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110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     110-850

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

 
TO AMEND PUBLIC LAW 108-331 TO PROVIDE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION AND RELATED 
ACTIVITIES IN SUPPORT OF THE VERY ENERGETIC RADIATION IMAGING TELESCOPE 
               ARRAY SYSTEM (VERITAS) PROJECT IN ARIZONA

                                _______
                                

 September 15, 2008.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Oberstar, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                      [To accompany S.J. Res. 35]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the joint resolution (S.J. Res. 35) to amend 
Public Law 108-331 to provide for the construction and related 
activities in support of the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging 
Telescope Array System (VERITAS) project in Arizona, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment 
and recommend that the joint resolution do pass.

                      Purpose of the Legislation 

    Senate Joint Resolution 35 (S.J. Res. 35) amends Public Law 
108-331 to authorize the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian 
Institution to locate the VERITAS telescope at Fred Lawrence 
Whipple Observatory Base Camp on Mount Hopkins, Arizona, or 
other similar location.

                  Background and Need for Legislation 

    In the 108th Congress, Congress enacted Public Law 108-331, 
to authorize the Board of Regents to construct the Very 
Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System 
(``VERITAS'') project on Kitt Peak near Tucson, Arizona.
    In 1958, the National Science Foundation (``NSF'') and the 
Papago tribe (now the Tohono O'odam Nation (``TON'') entered 
into a perpetual lease of Kitt Peak, Arizona. The lease is 
conditional upon the use of the site for scientific research. 
NSF and the Department of Energy (``DOE'') are the lead 
agencies for the VERITAS project's construction and will 
contribute $13 million of the $14 million necessary to 
construct the project. In 2003, NSF subleased land to the 
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for construction of the 
VERITAS project in Horseshoe Canyon on Kitt Peak. In 2004, NSF 
began construction of the project. In 2005, in response to 
litigation initiated by TON, construction of the VERITAS 
telescope array came to a halt. Although the case was 
dismissed, NSF and DOE subsequently determined that the 
agencies had not complied with National Environmental 
Protection Act requirements.
    Given the uncertainty of construction at the Kitt Peak 
site, the VERITAS project team began fabricating telescopes at 
the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory Base Camp on Mount 
Hopkins, Arizona, which is approximately 35 miles from Kitt 
Peak's Horseshoe Canyon. The subsequent results of testing and 
analysis of array data of the telescope at the Whipple 
Observatory resulted in very high-quality data, on a par with 
the data expected at the Horseshoe Canyon site. As a result, 
the VERITAS Science Consortium and Smithsonian Astrophysical 
Observatory requested that NSF allow the VERITAS telescope to 
remain at the Whipple Observatory for the rest of its 
scientific life. In October 2007, NSF granted the Smithsonian 
Astrophysical Observatory's request for permanent placement of 
VERITAS at the Whipple Observatory Base Camp.

                      Summary of the Legislation 


Section 1. Location of VERITAS Project

    Section 1 amends Public Law 108-331 in the long title, by 
striking ``on Kitt Peak near Tucson, Arizona'' and inserting 
``in Arizona''; and in section 1, by striking ``on Kitt Peak 
near Tucson, Arizona'' and inserting ``at the Fred Lawrence 
Whipple Observatory Base Camp on Mount Hopkins, Arizona, or 
other similar location''.

            Legislative History and Committee Consideration

    In the 108th Congress, Congress enacted Public Law 108-331, 
to authorize the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian 
Institution to construct the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging 
Telescope Array System (``VERITAS'') project on Kitt Peak near 
Tucson, Arizona.
    On May 22, 2008, Senator Patrick J. Leahy introduced S.J. 
Res. 35, to amend Public Law 108-331 to provide for the 
construction and related activities in support of the Very 
Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS) 
project in Arizona.
    On July 17, 2008, the Senate passed S.J. Res. 35 by 
unanimous consent.
    On July 31, 2008, the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure met in open session and ordered S.J. Res. 35 
reported favorably to the House by voice vote with a quorum 
present.

                              Record Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives 
requires each committee report to include the total number of 
votes cast for and against on each recorded vote on a motion to 
report and on any amendment offered to the measure or matter, 
and the names of those members voting for and against. There 
were no recorded votes taken in connection with consideration 
of S.J. Res. 35 or ordering the resolution reported. A motion 
to order S.J. Res 35 reported favorably to the House was agreed 
to by voice vote with a quorum present.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                          Cost of Legislation

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee 
references the report of the Congressional Budget Office 
included in the report.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
performance goals and objective of this legislation is to 
authorize the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution 
to locate the VERITAS telescope at Fred Lawrence Whipple 
Observatory Base Camp on Mount Hopkins, Arizona, or other 
similar location.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the enclosed cost estimate for S.J. Res. 
35 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:
                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                   Washington, DC, August 25, 2008.
Hon. James L. Oberstar,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S.J. Res. 35, a bill to 
amend Public Law 108-331 to provide for the construction and 
related activities in support of the Very Energetic Radiation 
Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS) project in Arizona.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Christina 
Hawley Anthony.
            Sincerely,
                                          Peter H. Fontaine
                                   (For Peter R. Orszag, Director).
    Enclosure.

S.J. Res. 35--A bill to amend Public Law 108-331 to provide for the 
        construction and related activities in support of the Very 
        Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS) 
        project in Arizona

    S.J. Res. 35 would authorize the board of regents of the 
Smithsonian Institution to locate the Very Energetic Radiation 
Imaging Telescope Array System at Whipple Observatory Base Camp 
on Mount Hopkins, Arizona. Public Law 108-331 originally 
authorized the construction of that system on Kitt Peak, 
Arizona. CBO estimates that enacting S.J. Res. 35 would not 
affect the federal budget.
    S.J. Res. 35 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 Christina Hawley 
Anthony. This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                     Compliance With House Rule XXI

    Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, S.J. Res. 35, 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 
of the Rules of the House of Representatives.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause (3)(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, committee reports on a bill or 
joint resolution of a public character shall include a 
statement citing the specific powers granted to the Congress in 
the Constitution to enact the measure. The Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure finds that Congress has the 
authority to enact this measure pursuant to its powers granted 
under article I, section 8 of the Constitution.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act (Public Law 104-4).

                        Preemption Clarification

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the 
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt State, local, 
or tribal law. The Committee states that S.J. Res. 35 does not 
preempt any State, local, or tribal law.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act are created by this 
legislation.

                Applicability to the Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act (Public Law 
104-1).

         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):

                        ACT OF OCTOBER 16, 2004


                          (Public Law 108-331)

AN ACT to authorize the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution 
  to carry out construction and related activities in support of the 
 collaborative Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System 
          (VERITAS) project on Kitt Peak near Tucson, Arizona.

  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. AUTHORIZING BOARD OF REGENTS OF SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION TO 
                    CARRY OUT CONSTRUCTION AND RELATED ACTIVITIES IN 
                    SUPPORT OF VERITAS ASTROPHYSICAL OBSERVATORY 
                    PROJECT.

  The Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution is 
authorized to carry out construction and related activities in 
support of the collaborative Very Energetic Radiation Imaging 
Telescope Array System (VERITAS) project [on Kitt Peak near 
Tucson, Arizona] at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory Base 
Camp on Mount Hopkins, Arizona, or other similar location.

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