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110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     110-828

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



 
    SCIENTIFIC TRANSFORMATIONS THROUGH ADVANCING RESEARCH (STAR) ACT

                                _______
                                

 September 8, 2008.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, from the Committee on Homeland Security, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 5743]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Homeland Security, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 5743) to provide the Secretary of Homeland Security 
with the authority to procure real property and accept in-kind 
donations, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     1
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     2
Committee Consideration..........................................     2
Committee Votes..................................................     2
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     2
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     2
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     3
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     3
Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
  Benefits.......................................................     4
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     4
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     4
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     4
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     4
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     4
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     5

                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    The purpose of H.R. 5743 is to provide the Secretary of 
Homeland Security with the authority to procure real property 
and accept in-kind donations.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    This bill grants the Secretary of Homeland Security the 
administrative power to accept and use donations of property, 
laboratory facilities, and utilities in order to facilitate 
scientific research and other purposes. The impetus for the 
bill is to grant the Department of Homeland Security 
(Department) its own land and property acquisition authority, 
rather than its current requirement to work through the General 
Services Administration (GSA). There are multiple pending 
pieces of legislation that contain the same or similar 
provisions, but all have stalled for non-substantive reasons. 
This legislation would reduce the levels of interagency 
bureaucracy and the time required for the Department to procure 
and accept donated real estate, goods, and other services in 
order to construct much needed facilities to pursue the 
Department's vital mission. This legislation does not authorize 
any particular research or development activities.

                                HEARINGS

    No hearings were held on H.R. 5743.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    H.R. 5743 was introduced in the House on April 9, 2008, by 
Mr. Broun of Georgia and referred solely to the Committee on 
Homeland Security. Within the Committee H.R. 5743 was referred 
to the Subcommittee on Management, Investigations, and 
Oversight.
    On June 26, 2008, the Chairman discharged the Subcommittee 
on Management, Investigations, and Oversight from further 
consideration of H.R. 5743. The Committee then proceeded to the 
consideration of H.R. 5743 and ordered the measure to be 
reported to the House favorably, without amendment, by voice 
vote.

                            COMMITTEE VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the recorded 
votes on the motion to report legislation and amendments 
thereto.
    No recorded votes were requested during Committee 
consideration.

                      COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee has held oversight 
hearings and made findings that are reflected in this report.

   NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY, ENTITLEMENT AUTHORITY, AND TAX EXPENDITURES

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that H.R. 
5743, the Scientific Transformations through Advancing Research 
(STAR) Act, would result in no new or increased budget 
authority, entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or 
revenues.

                  CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ESTIMATE

     The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate prepared 
by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                   Washington, DC, August 18, 2008.
Hon. Bennie G. Thompson,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 5743, the 
Scientific Transformations through Advancing Research (STAR) 
Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                          Peter H. Fontaine
                                   (For Peter R. Orszag, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 5743--Scientific Transformations through Advancing Research (STAR) 
        Act

    H.R. 5743 would allow the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS) to accept and use donations of real property, personal 
property, laboratory and office space, utility services, and 
infrastructure upgrades for the purposes of carrying out 
research and related activities. Based on information from DHS, 
CBO expects that the agency would receive some donations of 
equipment and property for research related to homeland 
security. Monetary gifts are classified in the budget as 
revenues, and spending of such sums would constitute direct 
spending. CBO estimates that the receipt and use of any 
donations would have a negligible net budgetary impact.
    H.R. 5743 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Matthew 
Pickford and Mark Grabowicz. This estimate was approved by 
Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

         STATEMENT OF GENERAL PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

     Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, H.R. 5743 contains the following 
general performance goals, and objectives, including outcome 
related goals and objectives authorized.
    H.R. 5743 will give the Secretary of Homeland Security 
direct authority to accept donated real property, goods, and 
other services to further advance scientific research and 
conduct operations vital to the Department's mission. This bill 
will streamline the ability of the Secretary to move forward 
with projects if property, goods, or services are donated for 
such a facility. This legislation does not grant any 
authorities beyond those held by the General Services 
Administration nor does it affect the Secretary's authority for 
non-real estate procurement. Further, this legislation does not 
authorize specific research and development activities.

   CONGRESSIONAL EARMARKS, LIMITED TAX BENEFITS, AND LIMITED TARIFF 
                                BENEFITS

     In compliance with rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, this bill, as reported, contains no 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of the Rule 
XXI.

                       FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that the 
Constitutional authority for this legislation is provided in 
Article I, section 8, clause 1, which grants Congress the power 
to provide for the common Defense of the United States.

                  APPLICABILITY TO LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

     The Committee finds that the legislation 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.

             SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF THE LEGISLATION

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 designates the bill as the ``Scientific 
Transformations through Advancing Research (STAR) Act''.

Section 2. Authority of Secretary of Homeland Security to procure real 
        property and accept in-kind donations

    This section authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security 
to accept and use donations of real property and office and 
laboratory space and other donations for the purposes of 
carrying out basic, applied and advanced research, development, 
testing and evaluation and related activities.
    This section enables the Secretary to streamline the 
procurement process by granting the Department its own 
authority to accept real estate, goods, and other services 
rather than having to procure property and facilities through 
the GSA. This legislation does not grant any authorities beyond 
those held by the GSA nor does it affect the Secretary's 
authority for non-real estate procurement. This legislation 
does not authorize any specific research or development 
activities or operations.

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    No changes are made to existing law.