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107th Congress                                            Rept. 107-662
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                      Part 1

======================================================================



 
         NATIONAL WAR PERMANENT TRIBUTE HISTORICAL DATABASE ACT

                                _______
                                

               September 18, 2002.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Hansen, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2748]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 2748) to authorize the establishment of a national 
database for purposes of identifying, locating, and cataloging 
the many memorials and permanent tributes to America's 
veterans, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do 
pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``National War Permanent Tribute 
Historical Database Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

  Congress finds that--
          (1) on November 13, 2000, Congress agreed to a resolution 
        expressing the sense of Congress regarding the need for 
        cataloging and maintaining public memorials;
          (2) there are many thousands of public memorials and 
        permanent tributes throughout the United States and abroad that 
        commemorate military conflicts of the United States and the 
        service of individuals in the Armed Forces;
          (3) many of these memorials suffer from neglect and 
        disrepair, and many have been relocated or stored in facilities 
        where the memorials are unavailable to the public and subject 
        to further neglect and damage;
          (4) there exists a need to collect and centralize information 
        regarding the identification, location, and description of 
        these memorials, as no such catalog is available to the public 
        from either the Federal government or any nongovernmental 
        entity; and
          (5) Remembering Veterans Who Earned Their Stripes, a 
        nonprofit corporation established as RVETS, Inc. under the laws 
        of the State of Nevada, has already undertaken a unique and 
        innovative program to catalog these memorials and has a unique 
        methodology and capability to perform this research, having 
        already obtained information on more than 8,000 memorials in 50 
        States.

SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT OF DATABASE.

  (a) Establishment.--In order to locate, identify, and catalog the 
many thousands of permanent tributes that commemorate the military 
conflicts of the United States, and the service and sacrifice of 
individuals in the Armed Forces of the United States, and to make such 
information readily available for the educational benefit of the 
public, the Secretary of the Interior may establish and maintain a 
database known as the National War Permanent Tribute Historical 
Database.
  (b) Content.--The database shall contain information on--
          (1) the location, history, and background of the permanent 
        tributes;
          (2) photographs and other information to enhance the 
        understanding of the permanent tributes;
          (3) information about the veterans in whose honor the 
        permanent tributes are dedicated; and
          (4) any other information the Secretary considers appropriate 
        and necessary.
  (c) Public Access.--The database shall be made accessible to the 
public, through the Internet or by other means, in a format that 
permits the public to submit information on permanent tributes for the 
purpose of updating and expanding the database.
  (d) Assistance.--The Secretary of the Interior may seek the 
assistance of other Federal agencies and the States and their political 
subdivisions, tribal governments, public or private educational 
institutions, non-profit organizations, and individuals or other 
entities that the Secretary considers appropriate in carrying out this 
Act, and may enter into contracts and cooperative agreements to obtain 
information or services that assist in the development and 
implementation of the database.

SEC. 4. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of the 
Interior such sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act.

SEC. 5. REPORT.

