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Title of Law:Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1999
Law #:Public Law 105-277
Passed by Congress:105th Congress (2nd Session)

The following are excerpts, highlighted in red, from the final legislation and/or conference report which contain NRC studies. (Pound signs [##] between passages denote the deletion of unrelated text.)

HRpt 105-825 REPORT To accompany H.R. 4328 CONFERENCE REPORT: MAKING OMNIBUS CONSOLIDATED AND EMERGENCY SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 1999
Conference Committee
(10/19/98)

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//GENERAL PROVISIONS, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR\\

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// SEC. 120. (a) STUDY.--The Secretary shall enter into an agreement with and provide funding, to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources (Board), to conduct a detailed, comprehensive study of the environmental and reclamation requirements relating to mining of locatable minerals on federal lands and the adequacy of those requirements to prevent unnecessary or undue degradation of federal lands in each state in which such mining occurs.\\

// (1) CONTENTS.--The study shall identify and consider--\\

// (A) the operating, reclamation and permitting requirements for locatable minerals mining and exploration operations on federal lands by federal and state air, water, solid waste, reclamation and other environmental statutes, including surface management regulations promulgated by federal land management agencies and state primacy programs under applicable federal statutes and state laws and the time requirements applicable to project environmental review and permitting;\\

// (B) the adequacy of federal and state environmental, reclamation and permitting statutes and regulations applicable in any state or states where mining or exploration of locatable minerals on federal lands is occurring, to prevent unnecessary or undue degradation; and\\

// (C) recommendations and conclusions regarding how federal and state environmental, reclamation and permitting requirements and programs can be coordinated to ensure environmental protection, increase efficiency, avoid duplication and delay, and identify the most cost-effective manner for implementation.\\

// (b) REPORT.--\\

// No later than July 31, 1999, the Board shall submit a report addressing areas described under (a)(1) to the appropriate federal agencies, the Congress and the Governors of affected states.\\

// (c) FUNDS.--From the funds collected for mining law

administration, the Secretary shall provide to the NAS such funds as it requests, not to exceed $800,000, for the purpose of conducting this analysis.\\

// (d) SURFACE MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS.--The Secretary of the Interior shall not promulgate any final regulations to change the Bureau of Land Management regulations found at 43 CFR Part 3809 prior to September 30, 1999.\\

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//OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY\\

//GENERAL DEPARTMENTAL MANAGEMENT \\

// For necessary expenses, not otherwise provided, for general departmental management, including hire of six sedans, and for carrying out titles III, XVII, and XX of the Public Health Service Act, and the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission Act, $180,051,000, together with $5,851,000, to be transferred and expended as authorized by section 201(g)(1) of the Social Security Act from the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund and the Supplemental Medical Insurance Trust Fund: Provided, That of the funds made available under this heading for carrying out title XVII of the Public Health Service Act, $1,000,000 shall be available until expended for extramural construction: Provided further, That $890,000 shall be for a contract with the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study of all the available scientific literature examining the cause-and-effect relationship between repetitive tasks in the workplace and musculoskeletal disorders: Provided further, That said contract shall be awarded not later than January 1, 1999.\\

//(TRANSFER OF FUNDS)\\

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// SEC. 213. (a) The final rule entitled "Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network", promulgated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services on April 2, 1998 (63 FR 16295 et seq.) (relating to part 121 of title 42, Code of Federal Regulations), shall not become effective before the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.\\

// (b)(1) The Institute of Medicine under contract with and subject to review by the Comptroller General, in consultation with the Secretary and with the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (in this section referred to as the "OPTN"), shall conduct a review of the current polices of the OPTN and the final rule specified in subsection (a) in order to determine the following:\\

// (A) The potential impact on access to transplantation services for low-income populations and for racial and ethnic minority groups. With respect to State policies in carrying out the program under title XIX of the Social Security Act, the determination made under this subparagraph shall include determining the impact of such policies regarding payment for services for patients that are provided to the patients outside of the States in which the patients reside.\\

// (B) With respect to organ procurement organizations (qualified under section 371 of the Public Health Service Act):\\

// (i) The potential impact on the ability of the organizations to facilitate an appropriate rate of organ donation within the service areas of the organizations.\\

// (ii) The reasons underlying the variations in performance among such organizations.\\

// (iii) The potential impact of requiring sharing of organs based on medical criteria instead of geography on the ability of the organizations to facilitate an appropriate rate of organ donation within the service areas of the organizations.\\

// (C) The potential impact on waiting times for organ transplants, including determinations specific to the various geographic regions of the United States, and if practicable, waiting times for each transplant center by organ and medical status category. The determination made under this subparagraph shall include determining the impact of recent changes made by the OPTN in patient listing criteria and in measures of medical status.\\

