Negro Democrat reparations

Carl Spitzer cwsiv_2nd at HOTPOP.COM
Fri Feb 27 09:36:47 MST 2009


 

  

Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act
(Introduced in House)

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-40

HR 40 IH 
111th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 40
To acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and
inhumanity
of slavery in the United States and the 13 American colonies between
1619
and 1865 and to establish a commission to examine the institution of
slavery, subsequently de jure and de facto racial and economic
discrimination against African-Americans, and the impact of these forces
on
living African-Americans, to make recommendations to the Congress on
appropriate remedies, and for other purposes. 
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 

January 6, 2009
 
Mr. CONYERS (for himself and Mr. SCOTT of Virginia) introduced the
following
bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary 
  _____  
 
A BILL
To acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and
inhumanity
of slavery in the United States and the 13 American colonies between
1619
and 1865 and to establish a commission to examine the institution of
slavery, subsequently de jure and de facto racial and economic
discrimination against African-Americans, and the impact of these forces
on
living African-Americans, to make recommendations to the Congress on
appropriate remedies, and for other purposes. 
 
    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,
 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
 

    This Act may be cited as the `Commission to Study Reparation
Proposals for African-Americans Act'.
 

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
 

    (a) Findings- The Congress finds that--
 
    (1) approximately 4,000,000 Africans and their descendants were
enslaved in the United States and colonies that became the United States
from 1619 to 1865;
 
    (2) the institution of slavery was constitutionally and statutorily
sanctioned by the Government of the United States from 1789 through
1865;
 
    (3) the slavery that flourished in the United States constituted an
immoral and inhumane deprivation of Africans' life, liberty, African
citizenship rights, and cultural heritage, and denied them the fruits of
their own labor; and
 
    (4) sufficient inquiry has not been made into the effects of the
institution of slavery on living African-Americans and society in the
United
States.
 
    (b) Purpose- The purpose of this Act is to establish a commission
to--
 
    (1) examine the institution of slavery which existed from 1619
through 1865 within the United States and the colonies that became the
United States, including the extent to which the Federal and State
Governments constitutionally and statutorily supported the institution
of
slavery;
 
    (2) examine de jure and de facto discrimination against freed slaves
and their descendants from the end of the Civil War to the present,
including economic, political, and social discrimination;
 
    (3) examine the lingering negative effects of the institution of
slavery and the discrimination described in paragraph (2) on living
African-Americans and on society in the United States;
 
    (4) recommend appropriate ways to educate the American public of the
Commission's findings;
 
    (5) recommend appropriate remedies in consideration of the
Commission's findings on the matters described in paragraphs (1) and
(2);
and
 
    (6) submit to the Congress the results of such examination, together
with such recommendations.
 

SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT AND DUTIES.
 

    (a) Establishment- There is established the Commission to Study
Reparation Proposals for African-Americans (hereinafter in this Act
referred
to as the `Commission').
 
    (b) Duties- The Commission shall perform the following duties:
 
    (1) Examine the institution of slavery which existed within the
United States and the colonies that became the United States from 1619
through 1865. The Commission's examination shall include an examination
of--
 
    (A) the capture and procurement of Africans;
 
    (B) the transport of Africans to the United States and the colonies
that became the United States for the purpose of enslavement, including
their treatment during transport;
 
    (C) the sale and acquisition of Africans as chattel property in
interstate and instrastate commerce; and
 
    (D) the treatment of African slaves in the colonies and the United
States, including the deprivation of their freedom, exploitation of
their
labor, and destruction of their culture, language, religion, and
families.
 
    (2) Examine the extent to which the Federal and State governments of
the United States supported the institution of slavery in constitutional
and
statutory provisions, including the extent to which such governments
prevented, opposed, or restricted efforts of freed African slaves to
repatriate to their homeland.
 
    (3) Examine Federal and State laws that discriminated against freed
African slaves and their descendants during the period between the end
of
the Civil War and the present.
 
    (4) Examine other forms of discrimination in the public and private
sectors against freed African slaves and their descendants during the
period
between the end of the Civil War and the present.
 
    (5) Examine the lingering negative effects of the institution of
slavery and the matters described in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4)
on
living African-Americans and on society in the United States.
 
    (6) Recommend appropriate ways to educate the American public of the
Commission's findings.
 
    (7) Recommend appropriate remedies in consideration of the
Commission's findings on the matters described in paragraphs (1), (2),
(3),
and (4). In making such recommendations, the Commission shall address
among
other issues, the following questions:
 
    (A) Whether the Government of the United States should offer a
formal apology on behalf of the people of the United States for the
perpetration of gross human rights violations on African slaves and
their
descendants.
 
    (B) Whether African-Americans still suffer from the lingering
effects of the matters described in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4).
 
    (C) Whether, in consideration of the Commission's findings, any form
of compensation to the descendants of African slaves is warranted.
 
    (D) If the Commission finds that such compensation is warranted,
what should be the amount of compensation, what form of compensation
should
be awarded, and who should be eligible for such compensation.
 
