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                                                        Calendar No. 36
109th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                     109-24
======================================================================


 
               BUFFALO SOLDIERS COMMEMORATION ACT OF 2005

                                _______
                                

                 March 9, 2005.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Domenici, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 205]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 205) to authorize the American Battle 
Monuments Commission to establish in the State of Louisiana a 
memorial to honor the Buffalo Soldiers, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                         PURPOSE OF THE MEASURE

    The purpose of S. 205 is to authorize the American Battle 
Monuments Commission to establish a memorial in New Orleans, 
Louisiana, to honor the Buffalo Soldiers and to solicit and 
collect contributions for the construction and maintenance of 
the memorial.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    Following the Civil War, Congress authorized the formation 
of two cavalry regiments and four infantry regiments (which 
were soon reduced to two) composed of African-American 
soldiers. These regiments, the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 
24th and 25th Infantry, were stationed throughout the West, 
where they saw action in countless battles and skirmishes 
during the Indian Wars. The American Indians nicknamed the 
members of these regiments ``Buffalo Soldiers.''
    The Buffalo Soldiers performed outstanding service to the 
United States not only during the Indian Wars, but the Spanish-
American War, the Philippine Insurrection, and the raids 
against Pancho Villa. In addition, Buffalo Soldiers built 
forts, escorted wagon trains, mail stages, and railroad crews, 
drew maps, located sources of water, and were largely 
responsible for opening millions of square miles of western 
land to settlement. Twenty Congressional Medals of Honor were 
awarded to Buffalo Soldiers.
    Legislation is needed to authorize a fitting memorial in 
New Orleans, where two of the regiments were recruited, to 
recognize the meritorious service and notable accomplishments 
of the Buffalo Soldiers.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 205 was introduced by Senator Landrieu on January 31, 
2005. During the 108th Congress, the Committee considered 
identical legislation, S. 499, sponsored by Senators Landrieu 
and Breaux. The Subcommittee on National Parks held a hearing 
on S. 499 on June 10, 2003. At the business meeting on June 25, 
2003, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources ordered S. 
499, as amended, favorably reported (S. Rept. 108-92). S. 499 
passed the Senate by unanimous consent on July 17, 2004. The 
House of Representatives did not consider the bill prior to the 
sine die adjournment of the 108th Congress.
    During the 107th Congress, Senator Landrieu introduced S. 
1988, a similar bill, which was reported favorably by the 
Committee with an amendment in the nature of a substitute on 
October 3, 2002.
    At its business meeting on February 9, 2005, the Committee 
on Energy and Natural Resources ordered S. 205 favorably 
reported.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in an 
open business session on February 9, 2005, by a unanimous voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
205.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    Section 1 titles the bill as the ``Buffalo Soldiers 
Commemoration Act of 2005.''
    Section 2 authorizes the American Battle Monuments 
Commission to establish a memorial in or around the city of New 
Orleans on land donated for such purpose or on Federal land 
with the consent of the appropriate land manager; to solicit 
and accept contributions for the construction and maintenance 
of the memorial; to enter into a cooperative agreement for 
fundraising; and to enter into an agreement with an appropriate 
entity to provide for the permanent maintenance of the 
memorial.
    Section 3(a) directs the Commission to maintain and deposit 
contributions into an escrow account for expenses in 
constructing the memorial, authorizes the Commission to invest 
a certain portion of the fund into an interest bearing 
obligation of the United States, and authorizes the use of the 
account for the purposes of establishing and maintaining the 
memorial.
    Section 4 authorizes the appropriations necessary to carry 
out this Act.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following estimate of the cost of this measure has been 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office.

                                                 February 14, 2005.
Hon. Pete V. Domenici,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 205, the Buffalo 
Soldier Commemoration Act of 2005.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis.
            Sincerely,
                                       Douglas Holtz-Eakin,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

S. 205--Buffalo Soldier Commemoration Act of 2005

    S. 205 would authorize the American Battle Monuments 
Commission to establish a memorial to honor Buffalo Soldiers 
near New Orleans, Louisiana. (Buffalo Soldiers are African-
Americans who served in the United States Army during certain 
armed conflicts.) The bill would direct the commission to 
solicit contributions for the construction and maintenance of 
the memorial to be located on federal land. Contributions would 
be deposited into a newly created account held by the 
commission, and those funds (including any interest earnings) 
would be available for construction costs. Before construction 
of the memorial could begin, the commission would have to 
execute an agreement with an appropriate local entity to 
provide for maintenance of the structure. (Any amounts 
remaining in the commission's new account after construction 
would be transferred to that entity for maintenance.) Finally, 
the bill would authorize the appropriation of whatever sums are 
necessary to carry out the legislation.
    Based on the cost of other monuments and assuming 
appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO estimates that the 
commission would spend less than $5 million to build the 
Buffalo Soldier memorial over the next several years. The bill 
could increase revenues and direct spending if the commission 
raised private contributions to offset the cost of the 
memorial. CBO has no basis for predicting the amount that might 
be collected from private contributions, but any net budgetary 
impact of those transactions would likely be minor.
    S. 205 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. 
Participation in this project by the state of Louisiana would 
be voluntary.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis. 
This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      REGULATORY IMPACT EVALUATION