// (D) The potential impact on patient survival rates and organ failure rates which lead to retransplantation, including any variance by income status, ethnicity, gender, race, or blood type.\\

// (E) The potential impact on the costs of organ transplantation services.\\

// (F) The potential impact on the liability, under State laws and procedures regarding peer review, of members of the OPTN.\\

// (G) The potential impact on the confidential status of information that relates to the transplantation of organs.\\

// (H) Recommendations, if any, to change existing policies and the final rule.\\

// (2)(A) Not later than May 1, 1999, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to the congressional committees specified in subparagraph (B) a report describing the results of the review conducted under paragraph (1).\\

// (B) The congressional committees referred to in subparagraph (A) are the Committee on Commerce of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Appropriations of the House, the Committee on Labor and Human Resources of the Senate, and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate.\\

//(c)(1) Beginning promptly after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary may conduct a series of discussions with the OPTN in order to resolve issues raised by the final rule referred to in subsection (a).\\

//(2) The Secretary and the OPTN may utilize the services of a mediator in conducting the discussions under paragraph (1). An individual may not be selected to serve as the mediator unless the Secretary and the OPTN both approve the selection of the individual to so serve, and the individual agrees that, not later than June 30, 1999, the individual will submit to the congressional committees specified in subsection (b)(2)(B) a report describing the extent of progress that has been made through the discussions under paragraph (1).\\

//(d)(1) Beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the OPTN shall provide to the Secretary, the Institutes of Medicine, and the Comptroller General, upon request, any data necessary to assess the effectiveness of the Nation's organ donation, procurement and organ allocation systems, or to assess the quality of care provided to all transplant patients, and analysis of such data in a scientifically and clinically valid manner. If necessary, the OPTN may provide additional data as they deem appropriate.\\

//(2) The OPTN shall make available to the public timely and accurate program-specific information on the performance of transplant programs. These data shall be updated as frequently as possible, and the OPTN shall work to shorten the time period for data collection and analysis in producing its center-specific outcomes report, including severity adjusted long term survival rates. Such data shall also include such other cost or performance information including but not limited to transplant program-specific information on waiting time within medical status, organ waitings, and refusal of organ offers.\\

//(e) Data provided under subsection (d) shall be specific (if possible) to individual transplant centers and must be determined in a scientifically and clinically valid manner.\\

//(f) Any disclosure of patient specific medical information under subsection (d) shall be subject to the restrictions contained in the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and State laws.\\

// (g) Of the amount appropriated in this title for "OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY--GENERAL DEPARTMENTAL MANAGEMENT", $500,000 shall, not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, be transferred to the Comptroller General for purposes of carrying out the studies required and specified in this section.\\

//(h) For purposes of this section:\\

//(1) The term "Comptroller General" means the Comptroller General of the United States.\\

//(2) The term "Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network" means the network operated under section 372 of the Public Health Service Act.\\

// (3) The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of Health and Human Services.\\

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//"SEC. 447. PROHIBITION ON FEDERALLY SPONSORED TESTING.\\

//"(a) GENERAL PROHIBITION.--Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal law and except as provided in subsection (b), no funds provided to the Department of Education or to an applicable program, may be used to pilot test, field test, implement, administer or distribute in any way any federally sponsored national test in reading, mathematics, or any other subject that is not specifically and explicitly provided for in authorizing legislation enacted into law.\\

//"(b) EXCEPTIONS.--Subsection (a) shall not apply to the Third International Mathematics and Science Study or other international comparative assessments developed under the authority of section 404(a)(6) of the National Education Statistics Act of 1994 (20 U.S.C. 9003(a)(6) et seq.) and administered to only a representative sample of pupils in the United States and in foreign nations.".\\

//(b) AUTHORITY OF NATIONAL ASSESSMENT GOVERNING BOARD.--Subject to section 447 of the General Education Provisions Act, the exclusive authority over the direction and all policies and guidelines for developing voluntary national tests pursuant to contract RJ97153001 previously entered into between the United States Department of Education and the American Institutes for Research and executed on August 15, 1997, and subsequently modified by the National Assessment Governing Board on February 11, 1998, shall continue to be vested in the National Assessment Governing Board established under section 412 of the National Education Statistics Act of 1994 (20 U.S.C. 9011).\\

// (c) STUDIES.--\\

// (1) PURPOSE, DEFINITION, AND ACHIEVEMENT LEVELS.--The National Assessment Governing Board shall determine and clearly articulate in a report the purpose and intended use of any proposed federally sponsored national test. Such report shall also include--\\

