[House Report 106-527]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

                                                 House Calendar No. 178

106th Congress                                                   Report
  2d Session            HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                106-527

                         CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS

                        AGAINST DR. MILES JONES


                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                         COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE

                                 ON THE


                     DR. MILES JONES FOR FAILURE TO

                       APPEAR PURSUANT TO A DULY

                          AUTHORIZED SUBPOENA


   March 16, 2000.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 


79-006                     WASHINGTON : 2000       

                         COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE

                     TOM BLILEY, Virginia, Chairman

W.J. ``BILLY'' TAUZIN, Louisiana     JOHN D. DINGELL, Michigan
MICHAEL G. OXLEY, Ohio               HENRY A. WAXMAN, California
MICHAEL BILIRAKIS, Florida           EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
JOE BARTON, Texas                    RALPH M. HALL, Texas
FRED UPTON, Michigan                 RICK BOUCHER, Virginia
CLIFF STEARNS, Florida               EDOLPHUS TOWNS, New York
PAUL E. GILLMOR, Ohio                FRANK PALLONE, Jr., New Jersey
  Vice Chairman                      SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
JAMES C. GREENWOOD, Pennsylvania     BART GORDON, Tennessee
CHRISTOPHER COX, California          PETER DEUTSCH, Florida
NATHAN DEAL, Georgia                 BOBBY L. RUSH, Illinois
STEVE LARGENT, Oklahoma              ANNA G. ESHOO, California
RICHARD BURR, North Carolina         RON KLINK, Pennsylvania
BRIAN P. BILBRAY, California         BART STUPAK, Michigan
ED WHITFIELD, Kentucky               ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York
GREG GANSKE, Iowa                    TOM SAWYER, Ohio
CHARLIE NORWOOD, Georgia             ALBERT R. WYNN, Maryland
TOM A. COBURN, Oklahoma              GENE GREEN, Texas
RICK LAZIO, New York                 KAREN McCARTHY, Missouri
BARBARA CUBIN, Wyoming               TED STRICKLAND, Ohio
JAMES E. ROGAN, California           DIANA DeGETTE, Colorado
JOHN SHIMKUS, Illinois               THOMAS M. BARRETT, Wisconsin
HEATHER WILSON, New Mexico           BILL LUTHER, Minnesota
JOHN B. SHADEGG, Arizona             LOIS CAPPS, California
ROY BLUNT, Missouri
ED BRYANT, Tennessee
ROBERT L. EHRLICH, Jr., Maryland

                   James E. Derderian, Chief of Staff
                   James D. Barnette, General Counsel
      Reid P.F. Stuntz, Minority Staff Director and Chief Counsel


                                                 House Calendar No. 178

106th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     106-527




   March 16, 2000.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 


  Mr. Bliley, from the Committee on Commerce, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T


Purpose and Summary..............................................     1
Facts, Background and Chronology.................................     2
Authority and Legislative Purpose................................     4
Conclusion.......................................................     4
Hearings.........................................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     5
Committee Votes..................................................     5
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     8
Committee on Government Reform Oversight Findings................     8
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax 
  Expenditures; Committee Cost Estimate; Congressional Budget 
  Office Estimate; and Federal Mandates Statement................     8
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     8
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     8
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     8
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     8
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     8

                          purpose and summary

    The purpose of this report is to set forth the basis for 
finding Dr. Miles Jones in contempt of Congress for his failure 
to appear and testify before the Subcommittee on Health and 
Environment of the Committee on Commerce, as required by a 
properly issued and served subpoena ad testificandum.
    Upon adoption by the Commerce Committee and the House, this 
report and accompanying resolution would direct the Speaker to 
certify and refer the matter to the U.S. Attorney for the 
District of Columbia for prosecution in accordance with the 
statutory provision for contempt of Congress, 2 U.S.C. 
Sec. 192. That offense carries a sentence of no less than one 
month and no more than one year in prison, plus fines up to 

