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110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     110-792




 July 29, 2008.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed


  Mr. Rahall, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the 

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 2933]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 2933) to amend the American Battlefield 
Protection Act of 1996 to extend the authorization for that 
Act, 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 all after the enacting clause and insert the 


  This Act may be cited as the ``Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act 
of 2008''.


  The American Battlefield Protection Act of 1996 (16 U.S.C. 469k) is 
          (1) in subsection (d)(7)(A), by striking ``fiscal years 2004 
        through 2008'' and inserting ``fiscal years 2009 through 
        2013''; and
          (2) by striking subsection (e).

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 2933 is to amend the American 
Battlefield Protection Act of 1996 to extend the authorization 
for that Act, and for other purposes.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Authorized in 1996 (Sec. 604 of Public Law 104-333), the 
American Battlefield Protection Program (16 U.S.C. 469k) 
provides grants for preserving endangered Civil War 
battlefields which are specifically not part of the National 
Park System. Administered by the National Park Service, the 
program leverages federal funds appropriated under the program 
by requiring matching funds from private donors.
    The program contains two components. Battlefield 
preservation project grants help communities and organizations 
preserve battlefield sites. To date, 329 project grants have 
been awarded to help grantees identify historic battlefield 
sites, nominate historic battlefield sites to the National 
Register of Historic Places, interpret battlefields for the 
public, and for other purposes. The battlefield acquisition 
grant program provides matching funds which help state and 
local governments acquire and preserve battlefield sites 
outside the boundaries of National Park System units. The 
acquisition program has provided permanent protection to 15,705 
acres at 72 Civil War battlefields and the $26.3 million in 
grants have been used to leverage $52 million in non-federal 
    H.R. 2933 amends the American Battlefield Protection Act of 
1996 to extend the authorization of appropriations for these 
grant programs through fiscal year 2013.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 2933 was introduced on June 28, 2007 by Representative 
Gary Miller (R-CA). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee 
on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. On July 10, 2008, 
the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill, during which the 
Administration testified in support of the legislation.
    On July 16, 2008, the Subcommittee was discharged from 
further consideration of H.R. 2933 and the Full Natural 
Resources Committee met to consider the bill. Subcommittee 
Chairman Grijalva (D-AZ) offered an amendment in the nature of 
a substitute to strike the Findings of Congress section, strike 
the program's sunset date and conform the bill to the version 
reported in the Senate. It was adopted by unanimous consent. 
The bill, as amended, was then ordered favorably reported to 
the House of Representatives by unanimous consent.

            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 Natural 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, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to amend the American Battlefield 
Protection Act of 1996 to extend the authorization for that 
Act, and for other purposes.
    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 

H.R. 2933--Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act of 2008

    Summary: H.R. 2933 would authorize the appropriation of $10 
million a year over the 2009-2013 period for grants to support 
efforts to protect and preserve historic battlefields under the 
Civil War Preservation Act of 2002. (The existing authorization 
for such grants is scheduled to expire after fiscal year 2008.) 
State and local governments would use those grants, in 
partnership with nonprofit organizations, to acquire interests 
in Civil War battlefield sites that lie beyond the boundaries 
of the National Park System.
    Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO 
estimates that the National Park Service would spend $42 
million over the 2009-2013 period (and $8 million in later 
years) to carry out this grant program. The legislation would 
not affect direct spending or revenues.
    The bill contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: For this 
estimate, CBO assumes that amounts authorized by the bill will 
be appropriated for each fiscal year. Estimates of outlays are 
based on recent spending patterns for this program. The 
estimated budgetary impact of H.R. 2933 is shown in the 
following table. The cost of this legislation falls within 
budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).

                                                                 By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                            2009     2010     2011     2012     2013   2009-2013
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Authorization Levela....................................       10       10       10       10       10        50
Estimated Outlays.......................................        5        7       10       10       10        42
aFor fiscal year 2008, about $3 million was appropriated for battlefield preservation grants.

    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 2933 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state and local 
governments. The bill would extend the authorization of a grant 
program for the preservation of battlefield sites and would 
benefit state and local governments. Any costs to those 
governments would be incurred voluntarily.
    Previous CBO estimate: On February 29, 2008, CBO submitted 
a cost estimate for S. 1921, the Civil War Battlefield 
Preservation Act of 2007, as ordered reported by the Senate 
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on January 30, 2008. 
H.R. 2933 and S. 1921 are nearly identical, and their estimated 
costs are the same.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Deborah Reis and 
Matthew Pickford; Impact on State, Local, and Tribal 
Governments: Melissa Merrell; Impact on the Private Sector: 
MarDestinee C. Perez.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                           Earmark Statement

    H.R. 2933 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9(d), 9(e) or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any 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 604 of Division I of Public Law 104-333)


  (a) Short Title.--This section may be cited as the ``American 
Battlefield Protection Act of 1996''.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) Battlefield Acquisition Grant Program.--
          (1)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (7) Authorization of appropriations.--
                  (A) In general.--There are authorized to be 
                appropriated to the Secretary from the Land and 
                Water Conservation Fund to provide grants under 
                this subsection $10,000,000 for each of [fiscal 
                years 2004 through 2008] fiscal years 2009 
                through 2013.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(e) Repeal.--
          [(1) In general.--This section is repealed on 
        September 30, 2008.
          [(2) No effect on general authority.--The Secretary 
        may continue to conduct battlefield studies and provide 
        battlefield acquisition grants in accordance with other 
        authorities available to the Secretary.
          [(3) Unobligated funds.--Any funds made available 
        under this section that remain unobligated shall be 
        credited to the general fund of the Treasury.]

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

           The American Battlefield Protection Act Amendments

    The American Civil War captures the imagination of people 
like no other event in our history. In bookstores most shelves 
in the history section are devoted to events of the 1860's. On 
weekends, battles are re-enacted by serious hobbyists who 
strive for authenticity in costume, weaponry and skirmish 
details. Pictures of Lincoln are found in countless homes and 
classrooms, Confederate flags adorn pick-up trucks and the 
words of the Gettysburg Address are as familiar as the 23rd 
    As a nation, we clearly recognize the continuing importance 
of the War Between the States. So it is natural that we should 
try to find appropriate ways to keep safe the places where our 
great grandfathers witnessed events so noble and so horrific.
    But since our country is about liberty rather than 
glorification of the state, we have to safeguard not just the 
hills and the mud on which they fought but also the freedoms 
for which they fought. Therefore, it would be tragic if we 
allow our well-meaning enthusiasm for protecting historic sites 
to result in programs that diminish the property rights of our 
fellow citizens. This bill has two important safeguards. There 
is a ``willing seller'' provision--and we need to make sure the 
seller's willingness is un-coerced--and there is a sunset 
provision on the program's funding authorization. The bill's 
sponsors are to be commended for including these safeguards.

                                                        Rob Bishop.