CALIFORNIA MISSIONS PRESERVATION ACT
(House of Representatives - November 17, 2004)

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[Pages H9828-H9835]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                  CALIFORNIA MISSIONS PRESERVATION ACT

  Mr. GIBBONS. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and concur in 
the Senate amendment to the bill (H.R. 1446) to support the efforts of 
the California Missions Foundation to restore and repair the Spanish 
colonial and mission-era missions in the State of California and to 
preserve the artworks and artifacts of these missions, and for other 
purposes.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Senate amendment: Strike out all after the enacting clause 
     and insert:

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``California Missions 
     Preservation Act''.

     SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

       In this Act:
       (1) California mission.--The term ``California mission'' 
     means each of the 21 historic Spanish missions and 1 
     asistencia that--
       (A) are located in the State;
       (B) were built between 1769 and 1798; and
       (C) are designated as California Registered Historic 
     Landmarks.
       (2) Foundation.--The term ``Foundation'' means the 
     California Missions Foundation, a nonsectarian charitable 
     corporation that--
       (A) was established in the State in 1998 to fund the 
     restoration and repair of the California missions; and
       (B) is operated exclusively for charitable purposes under 
     section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
       (3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
     of the Interior.
       (4) State.--The term ``State'' means the State of 
     California.

     SEC. 3. COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS.

       (a) In General.--The Secretary may enter into a cooperative 
     agreement with the Foundation to provide technical and 
     financial assistance to the Foundation to restore and 
     repair--
       (1) the California missions; and
       (2) the artwork and artifacts associated with the 
     California missions.
       (b) Financial Assistance.--
       (1) In general.--The cooperative agreement may authorize 
     the Secretary to make grants to the Foundation to carry out 
     the purposes described in subsection (a).
       (2) Eligibility.--To be eligible to receive a grant or 
     other form of financial assistance under this Act, a 
     California mission must be listed on the National Register of 
     Historic Places.
       (3) Application.--To receive a grant or other form of 
     financial assistance under this Act, the Foundation shall 
     submit to the Secretary an application that--
       (A) includes a status report on the condition of the 
     infrastructure and associated artifacts of each of the 
     California missions for which the Foundation is seeking 
     financial assistance; and
       (B) describes a comprehensive program for the restoration, 
     repair, and preservation of the infrastructure and artifacts 
     referred to in subparagraph (A), including--
       (i) a description of the prioritized preservation 
     activities to be conducted over a 5-year period; and
       (ii) an estimate of the costs of the preservation 
     activities.
       (4) Applicable law.--Consistent with section 101(e)(4) of 
     the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 
     470a(e)(4)), the Secretary shall ensure that the purpose of 
     any grant or other financial assistance provided by the 
     Secretary to the Foundation under this Act--
       (A) is secular;
       (B) does not promote religion; and
       (C) seeks to protect qualities that are historically 
     significant.
       (c) Review and Determination.--
       (1) In general.--The Secretary shall submit a proposed 
     agreement to the Attorney General for review.
       (2) Determination.--A cooperative agreement entered into 
     under subsection (a) shall not take effect until the Attorney 
     General issues a finding that the proposed agreement 
     submitted

[[Page H9829]]

     under paragraph (1) does not violate the establishment clause 
     of the first amendment of the Constitution.
       (d) Report.--As a condition of receiving financial 
     assistance under this Act, the Foundation shall annually 
     submit to the Secretary and to the Committee on Energy and 
     Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on 
     Resources of the House of Representatives a report that 
     describes the status of the preservation activities carried 
     out using amounts made available under this Act.

     SEC. 4. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

       (a) In General.--There is authorized to be appropriated to 
     carry out this Act $10,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 
     2004 through 2009.
       (b) Matching Requirement.--Any amounts made available to 
     carry out this Act shall be matched on not less than a 1-to-1 
     basis by the Foundation.
       (c) Other Amounts.--Any amounts made available to carry out 
     this Act shall be in addition to any amounts made available 
     for preservation activities in the State under the National 
     Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.).

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Nevada (Mr. Gibbons) and the gentlewoman from the Virgin Islands (Mrs. 
Christensen) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Nevada (Mr. Gibbons).


                             General Leave

  Mr. GIBBONS. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their 
remarks and include extraneous material on the bill now under 
consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Nevada?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. GIBBONS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1446, as amended, authorizes the Secretary of the 
Interior to enter into a cooperative agreement with the California 
Missions Foundation to support their effort to resolve and repair the 
California missions and to preserve the artworks and artifacts 
associated with the California missions.
  Currently, the 21 California missions of the El Camino Real, or Royal 
Highway, have had to rely on nominal entrance fees, sales from gift 
shops, donations and special events to cover their operating expenses. 
Unfortunately, these sources of income have not been enough to keep up 
with the increasing structural needs of these aging missions that date 
back to 1769, when Fray Junipero Serra founded Alta, California, the 
first Spanish mission in California.
  Today, over 5 million people annually visit the mission system, and 
it is obvious to many that outside financial help is needed.
  The California Missions Foundation, a charitable corporation 
established in California in 1998, is dedicated to raising funds for 
the ongoing preservation, restoration and maintenance needs of the 
California missions to ensure that their historical legacy is kept 
alive for future generations.
  As part of the cooperative agreement process, the Secretary must 
submit a proposed agreement to the Attorney General for a finding that 
the agreement does not violate the establishment clause of the First 
Amendment of the Constitution.
  With that, Mr. Speaker, I urge adoption by all our colleagues of this 
bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  (Mrs. CHRISTENSEN asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
her remarks.)
  Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1446 is a bipartisan proposal 
which was introduced by the gentleman from California (Mr. Farr), our 
colleague, which originally passed the House on October 20, 2003.
  This bill has been returned to the House with a Senate amendment that 
makes a number of changes to the bill. These changes do not detract 
from the overall goal and direction of the legislation, and we do not 
object to them.
  The California missions are important historical and cultural 
resources that preserve and interpret a rich and varied history of 
exploration, conquest and settlement. The small grant program 
authorized by H.R. 1446 will be used for secular purposes which 
preserve those qualities of the missions that are historically and 
culturally significant.
  Mr. Speaker, we support the passage of H.R. 1446 as amended by the 
House today.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1615

