Report text available as:

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

115th Congress    }                                    {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                    {      115-227

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

 
 GRANTING THE CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF CONGRESS FOR THE COMMONWEALTH OF 
VIRGINIA, THE STATE OF MARYLAND, AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TO ENTER 
    INTO A COMPACT RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE WASHINGTON 
                      METRORAIL SAFETY COMMISSION

                                _______
                                

 July 17, 2017.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Goodlatte, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                      [To accompany H.J. Res. 76]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
joint resolution (H. J. Res. 76) granting the consent and 
approval of Congress for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the 
State of Maryland, and the District of Columbia to enter into a 
compact relating to the establishment of the Washington 
Metrorail Safety Commission, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the 
joint resolution as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
The Amendment....................................................     1
Purpose and Summary..............................................     8
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     9
Hearings.........................................................    10
Committee Consideration..........................................    10
Committee Votes..................................................    10
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................    10
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................    10
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................    10
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................    12
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................    12
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................    12
Advisory on Earmarks.............................................    12
Section-by-Section Analysis......................................    12

                             The Amendment

    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike all after the resolving clause and insert the 
following:

                    consent and approval of congress
  Section 1. The consent and approval of Congress is hereby given for 
the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland, and the District 
of Columbia to enter into a compact for the safety oversight of the 
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Metrorail system (known 
as the Metrorail Safety Commission Interstate Compact), which has been 
negotiated by representatives of the State, the Commonwealth, and the 
District, substantially as follows:

                              ``ARTICLE I

                             ``DEFINITIONS

  ``1. As used in this MSC Compact, the following words and terms shall 
have the meanings set forth below, unless the context clearly requires 
a different meaning. Capitalized terms used herein, but not otherwise 
defined in this MSC Compact, shall have the definition set forth in 
regulations issued under 49 U.S.C. Sec.  5329, as they may be revised 
from time to time.
          ``(a) `Alternate Member' means an alternate member of the 
        Board;
          ``(b) `Board' means the board of directors of the Commission;
          ``(c) `Commission' means the Washington Metrorail Safety 
        Commission;
          ``(d) `Member' means a member of the Board;
          ``(e) `MSC Compact' means this Washington Metrorail Safety 
        Commission Interstate Compact;
          ``(f) `Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan' means the 
        comprehensive agency safety plan for a rail transit agency 
        required by 49 U.S.C. Sec.  5329 and the regulations issued 
        thereunder, as may be amended or revised from time to time;
          ``(g) `Public Transportation Safety Certification Training 
        Program' means the federal certification training program, as 
        established and amended from time to time by applicable federal 
        laws and regulations, for federal and state employees, or other 
        designated personnel, who conduct safety audits and 
        examinations of public transportation systems, and employees of 
        public transportation agencies directly responsible for safety 
        oversight;
          ``(h) `Safety Sensitive Position' means any position held by 
        a WMATA employee or contractor designated in the Public 
        Transportation Agency Safety Plan for the WMATA Rail System and 
        approved by the Commission as directly or indirectly affecting 
        the safety of the passengers or employees of the WMATA Rail 
        System;
          ``(i) `Signatory' means the State of Maryland, the 
        Commonwealth of Virginia, and the District of Columbia;
          ``(j) `State', `state', or `jurisdiction' means the District 
        of Columbia, the State of Maryland, or the Commonwealth of 
        Virginia;
          ``(k) `Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority' or 
        `WMATA' is the entity created by the WMATA Compact, which 
        entity is responsible for providing certain rail fixed guideway 
        public transportation system services;
          ``(l) `WMATA Compact' means the Washington Metropolitan Area 
        Transit Authority Compact, approved November 6, 1966 (80 Stat. 
        1324; D.C. Official Code Sec.  9-1107.01 et seq.); and
          ``(m) `WMATA Rail System' or `Metrorail' means the rail fixed 
        guideway public transportation system and all other real and 
        personal property owned, leased, operated, or otherwise used by 
        WMATA rail services and shall include WMATA rail projects under 
        design or construction by owners other than WMATA.

