[House Report 107-477]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
107th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
2d Session 107-477
EMBASSY EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION ACT
May 20, 2002.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Sensenbrenner, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 3375]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the
bill (H.R. 3375) to provide compensation for the United States
citizens who were victims of the bombings of United States
embassies in East Africa on August 7, 1998, on the same basis
as compensation is provided to victims of the terrorist-related
aircraft crashes on September 11, 2001, having considered the
same, reports favorably thereon without amendment and
recommends that the bill do pass.
Purpose and Summary.............................................. 1
Background and Need for the Legislation.......................... 2
Committee Consideration.......................................... 2
Vote of the Committee............................................ 2
Committee Oversight Findings..................................... 2
Performance Goals and Objectives................................. 3
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................ 3
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................ 3
Constitutional Authority Statement............................... 5
Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion....................... 5
Markup Transcript................................................ 7
Purpose and Summary
H.R. 3375, the ``Embassy Employee Compensation Act''
directs the Attorney General to provide compensation for those
American citizens who were victims of the bombings of the
United States Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, and of the United
States Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on August 7, 1998,
through the Special Master appointed to administer the
September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001. The bill would
authorize payments for physical harm, economic losses and
noneconomic losses, such as physical and emotional pain and
loss of enjoyment of life, for individuals present at either of
the bombings or their immediate aftermath. These are the same
standards for payment that are applied to individuals receiving
payment under the September 11th Fund. In the case of a
deceased individual, the bill would allow relatives of that
individual to be compensated.
If a claim is filed under the act, all rights are waived to
participate in civil suits in any Federal or State court for
damages sustained in the bombings with the exception of suits
that involve recovery of ``collateral source'' obligations such
as life insurance, pension funds, death benefit programs and
payments by Federal, State and local governments. Punitive
damages may not be awarded under the act. Additionally, any
award from the fund will be reduced by any other amount of
compensation the claimant has received or is entitled to
receive as a result of the bombings.
Background and Need for the Legislation
On September 22, 2001, the ``September 11th Victim
Compensation Fund of 2001,'' was signed into law.\1\ That fund
created a compensation program, administered by the Attorney
General through a Special Master, for any individual who was
injured or killed as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft
crashes of September 11, 2001.
\1\ Pub. L. No. 107-42.
On August 7, 1998, agents of Osama bin Laden orchestrated
near simultaneous vehicular bombings of the U.S. embassies in
Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. These terrorist
incidents cost the lives of over 220 persons and wounded more
than 4,000 others. Twelve American U.S. Government employees
and family members were among those killed.
As a matter of fairness and equity, the bombing victims at
the U.S. embassies should have access to the same compensation
system as those killed and injured during the September 11th
attacks on U.S. targets by agents of Osama bin Laden.
No hearings were held on H.R. 3375.
On April 24, 2002, the Committee met in open session and
ordered favorably reported the bill H.R. 3375 without amendment
by voice vote, a quorum being present.
Vote of the Committee
There were no recorded votes on H.R. 3375.
Committee Oversight Findings
In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules
of the House of Representatives, the Committee reports that the
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the
descriptive portions of this report.
Performance Goals and Objectives
H.R. 3375 will provide the victims of the bombing of the
U.S. embassies access to the same compensation system that is
available to those killed and injured during the September 11th
attacks on U.S. targets by agents of Osama bin Laden.
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures
Clause 3(c)(2) of House rule XIII is applicable because
this legislation provides new budgetary authority.
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate
In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules
of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets forth, with
respect to the bill, H.R. 3375, the following estimate and
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, May 20, 2002.
Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., Chairman,
Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman:
The Congressional Budget Office has prepared the enclosed
cost estimate for H.R. 3375, the Embassy Employee Compensation
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Lanette J.
Walker, who can be reached at 226-2860.
Dan L. Crippen, Director.
Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
H.R. 3375--Embassy Employee Compensation Act.
H.R. 3375 would authorize the Special Master administering
the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund to provide monetary
compensation to U.S. citizens that were injured, and to the
families of those killed, in the embassy bombings in East
Africa on August 7, 1998. Compensation would be for economic
and noneconomic losses (including pain, suffering, and loss of
companionship). Based on information from the State Department,
and on the regulations established for the September 11th
Victim Compensation Fund, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3375
would cost about $10 million to compensate those bombing
victims and relatives. We expect that those payments would be
made in fiscal year 2003. Because enactment of H.R. 3375 would
affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures would apply.