  Mr. GIBBONS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 5 minutes to enter into and 
engage in a colloquy with the author of the bill, the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Farr).
  While I remain very supportive of this legislation and do support its 
adoption, Mr. Speaker, I believe it is important to remember that we 
are preserving buildings and structures that bring up uneasy memories 
for many who live today in California. As was noted in a recent letter 
to the editor which appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, with the 
help of Spain's soldiers, thousands of California's Indians became 
slaves, directed by the friars to build the missions. After the 
missions were built, beginning in 1769, the Indians were forbidden to 
leave the mission boundaries. It is estimated that California's Indian 
population was about 310,000 at the beginning of Spanish rule. At the 
close of the 19th century, their population shrunk to approximately 
100,000, largely due to the inhumane conditions under which the Indians 
were forced to live while serving as slaves.
  I would encourage the gentleman from California to request that the 
Department of the Interior not lose sight of these facts when awarding 
the grants authorized under this legislation. I believe it is important 
that when the missions are refurbished that it is not just the bricks 
and mortar which are restored, but also the truth. These facilities are 
deserving of our help, but they also must be restored with the 
acknowledgment of all those who suffered so that the missions 
themselves could survive.
  Mr. Speaker, I submit for the Record one of the letters to the editor 
to which I earlier referred:

          [From the San Francisco Chronicle, November 8, 2004]

           The Dark, Terrible Secret of California's Mission

                          (By Elias Castillo)

       Sometime soon, the House will give final consideration to 
     the California Mission Preservation Act, sponsored by Sen. 
     Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., providing $10 million to help 
     restore California's Roman Catholic Missions--those historic 
     sites where Franciscan friars and California's Indians 
     supposedly existed in gentle harmony.
       In part, the act describes how ``the knowledge and cultural 
     influence of native California Indians made a lasting 
     contribution to the early settlements of California and the 
     development of the California missions.'' What the bill 
     utterly omits is that locked within the missions is a 
     terrible truth--that they were little more than concentration 
     camps where California's Indians were beaten, whipped, 
     maimed, burned, tortured and virtually exterminated by the 
     friars.
       The California Indians, as the proposal says, did have a 
     culture, but they never got a chance to contribute it to 
     California. The Spanish crown decreed in the 1760s that the 
     Indians were to be rounded up, baptized into Christianity and 
     their culture destroyed. It was the same policy that Spain 
     had followed in eradicating the complex and advanced cultures 
     of the Mayans, Incas and Aztecs in Latin America.
       In 1769, that near-genocidal policy was launched, under the 
     direction of Father Junipero Serra, with the founding of 
     California's first mission. One scholar, Robert Archibald, 
     has written that the missions were akin to the ``forced 
     movement of black people from Africa to the American South.'' 
     With the help of Spain's soldiers, the Indians were herded to 
     the sites of the missions. Once there, they became slaves, 
     directed by the friars to build the missions. Once within the 
     mission boundaries, they were forever forbidden to leave. No 
     less an authority than the U.S. National Park Service has 
     documented and described the hellish and tragic fate of the 
     California Indians, especially the coastal tribes. They were 
     not warring tribes, but instead gentle harvesters who lived 
     in equilibrium with their land and seashore.
       Their terrible fate at the hands of the Spanish and friars 
     was described by Jean Francois de Galaup de la Perouse, a 
     French explorer and sea voyager hired by the French 
     government to report on the western coastal areas of North 
     America. In 1786 he visited Mission San Carlos Borromeo in 
     the Monterey area and described the severe punishments 
     inflicted on the Indians. The friars, he determined, 
     considered the Indians ``too much a child, too much a slave, 
     too little a man.'' California historians Walton Bean and 
     James J. Rawls, described La Perouse as likening the missions 
     to the slave plantations of Santo Domingo.
       Yet, the Indians did not easily accede to the cruel mission 
     life. They rebelled several times, in one instance burning 
     nearly all of

[[Page H9830]]

     the buildings of Mission La Purisima in Santa Ynez. Historian 
     Robert F. Heizer attributed the flare-up to the ``flogging of 
     a La Purisma neophyte'' (as the Indians were called in the 
     missions).
       In the late 1820s, Mexico rebelled against Spain and won 
     its independence. Within a decade, it also declared that the 
     missions had to vest half their property to the Indians while 
     the other half went to the friars and government officials. 
     It was the beginning of the end for the missions. By the late 
     19th century, the missions were in ruins, abandoned by the 
     friars who could not continue operating them without the 
     slave labor of the Indians, whose numbers had been decimated 
     by hard labor, starvation and disease. It is estimated that 
     California's Indian population was about 310,000 at the 
     beginning of Spanish rule. At the close of the 19th century, 
     they had been reduced to approximately 100,000.
       Restoration of the missions was started at the beginning of 
     the 20th century by well-meaning persons who either ignored 
     the cruelties inflicted on the Indians or simply were unaware 
     of the horrors that had occurred within them. While enough 
     historians have accurately documented those terrible ordeals, 
     however, their findings are not well known. Visit any of the 
     missions and there is no mention of Indians being put in 
     stocks, whipped or chained. Instead, the usual description is 
     of friars and Indians living side by side in peaceful harmony 
     and happily helping each other.
       The California Missions Preservation Act is expected to be 
     voted on soon. Besides the potential and obvious conflict of 
     its violating the constitutional separation of church and 
     state, there is the moral responsibility that if government 
     funds are to be used in restoring the missions, the granting 
     of those funds must be dependent on memorializing the 
     suffering of California's native people in the missions.
       This nation has recently opened the National Museum of the 
     American Indian in Washington, D.C. It is a monument to the 
     Native Americans of North, Central and South America. The 
     existence of the museum mandates that the ordeal of 
     California's Indians cannot continue to be largely ignored 
     and forgotten. Too many Native Americans died within the 
     missions, which were supposed to be monuments to God's mercy, 
     forgiveness and benevolence.
       The act must require that descriptions of the enslavement 
     of California's Indians within the missions and the horrible 
     ordeals they endured be clearly and visibly provided to all 
     visitors, America has not buried the shameful history of 
     slavery in its Southern states; instead, books have been 
     written and museums opened so that all may forever know of 
     the cruelties of that practice. Why then, should the shameful 
     history of the missions be hidden and ignored?
       Additionally, the act must also require that funds be set 
     aside for research to be conducted on mission grounds for the 
     purpose of determining if mass graves of Indians exist within 
     them. While some missions have clearly marked graveyards set 
     aside for the friars, little knowledge exists of what 
     happened to the thousands of deceased Indians who toiled 
     within the missions. If sites are found containing the 
     remains of those Indians, those areas must then be clearly 
     marked for visitors and declared hallowed ground.
       California and the nation cannot continue to look the other 
     way at what happened in the missions; it must confront that 
     awful specter and unveil it as a dark chapter of the state's 
     history. It does not matter that those vicious practices 
     occurred during Spanish rule. The missions are now revered as 
     beloved monuments. Their continued restoration must also 
     bring to light the most frightful chamber of their history.

