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108th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     108-689

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



 
                      DESIGNATION OF NATIONAL TREE

                                _______
                                

 September 17, 2004.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Sensenbrenner, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1775]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 1775) to amend title 36, United States Code, to designate 
the oak tree as the national tree of the United States, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     1
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     2
Hearings.........................................................     2
Committee Consideration..........................................     2
Vote of the Committee............................................     2
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     2
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     3
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     3
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     3
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     3
Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion.......................     4
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     4
Markup Transcript................................................     5

                          Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 1775 is to designate the tree genus 
Quercus, commonly known as the oak tree, as the national tree.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    The oak tree was chosen by the American people as the 
national tree in a 4-month-long open voting process sponsored 
by the National Arbor Day Foundation in 2001. It received over 
100,000 votes out of some 400,000 total votes cast. On Friday, 
April 27, 2001, the selection of the oak as the national tree 
was commemorated with a ceremonial planting of an oak on the 
United States Capitol grounds.
    The oak was the natural choice for the national tree. Its 
many species are common to all 50 States, and six States have 
already named the oak as their State tree.\1\ The oak tree has 
also played an important role in the history of the United 
States. For example, the Charter Oak, which is featured on the 
back of the Connecticut quarter, served as a hiding place for 
that State's charter when the British sought to have the 
charter surrendered in 1687. Furthermore, the oak tree's 
strength and durability as a building material is well known; 
the U.S.S. Constitution, commonly known as ``Old Ironsides,'' 
has a hull constructed of live oak.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, and New Jersey 
are the States that have designated the oak as their State tree.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If H.R. 1775 is enacted, the oak tree would join the 
``Star-Spangled Banner,'' ``In God We Trust,'' the rose, and 
``The Stars and Stripes Forever'' in Title 36, United States 
Code, as a symbol of the United States.

                                Hearings

    No hearings were held in the Committee on the Judiciary on 
H.R. 1775.

                        Committee Consideration

    On May 13, 2004, the Subcommittee on the Constitution met 
in open session and ordered favorably reported the bill H.R. 
1775, by a voice vote, a quorum being present. On September 9, 
2004, the Committee met in open session and ordered favorably 
reported the bill H.R. 1775, without an amendment, by voice 
vote, a quorum being present.

                         Vote of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee notes that there 
were no recorded votes during the Committee's consideration of 
H.R. 1775.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee reports that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives is inapplicable because this legislation does 
not provide new budgetary authority or increased tax 
expenditures.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets forth, with 
respect to the bill, H.R. 1775, the following estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 14, 2004.
Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., Chairman,
Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1775, a bill to 
amend title 36, United States Code, to designate the oak tree 
as the national tree of the United States.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford, who can be reached at 226-2860.
            Sincerely,
                                       Douglas Holtz-Eakin.

Enclosure

cc:
        Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
        Ranking Member
H.R. 1775--A bill to amend title 36, United States Code, to designate 
        the oak tree as the national tree of the United States.
    H.R. 1775 would amend federal law to make the tree genus 
Quercus (commonly known as the oak tree) the national tree of 
the United States. CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1775 
would have no significant cost and would not affect direct 
spending or revenues.
    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.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew 
Pickford, who can be reached at 226-2860. This estimate was 
approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for 
Budget Analysis.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
goal of H.R. 1775 is to designate the tree genus Quercus, 
commonly known as the oak, as the national tree of the United 
States.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds the authority for 
this legislation in article I, Sec. 8 of the Constitution.

               Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion

    Sec. 1. Designation of National Tree. This section 
designates the tree genus Quercus, commonly known as the oak 
tree, as the national tree, and makes conforming amendments to 
Chapter 3, Title 36.
    Sec. 1 does not specify any particular species of oak, but 
rather designates the genus Quercus (oak) as the official 
national tree. By so defining the national tree, this 
designation will include oak varieties that span the continent, 
such as the Live Oak, the Northern Red Oak, the Arizona White 
Oak, and many more.

         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 italics, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 36, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


     SUBTITLE I--PATRIOTIC AND NATIONAL OBSERVANCES AND CEREMONIES

                   PART A--OBSERVANCES AND CEREMONIES

Chapter                                                             Sec.
      PATRIOTIC AND NATIONAL OBSERVANCES.............................101
      NATIONAL ANTHEM, MOTTO, FLORAL EMBLEM[, AND MARCH] MARCH, AND T301
     * * * * * * *

 CHAPTER 3--NATIONAL ANTHEM, MOTTO, FLORAL EMBLEM[, AND MARCH] MARCH, 
                                AND TREE

Sec.
301.  National anthem.
     * * * * * * *
305.  National tree.
     * * * * * * *

Sec. 305. National tree

    The tree genus Quercus, commonly known as the oak tree, is 
the national tree.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                           Markup Transcript



