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105th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 2d Session                                                     105-559
_______________________________________________________________________


 
      NATIONAL UNDERGROUND RAILROAD NETWORK TO FREEDOM ACT OF 1998

                                _______
                                

  June 3, 1998.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1635]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 1635) to establish within the United States National Park 
Service the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom 
program, and for other purposes, 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 out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``National Underground Railroad Network 
to Freedom Act of 1998''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

  (a) Findings.--The Congress finds the following:
          (1) The Underground Railroad, which flourished from the end 
        of the 18th century to the end of the Civil War, was one of the 
        most significant expressions of the American civil rights 
        movement during its evolution over more than 3 centuries.
          (2) The Underground Railroad bridged the divides of race, 
        religion, sectional differences, and nationality; spanned State 
        lines and international borders; and joined the American ideals 
        of liberty and freedom expressed in the Declaration of 
        Independence and the Constitution to the extraordinary actions 
        of ordinary men and women working in common purpose to free a 
        people.
          (3) Pursuant to title VI of Public Law 101-628 (16 U.S.C. 1a-
        5 note; 104 Stat. 4495), the Underground Railroad Advisory 
        Committee conducted a study of the appropriate means of 
        establishing an enduring national commemorative Underground 
        Railroad program of education, example, reflection, and 
        reconciliation.
          (4) The Underground Railroad Advisory Committee found that--
                  (A) although a few elements of the Underground 
                Railroad story are represented in existing National 
                Park Service units and other sites, many sites are in 
                imminent danger of being lost or destroyed, and many 
                important resource types are not adequately represented 
                and protected;
                  (B) there are many important sites which have high 
                potential for preservation and visitor use in 29 
                States, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin 
                Islands;
                  (C) no single site or route completely reflects and 
                characterizes the Underground Railroad, since its story 
                and associated resources involve networks and regions 
                of the country rather than individual sites and trails; 
                and
                  (D) establishment of a variety of partnerships 
                between the Federal Government and other levels of 
                government and the private sector would be most 
                appropriate for the protection and interpretation of 
                the Underground Railroad.
          (5) The National Park Service can play a vital role in 
        facilitating the national commemoration of the Underground 
        Railroad.
          (6) The story and significance of the Underground Railroad 
        can best engage the American people through a national program 
        of the National Park Service that links historic buildings, 
        structures, and sites; routes, geographic areas, and corridors; 
        interpretive centers, museums, and institutions; and programs, 
        activities, community projects, exhibits, and multimedia 
        materials, in a manner that is both unified and flexible.
  (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are the following:
          (1) To recognize the importance of the Underground Railroad, 
        the sacrifices made by those who used the Underground Railroad 
        in search of freedom from tyranny and oppression, and the 
        sacrifices made by the people who helped them.
          (2) To authorize the National Park Service to coordinate and 
        facilitate Federal and non-Federal activities to commemorate, 
        honor, and interpret the history of the Underground Railroad, 
        its significance as a crucial element in the evolution of the 
        national civil rights movement, and its relevance in fostering 
        the spirit of racial harmony and national reconciliation.