  Mr. FARR. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. GIBBONS. I yield to the gentleman from California.
  Mr. FARR. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for his comments, and I 
agree with the serious issues raised by the gentleman from Nevada and 
will contact the Secretary of the Interior by letter requesting that 
the Department consider these facts when awarding a grant authorized by 
this bill.
  It is a sad fact that slavery has played such a role in our American 
history, whether it be Native American or imported men and women who 
were taken from their native lands. I find it refreshing, for example, 
that the National Museum of the American Indian, our newest addition to 
the Smithsonian system, is addressing the issue towards Native 
Americans and making the public aware of what occurred as the United 
States grew into a Nation. Until we come to grips with the issues and 
all the various peoples affected by it, slavery will remain a dark 
cloud in our history.
  If the gentleman would indulge me further, I want to make sure that 
our colleagues understand that there have been many positive editorials 
in support of rehabilitating the California missions nationwide, and I 
submit them for inclusion in the Record.

                 [From The Fresno Bee, Sept. 26, 2004]

 Saving History: California's Aging Missions Need and Deserve Federal 
                               Assistance

                              (Editorial)

       In 1883, Walt Whitman wrote, ``We American have yet to 
     really learn our own antecedents. . . . Thus far, impress'd 
     by New England writers and schoolmasters, we tacitly abandon 
     ourselves to the notion that our United States have been 
     fashion'd from the British Islands only . . . which is a very 
     great mistake.''
       He could have written that with California in mind.
       The most obvious symbols of California's early history are 
     the 21 missions stretching from San Diego to Sonoma. The 
     first was founded at San Diego in 1769, the last in 1823. 
     More than 5 million people a year visit the missions, making 
     them California's most visited landmarks.
       San Diego, Monterey, Los Angeles, Carmel, San Luis Obispo, 
     San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Jose and others 
     began as missions.
       Yet few know the history of Spain's New World venture. 
     Today it is literally crumbling from natural disasters such 
     as earthquakes, neglect and lack of funding, and even 
     thievery. In August 2003, a 205-year-old Indian-made violin 
     disappeared from the 1771 mission at San Antonio de Padua.
       If we don't make a public commitment to preserve the 
     national heritage the missions represent, we'll lose them.
       In Congress, the California Missions Preservation Act (H.R. 
     1446 S. 1306) is a start. After emerging from key Senate 
     committee, it appears headed for final approval. (The House 
     passed the bill last October, but it languished in the Senate 
     committee for unknown reasons.) The bill would provide $10 
     million in matching funds over five years to help restore and 
     repair California's Spanish missions and to preserve artwork 
     and artifacts. So far, the California Missions Foundation has 
     raised $3.4 million of the needed $10 million match.
       Spain set about settling California in earnest after 1768 
     to prevent Russian and English encroachment.
       Mountains and deserts made overland access difficult, so 
     the Spanish settled the coast. They raised horses, cattle and 
     sheep and tended orchards, and vineyards. Interaction with 
     Indians was marked by dynamic confrontation, conflict and 
     exchange--different in character from the westward expansion 
     of British eastern colonies.
       California became a province of Mexico in 1821. The new 
     government secularized the missions, selling off some and 
     using others as barns and saloons. By the time the Untied 
     States won California in the war with Mexico, the missions 
     were decaying. President Lincoln returned them to the 
     Catholic Church, which still owns 19 of the 21.
       Why can't California's 21 missions get status and a public 
     commitment like the San Antonio Missions National Historical 
     Park, established in Texas in 1978? Like California's 
     missions, San Antonio's remain active places of worship, but 
     their significance to the nation's heritage and use by the 
     general public are vital as well.
       It's time California's missions are afforded the same 
     respect. Congress, along with private donors in the 
     community, can make that preservation happen--and not a 
     minute too soon.
                                  ____


                  [From The Modesto Bee, Oct. 5, 2004]

                State's Missions Deserve Federal Support

                              (Editorial)

       The most obvious symbols of California's early history are 
     the 21 missions stretching from San Diego to Sonoma. The 
     first was founded at San Diego in 1769, the last in 1823. 
     More than 5 million people a year visit the missions, making 
     them the most visited historic landmarks in California.
       Today, some of that precious history is literally 
     crumbling--damaged by natural disasters, such as earthquakes; 
     neglect and lack of funding; and, worst of all, thievery. In 
     August 2003, a 205-year-old Indian-made violin disappeared 
     from the 1771 mission at San Antonio de Padua. If we don't 
     want to lose the national heritage represented by the 
     missions, we've got to make a public commitment to preserve 
     them.
       In Congress, the California Missions Preservation Act (H.R. 
     1446/S. 1306) is a start. After emerging from a key Senate 
     committee, it appears headed for final approval. The bill 
     would provide $10 million in matching funds over five years 
     to help restore and repair California's Spanish missions and 
     to preserve artwork and artifacts. So far, the California 
     Missions Foundation has raised $3.4 million of the needed $10 
     million match.
       Why can't California's chain of 21 missions get status and 
     a public commitment like the San Antonio Missions National 
     Historical Park, established in Texas in 1978? Like 
     California's missions, San Antonio's mission churches remain 
     active places of worship, but their significance to the 
     nation's heritage and use by the general public are vital as 
     well.
       It's time California's missions are afforded the same 
     respect. Congress, along with private donors in the 
     community, can make that preservation happen--and not a 
     minute too soon.

