Summary: H.R.1442 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 108-126 (11/17/2003)

Title I: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Visitor Center - (Sec. 101) Authorizes the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc. (Fund) to construct an underground visitor center at or near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Memorial) to better inform and educate the public about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Vietnam War. Requires the Fund to consult with educators, veterans groups, and the National Park Service in developing the proposed design of the visitor center.

Designates the visitor center as a commemorative work for purposes of Federal standards applicable to National Capital Memorials and commemorative works, but waives final approval and location requirements. Limits the size of the visitor center to the minimum necessary to: (1) provide for appropriate educational and interpretive functions; (2) prevent interference with or encroachment on the Memorial; and (3) protect open space and visual sightlines on the Mall. Specifies that the visitor center shall be constructed and landscaped to be harmonious with the Memorial, consistent with the special nature and sanctity of the Mall.

Directs the Secretary of the Interior to operate and maintain the visitor center and to develop a written interpretive plan for the visitor center in accordance with National Park Service policy.

Provides that the Fund shall be solely responsible for accepting contributions for, and paying expenses of, the establishment of the visitor center. Prohibits the use of Federal funds to pay any expense of the establishment of the visitor center.

Title II: Commemorative Works - (Sec. 201) Commemorative Works Clarification and Revision Act of 2003.

(Sec. 202) Prohibits the location of any commemorative work or visitor center within the Reserve (defined as the great cross-axis of the Mall in the District of Columbia, which generally extends from the U.S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, and from the White House to the Jefferson Memorial) after enactment of this Act.

(Sec. 203) Revises conditions which must be met in order to extend the legislative authority for a commemorative work beyond its normal seven-year limit to include determinations of the Secretary and the Administrator of General Services that final design approvals have been obtained from the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) and the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), and that 75 percent of the amount estimated to be required to complete the memorial has been raised, in which case the seven-year authority may be extended for a period not to exceed three years.

Redesignates the National Capital Memorial Commission as the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission.

Requires money provided after enactment of this Act by a sponsor of a commemorative work to be credited to a separate account with the National Park Foundation.

(Sec. 204) Prohibits a work primarily designed as a museum from being located on lands under the jurisdiction of the Secretary in Area I or in East Potomac Park. Authorizes the NCPC and the CFA to develop criteria specific to each site to ensure that the design of a work meets specified comparability requirements. Prohibits donor contributions to works from being acknowledged in any manner as part of the work or its site.

(Sec. 205) Exempts from the application of this title a site for a commemorative work (other than a site for a commemorative work or visitor center to be located in the Reserve) that was approved prior to the enactment of this title.

(Sec. 206) Directs the Secretary to report to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the House Committee on Resources on the relocation of stable, maintenance, and concession facilities within the Reserve, as well as limitations on the sale or distribution of permitted merchandise.