// (A) a definition of the meaning of the term "voluntary" in regards to the administration of any national test; and\\

// (B) a description of the achievement levels and reporting methods to be used in grading any national test.\\

//The report shall be submitted to the White House, the Committees on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Labor and Human Resources of the Senate, and the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate not later than September 30, 1999.\\

// (2) RESPONSE TO REPORT.--The National Assessment Governing Board shall develop and submit to the entities identified in paragraph (1) a report, not later than September 30, 1999, that addresses and responds to the findings reported by the National Academy of Sciences in the report entitled "Grading the Nation's Report Card: Evaluating NAEP and transforming the Assessment of Educational Progress" that assert that the achievement levels of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) are fundamentally flawed. \\

// (3) TECHNICAL FEASIBILITY.--The National Academy of Sciences shall conduct a study regarding the technical feasibility, validity, and reliability of including test items from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for 4th grade reading and 8th grade mathematics or from other tests in State and district assessments for the purpose of providing a common measure of individual student performance. The National Academy of Sciences shall submit, to the entities identified under paragraph (1), an interim progress report not later than June 30, 1999 and a final report not later than September 30, 1999. \\

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//"S 41716. JOINT VENTURE AGREEMENTS\\

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//(g) COMPETITIVE PRACTICES IN THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY.--\\

// (1) NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL.--\\

// (A) STUDY.--The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences shall complete a comprehensive update of the 1991 study of airline deregulation prepared by the Transportation Research Board of the Council. The update shall include updated versions of the chapters contained in the study pertaining to competitive issues in the airline industry as well as recommendations for changes in the statutory framework under which the airline industry operates.\\

// (B) REPORT BY NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL.--Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the National Research Council shall transmit to Congress and the Secretary of Transportation a report containing the results of the study conducted under paragraph (A).\\

// (C) REPORT BY THE SECRETARY.--Not later than 2 months after the date on which the Secretary receives the report of the National Research Council under paragraph (B), the Secretary shall transmit to Congress a report containing the response of the Secretary to the findings and recommendations of the National Research Council.\\

// (2) REPORT TO CONGRESS.--The Secretary shall conduct a study and transmit to Congress a report that includes--\\

// (A) a description of any complaints received by the Secretary concerning acts of unfair competition or predatory pricing in the airline industry (including the number of such complaints) and of specific examples of such acts;\\

// (B) a description of the options of the Secretary for addressing any acts of unfair competition or predatory pricing identified under paragraph (a);\\

// (C) an analysis of the guidelines proposed in Docket OST-98-3713, including information documenting and quantifying the impact of the guidelines on the items listed in subsection (3)(C); and \\

// (D) a description of the manner in which the Secretary plans to coordinate the handling of predatory pricing and unfair competition complaints against air carriers filed with the Secretary and similar complaints filed with the Attorney General, including methods to ensure efficient use of limited government resources and to ensure that all parties avoid duplicate requests by government agencies for information unless each of the agencies needs the information to carry out its statutory responsibilities.\\

// (3) GUIDELINES.--\\

// (A) ISSUANCE.--The Secretary shall not issue final guidelines in Docket OST-98-3713 before the date of transmittal to Congress of a report under subsection (2).\\

// (B) TRANSMITTAL TO CONGRESS.--If the Secretary issues final guidelines in Docket OST-98-3713, the Secretary shall transmit the guidelines to Congress.\\

// (C) IMPACT OF GUIDELINES.--If, as a result of the study conducted under subsection (2), the Secretary decides to issue final guidelines in Docket OST-98-3713 that are different from the guidelines originally proposed, the Secretary shall, as part of the transmittal under paragraph (B), include information that documents and quantifies the impact of the guidelines on the following:\\

// (i) Scheduled service to small- and medium-sized communities.\\

// (ii) Airfares, including the availability of senior citizen, Internet, and standby discounts on routes covered by the guidelines.\\

// (iii) The incentive and ability of major air carriers to offer low airfares.\\

// (iv) The incentive of new entrant air carriers to offer low airfares.\\

// (v) The ability of air carriers to offer inclusive leisure travel for which airfares are not separately advertised.\\

// (vi) Members of frequent flyer programs.\\

// (vii) The ability of air carriers to carry non-origination and destination traffic on the portion of routes that are served by new entrant air carriers covered by the guidelines.\\

// (viii) Airline employees.\\

// (4) CONSULTATION.--In conducting the study under section (2), the Secretary shall consult with the Attorney General, major air carriers, new entrant air carriers, airport and community leaders, academic and economic experts, and airline employees and passengers.\\

