POSITIVE LAW CODIFICATION
TITLE 51, UNITED STATES CODE


National and Commercial Space Programs



BACKGROUND

Public Law 111-314 revises and restates certain laws relating to national and commercial space programs as a new positive law title, Title 51, National and Commercial Space Programs, of the United States Code.


Public Law 111-314 is based on a codification bill, H.R. 3237, prepared by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel as part of its ongoing responsibility under section 205(c) of House Resolution No. 988, 93d Congress, as enacted into law by Public Law 93-544 (2 U.S.C. 285b), to prepare and submit to the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives, one title at a time, a complete compilation, restatement, and revision of the general and permanent laws of the United States.


Over the past five decades, a substantial amount of legislation was enacted relating to national and commercial space programs. In the United States Code, some of these provisions appeared in Title 15, Commerce and Trade, some in Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, and some in Title 49, Transportation. No distinct title for national and commercial space programs existed in the United States Code because the organizational scheme for the Code was originally established in 1926, before such programs were contemplated.


Public Law 111-314 gathers provisions relating to national and commercial space programs, and restates the provisions as Title 51, National and Commercial Space Programs, of the United States Code. Public Law 111-314 does not provide for any new programs. Nor does it modify or repeal any existing programs. Rather, the Act restates existing law in a manner adhering to the policy, intent, and purpose of the original enactments, while improving the organizational structure of the law and removing ambiguities, contradictions, and other imperfections.


For more information about the process of positive law codification generally, see the brochure Positive Law Codification in the United States Code.


MAJOR ACTIONS & STATUS

In the 111th Congress, H.R. 3237 was introduced on July 16, 2009, and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives. The Committee considered the bill in full committee markup on October 21, 2009, and ordered the bill to be reported. The bill was reported by the Committee on November 2, 2009, and passed by the House of Representatives on January 13, 2010. On January 20, 2010, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate. The Committee considered the bill in full committee markup on May 6, 2010, and ordered the bill to be reported. The bill was reported by the Committee on May 10, 2010, and passed by the Senate on December 3, 2010. On December 18, 2010, the bill became Public Law 111-314.

RELATED LINKS

(1) Title 51 - National and Commercial Space Programs

(2) Public Law 111-314

(3) H. Rept. 111-325

(4) Changes in the United States Code

QUESTIONS & COMMENTS

Questions and comments about Public Law 111-314 and the title 51 codification project should be directed to:


     Robert M. Sukol, Deputy Law Revision Counsel
     Office of the Law Revision Counsel
     U.S. House of Representatives
     Washington, D.C. 20515

     Email: robert.sukol@mail.house.gov
     Telephone: (202) 226-9060