                    facts, background and chronology

    On November 9, 1999, the House of Representatives adopted a 
resolution introduced by Representative Tom Tancredo calling 
upon the Congress to conduct an investigation into whether 
human fetuses and fetal tissue are being bought and sold in 
violation of Federal law (H. Res. 350). The statute at issue is 
42 U.S.C. Sec. 289g-2(a), which makes it a felony to knowingly 
acquire, receive or transfer human fetal tissue for valuable 
consideration. ``Valuable consideration'' is defined to exclude 
``reasonable payments associated with the transportation, 
implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or 
storage of human fetal tissue.'' 42 U.S.C. Sec.  289g-2(d)(3).
    The resolution was based on information that came to the 
attention of Congress indicating that at least one commercial 
fetal tissue broker had developed a price list for the sale of 
various fetal body parts, with prices that did not appear on 
their face to be reflective of differing cost structures and in 
some cases seemed unreasonably high (attached as Exhibit A). 
This price list was for a company named Opening Lines, an 
entity that acquires human fetal tissue and then provides it to 
the research community. Opening Lines was founded and is 
operated by Dr. Miles Jones, who is a pathologist by training.
    Following the passage of the House resolution, the 
Committee on Commerce launched an investigation into whether 
Opening Lines or others involved in procuring, selling, or 
buying fetal tissue were operating in compliance with Federal 
law. The Committee also began reviewing related questions 
concerning whether other requirements of Federal law in this 
area were being observed, particularly, whether clinics and 
fetal tissue brokers were receiving informed consent from women 
before providing their fetuses for research purposes, and 
whether the timing, method, or procedures of abortions were 
being altered solely for the purpose of obtaining fetal tissue 
for research. While these latter restrictions apply only to 
Federally-funded transplantation research, the patient safety 
and ethical concerns that are the basis for these restrictions 
are relevant to all fetal tissue procurement.
    In order to investigate this matter fully, the Committee 
began making formal and informal inquiries to fetal tissue 
brokers to obtain information relating to their fee structures 
and other relevant practices. As part of this investigation, 
Chairman Bliley wrote to Dr. Miles Jones of Opening Lines on 
two separate occasions (January 31 and February 16, 2000; 
attached as exhibits B and C), requesting pursuant to Rules X 
and XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives that he 
respond to specific questions relating to Opening Lines' 
business practices. Dr. Jones failed to respond to either 
letter. Committee staff telephoned Dr. Jones well in excess of 
25 times asking that he respond to the Chairman's questions. 
Dr. Jones did not respond to any of those Committee staff 
telephone calls.
    During the same time period, Chairman Bliley was 
interviewed by the ABC news program 20/20 about the Committee's 
investigation. During the course of this interview, Chairman 
Bliley was shown portions of an undercover videotape that 20/20 
had taped in connection with its own investigation into the 
fetal tissue brokerage industry. Chairman Bliley was shown 
these segments in order to gain the Chairman's reaction to Dr. 
Jones' statements concerning his business practices. During 
this taped conversation, Dr. Jones asserted that during some 
weeks he could make up to $50,000 from buying and selling fetal 
tissue and fetal body parts. He clearly stated that ``market 
force'' determines the prices at which he sells fetal body 
parts ``it's what you can sell it for,'' he said, in response 
to a question about what price he charges for a fetal brain or 
kidney. He also asserted that the cost of procuring the fetus 
``is the same, whether you get one kidney or you get two 
kidneys, a lung, a brain, a heart.'' The rest, he agreed, was 
``just money in the bank.'' Dr. Jones also made statements 
during this undercover interview about the level of informed 
consent by women who donate fetal tissue.
    Given these facts, and Dr. Jones' failure to respond to 
voluntary Committee requests for information, Chairman Bliley 
(after consultation with the Minority) authorized and issued, 
pursuant to clause 2(m)(3)(A)(i) of rule XI of the rules of the 
House of Representatives and rule 19 of the Rules of the 
Committee on Commerce, a subpoena ad testificandum on February 
29, 2000, commanding Dr. Jones' appearance and testimony at a 
hearing of the Subcommittee on Health and Environment on March 
9, 2000, at 2:00 p.m. This subpoena was lawfully served upon 
Dr. Jones by the U.S. Marshals Service on March 1, 2000. A copy 
of the subpoena and its proof of service is attached to this 
report as Exhibit D. Subsequent to service, Committee staff 
made several additional attempts to contact Dr. Jones to 
inquire whether he would comply with the subpoena, to no avail.
    The Subcommittee convened pursuant to notice on March 9, 
2000, to hold a hearing entitled ``Fetal Tissue: Is It Being 
Bought and Sold in Violation of Federal Law?'' The purpose of 
the hearing, as evidenced by the Committee hearing memorandum, 
was to ``hold a limited, investigatory hearing to consider 
evidence that fetal tissue may have been acquired and sold for 
valuable consideration in contravention of Federal law.'' 
Besides Dr. Jones, several other witnesses were invited and/or 
subpoenaed to attend this hearing to discuss their knowledge of 
or roles in the procuring or selling of fetal tissue.
    Following opening statements from the Members of the 
Subcommittee, Subcommittee Chairman Michael Bilirakis called 
the scheduled witnesses to the witness table, but Dr. Jones did 
not appear as commanded by his subpoena. At that point, full 
Committee Chairman Bliley offered a unanimous consent request 
that the hearing stand in recess, and that the Subcommittee 
waive all applicable notice requirements or other rules and 
immediately proceed into a business meeting for the purpose of 
considering a resolution finding Dr. Jones in contempt for his 
contumacious failure to comply with a subpoena ad 
    Without objection, and with a quorum present, Chairman 
Bilirakis recessed the hearing and convened a business meeting 
of the Subcommittee. Chairman Bliley then offered a resolution 
(attached as Exhibit E) finding that Dr. Jones was lawfully 
served with a validly issued subpoena commanding his appearance 
and testimony at the Subcommittee hearing on March 9, 2000, at 
2:00 p.m.; finding Dr. Jones in contempt of Congress for his 
contumacious failure to appear as commanded by the subpoena ad 
testificandum; and directing that a report be prepared and 
forwarded to the full Committee for appropriate action. The 
resolution was approved by a record vote of 27 ayes and no 