// (5) EFFECTIVE DATE.--The guidelines adopted in Docket OST-98- 3713, or any similar guidelines, shall not become effective before the last day of the 12-week period beginning on the date of transmittal to Congress of final guidelines in Docket OST-98-3713, except that a week shall not count toward such 12-week period unless the House of Representatives is in session for legislative business at least 1 day during the week.\\

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//SEC. 417. REPORT ON OLDER WORKERS IN THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY FIELD.\\

// (a) STUDY.--The Director of the National Science Foundation shall enter into a contract with the President of the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study, using the best available data, assessing the status of older workers in the information technology field. The study shall consider the following:\\

// (1) The existence and extent of age discrimination in the information technology workplace.\\

// (2) The extent to which there is a difference, based on age, in--\\

// (A) promotion and advancement;\\

// (B) working hours;\\

// (C) telecommuting;\\

// (D) salary; and\\

// (E) stock options, bonuses, and other benefits.\\

// (3) The relationship between rates of advancement, promotion, and compensation to experience, skill level, education, and age.\\

// (4) Differences in skill level on the basis of age.\\

// (b) REPORT.--Not later than October 1, 2000, the Director of the National Science Foundation shall submit to the Committees on the Judiciary of the United States House of Representatives and the Senate a report containing the results of the study described in subsection (a).\\

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//"S 1118. PRESUMPTIONS OF SERVICE CONNECTION FOR ILLNESSES ASSOCIATED WITH SERVICE IN THE PERSIAN GULF DURING THE PERSIAN GULF WAR \\

// "(a)(1) For purposes of section 1110 of this title, and subject to section 1113 of this title, each illness, if any, described in paragraph (2) shall be considered to have been incurred in or aggravated by service referred to in that paragraph, notwithstanding that there is no record of evidence of such illness during the period of such service.\\

// "(2) An illness referred to in paragraph (1) is any diagnosed or undiagnosed illness that--\\

// "(A) the Secretary determines in regulations prescribed under this section to warrant a presumption of service connection by reason of having a positive association with exposure to a biological, chemical, or other toxic agent, environmental or wartime hazard, or preventive medicine or vaccine known or presumed to be associated with service in the Armed Forces in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Persian Gulf War; and \\

// "(B) becomes manifest within the period, if any, prescribed in such regulations in a veteran who served on active duty in that theater of operations during that war and by reason of such service was exposed to such agent, hazard, or medicine or vaccine.\\

// "(3) For purposes of this subsection, a veteran who served on active duty in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Persian Gulf War and has an illness described in paragraph (2) shall be presumed to have been exposed by reason of such service to the agent, hazard, or medicine or vaccine associated with the illness in the regulations prescribed under this section unless there is conclusive evidence to establish that the veteran was not exposed to the agent, hazard, or medicine or vaccine by reason of such service.\\

// "(b)(1)(A) Whenever the Secretary makes a determination described in subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall prescribe regulations providing that a presumption of service connection is warranted for the illness covered by that determination for purposes of this section.\\

// "(B) A determination referred to in subparagraph (A) is a determination based on sound medical and scientific evidence that a positive association exists between--\\

// "(i) the exposure of humans or animals to a biological, chemical, or other toxic agent, environmental or wartime hazard, or preventive medicine or vaccine known or presumed to be associated with service in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Persian Gulf War; and \\

// "(ii) the occurrence of a diagnosed or undiagnosed illness in humans or animals.\\

// "(2)(A) In making determinations for purposes of paragraph (1), the Secretary shall take into account--\\

// "(i) the reports submitted to the Secretary by the National Academy of Sciences under section 1603 of the Persian Gulf War Veterans Act of 1998; and \\

// "(ii) all other sound medical and scientific information and analyses available to the Secretary. \\

// "(B) In evaluating any report, information, or analysis for purposes of making such determinations, the Secretary shall take into consideration whether the results are statistically significant, are capable of replication, and withstand peer review.\\

// "(3) An association between the occurrence of an illness in humans or animals and exposure to an agent, hazard, or medicine or vaccine shall be considered to be positive for purposes of this subsection if the credible evidence for the association is equal to or outweighs the credible evidence against the association.\\

// "(c)(1) Not later than 60 days after the date on which the Secretary receives a report from the National Academy of Sciences under section 1603 of the Persian Gulf War Veterans Act of 1998, the Secretary shall determine whether or not a presumption of service connection is warranted for each illness, if any, covered by the report. \\

// "(2) If the Secretary determines under this subsection that a presumption of service connection is warranted, the Secretary shall, not later than 60 days after making the determination, issue proposed regulations setting forth the Secretary's determination.\\