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 205. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 205, as ordered.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The testimony provided by the National Park Service at the 
Subcommittee hearing on S. 499 in the 108th Congress follows:

    Statement of D. Thomas Ross, Assistant Director, Recreation and 
  Conservation, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior

    Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to present the 
Department of the Interior's views on S. 499. This bill would 
authorize the American Battle Monuments Commission to establish 
a memorial in the State of Louisiana to honor the Buffalo 
Soldiers.
    The Department supports efforts to honor the Buffalo 
Soldiers. However, in order to meet the President's Initiative 
to eliminate the deferred maintenance backlog, we must continue 
to focus our resources on caring for existing areas in the 
National Park System. As such, we cannot support the provision 
in S. 499 that could transfer the memorial to the National Park 
Service one year after establishment. The Department believes 
that it would be more appropriate for a memorial or monument 
commemorating the Buffalo Soldiers to be operated and 
maintained by the State of Louisiana, the City of New Orleans, 
or a suitable nonprofit corporation. Because of these concerns, 
and others raised by the American Battle Monuments Commission, 
the Administration recommends that S. 499 not be enacted.
    S. 499 authorizes the American Battle Monuments Commission 
to establish a memorial to honor the Buffalo Soldiers on 
federal land in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana or its 
environs, or on land donated by the city or the State. The bill 
would require the Commission to solicit and accept 
contributions sufficient for the construction and maintenance 
of the memorial and would establish a fund in the U.S. Treasury 
for depositing and disbursing these contributions. One year 
after the establishing of the memorial, the Commission is 
authorized to transfer any remaining amounts in the fund and 
title to and responsibility for future operation and 
maintenance of the memorial to, at the option of the 
Commission, the National Park Service or another appropriate 
governmental agency or other entity.
    Following the Civil War, Congress passed legislation to 
increase the size of the Regular Army. On July 28, 1866, 
Congress raised the number of cavalry regiments from six to ten 
and the number of infantry regiments from nineteen to forty-
five. The legislation stipulated that two of the new cavalry 
regiments and four of the new infantry regiments were to be 
composed of black men.
    In compliance with the new law, the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry 
Regiments and the Thirty-eighth, Thirty-ninth, Fortieth, and 
Forty-first U.S. Infantry Regiments were organized. Three years 
later, when the army reduced the number of infantry regiments, 
these four new regiments were combined into the Twenty-fourth 
and Twenty-fifth U.S. Infantry.
    These regiments were composed of white officers with black 
enlisted men and were reportedly nicknamed Buffalo Soldiers by 
the American Indians. Soldiers comprising the black regiments 
came from the former United States Colored that served in the 
Civil War, the New Orleans area, the fringes of the southern 
states, or large northern cities. They were former slaves as 
well as freedmen.
    Almost immediately after their establishment, units from 
these regiments were stationed throughout the West. In the 
countless battles and skirmishes that marked the frontier 
Indian Wars, the Buffalo Soldiers played a significant role. 
Commanded by white officers, who at times resented their duty 
with the black regiments, the Buffalo Soldiers endured and 
overcame tremendous social and environmental obstacles. They 
faced discrimination and sometimes received inferior supplies 
and equipment.
    The men in these regiments often found themselves in the 
forefront of action. For more than twenty-five years they not 
only engaged in battles with American Indians, but they built 
forts and escorted wagon trains, mail stages and railroad 
crews. Mapping and charting areas and locating sources of 
water, they were responsible for opening millions of square 
miles of western lands to peaceful settlement and development.
    Until recent times, the Buffalo Soldiers received little 
recognition for their years of service on the frontier. The 
record of meritorious service and notable accomplishments 
amassed by the Buffalo Soldier regiments remain a symbol of 
hope and pride for all Americans. Their achievements serve as a 
reminder of the contributions they made to American life and 
culture and are the subject of a memorial at Fort Leavenworth. 
We supported the concept of honoring the excellent service to 
the nation of the Buffalo Soldiers through the existing Fort 
Leavenworth memorial and believe further effort to educate the 
public on their sacrifices is a worthy goal. We have no 
objection to the building of a memorial to the Buffalo Soldiers 
in New Orleans provided that an appropriate method of non-
federal financing and constructing of such a memorial is 
identified and that it would be financed, operated, and 
maintained by the State of Louisiana, the City of New Orleans, 
or a suitable nonprofit corporation.
    Mr. Chairman, that concludes my statement. I would be 
pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the 
subcommittee may have.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no 
changes in existing law are made by the bill S. 205, as ordered 
reported.