[[Page H9831]]

     
                                  ____
               [From the Sacramento Bee, Sept. 24, 2004]

      Restoring History; Pass California Missions Preservation Act

                              (Editorial)

       What is California's most defining historic landmark? 
     Sutter's Mill, the site of the gold discovery that led to the 
     1849 Gold Rush? Perhaps. But think again.
       In 1883, Walt Whitman wrote, ``We Americans have yet to 
     really learn our own antecedents. . . . Thus far, impress'd 
     by New England writers and schoolmasters, we tacitly abandon 
     ourselves to the notion that our United States have been 
     fashion'd from the British Islands only . . . which is a very 
     great mistake.''
       He could have written that with California in mind.
       The most obvious symbols of California's early history are 
     the 21 missions stretching from San Diego to Sonoma. The 
     first was founded at San Diego in 1769, the last in 1823. 
     More than 5 million people a year visit the missions, making 
     them the most visited historic landmarks in California.
       Today's coastal cities, from San Diego, Monterey, Los 
     Angeles, Carmel, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, Santa 
     Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Jose and others began as Spanish 
     missions.
       Yet few know the history of Spain's vast New World 
     venture--begun long before English settlement in America. 
     Today that history is literally crumbling--from natural 
     disasters such as earthquakes, neglect and lack of funding, 
     and, worst of all, thievery. In August 2003, a 205-year-old 
     Indian-made violin disappeared from the 1771 mission at San 
     Antonio de Padua.
       If we don't want to lose the national heritage represented 
     by the missions, we've got to make a public commitment to 
     preserve them.
       In Congress, the California Missions Preservation Act (H.R. 
     1446/S. 1306) is a start. After emerging from a key Senate 
     committee, it appears headed for final approval. (The House 
     passed the bill last October, but it languished in the Senate 
     committee for unknown reasons.) The bill would provide $10 
     million in matching funds over five years to help restore and 
     repair California's Spanish missions and to preserve artwork 
     and artifacts. So far, the California Missions Foundation has 
     raised $3.4 million of the needed $10 million match.
       Spain set about settling California in earnest after 1768 
     to prevent Russian and English encroachment.
       Mountains and deserts made overland access difficult, so 
     the Spanish settled the coast. They raised horses, cattle and 
     sheep and tended fruit orchards and vineyards. The 
     interaction between the Spanish and Indians was marked by 
     dynamic confrontation, conflict and exchange--different in 
     character from the westward expansion of British eastern 
     seabroad colonies.
       When Spain lost its empire, California became a province of 
     independent Mexico in 1821. The new government secularized 
     the missions, selling off some of them and using others as 
     barns and saloons. By the time the United States won 
     California in the war with Mexico, the missions were 
     decaying. President Abraham Lincoln returned the missions to 
     the Catholic Church, which still owns 19 of the 21.
       Why can't California's chain of 21 missions get status and 
     a public commitment like the San Antonio Missions National 
     Historical Park, established in Texas in 1978? Like 
     California's missions, San Antonio's mission churches remain 
     active places of worship, but their significance to the 
     nation's heritage and use by the general public are vital as 
     well.
       It's time California's missions are afforded the same 
     respect. Congress, along with private donors in the 
     community, can make that preservation happen--and not a 
     minute too soon.
                                  ____


             [From the Wall Street Journal, Sept. 9, 2004]

                          The Mission is Clear

                          (By Taylor Holliday)

       San Miguel, CA--``Unsafe. Peligroso.'' This building ``has 
     been found to be seriously damaged and is unsafe to occupy, 
     says the sign on the door of Mission San Miguel Arcangel.
       A small group of us don our hardhats and tiptoe inside one 
     of the most lovely of the 21 Spanish colonial missions that 
     gave birth to California coastal towns from San Diego to 
     Sonoma. It's the mission with the most authentic, intact 
     interior, its adobe walls adorned with colorful frescoes--
     trompe l'oeil marble columns and the eye of god--painted by 
     the Salinan Indians in 1821 and untouched through the years 
     due to the mission's remote location 200 miles north of Los 
     Angeles.
       It's also the mission--especially since the December 
     earthquake in nearby Paso Robles--most likely to come 
     crashing down at any moment. Chunks of adobe mingle with rat 
     droppings on the floor; water damage mars the painted wood 
     ceiling; centuries-old statues lie in pieces; and, most 
     ominously, makeshift braces hold up windows, archways and 
     walls.
       ``We were lucky that it didn't collapse,'' said Tina Foss, 
     museum director of Mission Santa Barbara and vice president 
     of the California Missions Foundation. ``Even before the 
     earthquake, [an engineer] told me that the walls were holding 
     up just by force of habit.''
       San Miguel is the California mission in the worst shape. 
     Each mission must rely on its own resources--parishioner 
     contributions, bake sales--to meet expenses, and they have 
     little left over for major repairs, especially the 
     painstaking kind required for historic preservation. So 
     despite the fact that the missions attract more than five 
     million tourists a year, many have yet to be retrofitted to 
     withstand an earthquake; most operate as historical sites and 
     churches in varying states of disrepair and structural decay; 
     and none have the resources for safeguarding their priceless 
     collections of Spanish colonial and mission-era artworks and 
     artifacts.
       Realizing how dire the situation is, a group led by Stephen 
     Hearst first started the nonprofit, nonsectarian California 
     Missions Foundation in 1998. (Great grandfather William 
     Randolph Hearst first came to the aid of the missions a 
     hundred years earlier.) Since then the foundation has been 
     struggling to raise the $50 million needed to rescue, repair 
     and preserve the structures and their art.
       Founded between 1769 and 1823, the missions were Spain's 
     effort to colonize Alta California and Christianize the 
     Indians. With the missions came the farming, ranching, 
     winemaking, architecture and Hispanic culture that help 
     define the state to this day. Through two centuries, they 
     have survived disease (which killed many early Indian 
     converts who lived at the missions), earthquakes (which 
     necessitated extensive rebuilding in the early parts of both 
     the 19th and 20th centuries) and heavy use--as well as misuse 
     during a period when they were sold off by the newly 
     independent Mexico and used as barns, homes and saloons. (Not 
     long after California became part of the U.S. in 1848, 
     President Lincoln returned the missions to the Catholic 
     Church, which still owns 19 of them.)
       Now they just have to survive the modern American political 
     process.
       ``The mind of preservation that buildings like this require 
     is so costly that it is beyond the reasonable expectation of 
     private owners, the Catholic Church, or even state parks 
     [which own two missions],'' says Ms. Foss. ``But if 
     a building is historically important enough to be a 
     landmark--all of the missions are California landmarks and 
     seven are national landmarks--then we are all responsible 
     for its preservation.''
       ``Public funding is critical,'' adds Knox Mellon, executive 
     director of the foundation, which so far has raised only $3 
     million from private sources. ``It will be the shot in the 
     arm that allows us to bring in matching funds from private 
     donors.''
       Forty-nine of California's 53 U.S. representatives agreed, 
     sponsoring the bipartisan California Missions Preservation 
     Act, which passed the House in October 2003. In June of that 
     year, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein introduced the same 
     legislation in the Senate, calling for $10 million in 
     matching grants over five years to be administered by the 
     California Missions Foundation.
       But the bill has since faced unexpected hurdles and is now 
     considered a ``controversial measure.'' At an Energy and 
     Natural Resources subcommittee hearing in March, first the 
     Americans United for Separation of Church and State objected 
     on the grounds that 19 of the 21 missions are active 
     churches--even though the bill clearly states that the 
     foundation will ensure that none of the money goes toward 
     religious operations. Then the Bush administration (the 
     National Park Service) went on record saying it does not 
     support earmarking limited historic preservation funds for 
     these specific purposes.
       The bill's sponsors came back with an amendment stipulating 
     that the act would not take effect until the attorney general 
     ruled on the constitutionality of providing federal funds to 
     these landmark churches. Still the bill has gone nowhere, 
     unable to get a hearing in the full committee for reasons 
     known only to its chairman, Sen. Pete Domenici. And with this 
     session of Congress scheduled to adjourn Oct. 1, those who 
     care about the missions are holding their breath: If it 
     doesn't pass this Congress, they're back to square one.
       And so the missions wait. For San Miguel, the earthquake 
     may turn out to be ``a blessing in disguise,'' says Father 
     Ray Tintle, the parish priest. FEMA did not come to its aid--
     even though, as he notes, ``for every one hour the local 
     parish uses the facilities here, the public uses it 10 [for 
     nonreligious activities].'' But Mission San Miguel will at 
     least receive some insurance money--roughly $8 million of the 
     $20 million it needs to restore its church, museum and 
     adjacent quadrangle buildings, including a wing with (mostly) 
     original early 1800s living quarters.
       As for other missions, all they can do at the moment is 
     hope for divine intervention. Despite having the ``finest 
     collections of Spanish colonial art in California,'' 
     according to Ms. Foss--mostly Baroque and Neoclassical 
     paintings and statutes imported from Mexico and South 
     America, as well as silk vestments and historical documents--
     mission museums can't provide the lighting, climate-control 
     or security the items need, much less the art conservation 
     they deserve.
       So rare artworks will continue to deteriorate. And 
     treasures, like the 200-year-old Indian-made violin stolen 
     from Mission San Antonio de Padua, or the 30-pound hand-
     carved tabernacle door taken from San Miguel, or the painting 
     cut out of its frame and the collection of Indian baskets 
     carried off from Mission Santa Barbara, will continue to 
     disappear, taking a little bit of California history with 
     them each time they do.