  Within 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary 
of the Interior shall transmit to the Congress a report assessing the 
efficacy and desirability of establishing a permanent fund within the 
Treasury for the repair, restoration, and maintenance of the memorials 
identified and catalogued under section 3. The report shall include 
recommended criteria regarding appropriate recipients of expenditures 
from such a fund as well as proposed funding mechanisms and any other 
information considered by the Secretary to be relevant.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 2748 is to authorize the establishment 
of a national database for purposes of identifying, locating, 
and cataloging the many memorials and permanent tributes to 
America's veterans.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Title III of Public Law 105-511 contained a Sense of the 
Congress Resolution (H. Con. Res. 345) regarding the need for 
cataloging and maintaining public memorials commemorating 
military conflicts of the United States and the service of 
individuals in the U.S. Armed Forces. Also contained in PL 105-
511 was language citing Remembering Veterans Who Earned Their 
Stripes (RVETS), a nonprofit disabled veterans organization 
that had undertaken a self-funded program to catalogue the 
memorials located in the United States that commemorate 
military conflicts of the United States and the service of 
individuals in the Armed Forces, and has already obtained 
information on more than 7,000 memorials in 50 States. To date, 
RVETS has catalogued over 8,500 memorials. The Resolution 
recommended that the Secretary of Interior collect and maintain 
information on public memorials that commemorate military 
conflicts of the United States, coordinate efforts at 
collecting and maintaining the information with similar efforts 
by other entities, such a RVETS, and make the information 
available to the public.
    H.R. 2748 represents the continuation of the Sense of 
Congress Resolution. While the introduced verison of H.R. 2748 
had the Department of Veterans Affairs creating the database, 
the amended bill directs the Secretary of the Interior to 
establish, maintain, and make available to the public through 
the Internet, the National War Permanent Tribute Historical 
Database that would be comprised of existing information as 
well as that collected and maintained by RVETS and other 
veterans organizations.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 2748 was introduced on August 2, 2001, by Congressman 
David Dreier (R-CA). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on 
Resources, for a period to be subsequently determined by the 
Speaker. On August 20, 2001, the bill was referred to the 
Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation, and Public Lands. 
On December 13, 2001, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the 
bill. On July 18, 2002, the Subcommittee met to mark up the 
bill. Congressman George Radanovich (R-CA) offered an amendment 
in the nature of a substitute that made the following changes 
to the original text: (1) authorized the Secretary of the 
Interior to establish a memorial database within the Department 
of the Interior; (2) required the database to be accessible to 
the public through the Internet or other means, and (3) 
authorized the Secretary to seek assistance from other Federal, 
state and local agencies and private institutions in obtaining 
information for the database. Congressman Mark Udall (D-CO) 
offered an amendment to the Radanovich Amendment directing the 
Secretary of the Interior to transmit a report to Congress 
assessing the physical condition of the permanent tributes 
identified under the bill. The Udall Amendment was adopted by 
voice vote. The Radanovich Amendment, as amended by the Udall 
Amendment, was adopted by voice vote. The bill as amended was 
then ordered favorably reported to the Full Committee by voice 
vote. On July 24, 2002, the Full Resources Committee met to 
consider the bill. Congressman Mark Udall (D-CO) offered an 
amendment directing the Secretary of the Interior to transmit 
within three years after the date of enactment of this Act, a 
report assessing the efficacy and desirability of the 
establishment of a permanent fund within the Treasury for the 
repair, restoration, maintenance, and upkeep of the memorials 
identified and catalogued. The report shall include recommended 
criteria regarding appropriate recipients of expenditures from 
such a fund as well as proposed funding mechanisms and any 
other information deemed relevant by the Secretary. The 
amendment was adopted by unanimous consent. The bill, as 
amended, was then ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by unanimous consent.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations 
are reflected in the body of this report.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to authorize the establishment of a 
national database for purposes of identifying, locating, and 
cataloging the many memorials and permanent tributes to 
America's veterans.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 16, 2002.
Hon. James V. Hansen,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2748, the National 
War Permanent Tribute Historical Database Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis.
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 2748--National War Permanent Tribute Historical Database Act

    H.R. 2748 would authorize the Department of the Interior to 
establish and maintain a database of public memorials to 
military conflicts. The department would be authorized to enter 
into contracts and cooperative agreements to obtain information 
and services to develop the database, which would make 
available to the public information on the location and history 
of permanent memorials. Within three years of the legislation's 
enactment, the department would report to the Congress on the 
feasibility of establishing a federal fund to repair, restore, 
or maintain the memorials that are listed in the database.
    Based on information provided by the National Park Service 
(NPS) and assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO 
estimates that it would cost around $1.6 million over the next 
year or two to establish the memorial database. This amount 
would be used to design and develop the database. Up-front 
costs also would include marketing and publishing expenses to 
facilitate public use of the new database. We estimate that 
additional costs to maintain the database would be less than 
$500,000 annually beginning in 2004, also assuming 
appropriation of the necessary amounts. Enacting H.R. 2748 
would not affect direct spending or receipts; therefore, pay-
as-you-go procedures would not apply
    This bill contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defend in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would have no significant impact on the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis. 
This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.