                   Authority and legislative purpose

    Clause 1 of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives grants the Committee on Commerce jurisdiction 
over public health and quarantine, biomedical research and 
development, health and health facilities, and interstate and 
foreign commerce generally. Clause 2 of rule X grants the 
Committee authority to review ``whether laws and programs 
addressing subjects within the jurisdiction of [the Committee] 
are being implemented and carried out with the intent of 
Congress.'' As such, it is within the oversight authority of 
the Committee to investigate whether fetal tissue is being 
bought or sold in interstate commerce in violation of Federal 
law, as well as the health and research-related questions 
surrounding that matter.
    The Committee also has a clear legislative purpose in 
conducting such oversight, given that it could lead the 
Committee to consider strengthening Federal requirements in 
this area or mandating additional oversight or enforcement 
mechanisms by the Executive Branch agencies with 
responsibilities in this area.


    Chairman Bliley lawfully authorized and issued a subpoena 
ad testificandum upon Dr. Miles Jones, pursuant to House and 
Committee rules and in furtherance of a valid legislative 
purpose within the Committee's authority, responsibility and 
jurisdiction. De spite being served with this subpoena, Dr. 
Jones failed to appear at the scheduled hearing of the 
Subcommittee on Health and Environment, and his refusal to do 
so was both willful and contemptible.
    Accordingly, the Committee recommends to the House the 
following resolution:

          Resolved, That pursuant to sections 102 and 104 of 
        the Revised Statutes of the United States (2 U.S.C. 
        Sec. Sec. 192, 194), the Speaker of the House of 
        Representatives shall certify the report adopted by the 
        Committee on Commerce, detailing the failure of Dr. 
        Miles Jones to appear and testify before the 
        Subcommittee on Health and Environment on March 9, 
        2000, pursuant to a duly authorized and served subpoena 
        ad testificandum, to the United States Attorney for the 
        District of Columbia, to the end that Dr. Miles Jones 
        be proceeded against in the manner and form provided by 


    The Subcommittee on Health and Environment held a hearing 
on March 9, 2000, to receive testimony from Dr. Miles Jones, 
among other witnesses.

                        committee consideration

    On March 9, 2000, the Subcommittee on Health and 
Environment met in open session to consider a resolution of 
contempt against Dr. Miles Jones for failure to appear and 
testify as commanded by subpoena, and directing the 
Subcommittee to report such finding to the full Committee for 
such action as the Committee deems appropriate. The resolution 
was approved, without amendment, by a record vote of 27 yeas 
and no nays.
    On March 15, 2000, the Committee on Commerce met in open 
markup session and agreed to a motion (attached as Exhibit F) 
by Mr. Bilirakis adopting this report, and directing the 
Chairman of the Committee to file this report with the House 
and to take such other actions as may be necessary to bring 
this report to the House for its consideration. The motion was 
agreed to by a record vote of 34 yeas and no nays.

                            committee votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto. The 
following are the record votes on the motion to adopt this 
report, including the names of those Members voting for and 
against. Also included is the record vote of the Subcommittee 
on Health and Environment adopting the resolution of contempt 
against Dr. Miles Jones.

                      committee oversight findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee held an oversight 
hearing and business meeting, and made findings that are 
reflected in this report.

           committee on government reform oversight findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, no oversight findings have been 
submitted to the Committee by the Committee on Government 

  new budget authority, entitlement authority, and tax expenditures; 
  committee cost estimate; congressional budget office estimate; and 
                       federal mandates statement

    The Committee finds that clauses 3(c)(2) and (3) of rule 
XIII, section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, and 
section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act are 
inapplicable to this report. Therefore, the Committee did not 
request a cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office 
and makes no findings as to the budgetary impact of this 

                      advisory committee statement

    The Committee finds that section 5(b) of the Federal 
Advisory Committee Act is inapplicable to this report.

                   constitutional authority statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that the 
Constitutional authority for this report is provided in Article 
I, section 8, clause 3, which grants Congress the power to 
regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the several 
States, and with the Indian tribes.

                  applicability to legislative branch

    The Committee finds that the report does not relate to the 
terms and conditions of employment or access to public services 
or accommodations within the meaning of section 102(b)(3) of 
the Congressional Accountability Act.

             section-by-section analysis of the legislation

    This report does not accompany legislation.

         changes in existing law made by the bill, as reported

    This report does not amend any existing Federal statute.