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H.R.3447 - Surgeon General Independence Act
To amend the Public Health Service Act to ensure the independence of the Surgeon General from political interference.
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August 3, 2007
Mr. WAXMAN (for himself, Mrs. CAPPS, Ms. SCHAKOWSKY, Ms. LEE, Ms. SLAUGHTER, Ms. SOLIS, Mr. TOWNS, Ms. BALDWIN, Ms. DEGETTE, Mrs. CHRISTENSEN, Mr. COHEN, Ms. HOOLEY, Mr. COOPER, and Mr. LEWIS of Georgia) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and CommerceCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. INDEPENDENCE OF THE SURGEON GENERAL OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE.
`(1) IN GENERAL- The Surgeon General shall be appointed for a 4-year term by the President, in accordance with paragraph (2), by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(3) NOMINATIONS- The Regular Corps shall submit to the Secretary and the President a list of 6 nominees, who meet the requirements of paragraph (2), and of whom not fewer than 3 shall be Regular Corps officers of flag rank, to fill any existing or pending vacancy in the position of Surgeon General. The Secretary shall forward such list to the President, the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(5) GRADE AND NUMBER- Upon expiration of an individual's service as the Surgeon General, the individual, unless reappointed, shall revert to the grade and number in the Regular Corps or Reserve Corps which the individual would have occupied if not for such service.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(b) Removal- The President may only remove the Surgeon General during a term for cause. If a Surgeon General is removed, the Secretary shall provide to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate a written explanation as to the cause for the removal.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(c) Line of Authority- Notwithstanding section 201, the Surgeon General, under the supervision and direction of the Secretary, shall administer the Office of the Surgeon General, the Regular Corps, and the Reserve Corps.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(d) Budget Authority- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for each fiscal year, the Surgeon General shall prepare and submit, directly to the President for review and transmittal to the Congress, an annual budget estimate (including the number and type of personnel needs for the Surgeon General) for the Office of the Surgeon General, after reasonable opportunity for comment (but without change) by the Secretary.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(e) Staff- Subject to the availability of appropriations, the provisions of this title, and applicable Federal civil service laws, the Surgeon General shall have the authority to hire and terminate employees of and consultants to the Office of the Surgeon General without obtaining approval by, or clearance from, any employee of or consultant to the Department of Health and Human Services.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(1) IN GENERAL- The Surgeon General shall from time to time issue reports, calls to action, and other communications on matters of importance to the health of the American people.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(2) ANNUAL REPORT- In carrying out paragraph (1), the Surgeon General shall submit to the Congress and make publicly available an annual report on the state of the Nation's health. Each such report shall include an analysis of the potential impact of global health trends on the Nation's health.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(3) PUBLIC HEALTH SCIENCE- The reports, calls to action, and other communications issued under paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be based on the Surgeon General's professional judgment regarding the best available public health science.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(4) ROLE OF THE SECRETARY- The Secretary shall have exclusive authority to disapprove the issuance of a report, call to action, or other communication proposed by the Surgeon General. If the Secretary disapproves the issuance of a report, call to action, or other communication proposed by the Surgeon General, the Secretary shall, within 10 days of disapproval, submit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate a full explanation of the reasons for such disapproval.'.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Conforming Amendment- Section 201 of the Public Health Service Act (
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