  Mr. GIBBONS. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

[[Page H9832]]

  Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Virginia (Mr. Scott).
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for 
yielding me this time.
  California's 21 missions, which run along a 600-mile stretch of 
highway from San Diego to Sonoma, are indeed historically significant 
and contribute tremendously to the rich historical, cultural, and 
architectural heritage of California and this country's westward 
growth. At the same time we strive to preserve these historical 
landmarks, we must also be careful to preserve religious liberty and 
honor the establishment clause of the first amendment of the 
Constitution.
  Nineteen of the 21 missions that comprise California's historic 
mission trail are currently owned by the Roman Catholic Church; they 
operate as active parishes and hold regularly scheduled religious 
services. There is a clear line of Supreme Court cases that address 
government funding of improvement of real property for the direct 
benefit of buildings used for religious purposes including worship, 
sectarian service, or instruction.
  Three Supreme Court decisions, Tilton v. Richardson in 1971, Hunt v. 
McNair in 1973, and Committee For Public Education v. Nyquist in 1973, 
make it clear that no government funds may be used to construct, 
maintain, restore, or make capital improvements to physical structures 
that are used as houses of worship, even if religious services are 
infrequent.
  H.R. 1446 contains a provision which requires that the purpose of any 
grant under this act is secular, does not promote religion, and seeks 
to protect qualities that are historically significant. It is therefore 
clear that any grant or assistance provided under this act must also be 
consistent with the Supreme Court decisions in this area of the law.
  Mr. Speaker, I am submitting for inclusion in the Record at this 
point a letter from Americans United for Separation of Church and 
State, which raises questions about the issue I have just raised.

Preserve Religious Liberty: Oppose the California Missions Preservation 
                            Act (H.R. 1446)

