POSITIVE LAW CODIFICATION
TITLE 51, UNITED STATES CODE


National and Commercial Space Programs



CURRENT BILL

The Office of the Law Revision Counsel has prepared a draft bill (and accompanying explanation) to make revisions in title 51, United States Code, as necessary to keep the title current, and to make technical amendments to improve the United States Code. The bill was prepared by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel as part of its responsibility under 2 U.S.C. 285b to prepare and submit periodically to the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives proposed bills to maintain positive law titles of the United States Code.



BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

In December 2010, Public Law 111-314 enacted a restatement of existing law relating to national and commercial space programs as a new positive law title of the United States Code. As with all positive law codification measures prepared by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel, the bill enacting title 51, United States Code, did not create new law or change the meaning or effect of existing law. Rather, the organizational structure of the existing law was improved, and ambiguities, contradictions, and other imperfections in the law were removed. Detailed information about Public Law 111-314 is available in the accompanying House Report 111-325. Subsequent to enactment of title 51, United States Code, additional provisions relating to national and commercial space programs were enacted. In particular, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-267), title II of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-358), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017 (Public Law 115-10) contained relevant provisions. Those new provisions need to be incorporated in title 51, United States Code, to improve the clarity and organization of Federal law relating to national and commercial space programs. The current draft bill accomplishes that task. (Note: For information about the process of positive law codification generally, see the brochure Positive Law Codification in the United States Code.)


HISTORY OF ACTIVITY INCLUDING PREDECESSOR BILLS

  • July 28, 2015.—The Office of the Law Revision Counsel submitted an initial draft bill (and accompanying explanation) to the House Committee on the Judiciary for introduction in the 114th Congress.
  • March 30, 2016.—The Office of the Law Revision Counsel submitted an updated draft bill (and accompanying explanation) to the House Committee on the Judiciary for introduction in the 114th Congress.
  • January 6, 2017.—The Office of the Law Revision Counsel submitted an updated draft bill (and accompanying explanation) to the House Committee on the Judiciary for introduction in the 115th Congress.
  • July 14, 2017.—The Office of the Law Revision Counsel submitted an updated draft bill (and accompanying explanation) to the House Committee on the Judiciary for introduction in the 115th Congress.
  • June 7, 2018.—The Office of the Law Revision Counsel submitted an updated draft bill (and accompanying explanation) to the House Committee on the Judiciary for introduction in the 115th Congress.
  • July 12, 2018.—H.R. 6342 (115th Congress) introduced and referred to Committee on the Judiciary. (No further action in 115th Congress.)
  • July 16, 2019.—The Office of the Law Revision Counsel circulated an updated version of the draft bill (and accompanying explanation) for comment.
  • August 15, 2019.—The Office of the Law Revision Counsel submitted an updated draft bill (and accompanying explanation) to the House Committee on the Judiciary for introduction in the 116th Congress.

QUESTIONS & COMMENTS

Questions and comments are welcome and may be directed to:


     Rob 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) 226-2411