                              ``ARTICLE II

                        ``PURPOSE AND FUNCTIONS

  ``2. The Signatories to the WMATA Compact hereby adopt this MSC 
Compact pursuant to 49 U.S.C. Sec.  5329. The Commission created 
hereunder shall have safety regulatory and enforcement authority over 
the WMATA Rail System and shall act as the state safety oversight 
authority for WMATA under 49 U.S.C. Sec.  5329, as may be amended from 
time to time. WMATA shall be subject to the Commission's rules, 
regulations, actions, and orders.
  ``3. The purpose of this MSC Compact is to create a state safety 
oversight authority for the WMATA Rail System, pursuant to the mandate 
of federal law, as a common agency of each Signatory, empowered in the 
manner hereinafter set forth to review, approve, oversee, and enforce 
the safety of the WMATA Rail System, including, without limitation, to:
          ``(a) Have exclusive safety oversight authority and 
        responsibility over the WMATA Rail System pursuant to federal 
        law, including, without limitation, the power to restrict, 
        suspend, or prohibit rail service on all or part of the WMATA 
        Rail System as set forth in this MSC Compact;
          ``(b) Develop and adopt a written state safety oversight 
        program standard;
          ``(c) Review and approve the WMATA Public Transportation 
        Agency Safety Plan;
          ``(d) Investigate hazards, incidents, and accidents on the 
        WMATA Rail System;
          ``(e) Require, review, approve, oversee, and enforce 
        Corrective Action Plans developed by WMATA; and
          ``(f) Meet other requirements of federal and State law 
        relating to safety oversight of the WMATA Rail System.

                             ``ARTICLE III

                    ``ESTABLISHMENT AND ORGANIZATION

  ``A. Washington Metrorail Safety Commission
  ``4. The Commission is hereby created as an instrumentality of each 
Signatory, which shall be a public body corporate and politic, and 
which shall have the powers and duties set forth in this MSC Compact.
  ``5. The Commission shall be financially and legally independent from 
WMATA.
  ``B. Board Membership
  ``6. The Commission shall be governed by a Board of 6 Members with 2 
Members appointed or reappointed (including to fill an unexpired term) 
by each Signatory pursuant to the Signatory's applicable laws.
  ``7. Each Signatory shall also appoint or reappoint (including to 
fill an unexpired term) one Alternate Member pursuant to the 
Signatory's applicable laws.
  ``8. An Alternate Member shall participate and take action as a 
Member only in the absence of one or both Members appointed from the 
same jurisdiction as the Alternate Member's appointing jurisdiction 
and, in such instances, may cast a single vote.
  ``9. Members and Alternate Members shall have backgrounds in transit 
safety, transportation, relevant engineering disciplines, or public 
finance.
  ``10. No Member or Alternate Member shall simultaneously hold an 
elected public office, serve on the WMATA board of directors, be 
employed by WMATA, or be a contractor to WMATA.
  ``11. Each Member and Alternate Member shall serve a 4-year term and 
may be reappointed for additional terms; except that, each Signatory 
shall make its initial appointments as follows:
          ``(a) One Member shall be appointed for a 4-year term;
          ``(b) One Member shall be appointed for a 2-year term; and
          ``(c) The Alternate Member shall be appointed for a 3-year 
        term.
  ``12. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve for the 
unexpired term.
  ``13. Members and Alternate Members shall be entitled to 
reimbursement for reasonable and necessary expenses and shall be 
compensated for each day spent meeting on the business of the 
Commission at a rate of $200 per day or at such other rate as may be 
adjusted in appropriations approved by all of the Signatories.
  ``14. A Member or an Alternate Member may be removed or suspended 
from office only for cause in accordance with the laws of such Member's 
or Alternate Member's appointing jurisdiction.
  ``C. Quorum and Actions of the Board
  ``15. Four Members shall constitute a quorum, and the affirmative 
vote of 4 Members is required for action of the Board. Quorum and 
voting requirements under this paragraph may be met with one or more 
Alternate Members pursuant to section 8.
  ``16. The Commission action shall become effective upon enactment 
unless otherwise provided for by the Commission.
  ``D. Oath of Office
  ``17. Before entering office, each Member and Alternate Member shall 
take and subscribe to the following oath (or affirmation) of office or 
any such other oath or affirmation as the constitution or laws of the 
Signatory he or she represents shall provide:
  ``I, ___________, hereby solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will 
support and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States 
as a Member (or Alternate Member) of the Board of the Washington 
Metrorail Safety Commission and will faithfully discharge the duties of 
the office upon which I am about to enter.
  ``E. Organization and Procedure
  ``18. The Board shall provide for its own organization and procedure. 
Meetings of the Board shall be held as frequently as the Board 
determines, but in no event less than quarterly. The Board shall keep 
minutes of its meetings and establish rules and regulations governing 
its transactions and internal affairs, including, without limitation, 
policies regarding records retention that are not in conflict with 
applicable federal record retention laws.
  ``19. The Commission shall keep commercially reasonable records of 
its financial transactions in accordance with accounting principles 
generally accepted in the United States of America.
  ``20. The Commission shall establish an office for the conduct of its 
affairs at a location to be determined by the Commission.
  ``21. The Commission shall adopt 5 U.S.C. Sec.  552(a)-(d) and (g), 
and 5 U.S.C. Sec.  552b, as both may be amended from time to time, as 
its freedom-of-information policy and open-meeting policy, 
respectively, and shall not be subject to the comparable laws or 
policies of any Signatory.
  ``22. Reports of investigations or inquiries adopted by the Board 
shall be made publicly available.
  ``23. The Commission shall adopt a policy on conflict of interest 
that shall be consistent with the regulations issued under 49 U.S.C. 
Sec.  5329, as they may be revised from time to time, which, among 
other things, places appropriate separation between Members, officers, 
employees, contractors, and agents of the Commission and WMATA.
  ``24. The Commission shall adopt and utilize its own administrative 
procedure and procurement policies in conformance with applicable 
federal regulations and shall not be subject to the administrative 
procedure or procurement laws of any Signatory.
  ``F. Officers and Employees
  ``25. The Board shall elect a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, and 
Treasurer from among its Members, each for a 2-year term and shall 
prescribe their powers and duties.
  ``26. The Board shall appoint and fix the compensation and benefits 
of a chief executive officer who shall be the chief administrative 
officer of the Commission and who shall have expertise in 
transportation safety and one or more industry-recognized 
transportation safety certifications.
  ``27. Consistent with 49 U.S.C. Sec.  5329, as may be amended from 
time to time, the Commission may employ, under the direction of the 
chief executive officer, such other technical, legal, clerical, and 
other employees on a regular, part-time, or as-needed basis as it 
determines necessary or desirable for the discharge of its duties.
  ``28. The Commission shall not be bound by any statute or regulation 
of any Signatory in the employment or discharge of any officer or 
employee of the Commission, but shall develop its own policies in 
compliance with federal law. The MSC shall, however, consider the laws 
of the Signatories in devising its employment and discharge policies, 
and when it deems it practical, devise policies consistent with the 
laws of the Signatories.
  ``29. The Board may fix and provide policies for the qualification, 
appointment, removal, term, tenure, compensation benefits, worker's 
compensation, pension, and retirement rights of its employees subject 
to federal law. The Board may also establish a personnel system based 
on merit and fitness and, subject to eligibility, participate in the 
pension, retirement, and worker's compensation plans of any Signatory 
or agency or political subdivision thereof.