// "(3)(A) If the Secretary determines under this subsection that a presumption of service connection is not warranted, the Secretary shall, not later than 60 days after making the determination, publish in the Federal Register a notice of the determination. The notice shall include an explanation of the scientific basis for the determination. \\

// "(B) If an illness already presumed to be service connected under this section is subject to a determination under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall, not later than 60 days after publication of the notice under that subparagraph, issue proposed regulations removing the presumption of service connection for the illness.\\

// "(4) Not later than 90 days after the date on which the Secretary issues any proposed regulations under this subsection, the Secretary shall issue final regulations. Such regulations shall be effective on the date of issuance.\\

// "(d) Whenever the presumption of service connection for an illness under this section is removed under subsection (c)--\\

// "(1) a veteran who was awarded compensation for the illness on the basis of the presumption before the effective date of the removal of the presumption shall continue to be entitled to receive compensation on that basis; and\\

// "(2) a survivor of a veteran who was awarded dependency and indemnity compensation for the death of a veteran resulting from the illness on the \\ //basis of the presumption before that date shall continue to be entitled to receive dependency and indemnity compensation on that basis.\\

// "(e) Subsections (b) through (d) shall cease to be effective 10 years after the first day of the fiscal year in which the National Academy of Sciences submits to the Secretary the first report under section 1603 of the Persian Gulf War Veterans Act of 1998.".\\

// (2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1117 the following new item: \\

// (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.--Section 1113 of title 38, United States Code, is amended--\\

// (1) by striking out "or 1117" each place it appears and inserting in lieu thereof "1117, or 1118"; and\\

// (2) in subsection (a), by striking out "or 1116" and inserting in lieu thereof ", 1116, or 1118".\\

// (c) COMPENSATION FOR UNDIAGNOSED GULF WAR ILLNESSES.--Section 1117 of title 38, United States Code, is amended--\\

// (1) by redesignating subsections (c), (d), and (e) as subsections (d), (e), and (f), respectively; and\\

// (2) by inserting after subsection (b) the following new subsection (c):\\

// "(c)(1) Whenever the Secretary determines under section 1118(c) of this title that a presumption of service connection for an undiagnosed illness (or combination of undiagnosed illnesses) previously established under this section is no longer warranted--\\

// "(A) a veteran who was awarded compensation under this section for such illness (or combination of illnesses) on the basis of the presumption shall continue to be entitled to receive compensation under this section on that basis; and\\

// "(B) a survivor of a veteran who was awarded dependency and indemnity compensation for the death of a veteran resulting from the disease on the basis of the presumption before that date shall continue to be entitled to receive dependency and indemnity compensation on that basis.\\

// "(2) This subsection shall cease to be effective 10 years after the first day of the fiscal year in which the National Academy of sciences submits to the Secretary the first report under section 1603 of the Persian Gulf War Veterans Act of 1998.".\\

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//SEC. 1603. AGREEMENT WITH NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES.\\

// (a) PURPOSE.--The purpose of this section is to provide for the National Academy of Sciences, an independent nonprofit scientific organization with appropriate expertise, to review and evaluate the available scientific evidence regarding associations between illnesses and exposure to toxic agents, environmental or wartime hazards, or preventive medicines or vaccines associated with Gulf War service.\\

// (b) AGREEMENT.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall seek to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences for the Academy to perform the activities covered by this section. The Secretary shall seek to enter into the agreement not later than two months after the date of enactment of this Act.\\

// (c) IDENTIFICATION OF AGENTS AND ILLNESSES.--(1) Under the agreement under subsection (b), the National Academy of Sciences shall--\\

// (A) identify the biological, chemical, or other toxic agents, environmental or wartime hazards, or preventive medicines or vaccines to which members of the Armed Forces who served in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Persian Gulf War may have been exposed by reason of such service; and\\

// (B) identify the illnesses (including diagnosed illnesses and undiagnosed illnesses) that are manifest in such members.\\

// (2) In identifying illnesses under paragraph (1)(B), the Academy shall review and summarize the relevant scientific evidence regarding illnesses among the members described in paragraph (1)(A) and among other appropriate populations of individuals, including mortality, symptoms, and adverse reproductive health outcomes among such members and individuals.\\

// (d) INITIAL CONSIDERATION OF SPECIFIC AGENTS.--(1) In identifying under subsection (c) the agents, hazards, or preventive medicines or vaccines to which members of the Armed Forces may have been exposed for purposes of the first report under subsection (i), the National Academy of Sciences shall consider, within the first six months after the date of enactment of this Act, the following:\\

