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106th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     106-585

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



 
      ADDITION OF COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUE, VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL

                                _______
                                

 April 13, 2000.--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

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 3293]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 3293) to amend the law that authorized the Vietnam 
Veterans Memorial to authorize the placement within the site of 
the memorial of a plaque to honor those Vietnam veterans who 
died after their service in the Vietnam war, but as a direct 
result of that service, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill 
do pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. ADDITION OF COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUE, VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL.

  Public Law 96-297 (94 Stat. 827; 16 U.S.C. 431 note), which 
authorized the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the District of Columbia, 
is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

``SEC. 5. PLAQUE TO HONOR OTHER VIETNAM VETERANS WHO DIED AS A RESULT 
                    OF SERVICE IN THE VIETNAM WAR.

  ``(a) Plaque Authorized.--Notwithstanding section 3(c) of the 
Commemorative Works Act (40 U.S.C. 1003(c)), the American Battle 
Monuments Commission is authorized to place within the Vietnam Veterans 
Memorial a suitable plaque containing an inscription intended to honor 
those Vietnam veterans who died after their service in the Vietnam war, 
but as a direct result of that service, and whose names are not 
otherwise eligible for placement on the memorial wall.
  ``(b) Specifications.--The plaque shall be at least 6 square feet in 
size and not larger than 18 square feet in size, and of whatever shape 
as the American Battle Monuments Commission determines to be 
appropriate for the site. The plaque shall bear an inscription prepared 
by the American Battle Monuments Commission.
  ``(c) Relation to Commemorative Works Act.--Except as provided in 
subsection (a), the Commemorative Works Act (40 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.) 
shall apply to the design and placement of the plaque within the site 
of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
  ``(d) Consultation.--In designing the plaque, preparing the 
inscription, and selecting the specific location for the plaque within 
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the American Battle Monuments Commission 
shall consult with the architects of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial 
Fund, Inc.
  ``(e) Funds for Plaque.--Federal funds may not be used to design, 
procure, or install the plaque. However, the preceding sentence does 
not apply to the payment of the salaries, expenses, and other benefits 
otherwise authorized by law for members of the American Battle 
Monuments Commission or other personnel (including detailees) of the 
American Battle Monuments Commission who carry out this section.
  ``(f) Vietnam Veterans Memorial Defined.--In this section, the term 
`Vietnam Veterans Memorial' means the structures and adjacent areas 
extending to and bounded by the south curb of Constitution Avenue on 
the north, the east curb of Henry Bacon Drive on the west, the north 
side of the north Reflecting Pool walkway on the south and a line drawn 
perpendicular to Constitution Avenue 200 feet from the east tip of the 
memorial wall on the east (this is also a line extended from the east 
side of the western concrete border of the steps to the west of the 
center steps to the Federal Reserve Building extending to the 
Reflecting pool walkway). This is the same definition used by the 
National Park Service as of the date of the enactment of this section, 
as contained in section 7.96(g)(1)(x) of title 36, Code of Federal 
Regulations.''.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 3293 is to amend the law that 
authorized the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to authorize the 
placement within the site of the memorial of a plaque to honor 
those Vietnam veterans who died after their service in the 
Vietnam war, but as a direct result of that service.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    H.R. 3293 serves to honor those Vietnam veterans whose 
names are not technically eligible for placement on the Vietnam 
Veterans Memorial wall, but have died as a direct result of 
serving in the Vietnam War. Currently, the names on the 
Memorial wall honor those military personnel who died during 
the conflict. This plaque would commemorate those military 
personnel who died afterward and as a direct result of the war.
    H.R. 3293 amends Public Law 96-297 which authorized the 
Vietnam Veterans Memorial, to authorize the placement of a 
plaque within the site of the memorial to honor those Vietnam 
veterans who died after their service in the Vietnam War, but 
as a direct result of that service. This bill would authorize 
the American Battle Monuments Commission to design and place 
the plaque and also to prepare an appropriate inscription in 
consultation with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc. This 
bill specifies that the plaque contain an appropriate 
inscription and be placed within the legal description of the 
Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Federal funds may 
not be used for the design, procurement, and installation of 
the plaque.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 3293 was introduced on November 10, 1999, by 
Congressman Elton Gallegly (R-CA). The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on National Parks and Public Lands. On March 16, 
2000, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On March 23, 
2000, the Subcommittee met to consider the bill. An amendment 
was offered by Congressman Gallegly which allowed greater 
flexibility for the dimensions of the plaque (at least 6, but 
no more than 18 total square feet), exempted the plaque from 
Section 3(c) of the Commemorative Works Act, and also provided 
that federal funds are still allowable for salaries, expenses, 
and benefits for the American Battle Monuments Commission. The 
amendment was adopted by voice vote and the bill, as amended, 
was then ordered favorably reported to the Full Committee by 
voice vote. On April 5, 2000, the Full Resources Committee met 
to consider the bill. No further amendments were offered, and 
the bill, as amended, was ordered favorably reported to the 
House of Representatives by voice vote.

