From the office of Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R, ILL)...
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), along with his colleague on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Congressman Mike Ross (D-AR), introduced the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Continuation Act, H.R. 2068 (download .pdf). This bipartisan legislation would permit a Commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to continue to serve on the Commission until a successor is confirmed or until the end of the Congress.
Currently, NRC Commissioners serve five-year terms, or are appointed to serve out the remainder term of a Commissioner who resigns or is no longer able to complete their term of service. Upon termination of a Commissioner's term, they must leave the Commission immediately, which creates a vacancy until a new or re-appointed Commissioner is named. The Kinzinger-Ross bill permits a Commissioner to continue to serve on the Commission until the date on which the Commissioner's successor has been appointed and confirmed; or the beginning of the first new Congress after the date on which the Commissioner's term expires.
"The events surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi accident were extremely tragic," said Kinzinger. "However, that should not mean the end of nuclear energy, which contributes to twenty percent of our energy. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission Continuation Act is an important step toward achieving an effective, efficient and stable five-member commission during this critical time to implement the findings. Ensuring that we maintain a full complement of commissioners to continue their important work will help us better understand what happened in Japan and make sure we can protect against this on American soil."
"Continuity and stability are key to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission being able to effectively do its job," said Ross. "As a Congressman from a state like Arkansas - which has long embraced nuclear power - this is an issue I take very seriously. Given the important work NRC does in regulating nuclear power, this bill will dramatically reduce the likelihood of a vacancy on the Commission and ensure it has the stability to properly do its job."
NOTE: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is one of few independent agencies that does NOT have a continuation of service provision for Commissioners; agencies such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Consumer Product Safety Commission all serve under such provisions - among others.
Click here to read the legislation for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Continuation Act, H.R. 2068.