// (A) The following organophosphorous pesticides:\\

// (i) Chlorpyrifos.\\

// (ii) Diazinon.\\

// (iii) Dichlorvos.\\

// (iv) Malathion.\\

// (B) The following carbamate pesticides:\\

// (i) Proxpur.\\

// (ii) Carbaryl.\\

// (iii) Methomyl.\\

// (C) The carbamate pyridostigmine bromide used as nerve agent prophylaxis.\\

// (D) The following chlorinated hydrocarbon and other pesticides and repellents:\\

// (i) Lindane.\\

// (ii) Pyrethrins.\\

// (iii) Permethrins.\\

// (iv) Rodenticides (bait).\\

// (v) Repellent (DEET).\\

// (E) The following low-level nerve agents and precursor compounds at exposure levels below those which produce immediately apparent incapacitating symptoms:\\

// (i) Sarin.\\

// (ii) Tabun.\\

// (F) The following synthetic chemical compounds:\\

// (i) Mustard agents at levels below those which cause immediate blistering.\\

// (ii) Volatile organic compounds.\\

// (iii) Hydrazine.\\

// (iv) Red fuming nitric acid.\\

// (v) Solvents.\\

// (vi) Uranium.\\

// (G) The following ionizing radiation:\\

// (i) Depleted uranium.\\

// (ii) Microwave radiation.\\

// (iii) Radio frequency radiation.\\

// (H) The following environmental particulates and pollutants:\\

// (i) Hydrogen sulfide.\\

// (ii) Oil fire byproducts.\\

// (iii) Diesel heater fumes.\\

// (iv) Sand micro-particles.\\

// (I) Diseases endemic to the region (including the following):\\

// (i) Leishmaniasis.\\

// (ii) Sandfly fever.\\

// (iii) Pathogenic escherechia coli.\\

// (iv) Shigellosis.\\

// (J) Time compressed administration of multiple live, `attenuated', and toxoid vaccines.\\

// (2) The consideration of agents, hazards, and medicines and vaccines under paragraph (1) shall not preclude the Academy from identifying other agents, hazards, or medicines or vaccines to which members of the Armed\\ //Forces may have been exposed for purposes of any report under subsection (i).\\

// (3) Not later than six months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Academy shall submit to the designated congressional committees a report specifying the agents, hazards, and medicines and vaccines considered under paragraph (1).\\

// (e) DETERMINATIONS OF ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN AGENTS AND ILLNESSES.--(1) For each agent, hazard, or medicine or vaccine and illness identified under subsection (c), the National Academy of Sciences shall determine, to the extent that available scientific data permit meaningful determinations--\\

// (A) whether a statistical association exists between exposure to the agent, hazard, or medicine or vaccine and the illness, taking into account the strength of the scientific evidence and the appropriateness of the scientific methodology used to detect the association;\\

// (B) the increased risk of the illness among human or animal populations exposed to the agent, hazard, or medicine or vaccine; and\\

// (C) whether a plausible biological mechanism or other evidence of a causal relationship exists between exposure to the agent, hazard, or medicine or vaccine and the illness.\\

// (2) The Academy shall include in its reports under subsection (i) a full discussion of the scientific evidence and reasoning that led to its conclusions under this subsection.\\

// (f) REVIEW OF POTENTIAL TREATMENT MODELS FOR CERTAIN ILLNESSES.--Under the agreement under subsection (b), the National Academy of Sciences shall separately review, for each chronic undiagnosed illness identified under subsection (c)(1)(B) and for any other chronic illness that the Academy determines to warrant such review, the available scientific data in order to identify empirically valid models of treatment for such illnesses which employ successful treatment modalities for populations with similar symptoms.\\ // (g) RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ADDITIONAL SCIENTIFIC STUDIES.--(1) Under the agreement under subsection (b), the National Academy of Sciences shall make any recommendations that it considers appropriate for additional scientific studies (including studies relating to treatment models) to resolve areas of continuing scientific uncertainty relating to the health consequences of exposure to toxic agents, environmental or wartime hazards, or preventive medicines or vaccines associated with Gulf War service. \\

// (2) In making recommendations for additional studies, the Academy shall consider the available scientific data, the value and relevance of the information that could result from such studies, and the cost and feasibility of carrying out such studies.\\

// (h) SUBSEQUENT REVIEWS.--(1) Under the agreement under subsection (b), the National Academy of Sciences shall conduct on a periodic and ongoing basis additional reviews of the evidence and data relating to its activities under this section.\\

// (2) As part of each review under this subsection, the Academy shall--\\

// (A) conduct as comprehensive a review as is practicable of the evidence referred to in subsection (c) and the data referred to in subsections (e), (f), and (g) that became available since the last review of such evidence and data under this section; and\\

// (B) make determinations under the subsections referred to in subparagraph (A) on the basis of the results of such review and all other reviews previously conducted for purposes of this section.\\

