Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission Act of 2010

Bill Number: 
S.4011
Bill Location: 
Date of Last Action: 
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Relevant Text: 

S.4011 -- Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission Act of 2010 (Introduced in Senate - IS)

S 4011 IS

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 4011

To establish the Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

December 7, 2010

Mr. MENENDEZ (for himself, Mr. LUGAR, and Mr. LEAHY) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

A BILL

To establish the Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission.

    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 `Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission Act of 2010'.

SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF WESTERN HEMISPHERE DRUG POLICY COMMISSION.

    There is established an independent commission to be known as the `Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission' (in this Act referred to as the `Commission').

SEC. 3. PURPOSE.

    The purposes of the Commission are as follows:

      (1) The Commission shall review and evaluate the effectiveness of United States policies and programs regarding illicit drug supply reduction and interdiction with an emphasis on the countries of the Western Hemisphere, as well as foreign and domestic demand reduction policies and programs. The Commission shall recommend changes to such policies and programs that could more effectively--

        (A) reduce the supply and trafficking of, and demand for, illicit drugs;

        (B) reduce the violence and corruption associated with illicit drug production and distribution;

        (C) reduce the threats to public health associated with illicit drug use, such as the spread of HIV/AIDS; and

        (D) anticipate and mitigate the unintended adverse consequences associated with policies intended to reduce illicit drug supply and demand.
      (2) The Commission shall recommend a multi-year interagency counternarcotics strategy for the Western Hemisphere, describing the diplomatic, criminal justice, civil society, economic development, demand reduction, military, and other assistance required to achieve regional counternarcotics goals.

SEC. 4. DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION.

    (a) Review of Illicit Drug Supply Reduction and Demand Reduction Policies- The Commission shall conduct a comprehensive review of the effectiveness of United States policies regarding illicit drug supply reduction, interdiction, and demand reduction policies and shall, at a minimum, address the following topics:

      (1) An assessment of United States illicit drug control policies in the Western Hemisphere, including interdiction efforts, efforts to curb the trafficking of chemical precursors, crop eradication programs, and the support of economic development alternatives to illicit drug crop cultivation and production.

      (2) The impact of the Andean Counterdrug Initiative, the Merida Initiative, the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, and other programs in curbing illicit drug production, drug trafficking, and drug-related violence in the region.

      (3) A review of the illicit drug control programs and resources utilized by all agencies and departments of the United States Government and recommendations to reduce duplication of efforts and resources and improve coordination.
      (4) An assessment of the extent to which the United States drug certification process serves United States interests with respect to United States illicit drug control objectives in the Western Hemisphere.

      (5) An assessment of the nature and extent of the United States population's demand for illicit drugs.

      (6) An assessment of whether the latest supply and availability estimates for marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine indicate that United States retail-level availability is stable, significantly lower, or significantly higher than it was one year earlier and ten years earlier.

      (7) An assessment of the extent to which the consumption of illicit drugs in the United States is driven by individuals addicted to or abusive of illicit drugs, and of the most effective methods in the United States and other countries for treating those individuals and reducing the damage to themselves, their families, and society, including anti-drug coalitions, drug courts, and programs aimed at preventing recidivism.

      (8) An assessment of whether proper and realistic goals are being set for United States illicit drug control policy, and whether appropriate indicators of success are being used to measure performance and outcomes.

      (9) An assessment of the effectiveness of the illicit drug control policies and programs of other countries facing similar challenges, and the extent to which they could be effective if adopted and implemented by the United States.
      (10) Recommendations for changes to United States policies and programs that could more effectively--

        (A) reduce the supply and trafficking of, and demand for, illicit drugs;

        (B) reduce the violence and corruption associated with illicit drug production and distribution;

        (C) reduce the threats to public health associated with illicit drug use, such as the spread of HIV/AIDS; and

        (D) anticipate and mitigate the unintended adverse consequences associated with policies intended to reduce illicit drug supply and demand.

    (b) Multiyear Interagency Counternarcotics Strategy- The Commission shall recommend a multiyear interagency counternarcotics strategy for the Western Hemisphere that includes--
      (1) a description of the diplomatic, criminal justice, anti-corruption, civil society, economic development, demand reduction, military, intelligence sharing and other assistance required to achieve regional counternarcotics goals;

      (2) a methodology for countering shifts in production and transit routes by producers and traffickers due to pressure from counternarcotics efforts;

      (3) the role of each of the relevant United States government agencies in effectively coordinating the multiyear strategy, including--

        (A) the Department of State;

        (B) the United States Agency for International Development;

        (C) the Department of Defense;
        (D) the Department of Justice;

        (E) the Department of Homeland Security; and

        (F) the intelligence agencies; and

      (4) regional and, as necessary, country-specific metrics that reflect the particular challenges in source, transit, and demand zone countries.

