Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?

108th Congress                                            Rept. 108-492
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                      Part 1

======================================================================
 
         NATIONAL WAR PERMANENT TRIBUTE HISTORICAL DATABASE ACT

                                _______
                                

                  May 17, 2004.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2201]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 2201) 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 
without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 2201 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 Public 
Law 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. To date, RVETS has 
catalogued over 8,500 memorials in 50 States. The Resolution 
recommended that the Secretary of the 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 as RVETS, and make the information 
available to the public.
    H.R. 2201 represents the continuation of the Sense of 
Congress resolution. It 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 
Department information as well as that collected and maintained 
by States and their political subdivisions, tribal governments, 
public or private educational institutions, nonprofit 
organizations, and individuals or other entities that the 
Secretary considers appropriate.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 2201 was introduced by Congressman Mark Udall (D-CO) 
on May 21, 2003.\1\ The bill was referred primarily to the 
Committee on Resources and additionally to the Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs. With the Committee on Resources, the bill 
was referred to the Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation 
and Public Lands. On April 22, 2004, the Subcommittee on 
National Parks, Recreation and Public Lands met to mark up the 
bill. No amendments were offered and the bill was forwarded to 
the Full Resources Committee by unanimous consent. On May 5, 
2004, the Full Committee on Resources met to consider the bill. 
No amendments were offered and the bill was ordered favorably 
reported to the House of Representatives by voice vote.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ During the 107th Congress, similar legislation, H.R. 2748, was 
reported by the Resources Committee. H.R. 2201 includes those 
amendments agreed upon during the 107th Congress.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

            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, May 11, 2004.
Hon. Richard W. Pombo,
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. 2201, 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,
                                         Elizabeth Robinson
                               (For Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 2201--National War Permanent Tribute Historical Database Act

    H.R. 2201 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 
information about the location and history of permanent 
memorials available to the public. 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. We estimate 
that additional costs to maintain the database would be less 
than $500,000 annually beginning in 2006, also assuming 
appropriation of the necessary amounts. Enacting H.R. 2201 
would not affect direct spending or receipts.
    This bill contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on 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 to existing 
law.
                          House of Representatives,
                                    Committee on Resources,
                                      Washington, DC, May 12, 2004.
Hon. Christopher Smith,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: I request your assistance in expending 
the consideration of H.R. 2201, the National War Permanent 
Tribute Historical Database Act, authored by Congressman Mark 
Udall. Mr. Udall introduced the bill on May 21, 2003, when it 
was referred to the Committee on Resources and additionally to 
the Committee on Veterans' Affairs. The bill is identical to 
one favorably reported by the Committee on Resources during the 
107th Congress, H.R. 2748. The Committee on Resources ordered 
H.R. 2201 favorably reported without amendment on May 5, 2004, 
by unanimous consent. I have forwarded a copy of our draft bill 
report to your staff for review.
    Because of the limited number of days remaining in the 
108th Congress and the rapid approach of Memorial Day, I ask 
you not to insist on your additional referral of the bill and 
allow the Committee on Veterans' Affairs to be discharged so 
that H.R. 2201 can be voted on before adjournment. Of course, 
by agreeing to this request, you are not waiving jurisdiction 
over the bill, nor is this action to be construed as a 
precedent for other, similar legislation. In addition, I would 
support a request form the Committee on Veterans' Affairs to be 
represented on any conference on H.R. 2201 or a companion 
Senate bill, should one become necessary. Finally, I would 
include this letter and any response you might have in the 
Committee on Resources bill report on H.R. 2201.
    Thank you for your consideration of my request. I 
appreciate our continued excellent working relationship on 
issues of mutual concern this Congress, and especially the work 
of Kingston Smith of your staff. I look forward to working with 
you both to see H.R. 2201 enacted soon.
            Sincerely,
                                          Richard W. Pombo,
                                                          Chairman.
                                ------                                

                          House of Representatives,
                            Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
                                      Washington, DC, May 13, 2004.
Hon. Richard W. Pombo,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: Thank you for your letter of May 12, 
2004, regarding H.R. 2201, the National War Permanent Tribute 
Historical Database Act. I wish to inform the Committee on 
Resources that the Committee on Veterans' Affairs does not 
desire an additional referral of H.R. 2201 and agrees to be 
discharged from consideration of the bill. I would appreciate 
the inclusion of this letter in the bill report along with your 
letter.
    Your cooperative approach in the consideration of 
legislation of mutual interest to our committees is exemplary, 
and I particularly commend Lisa Pittman of your staff for her 
attention to this matter.
            Sincerely,
                                      Christopher H. Smith,
                                                          Chairman.