// (i) REPORTS.--(1) Under the agreement under subsection (b), the National Academy of Sciences shall submit to the committees and officials referred to in paragraph (5) periodic written reports

regarding the Academy's activities under the agreement. \\

// (2) The first report under paragraph (1) shall be submitted not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act. That report shall include--\\

// (A) the determinations and discussion referred to in subsection (e); \\

// (B) the results of the review of models of treatment under subsection (f); and\\

// (C) any recommendations of the Academy under subsection (g).\\

// (3) Reports shall be submitted under this subsection at least once every two years, as measured from the date of the report under paragraph (2).\\

// (4) In any report under this subsection (other than the report under paragraph (2)), the Academy may specify an absence of meaningful developments in the scientific or medical community with respect to the activities of the Academy under this section during the 2-year period ending on the date of such report.\\

// (5) Reports under this subsection shall be submitted to the following:\\

// (A) The designated congressional committees.\\

// (B) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs.\\

// (C) The Secretary of Defense.\\

// (j) SUNSET.--This section shall cease to be effective 10 years after the last day of the fiscal year in which the National Academy of Sciences submits the first report under subsection (i).\\

// (k) ALTERNATIVE CONTRACT SCIENTIFIC ORGANIZATION.--(1) If the Secretary is unable within the time period set forth in subsection (b) to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences for the purposes of this section on terms acceptable to the Secretary, the Secretary shall seek to enter into an agreement for purposes of this section with another appropriate scientific organization that is not part of the Government, operates as a not-for-profit entity, and has expertise and objectivity comparable to that of the National Academy of Sciences. \\

// (2) If the Secretary enters into an agreement with another organization under this subsection, any reference in this section and section 1118 of title 38, United States Code (as added by section 1602(a)), to the National Academy of Sciences shall be treated as a reference to such other organization.\\

//SEC. 1604. REPEAL OF INCONSISTENT PROVISIONS OF LAW.\\

// In the event of the enactment, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act, of section 101 of the Veterans Programs Enhancement Act of 1998, or any similar provision of law enacted during the second session of the 105th Congress requiring an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences regarding an evaluation of health consequences of service in Southwest Asia during the Persian Gulf War, such section 101 (or other provision of law) shall be treated as if never enacted, and shall have no force or effect.\\

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ECONOMIC RESEARCH SERVICE

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The conference agreement provides $300,000 for a study by the National Academy of Sciences concerning the appropriate amounts of fruit, fiber and sugar in the diet of the population targeted for benefit by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The study will be a compilation and review of existing studies and data, including data compiled and materials prepared by the Department in developing the Dietary Guidelines and the Healthy Eating Index. It will examine, in particular, whether WIC program participants would benefit nutritionally if the six grams of sugar per ounce of dried cereal limitation in WIC program regulations were to be modified so that sugar contained in dried fruit in such cereals did not count against this limitation. The study will also examine the impact of the above modifications to the WIC dried cereal limitation on the dental health of WIC participants. A report on this study should be transmitted to the appropriate committees of Congress and to the Secretary no later than 12 months after the project is initiated by the Academy.

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GENERAL PROVISIONS--DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

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Section 120 modifies a Senate provision limiting the issuance of regulations dealing with hardrock mining to reduce the term of a study to be accomplished by the National Academy of Sciences. Under the modified language the report will be due by July 31, 1999. Provisions requiring consultation have been eliminated from the Senate language. The Committees expect the National Academy of Sciences to assure that consultation occurs with relevant state and Federal authorities in the process of conducting the study. Additional changes have been made in the provision to eliminate the requirement for an interim report. The provision has been further modified to specify that no promulgation of final regulations may occur prior to September 30, 1999.

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OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY

GENERAL DEPARTMENTAL MANAGEMENT

The conference agreement appropriates $193,902,000, instead of $172,513,000 as proposed by the House and $174,160,000 as proposed by the Senate. The agreement includes a legal citation proposed by the Senate for the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission.

The conference agreement includes language proposed by the House that earmarks $890,000 for a contract with the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study of available scientific literature on repetitive tasks in the workplace and musculoskeletal disorders. This study is to be conducted in accordance with the instructions contained in the House Committee Report.

The conference agreement contains an increase of $4,000,000 over the President's budget request for traditional departmental management activities. These funds are not intended to be used for any other activity. Should the Secretary decide to use any part of these funds for a different purpose, she must first submit a reprogramming request to the Appropriations Committees.