    (c) Coordination With Governments, International Organizations, and Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOS) in the Western Hemisphere- In conducting the review required under subsection (a) and preparing the strategy required under subsection (b), the Commission shall consult with--

      (1) government, academic, and nongovernmental leaders from the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean, as well as leaders of international organizations; and
      (2) the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) to examine what changes would increase its effectiveness.

    (d) Report-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 18 months after the first meeting of the Commission, the Commission shall submit to the Committees on Appropriations, Foreign Relations, Armed Services, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the Judiciary of the Senate, and the Committees on Appropriations, Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, Energy and Commerce, and the Judiciary of the House of Representatives, the Secretary of State, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Attorney General, and the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) a report that details the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the Commission, including the findings of the review conducted under subsection (a), the strategy prepared under subsection (b), and summaries of the views and recommendations of the leaders and organizations with which it consulted under subsection (c).

      (2) PUBLIC AVAILABILITY- The report required under this subsection shall be made available to the public in a timely manner.

SEC. 5. MEMBERSHIP.

    (a) Number and Appointment- The Commission shall be composed of ten members, to be appointed as follows:
      (1) The majority leader and minority leader of the Senate shall each appoint two members.

      (2) The Speaker and the minority leader of the House of Representatives shall each appoint two members.

      (3) The President shall appoint two members who are employees of departments and agencies of the United States with expertise relevant to the Commission's work.

    (b) Appointments- The Commission may not include Members of Congress or other currently elected Federal, State, or local government officials.

    (c) Period of Appointment- Each member shall be appointed for the life of the Commission. Any vacancies shall not affect the power and duties of the Commission, but shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

    (d) Date- Members of the Commission shall be appointed not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
    (e) Initial Meeting and Selection of Chairperson- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commission shall hold an initial meeting to develop and implement a schedule for completion of the review, strategy, and report required under section 4. At the initial meeting, the Commission shall select a Chairperson from among its members.

    (f) Quorum- Six members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum.

    (g) Travel Expenses- Members shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with sections 5702 and 5703 of title 5, United States Code, while away from their homes or regular places of business in performance of services for the Commission.

SEC. 6. POWERS.

    (a) Meetings- The Commission shall meet at the call of the Chairperson or a majority of its members.

    (b) Hearings- The Commission may hold such hearings and undertake such other activities as the Commission determines necessary to carry out its duties.
    (c) Other Resources- The Commission shall have timely and reasonable access to documents, statistical data, and other such information the Commission determines necessary to carry out its duties from the Library of Congress, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice (including the Drug Enforcement Administration), the Department of Defense (including the United States Southern and Northern Commands), the Department of the Treasury, and other agencies of the executive and legislative branches of the Federal Government. The Chairperson of the Commission shall make requests for such access in writing when necessary. The General Services Administration (GSA) shall make office space available for day-to-day Commission activities and for scheduled Commission meetings. Upon request, the Administrator of General Services shall provide, on a reimbursable basis, such administrative support as the Commission requests to fulfill its duties.

    (d) Authority To Use the United States Mails- The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the United States.

    (e) Authority To Contract- The Commission is authorized to enter into contracts with Federal and State agencies, private firms, institutions, and individuals for the conduct of activities necessary to the discharge of its duties and responsibilities. A contract, lease, or other legal agreement entered into by the Commission may not extend beyond the date of termination of the Commission.

SEC. 7. STAFF.

    (a) Executive Director- The Commission shall have a staff headed by an Executive Director. The Executive Director and such staff shall be paid at a rate of not more than the daily equivalent of the compensation prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule.

    (b) Staff Appointment- With the approval of the Commission, the Executive Director may appoint such personnel as the Executive Director determines to be appropriate. The Commission may appoint and fix the compensation of such other personnel as may be necessary to enable the Commission to carry out its duties, 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 no rate of pay fixed under this subsection may exceed the equivalent of that payable to a person occupying a position at level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of such title.
    (c) Experts and Consultants- With the approval of the Commission, the Executive Director may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code.

    (d) Detail of Government Employees- Upon the request of the Commission, the head of any Federal agency may detail, without reimbursement, any of the personnel of such agency to the Commission to assist in carrying out the duties of the Commission. Any such detail shall not interrupt or otherwise affect the civil service status or privileges of the personnel.

SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    Of the amounts authorized to be appropriated to the Department of State under the heading `Diplomatic and Consular Programs' for fiscal years 2011 and 2012, not more than $250,000 may be made available to the Commission to carry out the purposes of this Act.

SEC. 9. SUNSET.

    The Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission shall terminate 60 days after the submission to Congress of the report required under section 4(d).