                              ``ARTICLE IV

                                ``POWERS

  ``A. Safety Oversight Powers
  ``30. In carrying out its purposes, the Commission, through its Board 
or designated employees or agents, shall, consistent with federal law:
  ``(a) Adopt, revise, and distribute a written State Safety Oversight 
Program;
  ``(b) Review, approve, oversee, and enforce the adoption and 
implementation of WMATA's Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan;
  ``(c) Require, review, approve, oversee, and enforce the adoption and 
implementation of any Corrective Action Plans that the Commission deems 
appropriate;
  ``(d) Implement and enforce relevant federal and State laws and 
regulations relating to safety of the WMATA Rail System; and
  ``(e) Audit every 3 years the compliance of WMATA with WMATA's Public 
Transportation Agency Safety Plan or conduct such an audit on an 
ongoing basis over a 3-year time frame.
  ``31. In performing its duties, the Commission, through its Board or 
designated employees or agents, may:
  ``(a) Conduct, or cause to be conducted, inspections, investigations, 
examinations, and testing of WMATA personnel and contractors, property, 
equipment, facilities, rolling stock, and operations of the WMATA Rail 
System, including, without limitation, electronic information and 
databases through reasonable means, which may include issuance of 
subpoenas;
  ``(b) Enter upon the WMATA Rail System and, upon reasonable notice 
and a finding by the chief executive officer that a need exists, upon 
any lands, waters, and premises adjacent to the WMATA Rail System, 
including, without limitation, property owned or occupied by the 
federal government, for the purpose of making inspections, 
investigations, examinations, and testing as the Commission may deem 
necessary to carry out the purposes of this MSC Compact, and such entry 
shall not be deemed a trespass. The Commission shall make reasonable 
reimbursement for any actual damage resulting to any such adjacent 
lands, waters, and premises as a result of such activities;
  ``(c) Compel WMATA's compliance with any Corrective Action Plan or 
order of the Commission by such means as the Commission deems 
appropriate, including, without limitation, by:
          ``(1) Taking legal action in a court of competent 
        jurisdiction;
          ``(2) Issuing citations or fines with funds going into an 
        escrow account for spending by WMATA on Commission-directed 
        safety measures;
          ``(3) Directing WMATA to prioritize spending on safety-
        critical items;
          ``(4) Removing a specific vehicle, infrastructure element, or 
        hazard from the WMATA Rail System; and
          ``(5) Compelling WMATA to restrict, suspend, or prohibit rail 
        service on all or part of the WMATA Rail System with an 
        appropriate notice period dictated by the circumstances;
  ``(d) Direct WMATA to suspend or disqualify from performing in any 
Safety Sensitive Position an individual who is alleged to or has 
violated safety rules, regulations, policies, or laws;
  ``(e) Compel WMATA's Office of the Inspector General, created under 
WMATA Board Resolution 2006-18, or any successor WMATA office or 
organization having similar duties, to conduct safety-related audits or 
investigations and to provide its findings to the Commission; and
  ``(f) Take such other actions as the Commission may deem appropriate 
consistent with its purpose and powers.
  ``32. Action by the Board under section 31(c)(5) shall require the 
unanimous vote of all Members present and voting. The Commission shall 
coordinate its enforcement activities with appropriate federal and 
State governmental authorities.
  ``B. General Powers
  ``33. In addition to the powers and duties set forth above, the 
Commission may:
  ``(a) Sue and be sued;
  ``(b) Adopt, amend, and repeal rules and regulations respecting the 
exercise of the powers conferred by this MSC Compact;
  ``(c) Create and abolish offices, employments, and positions (other 
than those specifically provided for in this MSC Compact) necessary or 
desirable for the purposes of the Commission;
  ``(d) Determine a staffing level for the Commission that is 
commensurate with the size and complexity of the WMATA Rail System, and 
require that employees and other designated personnel of the 
Commission, who are responsible for safety oversight, be qualified to 
perform such functions through appropriate training, including, without 
limitation, successful completion of the Public Transportation Safety 
Certification Training Program;
  ``(e) Contract for or employ consulting attorneys, inspectors, 
engineers, and such other experts necessary or desirable and, within 
the limitations prescribed in this MSC Compact, prescribe their powers 
and duties and fix their compensation;
  ``(f) Enter into and perform contracts, leases, and agreements 
necessary or desirable in the performance of its duties and in the 
execution of the powers granted under this MSC Compact;
  ``(g) Apply for, receive, and accept such payments, appropriations, 
grants, gifts, loans, advances, and other funds, properties, and 
services as may be transferred or made available to it by the United 
States government or any other public or private entity or individual, 
subject to the limitations specified in section 42;
  ``(h) Adopt an official seal and alter the same at its pleasure;
  ``(i) Adopt and amend by-laws, policies, and procedures governing the 
regulation of its affairs;
  ``(j) Appoint one or more advisory committees; and
  ``(k) Do such other acts necessary or desirable for the performance 
of its duties and the execution of its powers under this MSC Compact.
  ``34. Consistent with this MSC Compact, the Commission shall 
promulgate rules and regulations to carry out the purposes of this MSC 
Compact.