The conference agreement includes $1,000,000, to be derived from the one-percent evaluation setaside in ASPE, to fund, through a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, the establishment and coordination of a national task force on alcohol-related birth defects. This task force, which will include representation from within, and outside of, the Federal government, shall be charged with developing a national strategy for the prevention of alcohol-related birth defects, including Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effect, and for the provision and coordination of appropriate interventions for affected individuals and their families.

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Over the past decade there have been numerous studies on the possible link between the environment and breast cancer rates. The Secretary of Health and Human Services is encouraged to consult with the National Academy of Sciences to assess the current scientific knowledge on the potential environmental causes of breast cancer, and to identify research needs, establish research priorities, and make recommendations about the implementation of the research plan identified. The consultation should include scientists, outside agencies, and community advocates.

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The conference agreement includes $5,000,000 in the Policy Research account in the Office of the Secretary to continue research on the outcomes of welfare reform. It is recommended that this research involve state-specific surveys and data sets, survey data on the impacts of state waiver programs, and administrative data such as Food Stamp, Social Security and Internal Revenue Service records. The research should measure outcomes in both low and high economic growth areas of the country. The Department is urged to continue to involve the National Academy of Sciences to provide guidance on research design and to recommend further research. An interim report is to be submitted to the Appropriations Committees within six months.

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ORGAN TRANSPLANTATION

The conference agreement includes amended House bill language (section 213) which: (1) prohibits the April 2, 1998 Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) final rule from becoming effective for a year; (2) provides a review of existing policies and the April 2, 1998 final rule by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), under contract and subject to review by the Comptroller General; and (3) provides for data collection and analysis activities. The conference agreement directs that professional staff with appropriate expertise, who have not been involved in this regulatory issue, should undertake this work for the IOM.

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//RESPONSE TO NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (NAS) REPORT "GRADING THE NATION'S REPORT CARD: EVALUATING NAEP AND TRANSFORMING THE ASSESSMENT OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRESS" \\

On September 24, 1998, the National Academy of Sciences released a report entitled "Grading the Nation's Report Card: Evaluating NAEP and Transforming the Assessment of Educational Progress." The report, conducted under the authority of section 411(f) of the National Education Statistics Act, concluded, in part, that the NAEP achievement level-setting procedures remain fundamentally flawed. Because the achievement levels for the proposed national tests are to be modeled upon the NAEP achievement levels, the report's findings have direct implications for national tests.

The conference agreement requires NAGB to develop and submit to Congress and the White House a report which responds to the findings of the NAS on this matter. NAGB shall report to Congress and the White House no later than September 30, 1999.

//NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (NAS) TECHNICAL FEASIBILITY STUDY \\

The conference agreement authorizes the NAS to conduct a study of the technical feasibility, validity, and reliability of imbedding test items from NAEP or other tests in state and district assessments in fourth grade reading and eighth grade mathematics.

The conference agreement recognizes that including items from one test in another test for the purpose of providing a common measure of individual student performance is, effectively, a form of linking. Therefore, NAS should issue a report not only on the practicality, but also the validity and reliability of interpretations based upon reported scores from the inclusion of test items from NAEP or other tests in state and district assessments.

In looking at the validity and reliability of imbedding test items and the reporting of test results on such items, the NAS should determine whether linking state and district assessments to the NAEP or another national performance standard or scale through the method of imbedded items will result in valid measures of student achievement within states and districts, and in terms of national performance standards or scales.

Further, NAS should consider the issues presented in its report to Congress dated September 3, 1998 and entitled "Uncommon Measures: Equivalence and Linkage Among Educational Tests," and those issues raised by the General Accounting Office report "Student Testing: Issues Related to Voluntary National Mathematics and Reading Tests" dated June 1998. The NAS study should take into consideration the validity and reliability of content and standards-based score descriptions of different measurements, comparison of a matrix-sample test to an individual student achievement test, differences in test purposes, stakes and motivation, and the stability of results over time.

The NAS informal progress report (due no later than June 30, 1999), the NAS final report (due no later than September 30, 1999), and the Administration's views on national testing will be considered during the authorization process of the National Assessment of Educational Progress and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in the 106th Congress.

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GANG RESISTANCE EDUCATION AND TRAINING

The conferees agree to provide $13,000,000 to ATF, instead of 10,000,000 as proposed by the House and $13,239,000 as proposed by the Senate for grants to local law enforcement organizations for the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program. The GREAT program has been enthusiastically endorsed by communities in Colorado, North Carolina and Wisconsin. The conferees direct that qualified law enforcement and prevention organizations from these areas be funded under GREAT.

The conferees are aware of concerns about the lack of a long-term evaluation of the impact of this program. Therefore, the conferees urge ATF to contract with the National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Law and Justice, to conduct an independent evaluation of the GREAT program.

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