Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?

113th Congress  }                                     {   Rept. 113-519
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session     }                                     {          Part 1

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



 
                    ALL CIRCUIT REVIEW EXTENSION ACT

                                _______
                                

 July 14, 2014.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Issa, from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4197]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 4197) to amend title 5, United 
States Code, to extend the period of certain authority with 
respect to judicial review of Merit Systems Protection Board 
decisions relating to whistleblowers, and for other purposes, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Committee Statement and Views....................................     2
Section-by-Section...............................................     2
Explanation of Amendments........................................     2
Committee Consideration..........................................     2
Correspondence...................................................     3
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................     6
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................     6
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     6
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     6
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     6
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................     6
Unfunded Mandate Statement.......................................     6
Earmark Identification...........................................     7
Committee Estimate...............................................     7
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...     7

                     Committee Statement and Views


                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    On November 27, 2012, the President signed the 
Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) into law (P.L. 
112-199). The WPEA contains a two year pilot program allowing 
for ``all circuit'' review of appeals of Merit Systems 
Protection Board decisions. The Federal Circuit had previously 
had exclusive jurisdiction over such appeals. But the Federal 
Circuit's overwhelming record of ruling against 
whistleblowers--a record that includes a series of questionable 
interpretations of the law--prompted Congress in the WPEA to 
create a two-year pilot program during which time appellants 
may file appeals in any circuit court of competent 
jurisdiction. That authority is set to expire November 27, 
2014. This legislation would extend that temporary authority 
for an additional three years.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Few cases have as of yet been resolved through alternative 
court venues. It is necessary to extent the duration of the 
pilot, then, in order to effectively assess its impact. 
Extending the pilot by three years will provide this Committee 
and the Congress a better understanding of whether permanent 
changes to the MSPB appeal process are warranted.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    Congressman Elijah Cummings introduced H.R. 4197, the All 
Circuit Review Extension Act, on March 11, 2014. The Committee 
by voice vote ordered the bill to be reported to the full House 
on March 12, 2014.
    The legislative history of the Whistleblower Protection 
Enhancement Act can be found in House Report 112-508.

                           Section-by-Section


Section 1. Short title

    This Act may be cited as the ``All Circuit Review Extension 
Act''.

Section 2. Judicial review of Merit Systems Protection Board decisions 
        relating to whistleblowers

    This section extends the current pilot program expiration 
date for ``all circuit'' review of whistleblower appeals from 2 
years from the date of enactment to 5 years from the date of 
enactment.

                       Explanation of Amendments

    No amendments were offered.

                        Committee Consideration

    On March 12, 2014, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered reported favorably the bill, H.R. 4197, by voice vote, 
a quorum being present.

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch where the bill relates to the terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations. 
This bill would extend the temporary authority for ``all 
circuit'' review of appeals of Merit Systems Protection Board 
decisions for an additional three years. Legislative branch 
employees and their families, to the extent that they are 
otherwise eligible for the benefits provided by this 
legislation, have equal access to its benefits.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goals and objectives are reflected in the descriptive portions 
of this report.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H.R. 4197 establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the Federal Government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that enacting H.R. 4197 does not 
direct the completion of any specific rule makings within the 
meaning of 5 U.S.C. 551.

                     Federal Advisory Committee Act

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not establish 
or authorize the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the definition of 5 U.S.C. App., Section 5(b).

                       Unfunded Mandate Statement

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandate Reform Act, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement as to 
whether the provisions of the reported include unfunded 
mandates. In compliance with this requirement the Committee has 
received a letter from the Congressional Budget Office included 
herein.

                         Earmark Identification

    H.R. 4197 does not include any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI.

                           Committee Estimate

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs that would be incurred in carrying out 
H.R. 4197. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) of that rule provides 
that this requirement does not apply when the Committee has 
included in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the 
bill prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act.

     Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause (3)(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has received 
the following cost estimate for H.R. 4197 from the Director of 
Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, April 1, 2014.
Hon. Darrell Issa,
Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4197, the All 
Circuit Review Extension Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford.
    Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 4197--All Circuit Review Extension Act

    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 4197 would have no 
significant effect on the federal budget. The legislation could 
affect direct spending by agencies not funded through the 
annual appropriations (such as the Tennessee Valley Authority); 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. CBO estimates, 
however, that any net increase in spending by those agencies 
would not be significant. Enacting the bill would not affect 
revenues.
    H.R. 4197 would extend for three years the authority for 
federal employees who appeal a judgment of the Merit Systems 
Protection Board (MSPB) to file their appeal at any federal 
court, instead of only the U.S. Court of Appeals. Based on 
information from MSPB and the Office of Special Counsel, CBO 
expects that allowing appeals to be filed in any federal 
circuit would lead to a small increase in the administrative 
burden of the MSPB and federal agencies. We estimate, however, 
that the costs associated with that increase would not be 
significant.
    H.R. 4197 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew 
Pickford. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                                  [all]