    (c) Report to Congress- The Commission shall submit a written report
of its findings and recommendations to the Congress not later than the
date
which is one year after the date of the first meeting of the Commission
held
pursuant to section 4(c).
 

SEC. 4. MEMBERSHIP.
 

    (a) Number and Appointment- (1) The Commission shall be composed of
7 members, who shall be appointed, within 90 days after the date of
enactment of this Act, as follows:
 
    (A) Three members shall be appointed by the President.
 
    (B) Three members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of
Representatives.
 
    (C) One member shall be appointed by the President pro tempore of
the Senate.
 
    (2) All members of the Commission shall be persons who are
especially qualified to serve on the Commission by virtue of their
education, training, or experience, particularly in the field of
African-American studies.
 
    (b) Terms- The term of office for members shall be for the life of
the Commission. A vacancy in the Commission shall not affect the powers
of
the Commission, and shall be filled in the same manner in which the
original
appointment was made.
 
    (c) First Meeting- The President shall call the first meeting of the
Commission within 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act,
or
within 30 days after the date on which legislation is enacted making
appropriations to carry out this Act, whichever date is later.
 
    (d) Quorum- Four members of the Commission shall constitute a
quorum, but a lesser number may hold hearings.
 
    (e) Chair and Vice Chair- The Commission shall elect a Chair and
Vice Chair from among its members. The term of office of each shall be
for
the life of the Commission.
 
    (f) Compensation- (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), each
member of the Commission shall receive compensation at the daily
equivalent
of the annual rate of basic pay payable for GS-18 of the General
Schedule
under section 5332 of title 5, United States Code, for each day,
including
travel time, during which he or she is engaged in the actual performance
of
duties vested in the Commission.
 
    (2) A member of the Commission who is a full-time officer or
employee of the United States or a Member of Congress shall receive no
additional pay, allowances, or benefits by reason of his or her service
to
the Commission.
 
    (3) All members of the Commission shall be reimbursed for travel,
subsistence, and other necessary expenses incurred by them in the
performance of their duties to the extent authorized by chapter 57 of
title
5, United States Code.
 

SEC. 5. POWERS OF THE COMMISSION.
 

    (a) Hearings and Sessions- The Commission may, for the purpose of
carrying out the provisions of this Act, hold such hearings and sit and
act
at such times and at such places in the United States, and request the
attendance and testimony of such witnesses and the production of such
books,
records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, and documents, as the
Commission
considers appropriate. The Commission may request the Attorney General
to
invoke the aid of an appropriate United States district court to
require, by
subpoena or otherwise, such attendance, testimony, or production.
 
    (b) Powers of Subcommittees and Members- Any subcommittee or member
of the Commission may, if authorized by the Commission, take any action
which the Commission is authorized to take by this section.
 
    (c) Obtaining Official Data- The Commission may acquire directly
from the head of any department, agency, or instrumentality of the
executive
branch of the Government, available information which the Commission
considers useful in the discharge of its duties. All departments,
agencies,
and instrumentalities of the executive branch of the Government shall
cooperate with the Commission with respect to such information and shall
furnish all information requested by the Commission to the extent
permitted
by law.
 

SEC. 6. ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS.
 

    (a) Staff- The Commission may, without regard to section 5311(b) of
title 5, United States Code, appoint and fix the compensation of such
personnel as the Commission considers appropriate.
 
    (b) Applicability of Certain Civil Service Laws- The staff of the
Commission may be appointed without regard to the provisions of title 5,
United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service,
and
without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of
chapter
53 of such title relating to classification and General Schedule pay
rates,
except that the compensation of any employee of the Commission may not
exceed a rate equal to the annual rate of basic pay payable for GS-18 of
the
General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5, United States Code.
 
    (c) Experts and Consultants- The Commission may procure the services
of experts and consultants in accordance with the provisions of section
3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, but at rates for individuals not
to
exceed the daily equivalent of the highest rate payable under section
5332
of such title.
 
    (d) Administrative Support Services- The Commission may enter into
agreements with the Administrator of General Services for procurement of
financial and administrative services necessary for the discharge of the
duties of the Commission. Payment for such services shall be made by
reimbursement from funds of the Commission in such amounts as may be
agreed
upon by the Chairman of the Commission and the Administrator.
 
    (e) Contracts- The Commission may--
 
    (1) procure supplies, services, and property by contract in
accordance with applicable laws and regulations and to the extent or in
such
amounts as are provided in appropriations Acts; and
 
    (2) enter into contracts with departments, agencies, and
instrumentalities of the Federal Government, State agencies, and private
firms, institutions, and agencies, for the conduct of research or
surveys,
the preparation of reports, and other activities necessary for the
discharge
of the duties of the Commission, to the extent or in such amounts as are
provided in appropriations Acts.
 

SEC. 7. TERMINATION.
 

    The Commission shall terminate 90 days after the date on which the
Commission submits its report to the Congress under section 3(c).
 

SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
 

    To carry out the provisions of this Act, there are authorized to be
appropriated $8,000,000.

 

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