H.R. 40 would establish a 15-member commission to study the effects of slavery and discriminatory policies on African Americans and recommend appropriate remedies, including reparations. The commission would report its findings and recommendations to the Congress 18 months after its first meeting and terminate 90 days after the report is submitted.
H.R. 40 would authorize the appropriation of $20 million for expenses of the commission, including payroll and support costs for members and support staff. Assuming appropriation of the authorized amount, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $20 million over the 2021-2026 period.
CBO assumes that the bill will be enacted late in fiscal year 2021. Because of the lag between enactment and appointing members to the commission, CBO does not expect there would be any budgetary effects in 2021.
The bill also would establish civil and criminal penalties for failure to comply with a subpoena from the commission. Civil fines are recorded in the budget as revenues. Criminal fines are recorded as revenues, deposited in the Crime Victims Fund, and subsequently spent without further appropriation. CBO estimates that any additional collections and associated spending would not be significant because of the relatively small number of additional cases likely to be affected.