                              ``ARTICLE V

                          ``GENERAL PROVISIONS

  ``A. Annual Safety Report
  ``35. The Commission shall make and publish annually a status report 
on the safety of the WMATA Rail System, which shall include, among 
other requirements established by the Commission and federal law, 
status updates of outstanding Corrective Action Plans, Commission 
directives, and on-going investigations. A copy of each such report 
shall be provided to:
          ``(a) The Administrator of the Federal Transit 
        Administration;
          ``(b) The Governor of Virginia, the Governor of Maryland, and 
        the Mayor of the District of Columbia;
          ``(c) The Chairman of the Council of the District of 
        Columbia;
          ``(d) The President of the Maryland Senate and the Speaker of 
        the Maryland House of Delegates;
          ``(e) The President of the Virginia Senate and the Speaker of 
        the Virginia House of Delegates; and
          ``(f) The General Manager and each member of the board of 
        directors of WMATA.
  ``36. The Commission may prepare, publish, and distribute such other 
safety reports that it deems necessary or desirable.
  ``B. Annual Report of Operations
  ``37. The Commission shall make and publish an annual report on its 
programs, operations, and finances, which shall be distributed in the 
same manner provided by section 35.
  ``38. The Commission may also prepare, publish, and distribute such 
other public reports and informational materials as it deems necessary 
or desirable.
  ``C. Annual Independent Audit
  ``39. An independent annual audit shall be made of the financial 
accounts of the Commission. The audit shall be made by qualified 
certified public accountants selected by the Board, who shall have no 
personal interest, direct or indirect, in the financial affairs of the 
Commission or any of its officers or employees. The report of audit 
shall be prepared in accordance with generally accepted auditing 
principles and shall be distributed in the same manner provided by 
section 35. Members, employees, agents, and contractors of the 
Commission shall provide access to information necessary or desirable 
for the conduct of the annual audit.
  ``D. Financing
  ``40. The Commission's operations shall be funded, independently of 
WMATA, by the Signatory jurisdictions and, when available, by federal 
funds. The Commission shall have no authority to levy taxes.
  ``41. The Signatories shall unanimously agree on adequate funding 
levels for the Commission and make equal contributions of such funding, 
subject to annual appropriation, to cover the portion of Commission 
operations not funded by federal funds.
  ``42. The Commission may borrow up to 5% of its last annual 
appropriations budget in anticipation of receipts, or as otherwise set 
forth in the appropriations budget approved by all of the Signatories, 
from any lawful lending institution for any purpose of this MSC 
Compact, including, without limitation, for administrative expenses. 
Such loans shall be for a term not to exceed 2 years, or at such longer 
term approved by each Signatory pursuant to its laws as evidenced by 
the written authorization by the Mayor of the District of Columbia and 
the Governors of Maryland and Virginia, and at such rates of interest 
as shall be acceptable to the Commission.
  ``43. With respect to the District of Columbia, the commitment or 
obligation to render financial assistance to the Commission shall be 
created, by appropriation or in such other manner, or by such other 
legislation, as the District of Columbia shall determine; provided, 
that any such commitment or obligation shall be approved by Congress 
pursuant to the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 
24, 1973 (87 Stat. 774; D.C. Official Code Sec.  1-201.01 et seq.).
  ``44. Pursuant to the requirements of 31 U.S.C. Sec. Sec.  1341, 
1342, 1349 to 1351, and 1511 to 1519, and D.C. Official Code Sec. Sec.  
47-105 and 47-355.01 to 355.08 (collectively, the `Anti-Deficiency 
Acts'), the District cannot obligate itself to any financial commitment 
in any present or future year unless the necessary funds to pay that 
commitment have been appropriated and are lawfully available for the 
purpose committed. Thus, pursuant to the Anti-Deficiency Acts, nothing 
in the MSC Compact creates an obligation of the District in 
anticipation of an appropriation for such purpose, and the District's 
legal liability for the payment of any amount under this MSC Compact 
does not and may not arise or obtain in advance of the lawful 
availability of appropriated funds for the applicable fiscal year.
  ``E. Tax Exemption
  ``45. The exercise of the powers granted by this MSC Compact shall in 
all respects be for the benefit of the people of the District of 
Columbia, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the State of Maryland and 
for the increase of their safety, commerce, and prosperity, and as the 
activities associated with this MSC Compact shall constitute the 
performance of essential governmental functions, the Commission shall 
not be required to pay any taxes or assessments upon the services or 
any property acquired or used by the Commission under the provisions of 
this MSC Compact or upon the income therefrom, and shall at all times 
be free from taxation within the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth 
of Virginia, and the State of Maryland.
  ``F. Reconsideration of Commission Orders
  ``46. WMATA shall have the right to petition the Commission for 
reconsideration of an order based on rules and procedures developed by 
the Commission.
  ``47. Consistent with section 16, the filing of a petition for 
reconsideration shall not act as a stay upon the execution of a 
Commission order, or any part of it, unless the Commission orders 
otherwise. WMATA may appeal any adverse action on a petition for 
reconsideration as set forth in section 48.
  ``G. Judicial Matters
  ``48. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of 
Virginia, Alexandria Division, the United States District Court for the 
District of Maryland, Southern Division, and the United States District 
Court for the District of Columbia shall have exclusive and original 
jurisdiction of all actions brought by or against the Commission and to 
enforce subpoenas under this MSC Compact.
  ``49. The commencement of a judicial proceeding shall not operate as 
a stay of a Commission order unless specifically ordered by the court.
  ``H. Liability and Indemnification
  ``50. The Commission and its Members, Alternate Members, officers, 