                                                November 17, 2004.
       Dear Representative: Americans United for Separation of 
     Church and State urges you to oppose the California Missions 
     Preservation Act, H.R. 1446, which we understand will be on 
     the floor of the House of Representatives today. Americans 
     United represents more than 70,000 individual members 
     throughout the fifty states and in the District of Columbia, 
     as well as cooperating houses of worship and other religious 
     bodies committed to preservation of religious liberty. This 
     bill is unconstitutional and would significantly erode key 
     church-state separation protections.
       H.R. 1446 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to 
     enter into agreements and make grants to the California 
     Missions Foundation to ``restore and repair'' the California 
     missions and the religious artwork and artifacts associated 
     with the missions. The bill would authorize a $10,000,000 
     appropriation for the 2004-2009 period to fund these goals.
       The 21 missions comprising California's historic mission 
     trail were founded between 1769 and 1823. 19 of the 21 
     missions are owned by the Roman Catholic Church, operate as 
     active parishes, and have regularly scheduled religious 
     services. There is no doubt that California's 21 missions are 
     historically significant, and contribute greatly to the rich 
     historical, cultural and architectural heritage of California 
     and the American West. Although we recognize that 
     preservation of these historic buildings is important, we 
     strongly believe that the preservation of Americans' 
     constitutional rights is vital. In short, the California 
     Missions Preservation Act would violate the First Amendment 
     by forcing taxpayers nationwide to pay for church repairs, 
     even repairs and restoration of facilities with active 
     congregations.
       Under the bill, government funding will flow to houses of 
     worship for capital improvements in violation of the 
     Constitution. Time after time, the United states Supreme 
     Court has required that no government funds be used to 
     maintain, restore, or make capital improvements to physical 
     structures that are used as houses of worship, even if 
     religious services are infrequent. Three Supreme Court 
     decisions (Tilton v. Richardson, 403 U.S. 672 (1971), Hunt v. 
     McNair, 413 U.S. 734 (1973), Committee for Public Education 
     v. Nyquist, 413 U.S. 756 (1973)) make clear that it is 
     unconstitutional to allow federal grants for capital 
     improvements of structures devoted to worship or religious 
     instruction, and all three of these decisions remain binding 
     law on all government entities.
       The illegality of the proposal to fund the California 
     missions is exacerbated when one considers the issue of 
     government directly funding religious icons. Because one of 
     the objectives of the California Missions Foundation is to 
     preserve the Spanish colonial and mission-era artworks and 
     artifacts of the California missions, and because the bill 
     specifically authorizes federal funds to be used to preserve 
     the artworks and artifacts associated with the California 
     missions, the Secretary of the Interior would be empowered to 
     provide government money specifically to maintain or restore 
     religious artifacts and icons associated with devotional and 
     worship activities at the missions, a result that would be 
     clearly unconstitutional.
       We are fully aware of the historical and cultural 
     significance of the California missions. However, it is 
     essential for Congress to maintain our nation's commitment to 
     safeguarding religious liberty for all Americans. Nineteen of 
     the 21 California missions are churches, not just museums, 
     and are still used for religious services. The repair and 
     upkeep of the missions, therefore, must be paid for by those 
     who worship there or by other interested individuals or 
     private organizations through voluntary contributions. The 
     House of Representatives should refrain from passing this 
     blatantly unconstitutional bill.
       If you have any questions regarding this legislation or 
     would like further information on any other issue of 
     importance to Americans United, please contact Aaron D. 
     Schuham, Legislative Director, at (202) 466-3234, extension 
     240.
           Sincerely,
                                               Rev. Barry W. Lynn,
                                               Executive Director.

  Mr. GIBBONS. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 6 minutes to the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Farr), the sponsor of the bill.
  Mr. FARR. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me this 
time, and I thank my colleagues for speaking in support.
  I want to respond first of all to the comments of the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Scott). In the bill it says: ``The Secretary shall ensure 
that the purpose of any grant or financial assistance provided by the 
Secretary to the Foundation under this Act is secular, does not promote 
religion, and seeks to protect qualities that are historically 
significant.''
  This is a private foundation separate from the church and raises 
money separately from the church, so we are trying to assure here there 
is no benefit to the church from the restoration efforts.
  Let me rise in support of this bill, the California Missions 
Preservation Act. Interestingly enough, one of the statues in Statuary 
Hall is that of Father Serra, and in his hand is a replica of the 
Carmel mission, just a few blocks from my home.
  This legislation has been cosponsored by 48 of my California 
colleagues in the House of Representatives. Both Senators sponsored 
similar legislation on their side of the Capitol. I again want to thank 
the efforts of the chairman of the committee, the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Pombo), and the gentleman from West Virginia (Mr. 
Rahall) for moving this legislation today, as well as the principal 
cosponsors, the gentleman from California (Mr. Dreier).
  Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1446 passed the House under suspension by a voice 
vote on October 20, 2003, and then passed the Senate almost a full year 
later after it was amended by unanimous consent on October 10, 2004. 
All 21 missions are California registered historical landmarks. Seven 
of the missions have Federal status as national historic places. And 
one of the two changes made by the other body is that the remaining 14 
must be recognized before that particular mission would be eligible for 
receiving funding.
  The second change made by the other body was that the Secretary of 
the Interior must enter into a cooperative agreement with the 
California Missions Foundation, and the U.S. Attorney General must 
issue a finding that the proposed agreement does not violate the 
establishment clause of the first amendment of the Constitution 
regarding the separation of church and state.
  I am fortunate to have five of the 21 missions in my district, 
extending along the coast of California on the El Camino Real: Santa 
Cruz; San Juan Bautista; La Soledad; San Antonio de Padua; and in my 
hometown of Carmel, San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo, known as the 
Cathedral in the Wilderness.
  The California missions represent a historic vein running through our 
State from south to north. They also symbolize the east to the west, 
the exploration that expanded our Nation to its four corners.

[[Page H9833]]

  Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned when this bill was originally brought to 
the floor, so much of the west coast's earliest expansion has been 
overshadowed in history. In 1768, King Carlos III saw Russia and 
England as threats to Spain's claim of Alta California, and ordered 
troops and missionaries to colonize new territory. In 1769, Commander 
Don Gaspar de Portola, Sergeant Jose Francisco de Ortega, and Fray 
Junipero Serra departed with troops and supplies for San Diego from 
Baja California, on May 13, and established on July 16 Alta 
California's first mission, San Diego de Alcala.
  Twenty missions followed, with the final missions in the chain 
established in Sonoma in 1823. Of all the institutions that define 
California's heritage, none has the historic significance and emotional 
impact of the chain of Spanish missions that stretches from San Diego 
to Sonoma.
  The missions are an important part of the State's cultural fabric and 
must be preserved as priceless historic monuments. They are a living 
link to our past. The missions stand as landmarks of more than 2 
centuries and are recognized for the important impact they have had on 
the development of California, including art, architecture, 
agriculture, food, music, language, apparel, and recreation.
  The missions help drive tourism, the State's third largest industry. 
These iconic symbols of California are the most visited historic 
attractions in the State, attracting over 5.3 million visitors a year. 
They account for a sizable contribution to the State's economy from 
millions of tourists, including a large number of international 
visitors.
  They have become synonymous with the State's fourth grade curriculum. 
Students build mission models and write research reports as part of 
California history lessons. This serves as an important education 
function in teaching young students about the role of missions in the 
history of our State and our Nation.
  Four 230 years, the missions have stood as symbols of Western 
exploration and settlement. Time, natural deterioration, and neglect 
have taken a heavy toll on the missions. Some are crumbling and at risk 
of full destruction. Most need preservation and seismic work to restore 
their antique beauty and bring them up to modern safety. Without 
immediate repairs, these centuries-old structures could be lost. The 
need is urgent and near crisis proportions.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 1446, the California Missions 
Preservation Act. This bipartisan legislation has been cosponsored by 
48 of my California colleagues in the House of Representatives and both 
Senators sponsored similar legislation on their side of the Capitol.
  I again want to thank the efforts of Chairman Pombo and Mr. Rahall 
for moving this legislation today, as well as, the principal cosponsor 
Chairman Dreier.
  Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1446 passed the House under suspension by voice 
vote October 20th 2003 and then passed in the Senate almost a full year 
later after it was amended by Unanimous Consent on October 10th 2004.
  All 21 missions are California Registered Historical Landmarks; seven 
of the missions have the federal status of National Historical Places 
and as one of two changes made by the other body the remaining 14 must 
be recognized before that particular Mission will be eligible to 
receive funding.
  The second change made in the other body was that the Secretary of 
Interior must enter into a cooperative agreement with the California 
Missions Foundation and the U.S. Attorney General must issue a finding 
that the proposed agreement does not violate the establishment clause 
of the first amendment of the Constitution regarding the separation of 
church and state.
  I am fortunate to have five of the 21 Missions in my district, 
extending along the coast of California on the El Camino Real: Santa 
Cruz, San Juan Bautista, La Soledad, San Antonio de Padua, and in my 
hometown of Carmel, San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo known as the 
``Cathedral in the Wilderness''.
  The California missions represent an historic vein running through 
our state, from south to north. And, they also symbolize the east to 
west exploration that expanded our nation to its four corners.
  Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned when this bill was originally brought to 
the floor so much of the west coast's earliest expansion has been 
overshadowed in history.
  In 1768 King Carlos III saw Russia and England as threats to Spain's 
claim on Alta California and Ordered troops and missionaries to 
colonize the new territory.
  In 1769 Commander Don Gaspar de Portola, Sergeant Jose Francisco de 
Ortega, and Fray Junipero Serra departed with troops and supplies for 
San Diego from Baja California May 13 and established on July 16th Alta 
California's first mission--San Diego de Alcala.
  Twenty missions followed with the final missions in the chain 
established in Sonoma in 1823.
  Of all the institutions that define California's heritage, none has 
the historic significance and emotional impact of the chain of Spanish 
missions that stretch from San Diego to Sonoma.
  The missions are an important part of the state's cultural fabric and 
must be preserved as priceless historic monuments; they are a living 
link to our past.
  The missions stand as landmarks of more than two centuries and are 
recognized for their important impact they have had on the development 
of California including art, architecture, agriculture, food, music, 
language, apparel and recreation.
  The missions help drive tourism--the state's third largest industry. 
These iconic symbols of California are the most visited historic 
attractions in the state, attracting over 5.3 million visitors a year. 
They account for a sizable contribution to the state economy from 
millions of tourists, including a large number of international 
visitors.
  And they have become synonymous with the state's fourth grade 
curriculum: Students build mission models and write research reports as 
part of California history lessons. This serves as an important 
education function in teaching young students about the role of the 
missions in the history of our state and our nation.
  For 230 years, the missions have stood as symbols of Western 
exploration and settlement. Time, natural deterioration and neglect 
have taken a heavy toll on the missions. Some are Rotting roofs. 
Cracking tiles. Crumbling adobe. The backlog of needed repairs is long. 
The price tag is high. And the message is clear. The California 
missions need our help. Now.
  H.R. 1446 will provide an important step toward addressing some of 
the most severe problems the missions are facing. This legislation 
provides authorization for funding of $10 million over five years, in 
partnership with the State of California and the California Missions 
Foundation's statewide funding campaign.
  Under this legislation, the process requires that each mission submit 
a list to the Foundation of its most urgent preservation needs. All 
mission repairs and restoration projects are reviewed, approved and 
supervised by professionals qualified in the disciplines of history, 
history archeology, architectural history, planning, architecture, 
folklore, cultural anthropology, curation, conservation, landscape 
architecture or related fields.
  Projects must be accomplished in accordance with the applicable 
Secretary of Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historical 
Properties.
  All repairs and capital improvements must have competitive bids which 
the Foundation's Funding Review Committee reviews. The Foundation Board 
of Directors assesses the proposals and has final approval of all 
restoration projects funded. The missions are required to submit timely 
progress reports and accounting to the Foundation on all projects 
funded.
  Since the Spanish friars and native peoples joined together in the 
building of these settlements, the land we call California has been 
shaped and influenced by what they accomplished in that most ambitious 
undertaking.
  From the vineyards of Sonoma to the ranches of Santa Barbara to the 
adobe arcades and red tile roofs of San Diego, the California missions 
have left their mark on who we are and what we have become.
  Passage today presents us with the opportunity to address the needs 
of the missions and to preserve an integral part of our nation's 
history and the heritage of the west that combines with the east to 
make these truly united states.
  Mr. GIBBONS. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman 
from California (Mrs. Capps).
  Mrs. CAPPS. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for yielding me this 
time, and I rise today to support the California Missions Preservation 
Act. I also want to thank our colleague, the gentleman from California 
(Mr. Farr), the gentleman from California (Mr. Dreier), and the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Pombo) for their assistance, and the 
leadership of our chairman as well in moving this legislation. I also 
want to thank our Senators, Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein, for 
helping to get this bill successfully through the Senate.

[[Page H9834]]

  Mr. Speaker, California's missions are instantly recognizable as 
symbols of our States's rich history and cultural heritage, but they 
are also some of the oldest structures in North America and an integral 
part of our Nation's heritage, and so they deserve our Federal support.
  Our State's missions are in dire need of structural attention and 
major rehabilitation. Natural deterioration and neglect have taken a 
heavy toll on these missions. Some are crumbling and are at risk. Most 
need preservation and seismic work to restore their antique beauty and 
to bring them up to modern safety standards. Without immediate repairs, 
centuries-old buildings and artifacts could be lost to a major 
earthquake or a flood.
  For example, at Mission Santa Barbara in my congressional district, 
often called the Queen of the Missions, $1.5 million is needed now to 
repair adobe columns that are turning to salt.
  Keeping California's missions together will require about $50 million 
in structural repair work and another $11 million to renovate art works 
and accommodate visitors. The primary goal of this legislation is to 
restore and repair the missions and to preserve the art works and 
artifacts associated with them.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Farr), for giving us the history of what the missions have meant to our 
State. As every California school child learns, the missions have 
shaped the future of California. They were among the first European 
settlements in our region and formed a chain along the coast from San 
Diego to Sonoma.
  With respect to our colleague from Nevada and his concerns about 
chapters of history that the missions were associated with, I would 
submit that preserving the missions gives us an opportunity to preserve 
that sorry chapter of our Nation's history and to learn from those 
lessons so that we do not repeat them.
  The missions are also among the State's most frequently visited 
historic sites, attracting more than 5.5 million tourists each year, 
contributing greatly to our State's economy.
  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be part of this important effort on 
behalf of California's missions. This long overdue effort is 
encouraging in that the entire California congressional delegation has 
responded with such enthusiasm about this bill.
  Again, I want to thank my colleagues for supporting it and urge its 
immediate passage.
  Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman 
from California (Ms. Woolsey).