H.R. 3375 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)
and would impose no costs on State, local, or tribal
ESTIMATED COST TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
The estimated budgetary impact of H.R. 3375 is shown in the
following table. The cost of this legislation falls within
budget function 750 (administration of justice).
BASIS OF ESTIMATE
H.R. 3375 would direct the Special Master to issue
regulations for accepting claims and hearing evidence within 90
days of enactment of H.R. 3375. The Special Master would then
have 140 days following the submission of a claim to determine
the amount of compensation and pay the claim.
Based on background information about the 12 deceased
victims, and 16 of the injured victims, and considering the
regulations published for the September 11th Victim
Compensation Fund, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3375 would
cost $10 million over the 2003-2007 period to compensate the
victims and the families.
Under the bill, the amount of compensation payable from the
fund will be reduced by the amount of compensation victims
receive from other sources--for example, life insurance,
pension funds, death benefit programs, and other government
payments related to the bombings. CBO has no information about
the specific circumstances of any particular victims of the
embassy bombings in East Africa, nor does it have any basis for
judging how much compensation any individual victim or victim's
family would receive. For the purposes of this estimate, CBO
has assumed that the Special Master would provide compensation
in amounts similar to those indicated in the regulations for
the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund.
Using that information, CBO estimates that the families of
the 12 deceased victims would be entitled to payments averaging
about $1.5 million before reductions for the compensation
received from collateral sources. Based on information from the
State Department about the likely amounts of such compensation
under current law, CBO estimates that net payments to families
of the deceased victims would total about $5 million.
The bill also would compensate victims that were injured.
According to the State Department, 16 U.S. citizens were
evacuated to Europe for treatment of injuries resulting from
the bombings, and some additional victims received medical
treatment locally. Payments for each victim would be determined
by the particular circumstances of that victim. CBO has no
information on the severity of the injures, nor the degree of
disability suffered, but we assume that these victims would
receive compensation averaging between $100,000 and $200,000,
for total payments of about $5 million. Compensation for these
victims could be significantly higher if many of them were
The Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act sets
up pay-as-you-go procedures for legislation affecting direct
spending or receipts. The changes in direct spending that would
be subject to pay-as-you-go procedures are shown in the
INTERGOVERNMENTAL AND PRIVATE-SECTOR IMPACT
H.R. 3375 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in UMRA and would impose no cost on State,
local, or tribal governments.
ESTIMATE PREPARED BY:
Federal Costs: Lanette J. Walker (226-2860)
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Angela Seitz
Impact on the Private Sector: Paige Piper/Bach (226-2940)
ESTIMATE APPROVED BY:
Peter H. Fontaine
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis
Constitutional Authority Statement
Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the
House of Representatives, the Committee finds the authority for
this legislation in article 1, section 8 of the Constitution.
Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion
Sec. 1. Short Title
This section establishes the short title of the act as the
``Embassy Employee Compensation Act.''
Sec. 2. Definitions
This section defines the terms ``claimant,'' ``collateral
source,'' ``economic loss,'' ``eligible individual,''
``noneconomic losses,'' and ``Special Master'' for purposes of
Sec. 3. Purpose
This section states that the purpose of the act is to
provide compensation to individuals or their family who were
injured or killed as a result of the bombings of the U.S.
embassies on August 7, 1998.
Sec. 4. Administration
Subsection 4(a) provides that the Attorney General, through
the Special Master, will administer the established
compensation act; promulgate procedural and substantive rules
for that administration; and employ and supervise necessary
personnel to fulfill the duties of the Special Master.
Subsection 4(b) authorizes the appropriation of such sums
as are necessary to pay administrative and support costs for
the Special Master to carry out the act.
Sec. 5. Determination of Eligibility for Compensation
Subsection 5(a) provides that a claimant can file a claim
for compensation under the act with the Special Master. That
claim shall be filed on a form developed by the Special Master
which the claimant will be able to file electronically (if
practical). The information requested by the form will include
information concerning the physical harm suffered, the economic
and noneconomic losses suffered; and the collateral sources of
compensation which the claimant has received or is entitled to
receive as a result of the bombings. In the case of a claim
filed on behalf of a deceased individual, the form will require
information confirming the decedent's death as a result of the
August 7, 1998, bombings. The subsection provides that no claim
under the act may be filed after the date that is 2 years after
the date regulations necessary to the act are promulgated.