agents, employees, or representatives shall not be liable for suit or 
action or for any judgment or decree for damages, loss, or injury 
resulting from action taken within the scope of their employment or 
duties under this MSC Compact, nor required in any case arising or any 
appeal taken under this MSC Compact to give a supersedeas bond or 
security for damages. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to 
protect such person from suit or liability for damage, loss, injury, or 
liability caused by the intentional or willful and wanton misconduct of 
such person.
  ``51. The Commission shall be liable for its contracts and for its 
torts and those of its Members, Alternate Members, officers, agents, 
employees, and representatives committed in the conduct of any 
proprietary function, in accordance with the law of the applicable 
Signatory (including, without limitation, rules on conflict of laws) 
but shall not be liable for any torts occurring in the performance of a 
governmental function. The exclusive remedy for such breach of contract 
or tort for which the Commission shall be liable, as herein provided, 
shall be by suit against the Commission. Nothing contained in this MSC 
Compact shall be construed as a waiver by the District of Columbia, the 
Commonwealth of Virginia, or the State of Maryland of any immunity from 
suit.
  ``I. Commitment of Parties
  ``52. Each of the Signatories pledges to each other faithful 
cooperation in providing safety oversight for the WMATA Rail System, 
and, to affect such purposes, agrees to consider in good faith and 
request any necessary legislation to achieve the objectives of this MSC 
Compact.
  ``J. Amendments and Supplements
  ``53. Amendments and supplements to this MSC Compact shall be adopted 
by legislative action of each of the Signatories and the consent of 
Congress. When one Signatory adopts an amendment or supplement to an 
existing section of this MSC Compact, that amendment or supplement 
shall not be immediately effective, and the previously enacted 
provision or provisions shall remain in effect in each jurisdiction 
until the amendment or supplement is approved by the other Signatories 
and is consented to by Congress.
  ``K. Withdrawal and Termination
  ``54. Any Signatory may withdraw from this MSC Compact, which action 
shall constitute a termination of this MSC Compact.
  ``55. Withdrawal from this MSC Compact shall be by a Signatory's 
repeal of this MSC Compact from its laws, but such repeal shall not 
take effect until 2 years after the effective date of the repealed 
statute and written notice of the withdrawal being given by the 
withdrawing Signatory to the governors or mayor, as appropriate, of the 
other Signatories.
  ``56. Prior to termination of this MSC Compact, the Commission shall 
provide each Signatory:
          ``(a) A mechanism for concluding the operations of the 
        Commission;
          ``(b) A proposal to maintain state safety oversight of the 
        WMATA Rail System in compliance with applicable federal law;
          ``(c) A plan to hold surplus funds in a trust for a successor 
        regulatory entity for 4 years after the termination of this MSC 
        Compact; and
          ``(d) A plan to return any surplus funds that remain 4 years 
        after the creation of the trust.
  ``L. Construction and Severability
  ``57. This MSC Compact shall be liberally construed to effectuate the 
purposes for which it is created.
  ``58. If any part or provision of this MSC Compact or the application 
thereof to any person or circumstances be adjudged invalid by any court 
of competent jurisdiction, such judgment shall be confined in its 
operation to the part, provision, or application directly involved in 
the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered and 
shall not affect or impair the validity of the remainder of this MSC 
Compact or the application thereof to other persons or circumstances, 
and the Signatories hereby declare that they would have entered into 
this MSC Compact or the remainder thereof had the invalidity of such 
provision or application thereof been apparent.
  ``M. Adoption; Effective Date
  ``59. This MSC Compact shall be adopted by the Signatories in the 
manner provided by law therefor and shall be signed and sealed in 4 
duplicate original copies. One such copy shall be filed with the 
Secretary of State of the State of Maryland, the Secretary of the 
Commonwealth of Virginia, and the Secretary of the District of Columbia 
in accordance with the laws of each jurisdiction. One copy shall be 
filed and retained in the archives of the Commission upon its 
organization. This MSC Compact shall become effective upon the 
enactment of concurring legislation by the District of Columbia, the 
Commonwealth of Virginia, and the State of Maryland, and consent 
thereto by Congress and when all other acts or actions have been taken, 
including, without limitation, the signing and execution of this MSC 
Compact by the Governors of Maryland and Virginia and the Mayor of the 
District of Columbia.
  ``N. Conflict of Laws
  ``60. Any conflict between any authority granted herein, or the 
exercise of such authority, and the provisions of the WMATA Compact 
shall be resolved in favor of the exercise of such authority by the 
Commission.
  ``61. All other general or special laws inconsistent with this MSC 
Compact are hereby declared to be inapplicable to the Commission or its 
activities.''.
                    right to alter, amend, or repeal
  Sec. 2. The right to alter, amend, or repeal this joint resolution is 
expressly reserved. The consent granted by this joint resolution shall 
not be construed as impairing or in any manner affecting any right or 
jurisdiction of the United States in and over the region that forms the 
subject of the Compact.
                     construction and severability
  Sec. 3. It is intended that the provisions of this Compact shall be 
reasonably and liberally construed to effectuate the purposes thereof. 
If any part or application of this Compact, or legislation enabling the 
Compact, is held invalid, the remainder of the Compact or its 
application to other situations or persons shall not be affected.
                       inconsistency of language
  Sec. 4. The validity of this Compact shall not be affected by any 
insubstantial differences in its form or language as adopted by the 
State of Maryland, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the District of 
Columbia.
                             effective date
  Sec. 5. This joint resolution shall take effect on the date of 
enactment of this joint resolution.

