H. Rept. 111-53 - 111th Congress (2009-2010)

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House Report 111-53,sheading - SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION FACILITIES AUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2009

[House Report 111-53, Part 1]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



111th Congress                                             Rept. 111-53
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 1

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



 
      SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION FACILITIES AUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2009

                                _______
                                

                 March 25, 2009.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 608]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 608) to authorize the Board of 
Regents of the Smithsonian Institution to carry out certain 
construction projects, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment 
and recommend that the bill do pass.

                       PURPOSE OF THE LEGISLATION

    H.R. 608, the ``Smithsonian Institution Facilities 
Authorization Act of 2009'', authorizes the Board of Regents of 
the Smithsonian Institution to design and construct laboratory 
space to accommodate the Mathias Laboratory at the Smithsonian 
Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland, 
authorizes the Board of Regents to construct laboratory space 
to accommodate the terrestrial research program of the 
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Gamboa, Panama, and 
authorizes the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution 
to construct a greenhouse facility at its museum support 
facility in Suitland, Maryland.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (``SERC'') is 
a global leader in the study of ecosystems in the coastal zone. 
Founded on the site of an abandoned 1930s dairy farm in 
Edgewater, Maryland, the SERC facilities include a mosaic of 
farm buildings, the Mathias Laboratory, ten temporary trailers, 
an administrative building, and a variety of lab support 
spaces. Nearly one-half of SERC's 146 employees and fellows 
conduct the majority of their work in trailers. The Board of 
Regents of the Smithsonian Institution requests authority to 
design and construct laboratory space to accommodate the 
Mathias Laboratory at SERC.
    The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (``STRI'') is 
the principal United States organization devoted to research in 
tropical biology. Tropical biology is critical to finding 
untapped resources to add to the important supply of food, 
pharmaceuticals, and fiber of tropical regions. STRI has 
outgrown the space available at its current facilities and this 
bill provides for construction of a new lab in Gamboa, Panama. 
The terrestrial research program is critical to understanding 
the role that tropical plants and soils play in global climate 
change models and for enriching knowledge of tropical 
biodiversity. The Board of Regents of the Smithsonian 
Institution requests authority to construct laboratory space to 
accommodate the terrestrial research program of STRI in Gamboa, 
Panama.
    The Smithsonian Institution currently leases a 55,000-
square foot greenhouse complex on the campus of the Armed 
Forces Retirement Homes (``AFRH'') in Washington, DC, for its 
horticultural operations. The AFRH is redeveloping the site 
that houses the Smithsonian Institution greenhouses. The 
Smithsonian Institution's lease expired on September 30, 2008, 
which creates a need for the Smithsonian Institution to find 
alternative space to house its horticultural operations. The 
Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution requests 
authority to construct a new greenhouse facility at the 
Smithsonian Institution's Suitland, Maryland site. This project 
includes site preparation, a 10,900-square foot head house, and 
44,500-square foot greenhouse, along with outdoor growing and 
storage areas. To limit design requirements, expedite 
construction, and reduce costs, the Smithsonian Institution 
will use off-the-shelf prefabricated building kits to construct 
the polycarbonate plastic greenhouse.

                       SUMMARY OF THE LEGISLATION

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 denotes the short title of the bill as the 
``National Smithsonian Institution Facilities Authorization Act 
of 2009''.

Section 2. Laboratory and support space, Edgewater, Maryland

    Subsection (a) authorizes the Board of Regents of the 
Smithsonian Institution to design and construct laboratory 
space to accommodate the Mathias Laboratory at the Smithsonian 
Environmental Research Center (``SERC'') in Edgewater, 
Maryland.
    Subsection (b) authorizes a total of $41 million for fiscal 
years 2009 through 2011 to construct the Mathias Laboratory.

Section 3. Laboratory space, Gamboa, Panama

    Subsection (a) authorizes the Board of Regents of the 
Smithsonian Institution to construct laboratory space to 
accommodate the terrestrial research program of the Smithsonian 
tropical research institute in Gamboa, Panama.
    Subsection (b) authorizes a total of $14 million for fiscal 
years 2009 and 2010 to construct laboratory space to 
accommodate the terrestrial research program.

Section 4. Construction of greenhouse facility, Suitland, Maryland

    Subsection (a) authorizes the Board of Regents of the 
Smithsonian Institution to construct a greenhouse facility at 
its museum support facility in Suitland, Maryland, to maintain 
the horticultural operations of, and preserve the orchid 
collection held in trust by, the Smithsonian Institution.
    Subsection (b) authorizes $12 million to construct the 
greenhouse facility.

            LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AND COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    In the 110th Congress, on February 26, 2008, Representative 
Doris O. Matsui introduced H.R. 5492. On February 28, 2008, the 
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure met in open 
session and ordered H.R. 5492 reported favorably to the House 
by voice vote with a quorum present. On March 10, 2008, the 
Committee reported the bill to the House. H. Rept. 110-545. On 
March 11, 2008, the House passed H.R. 5492 by voice vote under 
suspension of the Rules of the House. No further action was 
taken on the bill.
    On July 29, 2008, Chairman James L. Oberstar introduced 
H.R. 6627, the ``Smithsonian Institution Facilities 
Authorization Act of 2008''. On July 31, 2008, the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure met in open session and 
ordered H.R. 6627 reported favorably to the House by voice vote 
with a quorum present. On September 15, 2008, the Committee 
reported the bill to the House. H. Rept. 110-842, Part II. On 
September 17, 2008, the House passed H.R. 6627 by voice vote 
under suspension of the Rules of the House. No further action 
was taken on the bill.
    In the 111th Congress, on January 16, 2009, Chairman James 
L. Oberstar introduced H.R. 608, the ``Smithsonian Institution 
Facilities Authorization Act of 2009''. H.R. 608 incorporates 
the provisions of H.R. 5492 and H.R. 6627 of the 110th 
Congress. On February 12, 2009, the Committee on Transportation 
and Infrastructure met in open session and ordered H.R. 608 
reported favorably to the House by voice vote with a quorum 
present.

                              RECORD VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires each Committee report to include the 
total number of votes cast for and against on each record 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 H.R. 608 or ordering the bill reported. A 
motion to order H.R. 608 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 
clause 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 objectives of this legislation are to 
authorize the design and construction of three Smithsonian 
facilities.
    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 H.R. 608 
from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                 Washington, DC, February 18, 2009.
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 H.R. 608, the 
Smithsonian Institution Facilities Authorization Act of 2009.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Christina 
Hawley Anthony.
            Sincerely,
                                      Douglas W. Elmendorf,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 608--Smithsonian Institution Facilities Authorization Act of 2009

    H.R. 608 would authorize the appropriation of $41 million 
for laboratory and support space at the Smithsonian 
Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland; $14 
million for laboratory space at the Smithsonian tropical 
research institute in Gamboa, Panama; and $12 million for a 
greenhouse facility in Suitland, Maryland. Assuming 
appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that 
implementing H.R. 608 would cost $67 million over the 2009-2013 
period, as shown in the following table. Enacting the bill 
would not affect direct spending or receipts.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                ----------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014   2009-2014
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Authorization level............................       67        0        0        0        0        0        67
Estimated outlays..............................        7       21       23       13        3        0        67
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    H.R. 608 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. The 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, H.R. 608 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 H.R. 608 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

    H.R. 608 makes no changes in existing law.