SEC. 3. NATIONAL UNDERGROUND RAILROAD NETWORK TO FREEDOM PROGRAM.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary of the Interior (in this Act referred 
to as the ``Secretary'') shall establish in the National Park Service a 
program to be known as the ``National Underground Railroad Network to 
Freedom'' (in this Act referred to as the ``national network''). Under 
the program, the Secretary shall--
          (1) produce and disseminate appropriate educational 
        materials, such as handbooks, maps, interpretive guides, or 
        electronic information;
          (2) enter into appropriate cooperative agreements and 
        memoranda of understanding to provide technical assistance 
        under subsection (c); and
          (3) create and adopt an official, uniform symbol or device 
        for the national network and issue regulations for its use.
  (b) Elements.--The national network shall encompass the following 
elements:
          (1) All units and programs of the National Park Service 
        determined by the Secretary to pertain to the Underground 
        Railroad.
          (2) Other Federal, State, local, and privately owned 
        properties pertaining to the Underground Railroad that have a 
        verifiable connection to the Underground Railroad and that are 
        included on, or determined by the Secretary to be eligible for 
        inclusion on, the National Register of Historic Places.
          (3) Other governmental and nongovernmental facilities and 
        programs of an educational, research, or interpretive nature 
        that are directly related to the Underground Railroad.
  (c) Cooperative Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding.--To 
achieve the purposes of this Act and to ensure effective coordination 
of the Federal and non-Federal elements of the national network 
referred to in subsection (b) with National Park Service units and 
programs, the Secretary may enter into cooperative agreements and 
memoranda of understanding with, and provide technical assistance to--
          (1) the heads of other Federal agencies, States, localities, 
        regional governmental bodies, and private entities; and
          (2) in cooperation with the Secretary of State, the 
        governments of Canada, Mexico, and any appropriate country in 
        the Caribbean.
  (d) Appropriations.--There are authorized to be appropriated to carry 
out this Act not more than $500,000 for each fiscal year. No amounts 
may be appropriated for the purposes of this Act except to the 
Secretary for carrying out the responsibilities of the Secretary as set 
forth in section 3(a).

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 1635 is to establish, within the 
National Park Service, the National Underground Railroad 
Network to Freedom Program.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    In 1990, Congress directed the National Park Service (NPS) 
to study how to best interpret and commemorate the Underground 
Railroad (Public Law 101-628). This study was accomplished in 
coordination with an Underground Railroad Advisory Committee. 
The NPS and Committee issued their final report in 1995. The 
report concluded that the Underground Railroad is not 
individual sites or trails, but rather, networks and geographic 
regions that encompass a variety of partnerships among 
individuals, federal, state, and local governments, and the 
private sector.
    There are 27 units of the National Park System directly 
related to the Underground Railroad experience, including such 
diverse areas as the Congaree Swamp National Monument in South 
Carolina, Harpers Ferry National Historic Park in West 
Virginia, Independence National Historic Park in Pennsylvania, 
and the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in Missouri. 
Additionally, there are 55 sites in the National Park System 
that relate to the African-American experience in America. 
Furthermore, the study identified 380 sites and structures, in 
29 states, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean islands, under 
state and local government stewardship, or privately owned, 
that have important direct association with the Underground 
Railroad. Of that number, 42 were identified as having 
potential for designation as national historic landmarks.
    As established by H.R. 1635, the National Underground 
Railroad Network to Freedom Program would facilitate 
partnerships among the federal, state, and local governments, 
and the private sector, to assist in interpreting and 
commemorating the historical network of buildings, interpretive 
centers, museums, geographic areas and routes that were part of 
the movement to resist slavery in the United States in the 
decades prior to the Civil War.
    This bill does not create any new units to the National 
Park System and uses the expertise of the NPS to coordinate, 
produce and distribute appropriate educational materials, and 
enter into cooperative agreements to provide technical 
assistance to state and local governments and the private 
sector. Furthermore, H.R. 1635 will authorize an official 
symbol for the National Underground Railroad Network and issue 
regulations for its use. H.R. 1635 authorizes appropriations to 
the Secretary of the Interior to carry out only the program 
objectives described above. The amount authorized is $500,000 
per year to staff and coordinate the program.
    H.R. 1635 establishes partnerships between the NPS and the 
many entities that comprise the National Underground Railroad. 
This approach is unique and far reaching as an approach that 
does not require the federal government to assume all costs 
associated with interpreting this theme. The Committee 
recognizes this bill focuses on public-private partnerships. In 
a time of dwindling federal resources, the Committee highly 
recommends that the federal government be more creative in the 
protection of resources of national importance, like the 
Underground Railroad. Rather than requiring the federal 
government to assume all costs associated with a project, these 
partnerships leverage a limited amount of federal dollars with 
privately-raised funds. The strong commitments from private 
parties will increase the degree to which the history of the 
Underground Railroad can be told. The Committee notes that many 
sites and institutions nationwide are currently commemorating 
the Underground Railroad. This bill will help preserve and 
protect them while linking them together.
    One example of a successful public-private partnership is 
the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, 
Ohio. The Freedom Center, expected to open on the banks of the 
Ohio River in 2003, will employ state-of-the-art technology and 
advanced inter-disciplinary education to commemorate, educate, 
inspire and promote reconciliation among all races. Assisted by 
a national advisory board of distinguished leaders, such as 
Desmond Tutu, Vernon Jordan and Rosa Parks, the Center will be 
an international resource for scholarship, human relations 
education and genealogical study. As one of the first 
``distributive'' museums in the country--and the first focused 
on the Underground Railroad--the Center will create cooperative 
programming and educational opportunities across the continent. 
The Committee commends the Freedom Center for its vision, and 
encourages the linkage of Underground Railroad sites across our 
nation and throughout the hemisphere that this legislation 
envisions.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 1635 was introduced on May 15, 1997, by Congressman 
Louis Stokes (D-OH) and Congressman Rob Portman (R-OH). The 
bill was referred to the Committee on Resources, and within the 
Committee to the Subcommittee on National Parks and Public 
Lands. On July 22, 1997, the Subcommittee held a hearing on 
H.R. 1635, where Dennis Galvin, Acting Deputy Director of the 
National Park Service, testified in support of H.R. 1635. On 
October 7, 1997, the Subcommittee met to mark up H.R. 1635. One 
amendment was offered by Subcommittee Chairman James V. Hansen 
(R-UT) which specified an annual authorized appropriation of 
not more than $500,000. The amendment was passed by voice vote 
and the bill, as amended, was then ordered favorably reported 
to the Full Committee. On May 20, 1998, the Full Resources 
Committee met to consider H.R. 1635. No further amendments were 
offered and the bill, as amended, was then ordered favorably 
reported to the House of Representatives by voice vote.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    With respect to the requirements of clause 2(l)(3) of rule 
XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and clause 
2(b)(1) of rule X 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 IV, section 3 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact H.R. 1635.