                            BUSINESS MEETING

                      WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2004

                  House of Representatives,
                                Committee on the Judiciary,
                                                    Washington, DC.
    The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:00 a.m., in 
Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. F. James 
Sensenbrenner, Jr., [Chairman of the Committee] Presiding.
    [Intervening business.]
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The next item on the agenda is the 
adoption of H.R. 1775, ``to amend Title 36, United State Code, 
to designate the oak tree as the national tree of the United 
States.'' The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Ohio, Mr. 
Chabot, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution 
for a motion.
    Mr. Chabot. I move that the bill be reported.
    [The bill, H.R. 1775, follows:]
    
    
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Okay. The gentleman from Ohio on 
behalf of the Subcommittee moves that the bill be reported 
favorably with a favorable recommendation to the full House. 
Without objection, the bill will be considered as read and open 
for amendment at any point. The Chair recognizes the author of 
the legislation, the gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Goodlatte, to 
strike the last word.
    Mr. Goodlatte. Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding a markup 
of this legislation designating the oak as America's national 
tree. During a 4-month long on-line election with almost half a 
million votes logged, the American people chose the oak tree as 
America's national tree. To make official what the American 
people have already chosen, I introduced H.R. 1775 last April 
which will officially designate the oak as America's national 
tree.
    As a Member of Congress representing a heavily forested 
district in Virginia, I know firsthand how trees add to our 
quality of life. As Chairman of the House Agriculture 
Committee, I appreciate how trees and forests enhance the 
environment, add recreational opportunities, and provide for 
the livelihoods of millions of individuals in the forest 
industry.
    Whether enjoying a product generated from a forest or the 
simple satisfaction of lying under a shaded giant, trees 
contribute to all Americans.
    The strong and stately oak tree is of particular importance 
in America's history and culture. Not only is this majestic 
tree an aesthetic beauty that characterizes the landscape of 
much of our great Nation, it also provides us with wood 
products in our homes, our offices and our places of gathering. 
Present in all 50 States, the oak has played a huge role in 
America's history as a valuable resource.
    It helped our Founding Fathers establish a new Nation, 
supplying building materials for the ever-expanding 13 original 
colonies. It served as a familiar site to pioneers as they 
forged across the new republic to the West Coast and to this 
day has remained an enduring valuable and highly priced raw 
material from which beautifully crafted furniture, sturdy door 
and window framing or ornate flooring and paneling and the like 
are made.
    This enduring and mighty tree, which has long been part of 
our national heritage and strength, fully merits the 
distinction of America's national tree. The oak tree has played 
a key role in many specific historic monuments in our Nation's 
history.
    Abraham Lincoln found his way across a river near Homer, 
Illinois, using the Salt River Fort Oak as a marker. When King 
James II attempted to revoke Connecticut's charter, the Charter 
White Oak is said to have been the hiding place for the 
historic document. Andrew Jackson took shelter under 
Louisiana's Sunnybrook Oak on his way to the Battle of New 
Orleans, and Old Ironsides is not made of iron. The USS 
Constitution earned its nickname from the strength of its live 
oak hull, famous for easily repelling British cannonballs.
    Chosen by the people in a broad-based election, the oak 
tree represents the fundamental characteristics of this great 
Nation: strength, endurance and beauty.
    I urge the Members of this Committee to make official what 
we have known for many years, that the oak tree is America's 
national tree.
    [A letter of support from The National Arbor Day Foundation 
follows:]




    Chairman Sensenbrenner. [Presiding.] Does anybody wish to 
make an opening statement on the Democratic side?
    If not, all Members----
    Mr. Keller. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. --have 5 days in which to insert 
opening statements in the record at this point.
    Are there any amendments?
    The gentleman from Florida, Mr. Keller.
    Mr. Keller. I move to strike the last word.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentleman is recognized for 5 
minutes.
    Mr. Keller. Obviously, this is a very controversial piece 
of legislation. I received a lot of heat from the American Palm 
Tree Association about this. There was an oak tree that 
recently fell on my mom's home in Hurricane Charley that 
resulted in it totally being razed. I just want to know if the 
author would consider a minor substitution to change the word 
``oak'' to ``palm'' in this amendment.
    Mr. Goodlatte. Would the gentleman yield?
    Mr. Keller. I will yield.
    Mr. Goodlatte. Palm wasn't even close in the running.
    Mr. Keller. All right. I will vote for it then.
    I yield back the balance of my time.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Are there any amendments? You are 
sure?
    Well, if there are no amendments, then the Chair notes the 
presence of a reporting quorum and the question occurs on the 
motion to report the bill H.R. 1775 favorably. All those in 
favor will say aye. Aye. Opposed, no.
    The ayes appear to have it. The ayes have it.
    The motion to report favorably is agreed to. Without 
objection, the Chairman is authorized to move to go to 
conference pursuant to House Rules. Without objection, the 
staff is directed to make any technical and conforming changes; 
and all Members will be given 2 days as provided by House rules 
in which to submit additional dissenting, supplemental or 
minority views.