                              {time}  1630

  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 1446, the 
California Missions Preservation Act. I would like to thank the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Farr) for introducing this bill, and I 
am proud to be an original cosponsor.
  The California missions provide an important part of California's 
past, and their history can be traced to 1493. The Sixth District of 
California, located across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, 
is the district I am so pleased to represent. We are fortunate to have 
one of these missions, the San Raphael Mission and another, the Sonoma 
Mission, is just outside of my district.
  The San Raphael Mission was originally built in 1817 as an outpost 
chapel of the San Francisco Mission. Named for Saint Raphael, the angel 
of bodily healing, it was thought that the sunny hillside on the north 
side of the bay would be a good place for the sick to convalesce. In 
only 5 years, it became a healthy settlement, and on October 19, 1822, 
it became an independent mission. After it was secularized, the mission 
fell into ruin, and 32 years later the original mission was torn down. 
But in 1947 a new mission was built near the original site, based on a 
painting of the old mission.
  The San Francisco Solano Mission, founded in 1823 in Sonoma County, 
was the last and most northerly of the 21 Franciscan missions of Alta 
California. Sonoma Mission, as it is properly called, was the dedicated 
goal of the young and zealous Padre Jose Altimira. He headed into the 
northern wilderness to find a more healthy location for a mission than 
the crowded San Francisco area. In Sonoma Valley he found his ideal 
location, with fertile soil and mild, sunny climate.
  Secularization of the mission in 1834 was followed by neglect and 
decay. In 1881, the church and padres' quarters were sold and used as a 
hay barn, winery and blacksmith shop. However, the mission was rescued 
from disintegration in 1903 when it was bought by the Historic 
Landmarks League and turned over to the State. Full restoration began 
in 1911.
  There is still so much more to do to restore these historic 
treasures. Mr. Speaker, it is important that we save these missions so 
they can pass on their history to future generations. I urge my 
colleagues to join me in support of this bill.
  Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Senate 
Amendments to the California Missions Preservation Act. I am a co-
sponsor of this bill, and I am pleased that we are sending it to the 
White House before we adjourn.
  Because of this legislation, important historical sites in California 
will be better preserved for future generations of Americans to enjoy 
and learn about our state's rich heritage.
  I am proud to represent in my district the Mission San Gabriel 
Arcangel. This is the fourth of twenty-one missions established in 
California during the Spanish colonial era.
  Orginally founded in 1771 in present-day Montebello, it was moved in 
1776 to what is now San Gabriel. Built by the Franciscans and Native 
American Gabrielenos, the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel would become 
what famed Spanish missionary Junipero Serra would call ``The Pride of 
the Missions.''
  The government eventually changed from Spanish to Mexican, then from 
Mexican to American. In the early 20th Century, control of the Mission 
would eventually go to the Claretian Missionaries with the Dominican 
Sisters of Mission San Jose providing education at the parish school. 
Yet the Mission would always be an integral part of the community, a 
jewel of the southland, a wondrous remnant from the first of many who 
built the greater Los Angeles area into a world-class destination.
  Today, the Mission is set amount a large, diverse and gracious 
community. Local residents still seek spiritual guidance there, and 
cactus garden. The Mission thrives as a source of pride among residents 
of the San Gabriel Valley, and I pleased that Congress is recognizing 
the importance of protecting this and other Missions.
  Ms. LORETTA SANCHEZ of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in 
strong support of H.R. 1446, the California Missions Protection Act. I 
thank my colleague from California, Mr. Farr, for his continued role in 
preserving the Golden State's wonderful treasures. I also thank our 
distinguished California colleagues in the other chamber for their 
leadership and support in pushing this bill through the Senate.
  The missions inspired by Father Junipero Serra are a favorite 
destination for millions of people around the world. These historical 
monuments are a symbol of Catholicism, and the early efforts to unify 
Native Americans with the Spanish settlers. We admire the missions as a 
sanctuary, a place of worship, and a symbol of American History.
  In 1769, Father Serra erected Mission San Diego Alcala. This would be 
the first of 21 historic missions built along the beautiful Pacific 
coastline. The missions have been a significance part of California's 
culture for over two centuries. Even Pope John Paul II, recognizing the 
significance of Father Serra, blessed these missions in his visit to 
the San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission in 1987.
  The citizens of Orange County treasure our local mission, Mission San 
Juan Capistrano. Created in 1776, it continues to be used as a place of 
peace and worship. We consider ourselves fortunate to experienced the 
Serra Chapel, the only building left in which Father Serra gave mass. 
We watch in delight every year as the world famous swallows return to 
their summer home.
  Unfortunately, after two centuries of wear and tear, as well as 
numerous earthquakes, much of the infrastructure of these buildings is 
deteriorating. It is our interest,for the sake of preservinga piece of 
American History, that we put forth the effort to restore these elegant 
buildings and artifacts.
  Again, I thank the Honorable Sam Farr for his efforts to restore 
California's treasures. I am proud to support his efforts, and the 
efforts of so many others to protect and preserve the Missions of 
California.

[[Page H9835]]

  Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, 
and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. GIBBONS. Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Terry). The question is on the motion 
offered by the gentleman from Nevada (Mr. Gibbons) that the House 
suspend the rules and concur in the Senate amendment to the bill, H.R. 
1446.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds having voted in favor 
thereof) the rules were suspended and the Senate amendment was 
concurred in.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________