                          Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of H.J. Res. 76 is to give Congress' approval 
to the Metrorail Safety Commission Interstate Compact, a new 
interstate compact entered into by the Commonwealth of 
Virginia, the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) 
serves public transit needs throughout the Washington 
metropolitan area. In recent years, the federal government has 
provided increased funding for WMATA to effectuate safety 
improvements. Nevertheless, safety issues in the system have 
continued. For example, during the 2000s, the National 
Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated six WMATA 
incidents, including the 2009 collision of two trains near the 
Fort Totten Station that killed nine people. The NTSB 
attributed the 2009 incident to numerous causes, including: (1) 
WMATA's failure to ensure that a test, which would have 
identified a faulty circuit, was used system wide; (2) WMATA's 
lack of a ``safety culture''; (3) WMATA's failure effectively 
to maintain and monitor its automatic train control system's 
performance; (4) a contractor's failure to provide a 
maintenance plan to detect spurious signals that could cause 
WMATA's track circuit modules to malfunction; (5) the WMATA 
Board of Directors' ineffective safety oversight; (6) WMATA's 
Tri-State Oversight Committee's ineffective oversight and lack 
of safety oversight authority; and (7) lack of statutory 
authority for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to 
provide federal safety oversight. More recently, on January 12, 
2015, a train with about 400 passengers on board encountered 
heavy smoke in the tunnel between L'Enfant Plaza and the 
Potomac River Bridge and lost power to a third rail. During 
this incident, one passenger died and 91 were injured as they 
waited to be rescued. The NTSB identified as causes for the 
incident: (1) ``the failure of WMATA senior management to 
proactively assess and mitigate foreseeable safety risks''; (2) 
``inadequate safety oversight by the Tri-State Oversight 
Committee and the Federal Transit Administration''; (3) 
``WMATA's failure to follow established procedures''; and (4) 
``the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services 
Department's being unprepared to respond to a mass casualty 
event on the WMATA underground system.''
    To better address public transit safety needs, including 
WMATA's, Congress included in the Moving Ahead for Progress in 
the 21st Century Act (MAP-21; Pub. L. No. 112-141) and the 
Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act; Pub. L. 
No. 114-94) provisions strengthening the Federal Transit 
Administration's safety oversight authority and related safety 
requirements for public transit systems. Pursuant to these 
acts, the WMATA jurisdictions of Virginia, Maryland and the 
District of Columbia established, through a new ``Metrorail 
Safety Commission Interstate Compact,'' a new Washington 
Metrorail Safety Commission to act as the state safety 
oversight authority for the WMATA system. The jurisdictions 
completed in March 2017 their adoption by legislation of their 
respective compact-entry instruments. In the meanwhile, 
however, due to delays in the adoption of the instruments, the 
FTA invoked on February 9, 2017, authority to suspend the 
distribution of transit funds to the WMATA jurisdictions until 
the new safety commission was established.
    H.J. Res. 76 would grant Congress' approval to the 
Metrorail Safety Commission Interstate Compact.

