March 7, 1998
HEARINGS AND MEETING OF THE PRESIDENT'S COMMISSION TO STUDY
Hearings of January 30 and Meeting of January 31, 1998
The hearings and meeting were transcribed. Copies of the complete transcriptions
are available upon request.
Hearings of Friday, January 30, 1998
Introduction. The co-chairs of the Commission, Kathleen Brown
and Jon Corzine, began the hearings shortly after 9:00 a.m. on Friday,
January 30, in the Senate Budget Committee Hearing Room, Room 608 Dirksen
Senate Office Building, Washington, DC. All Commissioners were present
at this time or shortly thereafter, except for Laura D'Andrea Tyson, who
gave prior notification that she could not attend, and Richard Leone, who
was ill. Sitting at the table with the Commissioners were Barry Anderson,
Executive Director of the Commission, and William Dinkelacker, Designated
Federal Official from the Department of the Treasury. As required by the
Federal Advisory Committee Act, the meeting had been announced in the Federal
items were distributed to the public and the Commission or available at
-- an agenda;
-- the fact sheet about the
-- the press release announcing
-- the announcement in the
Federal Register regarding the meeting;
-- draft minutes of the December
13 meeting; and
-- three items prepared by
staff for discussion:
In addition, written testimony of witnesses was distributed during the
"Budgeting for Capital in the Federal Government" (draft working paper,
January 14, 1998; prepared at the request of the co-chairs);
"Materials for the Orientation on the Federal Budget;" and
"Materials about the Federal Budget Process" (January 15, 1998).
Purpose. The purpose of the hearings was to take testimony from
the witnesses about capital budgeting, ask them questions and, as time
permitted, to hear a staff presentation about the Federal budget.
Testimony. The following persons appeared before the Commission:
9:00 Senator Robert G. Torricelli (NJ)
10:00 Representative Robert E. Wise, Jr. (WV) and
Representative James L. Oberstar (MN)
11:00 Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (NJ)
1:30 Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC)
3:00 Senator Michael B. Enzi (WY)
3:30 Edward G. Rendell, mayor of Philadelphia
and Chairman, Rebuild America Coalition, with
James Lebenthal, Vice Chairman, Rebuild America Coalition, and William
Executive Director, Rebuild America Coalition
4:00 William R. Buechner, Director of
Economics and Research, American Road and
Transportation Builders Association
Written testimony was submitted by Senators Domenici (who could not
appear), Lautenberg and Enzi; Representatives Wise and Oberstar; Delegate
Norton; and Mr. Buechner. Copies of the written testimony are available
upon request to the Executive Director, Barry Anderson.
As time permitted during the day, Phil Dame and Justine Rodriguez presented
information about the Federal budget process based on the staff handout,
"Materials for the Orientation on the Federal Budget."
The hearings ended about 5:00 p.m. after the testimony of Mr. Buechner.
Meeting of Saturday, January 31, 1998
Introduction. The co-chairs opened the meeting at 9:05 a.m. in
the Truman Room of the White House Conference Center, 726 Jackson Place,
NW, Washington, DC. The meeting was open to the public. Sitting at the
table with the Commissioners were Barry Anderson, Executive Director of
the Commission, and William Dinkelacker, Designated Federal Official from
the Department of the Treasury. As required by the Federal Advisory Committee
Act, the meeting had been announced in the Federal Register.
The same handouts were available to the public as those on January 30.
In addition, staff distributed:
-- a paper, "Charging Programs
for the Full Cost of Using Capital;"
-- a set of charts, "Federally
Owned Capital Investment;" and
-- a set of tables, "Income,
Outgo, and Balances of Trust Funds Group."
During the meeting, the co-chairs distributed three items, all of which
were discussed by the Commissioners:
-- "Potential Additional Participants,"
a list of organizations that might be invited to testify
-- Report Outline; and
-- Proposed Working Groups.
Minutes.--The Commission approved the draft minutes of the December
13 meeting as written. They immediately announced that the March 6 and
7 hearings and meeting would be held in Washington, DC, not in San Francisco,
a change from what had been discussed in the December 13 meeting.
Staff presentations. Staff sitting at the witness table to present
information about the Federal Budget were Phil Dame, Justine Rodriguez,
Bob Kilpatrick, Rusty Moran, and Art Stigile. Until about 10:00 a.m., they
discussed the Budget Enforcement Act, capital acquisition funds, and trust
funds. Barry Anderson discussed the budget process in the Congress, including
the development and approval of the budget resolution; the allocations
of spending among the congressional committees and subcommittees; the Budget
Enforcement Act; enactment of appropriations, a reconciliation bill, and
other legislation before October 1; and related issues.
Throughout the presentations there were many questions and observations
by the Commissioners.
Materials distributed by the co-chairs. About 10:00 a.m. the
co-chairs distributed the three items noted above (invitees for testimony,
proposed outline, and proposed work groups). There continued to be discussion
of all three items, especially the topics for the work groups, the areas
they would cover, and the preferences of the Commissioners assigned to
each. The work groups and Commission assignments were as follows:
A. Mission Statement and Basic
Questions for Commission to Answer
Jon Corzine, Kathleen Brown, Woody Brittian, Stan Collender
B. Inventory of Capital Budgeting
in Other Government and Private Sector Entities and
Luis Nogales, Dick Leone, Steve Rattner
C. Micro and Macro-economic Perspectives
on Public Investment and Quantification of Value
Carol O'Cleireacain, David Levy, Herb Stein
D. Definition of Capital and
Jim Lynn, Cynthia Metzler
E. Depreciation and Intergenerational/Timing
Rudy Penner, Orin Kramer, Robert Rubin
F. Federal Budget and Funding/Financing
Stan Collender, Rudy Penner
The co-chairs asked that staff be assigned to assist each work group.
The lead Commissioner for each group was asked to report back to the Commission
on March 7 with a work program for their group.
The meeting adjourned at 12:25 p.m.
President's Commission to Study Capital