                        cost of the legislation

    Clause 7(a) 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 
H.R. 1635. However, clause 7(d) 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 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                     compliance with house rule xi

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(B) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, H.R. 
1635 does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(D) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee has received no report of oversight findings and 
recommendations from the Committee on Government Reform and 
Oversight on the subject of H.R. 1635.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(C) of 
rule XI 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 H.R. 
1635 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

               congressional budget office cost estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, May 27, 1998.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1635, the National 
Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Act of 1998.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis.
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1635--National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Act of 1998

    Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO 
estimates that the National Park Service (NPS) would spend 
about $500,000 annually (beginning in fiscal year 1998) to 
carry out the requirements of H.R. 1635. This legislation would 
not affect governmental receipts or direct spending; therefore, 
pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply. H.R. 1635 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.
    H.R. 1635 would require the NPS to establish a program to 
be known as the National Underground Railroad Network to 
Freedom. In order to implement this program, the NPS would 
produce and distribute educational materials, create and adopt 
an official symbol for the network, and provide technical 
assistance to other interested entities. Also for this purpose, 
the bill would authorize the agency to execute cooperative 
agreements or memoranda of understanding with such entities, 
including private organizations, other nations, and federal, 
state, or local government agencies. Finally, the bill would 
authorize appropriations to carry out the activities of 
$500,000 per year.
    Based on information provided by the NPS, CBO estimates 
that the agency would spend about $500,000 to create the 
network in the first several months following enactment. This 
work would include basic planning, developing educational 
materials and interpretive exhibits, and coordinating federal 
activities with those of other interested groups or 
individuals. The NPS would use the $500,000 authorized for each 
subsequent year to manage the network and provide assistance to 
other parties under cooperative agreements.
    On May 20, 1998, CBO prepared a cost estimate for S. 887, 
the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Act of 
1997, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and 
Natural Resources on May 13, 1998. The Senate bill would 
authorized the appropriation of $500,000 for 1998 and $1 
million for each year thereafter. The estimate for H.R. 1635 
reflects the lower authorization levels contained in the House 
bill. Other provisions ofthe two bills are nearly identical.
    The staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis. The 
estimate was approved by Robert A. Sunshine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    H.R. 1635 contains no unfunded mandates.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, H.R. 1635 would make no changes in existing 
law.