                                Hearings

    The Committee on the Judiciary held no hearings on H.J. 
Res. 76.

                        Committee Consideration

    On June 14, 2017, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered the joint resolution (H.J. Res. 76) favorably reported 
with an amendment, by voice vote, a quorum being present.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that there 
were no recorded votes during the Committee's consideration of 
H.J. Res. 76.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises 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.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives is inapplicable because this legislation does 
not provide new budgetary authority or increased tax 
expenditures.

               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.J. Res. 76, 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, July 14, 2017.
Hon. Bob Goodlatte, Chairman,
Committee on the Judiciary,
U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.J. Res. 76, joint 
resolution granting the consent and approval of Congress for 
the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland, and the 
District of Columbia to enter into a compact relating to the 
establishment of the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Sarah Puro 
who can be reached at 226-2860.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
Enclosure
cc:
        Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
        Ranking Member




  H.J. Res. 76--Joint Resolution granting the consent and approval of 
 Congress for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland, and 
   the District of Columbia to enter into a compact relating to the 
      establishment of the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission


  As ordered reported by the House Committee on Judiciary on June 14, 
                                 2017.




    H.J. Res. 76 would grant Congressional consent to a compact 
establishing a safety commission for the Washington 
Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). A Congressional 
act is required for WMATA to establish a safety commission. 
Based on information from WMATA and the Federal Transit 
Administration (FTA), CBO anticipates that under H.J. Res. 76 
WMATA would certify a safety oversight agency during fiscal 
year 2018.
    Establishing this commission would bring WMATA into 
compliance with federal law that requires an independent agency 
to oversee safety at the transit authority. The FTA currently 
serves as the entity responsible for safety oversight of the 
agency and will continue to do so until the compact is approved 
and the FTA certifies that WMATA is able to provide safety 
oversight that complies with FTA guidelines. In fiscal year 
2016, the FTA spent about $6 million on safety activities for 
WMATA and will continue to incur similar costs until the WMATA 
oversight program is certified, CBO estimates. Thus, 
implementing the bill would decrease discretionary costs for 
the FTA by about $6 million a year.
    In addition, the FTA is prohibiting the states of Virginia 
and Maryland and the District of Columbia from obligating about 
$15 million that was provided in 2017 until WMATA establishes a 
safety commission. Spending for transportation programs funded 
from the Highway Trust Fund is controlled by annual limitations 
on obligations contained in appropriations acts. Section 160 of 
the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 directed that funds 
for FTA programs covered by the 2017 obligation limitation 
(including the $15 million mentioned above) will remain 
available for obligation through 2022. Upon certification, CBO 
expects that the $15 million would become available and would 
subsequently be spent over the 2018-2024 period. Because 
enacting this joint resolution would effectively make that $15 
million available, those outlays would increase direct 
spending. Therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply.
    Enacting H.J. Res. 76 would not affect revenues. The bill's 
direct spending effects are shown in the following table.

