In 1994, when the Congress passed legislation establishing the Social Security Administration as an independent agency, it also created a 7-member bipartisan Advisory Board to advise the President, the Congress, and the Commissioner of Social Security on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) policy. The conference report on this legislation passed both Houses of Congress without opposition. President Clinton signed the Social Security Independence and Program Improvements Act of 1994 into law on August 15, 1994 (P.L. 103-296).
PUBLIC LAW 103-296, as amended
SEC. 103. SOCIAL SECURITY ADVISORY BOARD.
Section 703 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 903)
is amended to read as follows:
SOCIAL SECURITY ADVISORY BOARD
Establishment of Board
SEC. 703. (a) There shall be established a Social Security Advisory Board (in this section referred to as the 'Board').
Functions of the Board
(b) On and after the date the Commissioner takes office, the Board shall advise the Commissioner on policies related to the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance program under title II and the supplemental security income program under title XVI. Specific functions of the Board shall include--
(1) analyzing the Nation's retirement and disability systems and making recommendations with respect to how the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance program and the supplemental security income program, supported by other public and private systems, can most effectively assure economic security;
(2) studying and making recommendations relating to the coordination of programs that provide health security with programs described in paragraph (1);
(3) making recommendations to the President and to the Congress with respect to policies that will ensure the solvency of the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance program, both in the short-term and the long-term;
(4) making recommendations with respect to the quality of service that the Administration provides to the public;
(5) making recommendations with respect to policies and regulations regarding the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance program and the supplemental security income program;
(6) increasing public understanding of the social security system;
(7) making recommendations with respect to a long-range research and program evaluation plan for the Administration;
(8) reviewing and assessing any major studies of social security as may come to the attention of the Board; and
(9) making recommendations with respect to such other matters as the Board determines to be appropriate.
Structure and Membership of the Board
(c)(1) The Board shall be composed of 7 members who shall be appointed as follows:
(A) 3 members shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Not more than 2 of such members shall be from the same political party.
(B) 2 members (each member from a different political party) shall be appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate with the advice of the Chairman and the Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Committee on Finance.
(C) 2 members (each member from a different political party) shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, with the advice of the Chairman and the Ranking Minority Member of the House Committee on Ways and Means.
(2) The members shall be chosen on the basis of their integrity, impartiality, and good judgment, and shall be individuals who are, by reason of their education, experience, and attainments, exceptionally qualified to perform the duties of members of the Board.
Terms of Appointment
(d) Each member of the Board shall serve for a term of 6 years, except that--
(1) a member appointed to a term of office after the commencement of such term may serve under such appointment only for the remainder of such term; and
(2) the terms of service of the members initially appointed under this section shall begin on October 1, 1994, and expire as follows:
(A) The terms of service of the members initially appointed by the President shall expire as designated by the President at the time of nomination, 1 each at the end of--
(i) 2 years;
(ii) 4 years; and
(iii) 6 years.
(B) The terms of service of members initially appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate shall expire as designated by the President pro tempore of the Senate at the time of nomination, 1 each at the end of--
(i) 3 years; and
(ii) 6 years.
(C) The terms of service of members initially appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall expire as designated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives at the time of nomination, 1 each at the end of--
(i) 4 years; and
(ii) 5 years.
(e) A member of the Board shall be designated by the President to serve as Chairman for a term of 4 years, coincident with the term of the President, or until the designation of a successor.
Compensation, Expenses and Per Diem
(f) A member of the Board shall, for each day (including travel time) during which the member is attending meetings or conferences of the Board or otherwise engaged in the business of the Board, be compensated at the daily rate of basic pay for Level IV of the Executive Schedule. While serving on business of the Board away from their homes or regular places of business, members may be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by section 5703 of title V, United States Code, for persons in the Government employed intermittently.
(g)(1) The Board shall meet at the call of the Chairman (in consultation with the other members of the Board) not less than 4 times each year to consider a specific agenda of issues, as determined by the Chairman in consultation with the other members of the Board.
(2) Four members of the Board (not more than 3 of whom may be of the same political party) shall constitute a quorum for purposes of conducting business.
Federal Advisory Committee Act
(h) The Board shall be exempt from the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.).
(i) The Board shall, without regard to the provisions of title V, relating to the competitive service, appoint a Staff Director who shall be paid at a rate equivalent to a rate established for the Senior Executive Service under section 5382 of title V. The Board shall appoint such additional personnel as the Board determines to be necessary to provide adequate support for the Board, and may compensate such additional personnel without regard to the provisions of title V, relating to the competitive service.
Authorization of Appropriations
(j) There are authorized to be appropriated, out of the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, and the general fund of the Treasury, such sums as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.