec. 6. Payments to Eligible Individuals
    Subsection 6(a) provides that the Special Master must 
authorize payments to an eligible claimant of the amount they 
have been deemed eligible to receive under that act not later 
than 20 days after the date on which the determination of that 
amount has been made.
    Subsection 6(b) provides that the payments under the act 
are to be made through direct spending.
    Subsection 6(c) provides that the Attorney General is 
authorized to accept contributions by individuals, business 
concerns, and other entities to carry out the act. The Attorney 
General may impose any terms or conditions on those 
contributions that are appropriate. The contributed funds are 
to be used prior to any appropriated amounts for carrying out 
the act.
Sec. 7. Regulations
    Section 7 provides that the Attorney General, through the 
Special Master will promulgate regulations to carry out the act 
within 90 days after enactment. There will be regulations 
promulgated with respect to the forms to be used for submission 
of a claim, the information to be included in those forms, the 
procedures for hearing and presentation of evidence, procedures 
for assisting potential claimants in the filing and pursuit of 
a claim, and other matters which the Attorney General deems 
necessary to carry out the act.
Sec. 8. Right of Subrogation
    Section 8 provides that the United States has the right of 
subrogation with respect to any claim paid from U.S. funds 
under this act.

                           Markup Transcript



                            BUSINESS MEETING

                       WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 2002

                  House of Representatives,
                                Committee on the Judiciary,
                                                    Washington, DC.
    The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:09 a.m., in 
Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. F. James 
Sensenbrenner, Jr. [Chairman of the Committee] presiding.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. [Presiding.] The Committee will be 
in order.
    [Intervening business.]
    Now, pursuant to notice, I call up the bill H.R. 3375, the 
``Embassy Employee Compensation Act,'' for purposes of markup 
and move its favorable recommendation to the House. Without 
objection, the bill will be considered as read and open for 
amendment at any point.
    [The bill, H.R. 3375, follows:]
      
      

  


      
      

  


      
      

  


      
      

  


      
      

  


      
      

  


      
      

  


      
      

  


      
      

  


      
      

  


      
      

  


    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The Chair recognizes the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania, Mr. Gekas, Chairman of the Subcommittee on 
Immigration and Claims, for 5 minutes to explain the bill.
    Mr. Gekas. I thank the Chair.
    As everyone recalls, after September the 11th, Congress 
created the Special Victim Compensation Fund to cover the 
victims of September the 11th. What this bill does is hark back 
to August the 7th when the embassies at Nairobi, Kenya, and in 
Tanzania were terrorized by the adherents of Osama bin Laden, 
and extensive damage and deaths occurred as a result of those 
two terror incidents.
    This bill seeks to add--to constitute a real add-on to the 
already existing Victims Compensation Fund, and so that the 
Attorney General, in pursuing the compensation for September 
the 11th, under this bill now will add through the Special 
Master consideration of the victims of those two embassy 
bombings.
    I yield back the balance of my time.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentlewoman from Texas, Ms. 
Jackson Lee, wish to move to strike the last word, with the 
admonition about drifting-away reporting quorum.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am 
conscious of that.
    Let me quickly say that I'd like to thank the Chairman and 
particularly thank Congresswoman Waters for being persistent in 
this issue and for leading us on this bill. H.R. 3375 would 
provide compensation for United States citizens who were 
victims of the bombings of the United States Embassies in East 
Africa on August 7, 1998, on the same basis as compensation 
provided to victims of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes 
on September 11th.
    I simply want to say that this has been a long journey. 
It's a very fair compensation act. It responds to the servants 
that serve us around the world. And I hope that this will be 
moved expeditiously through this Committee and am pleased to 
offer my support for this legislation, H.R. 3375.
    I yield back.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentlewoman from California?
    Ms. Waters. I'd like to thank all of the Members who have 
been involved with bringing this legislation before us. This 
poor family of the victims have been working on this for such a 
long time. I attempted to amend the USA PATRIOT Act. That did 
not work. But this will work. It is the right thing to do.
    You've heard a description about what happened in Kenya and 
Tanzania, and I think everyone will agree that this is long-
delayed compensation that we must all give support to.
    So I will yield back the balance of my time.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Without objection, Members will be 
authorized to insert opening statements in the record at this 
point.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Flake follows:]
  Prepared Statement of the Honorable Jeff Flake, a Representative in 

                   Congress From the State of Arizona

    Mr. Chairman, I am compelled to note my concerns about H.R. 3375, 
the Embassy Employee Compensation Act. The bill would compensate U.S. 
victims of bombings of embassies in East Africa in August 1998 on the 
same basis as compensation was provided to victims of the terrorist 
attacks on September 11, 2001. While at first glance this seems to be a 
noble and inoffensive gesture, the bill is setting a questionable 
precedent. Certainly, other individuals have suffered greatly due to 
terrorism. The 168 victims of domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh who 
died in the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City are but one 
example. To compensate victims in a piecemeal fashion through the 
legislative process does not pay proper tribute to all victims of 
terror and their families.
    The State Department was directed by Congress in last year's bill 
appropriating funds for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State 
and the Judiciary to come up with a fair and comprehensive scheme for 
compensating all victims of terrorism. A proposal has been sent to the 
Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Justice, where it 
is awaiting approval. This proposal would direct the Foreign Claims 
Settlement Commission to administer the program, which would be funded 
by both federal funds and funds recouped by international courts from 
terrorists. There would be a cap on the awards but, unlike the 
September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, victims could accept money from 
other sources without negatively impacting the monies they receive from 
the fund.
    Instead of pursuing narrow legislative actions, Congress should 
pressure the Administration to move forward with development of a 
comprehensive plan to compensate all victims of terror. This is a far 
fairer and more judicious approach to the compensation of victims of 
terror.

    [The prepared statement of Ms. Jackson Lee follows:]
    
    
    Are there any amendments? If there are none, the Chair 
notes the presence of a reporting quorum. The question is on 
the motion to report the bill----
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Mr. Chairman? I don't know, Mr. Nadler was 
en route to try and offer something. Is he coming around the 
corner?
    [Pause.]
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The question occurs on the motion 
to report the bill H.R. 3375 favorably. All those in favor will 
say aye? Opposed, no?
    The ayes appear to have it. The ayes have it, and the bill 
is reported favorably. Without objection, the Chairman is 
authorized to move to go to conference pursuant to House rules. 
Without objection, the staff is directed to make any technical 
and conforming changes, and all Members will be given 2 days, 
as provided by House rules, in which to submit additional 
dissenting, supplemental, or minority views.
    The Chair would like to get through the three private bills 
that are here before we break and before the reporting quorum 
leaves. The gentleman from Florida?
    Mr. Wexler. May I just take 30 seconds? Mr. Nadler was 
going to offer an amendment that included in the opportunity to 
have a remedy those employees of the U.S. Embassy who are not 
American citizens, which my understanding is comparable to what 
was done for non-citizens that were victims of the September 
11th attack in the World Trade Center. And I just offer that as 
an observation, and maybe we then could do it on the floor.