          CBO ESTIMATE OF PAY-AS-YOU-GO EFFECTS FOR H.J. RES. 76, AS ORDERED REPORTED BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY ON JUNE 14, 2017
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                    By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   2025   2026   2027  2017-2022  2017-2027
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               NET INCREASE IN THE DEFICIT
 
Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Impact.......................      0      2      4      4      2      1      1      1      0      0      0        13         15
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CBO estimates that enacting H.J. Res. 76 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.J. Res. 76 contains no intergovernmental or private-
sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
and would benefit Virginia, Maryland, and the District of 
Columbia by approving the establishment of the Washington 
Metrorail Safety Commission. Any costs incurred by those 
entities would result from conditions of federal assistance.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Sarah Puro 
(for federal costs) and Jon Sperl (for intergovernmental 
mandates). The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H.J. Res. 76 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 H.J. Res. 76 specifically 
directs to be completed no specific rule makings within the 
meaning of 5 U.S.C. Sec. 551.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H.J. 
Res. 76 grants Congress' approval to the Metrorail Safety 
Interstate Compact, facilitating safety and safety oversight 
improvements to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit 
Authority's Metrorail system.

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In accordance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.J. Res. 76 does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of Rule XXI.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    The following discussion describes the bill as reported by 
the Committee.
    Section 1. Consent and Approval of Congress. Section 1 sets 
forth the consent and approval of Congress for the Metrorail 
Safety Commission Interstate Compact, the provisions of which 
are then reproduced in the section as follows:
    Art. I: Definitions. Article I sets forth numerous 
definitions employed in the compact.
    Art. II: Purpose and Functions. Article II sets forth the 
compact's purpose as the creation of the Washington Metrorail 
Safety Commission, to ``have safety regulatory and enforcement 
authority over the WMATA Rail System and . . . act as the state 
safety oversight authority for WMATA under 49 U.S.C. 5329.'' 
The article further specifies that the Commission shall:
          (a) ``[h]ave exclusive safety oversight authority and 
        responsibility over the WMATA Rail System . . . 
        including, without limitation, the power to restrict, 
        suspend, or prohibit rail service on all or part of the 
        WMATA Rail System;''
          (b) ``[d]evelop and adopt a written state safety 
        oversight program standard;''
          (c) ``[r]eview and approve the WMATA Public 
        Transportation Agency Safety Plan;''
          (d) ``[i]nvestigate hazards, incidents, and accidents 
        on the WMATA Rail System;''
          (e) ``[r]equire, review, approve, oversee, and 
        enforce Corrective Action Plans developed by WMATA;'' 
        and
          (f) ``[m]eet other requirements of federal and State 
        law relating to safety oversight of the WMATA Rail 
        System.''
    Art. III. Establishment and Organization of the Commission. 
Article III establishes the Commission and sets forth its 
numerous organizational parameters.
    Art. IV. Powers. Article IV sets forth the Commission's 
safety oversight and general powers, consistent with the 
purposes specified in Article II.
    Art. V. General Provisions. Article V sets forth numerous 
general provisions for the Commission and concerning the 
compact, including with regard to annual safety reports, 
operations reports and audits, financing, and other matters of 
Commission and compact administration.
    Sec. 2. Right to Alter, Amend or Repeal. Section 2 
expressly reserves Congress' right to alter, amend, or repeal 
the joint resolution and provides that Congress' consent to the 
compact shall not be construed to impair or affect Congress' 
authority in and over the region forming the subject of the 
compact.
    Sec. 3. Construction and Severability. Section 3 provides a 
liberal rule of construction for the compact and a rule of 
severability to apply if one or more provisions of the compact 
or its enabling legislation are held invalid.
    Sec. 4. Inconsistency of Language. Section 4 provides that 
the compact's validity shall not be affected by insubstantial 
differences in its form or language as adopted by the separate 
WMATA jurisdictions.
    Sec. 5. Effective Date. Section 5 provides that the 
resolution shall be effective upon its enactment.

                                  [all]