            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, credit 
authority, or an increase or decrease in revenues or tax 
expenditures. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 
enactment of this bill could affect direct spending, but any 
such effects would be less than $100,000 annually because 
privately-raised funds may be spent by the Department of the 
Interior without appropriation for maintenance of the plaque.
    3. Government Reform Oversight Findings. Under clause 
3(c)(4) of rule XIII 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 on this bill.
    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, April 12, 2000.
Hon. Don Young,
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. 3293, a bill to 
amend the law that authorized the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to 
authorize the placement within the site of the memorial of a 
plaque to honor those Vietnam veterans who died after their 
service in the Vietnam war, but as a direct result of that 
service.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis.
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 3293--A bill to amend the law that authorized the Vietnam Veterans 
        Memorial to authorize the placement within the site of the 
        memorial of a plaque to honor those Vietnam veterans who died 
        after their service in the Vietnam war, but as a direct result 
        of that service

    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3293 would have no 
significant impact on the federal budget. Because the bill 
could affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures would 
apply. CBO estimates, however, that any such effects would be 
less than $100,000 annually. The bill contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets 
of state, local, or tribal governments.
    H.R. 3293 would authorize the American Battle Monuments 
Commission to place within the Vietnam Veterans Memorial a 
plaque honoring certain veterans who died after their service 
in the Vietnam war. A private organization would design and 
construct the plaque in accordance with the Commemorative Works 
Act and without cost to the federal government. Under the 
Commemorative Works Act, any organization that receives a 
permit to construct a memorial in the District of Columbia or 
its environs must deposit an amount equal to 10 percent of the 
memorial's estimated construction cost in the U.S. Treasury. 
The funds deposited are then available without further 
appropriation for maintenance and preservation of the memorial.
    According to the National Park Service (NPS), the Vietnam 
War in Memory Memorial, Inc. will finance the design and 
construction of the plaque. Based on information provided by 
the agency, CBO estimates that the federal government would 
receive a deposit of less than $100,000 once the plaque has 
been installed. The NPS would then spend a portion of this 
amount each year to maintain the memorial. Based on the 
experience with similar commemorative projects, CBO expects 
that no amounts would be received or spent by the federal 
government for several years after the bill is enacted. In any 
case, the collections and spending would offset each other over 
time.
    The CBO staff contact 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 State, local, or 
tribal law.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                  SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1980


   AN ACT To authorize the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc., to 
                          establish a memorial

SEC. 5. PLAQUE TO HONOR OTHER VIETNAM VETERANS WHO DIED AS A RESULT OF 
                    SERVICE IN THE VIETNAM WAR.

    (a) Plaque Authorized.--Notwithstanding section 3(c) of the 
Commemorative Works Act (40 U.S.C. 1003(c)), the American 
Battle Monuments Commission is authorized to place within the 
Vietnam Veterans Memorial a suitable plaque containing an 
inscription intended to honor those Vietnam veterans who died 
after their service in the Vietnam war, but as a direct result 
of that service, and whose names are not otherwise eligible for 
placement on the memorial wall.
    (b) Specifications.--The plaque shall be at least 6 square 
feet in size and not larger than 18 square feet in size, and of 
whatever shape as the American Battle Monuments Commission 
determines to be appropriate for the site. The plaque shall 
bear an inscription prepared by the American Battle Monuments 
Commission.
    (c) Relation to Commemorative Works Act.--Except as 
provided in subsection (a), the Commemorative Works Act (40 
U.S.C. 1001 et seq.) shall apply to the design and placement of 
the plaque within the site of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
    (d) Consultation.--In designing the plaque, preparing the 
inscription, and selecting the specific location for the plaque 
within the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the American Battle 
Monuments Commission shall consult with the architects of the 
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.
    (e) Funds for Plaque.--Federal funds may not be used to 
design, procure, or install the plaque. However, the preceding 
sentence does not apply to the payment of the salaries, 
expenses, and other benefits otherwise authorized by law for 
members of the American Battle Monuments Commission or other 
personnel (including detailees) of the American Battle 
Monuments Commission who carry out this section.
    (f) Vietnam Veterans Memorial Defined.--In this section, 
the term ``Vietnam Veterans Memorial'' means the structures and 
adjacent areas extending to and bounded by the south curb of 
Constitution Avenue on the north, the east curb of Henry Bacon 
Drive on the west, the north side of the north Reflecting Pool 
walkway on the south and a line drawn perpendicular to 
Constitution Avenue 200 feet from the east tip of the memorial 
wall on the east (this is also a line extended from the east 
side of the western concrete border of the steps to the west of 
the center steps to the Federal Reserve Building extending to 
the Reflecting pool walkway). This is the same definition used 
by the National Park Service as of the date of the enactment of 
this section, as contained in section 7.96(g)(1)(x) of title 
36, Code of Federal Regulations.

