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107th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1st Session 107-268
AUTHORIZING THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO ESTABLISH THE RONALD
REAGAN BOYHOOD HOME NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
November 5, 2001.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Hansen, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 400]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill
(H.R. 400) to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to
establish the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home National Historic
Site, and for other purposes, having considered the same,
report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that
the bill do pass.
purpose of the bill
The purpose of H.R. 400 is to authorize the Secretary of
the Interior to establish the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home
National Historic Site, and for other purposes.
background and need for legislation
Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th President of the United
States, was born on February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois.
After moving to a succession of rural towns in Illinois, the
Reagans settled in 1920 in Dixon, Illinois; the place Ronald
Reagan considers his hometown. President Reagan lived in the
home located at 816 South Hennepin Road during part of his
teenage years (1924-1928). From 1926 to 1933, Reagan was
employed as a lifeguard in Lowell Park in Dixon where he was
credited with saving seventy-seven lives. In 1928, President
Reagan graduated from Dixon High School where he served as
student body president.
The Reagan Boyhood Home was restored and refurnished in
1984 by the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home Foundation to appear as
it did during the period President Reagan lived in the home.
The boyhood home and museum, which is on the National Register
of Historic Properties and part of the Ronald Reagan Boyhood
Complex, is currently located on approximately \3/4\ of a
square city block with three other structures and a parking lot
for visitors. It has an annual visitation of approximately
20,000 people, and is located within a historical district
created by the City of Dixon pursuant to local ordinances.
The Ronald Reagan Boyhood Complex (land and structures)
designated under this legislation consists of the following:
The North Half (N\1/2\) of Lot Three (3), Block One Hundred and
Three (103), of the original Town (now city) of Dixon, Lee
County, Illinois, and more commonly known as 816 South Hennepin
Avenue, Dixon, Illinois (Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home); The South
half (S\1/2\) of Lot Two (2), Block One Hundred and Three
(103), of the original Town (now city) of Dixon, Lee County,
Illinois, and more commonly known as 810 South Hennepin Avenue,
Dixon, Illinois (Visitors Center); The South two-thirds (S\2/
3\) of Lot Four (4) in Block One Hundred Three (103) in the
original Town (now city) of Dixon, Lee County, Illinois, and
more commonly known as 821 South Galena Avenue, Dixon, Illinois
(Parking Lot); The Westerly Ninety feet of the Southerly One
half (S\1/2\) of Lot 3 in Block 103 in the Town (now city) of
Dixon, Lee County, Illinois.
Establishing the Boyhood Home as a National Historic Site
will ensure the long-term preservation of the museum and its
eligibility for funding from the National Park Service.
H.R. 400 was introduced on February 6, 2001, by Congressman
J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and was referred to the Committee on
Resources. On February 15, 2001, the bill was referred within
the Committee to the Subcommittee on National Parks,
Recreation, and Public Lands. On March 8, 2001, the
Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On April 26, 2001, the
Subcommittee met to mark up the bill. Congressman Joel Hefley
(R-CO) offered an amendment in the nature of a substitute
requiring that the Secretary of the Interior conduct a study on
the suitability and feasibility of designating the Ronald
Reagan Boyhood Home as a national historic site, and to submit
a report to Congress within one year. The amendment was adopted
by voice vote. The bill, as amended, was then forwarded to the
On October 3, 2001, the Full Resources Committee met to
consider the bill as introduced. Congressman Hefley offered an
amendment in the nature of a substitute which mirrored the
amendment adopted during Subcommittee markup. The amendment
failed by a roll call vote of 11 to 12, as follows:
There were no further amendments. The bill was then ordered
favorably reported to the House of Representatives by voice
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 and Article IV, section 3 of the
Constitution of the United States grant Congress the authority
to enact this bill.
compliance with house rule xiii
1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B)
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2)
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in
revenues or tax expenditures.
3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. The purpose of
H.R. 400 is to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to
establish the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home National Historic
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
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, October 10, 2001.
Hon. James V. Hansen,
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. 400, a bill to
authorize the Secretary of the Interior to establish the Ronald
Reagan Boyhood Home National Historic Site, and for other
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis.
Barry B. Anderson
(For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
H.R. 400--A bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to
establish the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home National Historic
Site, and for other purposes
H.R. 400 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to
purchase the site of Ronald Reagan's boyhood home in Dixon,
Illinois, at its fair market value. Once the property is
acquired, the Secretary would designate it as the Ronald Reagan
Boyhood Home National Historic Site. The National Park Service
(NPS) would execute a cooperative agreement with the Ronald
Reagan Boyhood Home Foundation (the site's current owner), to
operate the site. Within two years, the NPS, in consultation
with the foundation, would develop a general management plan
that would define the roles of the two parties in interpreting
and preserving the site.
CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would cost
the federal government about $700,000 over the next two years,
subject to appropriation of the necessary amounts. Based on
available information on area property values, we estimate that
the NPS would spend about $400,000 of this amount to purchase
the site from the foundation. (This nonprofit organization paid
around $30,000 for the former Reagan home in the early 1980s
and has since invested several million dollars in the home and
adjacent properties.) The remaining $300,000 would be used to
complete a general management plan for the site and develop
interpretive materials. CBO further estimates that once the
plan and cooperative agreement have been finalized, the NPS
would spend between $250,000 and $500,000 annually to provide
technical and financial assistance to the foundation, which
would operate the historic site. The costs of this bill are
based on information provided by the NPS and local tax
H.R. 400 would not affect direct spending or receipts;
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply. The
legislation contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would have no significant impact on the budgets of state,
local, or tribal governments.
The staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis. The
estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant
Director for Budget Analysis.
COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4
This bill contains no unfunded mandates.
PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW
This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing
DISSENTING VIEWS OF THE HONORABLE JOEL HEFLEY
The decision of this committee to ignore the actions of its
Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation and Public Lands
with regard to H.R. 400 flies in the face of legislative comity
and negates a nearly 10-year effort to establish a rational
process for the creation of National Park Service units. For
that reason, I must oppose this legislation.
As adopted by the committee, H.R. 400 would establish the
Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home National Historical Site in Dixon,
Illinois. There is no question in my mind that the Reagan site
deserves eventual inclusion in the system. But the Park Service
has never studied the site nor been given the opportunity to
recommend how it would be interpreted.
Three years ago, this Congress passed an omnibus Interior
bill that included the National Park Service Reform Act. That
act required that proposed Park Service units first be studied
by the National Park Service; that the Park Service present to
Congress its recommendation for the unit, including its
interpretation; and finally, that any unit must be authorized
by this committee before any appropriations could be released.
Even the National Parks & Conservation Association, which
fought the Reform Act as a ``parks closure bill,'' conceded
that adopting this process would amount to the most significant
piece of parks legislation since the Organic Act of 1916. After
a grueling three-year debate and no small amount of political
grief to myself, Mr. Hansen (of Utah), Mr. Miller (of
California), our late colleague, Mr. Vento and others, the bill
became law in 1998.
The National Park Service Reform Act grew out of debate
over the Steamtown National Historic Site near Scranton,
Pennsylvania. There, a powerful member of the House
Appropriations Committee, managed to funnel over $100 million
into the creation of a railway park of dubious authenticity.
Even its sponsor conceded Steamtown's main purpose was economic
development: ``My town's economy was based on coal and then on
textiles,'' he told me. ``This is all we've got left.''
Meanwhile, Park Service backlogs in maintenance, land
acquisition and housing continued to grow into the billions, a
situation which would continue, without redress, until Mr.
Regula (of Ohio) became chairman of the Interior Appropriations
Subcommittee in 1994.
I authored the National Park Service Reform Act because I
believe--then and now--that Park Service units should be
designated on the basis of what they are, not because they are
the pet project of someone in a powerful position. As chairman
of the National Parks Subcommittee, Dr. Christensen (of the
Virgin Islands) and I worked to ensure a fair hearing for the
proposal before our panel. Save for the Moccasin Bend National
Historic Site in Tennessee, which has been studied for 50
years, and an expansion of the Booker T. Washington NHS in
Virginia, all the parks proposals, all the trails and heritage
area proposals, were made subject to Park Service study. By a
voice vote, that subcommittee amended H.R. 400 to mandate a
study as well. The committee, however, has chosen to vote on
the bill's original text, which designates the Reagan site
immediately and without a study.
There's no doubt that Speaker Hastert is in a powerful
position. Nevertheless, I believe he should follow the same
rules as everyone else. So should I. So should everyone on this
committee or in this Congress. A year will endanger neither the
significance nor the safety of the Reagan Home. Its present
custodians have done an exemplary job creating and preserving
the site. They are getting on in years and want only the
safeguard of an NPS designation to preserve their work, but
have no objection to a year's delay for the study. But by
ignoring the actions of the Parks Subcommittee and the Park
Service Reform Act, we risk returning to a balkanized Park
System of units significant only to those who had enough clout
to establish them.
When I first entered into the park reform debate seven
years ago, I said that if an authorizing committee wasn't going
to stand firm on its policies, it might as well go home and
leave things to the appropriators. By passing the unamended
version of H.R. 400, that is basically what the Resources
Committee has done.