Subsection 5(b) provides that the Special Master review
claims and first determines the claimant's eligibility. Once
eligibility has been confirmed, the Special Master is to
determine the extent of harm done to the claimant and the
amount of compensation they are entitled to based on the harm
done; facts of the claim; and individual circumstances of the
claimant. When evaluating a claim, the Special Master will not
consider negligence with respect to the claimant. The review
and determination of the claim must be completed within 120
days after the date the claim is filed. The Special Master will
provide written notice of the final determination and the basis
for that determination to the claimant within that timeframe.
The Special Master's determination is final and not subject to
judicial review. The claimants will have the right to be
represented by an attorney, and to present written evidence and
witnesses to support their claim. They will also retain due
process rights that are deemed appropriate by the Special
Master. The act does not allow for the granting of any punitive
damages. Any amounts received under the act are to be reduced
by the amount of any collateral source compensation the
claimant has received or is entitled to as a result of the
Subsection 5(c) provides that an individual will be
considered eligible for compensation if he is a citizen of the
United States who was present at the embassies at the time or
the bombings or in the immediate aftermath and suffered
physical harm or death as a result. In the case of a decedent,
the personal representative of the decedent will be considered
an eligible individual. The subsection further provides that no
more than one claim may be filed by an one individual or on
behalf of a deceased individual. Upon the filing of a claim,
the individual waives all rights to file a civil action or be a
party to an action in Federal or State court for damages
resulting from the bombings. If an individual is a party to a
civil action at the time of enactment of this act, they are
prohibited from filing a claim under the act unless they
withdraw from that civil action within 90 days after the
regulation have been promulgated for the act. These
restrictions do not apply to civil actions to recover
collateral source compensation.
Sec. 6. Payments to Eligible Individuals
Subsection 6(a) provides that the Special Master must
authorize payments to an eligible claimant of the amount they
have been deemed eligible to receive under that act not later
than 20 days after the date on which the determination of that
amount has been made.
Subsection 6(b) provides that the payments under the act
are to be made through direct spending.
Subsection 6(c) provides that the Attorney General is
authorized to accept contributions by individuals, business
concerns, and other entities to carry out the act. The Attorney
General may impose any terms or conditions on those
contributions that are appropriate. The contributed funds are
to be used prior to any appropriated amounts for carrying out
Sec. 7. Regulations
Section 7 provides that the Attorney General, through the
Special Master will promulgate regulations to carry out the act
within 90 days after enactment. There will be regulations
promulgated with respect to the forms to be used for submission
of a claim, the information to be included in those forms, the
procedures for hearing and presentation of evidence, procedures
for assisting potential claimants in the filing and pursuit of
a claim, and other matters which the Attorney General deems
necessary to carry out the act.
Sec. 8. Right of Subrogation
Section 8 provides that the United States has the right of
subrogation with respect to any claim paid from U.S. funds
under this act.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 2002
House of Representatives,
Committee on the Judiciary,
The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:09 a.m., in
Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. F. James
Sensenbrenner, Jr. [Chairman of the Committee] presiding.
Chairman Sensenbrenner. [Presiding.] The Committee will be
Now, pursuant to notice, I call up the bill H.R. 3375, the
``Embassy Employee Compensation Act,'' for purposes of markup
and move its favorable recommendation to the House. Without
objection, the bill will be considered as read and open for
amendment at any point.
[The bill, H.R. 3375, follows:]
Chairman Sensenbrenner. The Chair recognizes the gentleman
from Pennsylvania, Mr. Gekas, Chairman of the Subcommittee on
Immigration and Claims, for 5 minutes to explain the bill.
Mr. Gekas. I thank the Chair.
As everyone recalls, after September the 11th, Congress
created the Special Victim Compensation Fund to cover the
victims of September the 11th. What this bill does is hark back
to August the 7th when the embassies at Nairobi, Kenya, and in
Tanzania were terrorized by the adherents of Osama bin Laden,
and extensive damage and deaths occurred as a result of those
two terror incidents.