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    H.R. 3293 is the most recent in a series of legislative 
proposals to add memorials to the National Mall. This 
particular measure would authorize a plaque to be placed within 
the site of the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial intended to honor 
soldiers who died as a result of their service in Vietnam but 
who are ineligible for inclusion on the Wall because their 
deaths occurred after the war ended. As with most such 
proposals, this legislation would honor a worthy group and its 
proponents feel that placement other than on the Mall would be 
inappropriate.
    In this case, we do not oppose the bill's provision 
mandating placement of the plaque within the site of the 
existing Memorial, given the nexus between the existing 
Memorial and the proposed addition. However, the Commemorative 
Works Act of 1986 (CWA) was enacted to resolve the growing 
conflict between the proliferation of compelling memorial 
proposals and ever-shrinking space on the Mall. H.R. 3293 
specifically exempts this proposal from the CWA but we continue 
to believe that, in most cases, Congress should provide general 
authorizations for memorials and allow the process contained 
within the CWA to resolve issues such as placement and design.
    While we support the intent of H.R. 3293, there is one 
significant improvement which must be made in the bill before 
this measure is approved by the House. The legislation 
identifies a government agency, the American Battle Monuments 
Commission (ABMC) as the organization which will oversee 
placement of the plaque. Selection of the ABMC for this task is 
inappropriate for several important reasons.
    First, placement of a plaque at the Vietnam Veterans' 
Memorial is inconsistent with the ABMC's mission. The ABMC is 
an independent, executive-branch agency which operates 24 
cemeteries around the world, burial grounds for nearly 125,000 
American war dead. The organization also oversees 27 memorials, 
the vast majority of which are located on foreign soil. The 
ABMC has had no involvement in the creation or administration 
of the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial, as most of its 
responsibilities lie overseas. The major exception to this 
overseas focus, responsibility for the proposed World War II 
Memorial, is likely to occupy most of the ABMC's domestic 
efforts.
    What's more, the ABMC doesn't want the job. In testimony 
before the National Capitol Memorial Commission, the ABMC 
stated that, ``responsibility for the design, procurement and 
installation of the plaque should rest with either the 
proponent or the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Fund.''
    In addition, the ABMC has no mechanism to pay for this 
proposed plaque. The legislation specifies that no federal 
funds are to be used to, ``design, procure, or install the 
plaque.'' While the bill has been amended to exempt, 
``salaries, expenses and other benefits'' for ABMC personnel, 
it is still unclear where the funds for the plaque itself will 
come from. Cost estimates have ranged from $3,000 to more than 
$10,000 and the ABMC testified before the Memorial Commission 
that they have no mechanism to accept donations for this 
specific project. In order for the ABMC to carry out this 
responsibility, either such a mechanism must be created, which 
would persumably divert funds from the WWII Memorial, or the 
funds must come out of the ABMC's ``expense'' budget, money now 
being spent on American cemeteries in Europe. Neither of these 
options seems attractive.
    All of these problems could be avoided by replacing the 
ABMC with the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Fund (VVMF) as the 
organization responsible for placing this plaque at the Vietnam 
Veteran's Memorial. The VVMF, was founded in 1979 for the 
express purpose of erecting a memorial to the Vietnam War on 
the National Mall. This organization conceived the idea for the 
Memorial, raised the more than $8 million needed for its 
construction, conducted the design contest, oversaw 
construction, organized the dedication ceremonies and continues 
to raise funds for educational programs and maintenance. No 
memorial in Washington is more closely associated with one 
organization. The VVMF has the historical perspective, 
technical expertise and fund-raising ability needed to 
implement this legislation properly. Unlike the ABMC, the Fund 
has also expressed a desire to oversee this addition to the 
Memorial, if that is what Congress decides.
    In fact, it is our understanding that the VVMF was the 
first choice of the sponsor of this legislation as well, 
However, because the Fund raised several concerns regarding 
this proposal, they were passed over in favor of the ABMC. In 
our view, it is short-sighted and inappropriate to remove the 
Fund from decisions which will alter a memorial they built in 
favor of an unrelated and unenthusiastic government agency, 
simply as means of punishing them for reticence early in the 
process. This is particularly true when such a move creates 
funding complications which could prove fatal to the entire 
project.
    As it stands, H.R. 3293 has an obvious flaw. Fortunately an 
obvious solution exists and we hope it will be adopted.

                                   George Miller.
                                   Frank Pallone, Jr.
                                   Mark Udall.