This bill seeks to add--to constitute a real add-on to the
already existing Victims Compensation Fund, and so that the
Attorney General, in pursuing the compensation for September
the 11th, under this bill now will add through the Special
Master consideration of the victims of those two embassy
I yield back the balance of my time.
Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentlewoman from Texas, Ms.
Jackson Lee, wish to move to strike the last word, with the
admonition about drifting-away reporting quorum.
Ms. Jackson Lee. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am
conscious of that.
Let me quickly say that I'd like to thank the Chairman and
particularly thank Congresswoman Waters for being persistent in
this issue and for leading us on this bill. H.R. 3375 would
provide compensation for United States citizens who were
victims of the bombings of the United States Embassies in East
Africa on August 7, 1998, on the same basis as compensation
provided to victims of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes
on September 11th.
I simply want to say that this has been a long journey.
It's a very fair compensation act. It responds to the servants
that serve us around the world. And I hope that this will be
moved expeditiously through this Committee and am pleased to
offer my support for this legislation, H.R. 3375.
I yield back.
Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentlewoman from California?
Ms. Waters. I'd like to thank all of the Members who have
been involved with bringing this legislation before us. This
poor family of the victims have been working on this for such a
long time. I attempted to amend the USA PATRIOT Act. That did
not work. But this will work. It is the right thing to do.
You've heard a description about what happened in Kenya and
Tanzania, and I think everyone will agree that this is long-
delayed compensation that we must all give support to.
So I will yield back the balance of my time.
Chairman Sensenbrenner. Without objection, Members will be
authorized to insert opening statements in the record at this
[The prepared statement of Mr. Flake follows:]
Prepared Statement of the Honorable Jeff Flake, a Representative in
Congress From the State of Arizona
Mr. Chairman, I am compelled to note my concerns about H.R. 3375,
the Embassy Employee Compensation Act. The bill would compensate U.S.
victims of bombings of embassies in East Africa in August 1998 on the
same basis as compensation was provided to victims of the terrorist
attacks on September 11, 2001. While at first glance this seems to be a
noble and inoffensive gesture, the bill is setting a questionable
precedent. Certainly, other individuals have suffered greatly due to
terrorism. The 168 victims of domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh who
died in the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City are but one
example. To compensate victims in a piecemeal fashion through the
legislative process does not pay proper tribute to all victims of
terror and their families.
The State Department was directed by Congress in last year's bill
appropriating funds for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State
and the Judiciary to come up with a fair and comprehensive scheme for
compensating all victims of terrorism. A proposal has been sent to the
Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Justice, where it
is awaiting approval. This proposal would direct the Foreign Claims
Settlement Commission to administer the program, which would be funded
by both federal funds and funds recouped by international courts from
terrorists. There would be a cap on the awards but, unlike the
September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, victims could accept money from
other sources without negatively impacting the monies they receive from
Instead of pursuing narrow legislative actions, Congress should
pressure the Administration to move forward with development of a
comprehensive plan to compensate all victims of terror. This is a far
fairer and more judicious approach to the compensation of victims of
[The prepared statement of Ms. Jackson Lee follows:]
Are there any amendments? If there are none, the Chair
notes the presence of a reporting quorum. The question is on
the motion to report the bill----
Ms. Jackson Lee. Mr. Chairman? I don't know, Mr. Nadler was
en route to try and offer something. Is he coming around the
Chairman Sensenbrenner. The question occurs on the motion
to report the bill H.R. 3375 favorably. All those in favor will
say aye? Opposed, no?
The ayes appear to have it. The ayes have it, and the bill
is reported favorably. Without objection, the Chairman is
authorized to move to go to conference pursuant to House rules.
Without objection, the staff is directed to make any technical
and conforming changes, and all Members will be given 2 days,
as provided by House rules, in which to submit additional
dissenting, supplemental, or minority views.
The Chair would like to get through the three private bills
that are here before we break and before the reporting quorum
leaves. The gentleman from Florida?
Mr. Wexler. May I just take 30 seconds? Mr. Nadler was
going to offer an amendment that included in the opportunity to
have a remedy those employees of the U.S. Embassy who are not
American citizens, which my understanding is comparable to what
was done for non-citizens that were victims of the September
11th attack in the World Trade Center. And I just offer that as
an observation, and maybe we then could do it on the floor.