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113th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
2d Session 113-395
FLUSHING REMONSTRANCE STUDY ACT
April 1, 2014.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 3222]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred
the bill (H.R. 3222) to authorize the Secretary of the Interior
to conduct a special resource study of sites associated with
the 1657 signing of the Flushing Remonstrance in Queens, New
York, 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
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Flushing Remonstrance Study Act''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:
(1) Dutch involvement in North America started with Henry
Hudson's 1609 voyage on the ship, Half Moon, employed by the
Dutch East India Company.
(2) After 1640, New Netherland gradually began to transform
from a chain of trading posts into a settlement colony.
(3) As Dutch and English settlers moved closer to one
another, they began to assimilate in what would later become
(4) The Dutch and English settlements had not been without
conflict. Although the Dutch Republic was well known for its
toleration of other faiths, Director General Peter Stuyvesant
and his council thought that liberty of worship should not be
granted to Quakers.
(5) When Quakers began to arrive in Flushing, the colonial
government issued an ordinance that formally banned the
practice of all religions outside of the Dutch Reformed Church.
(6) On December 27, 1657, 30 Flushing residents signed what
was later called the Flushing Remonstrance, objecting to this
order. None of the remonstrance's authors were Quakers.
(7) Dutch colonial authorities proceeded to arrest the
signers of the Flushing Remonstrance. In 1662, John Bowne
defied the ban and allowed Quakers to hold services in his
house. Bowne was fined and banished to the Dutch Republic for
showing contempt for secular authority.
(8) Bowne was later exonerated after appealing to the
guarantees of religious liberty before the Dutch West India
Company and returned to Flushing in 1664. The colony later fell
to British control on September 24, 1664.
(9) The Flushing Remonstrance is now considered by many to be
instrumental in the development of religious liberty in the
United States and a precursor to the First Amendment to the
United States Constitution.
(10) In 1957, the United States Postal Service released a 3-
cent postage stamp commemorating the 300th Anniversary of the
signing of the Flushing Remonstrance which read, ``Religious
Freedom in America''.
(11) Queens remained rural and agricultural through the 18th
and 19th Centuries. Although its Dutch identity diminished, the
tolerance of diversity that has harbored Quakers and other
religious sects in the Dutch Colonial period continues to this
day. Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the
world, with a population of over 2,200,000 representing over
100 different nations and speaking over 138 different
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
As used in this Act:
(1) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of
(2) Study area.--The term ``study area'' means the John Bowne
House located at 3701 Bowne Street, Queens, New York, the
Friends Meeting House located at 137-17 Northern Boulevard,
Queens, New York, and other resources in the vicinity of
Flushing related to the history of religious freedom during the
era of the signing of the Flushing Remonstrance.
SEC. 4. SPECIAL RESOURCE STUDY.
(a) Study.--The Secretary shall conduct a special resource study of
the study area.
(b) Contents.--In conducting the study under subsection (a), the
(1) evaluate the national significance of the study area's
resources based on their relationship to the history of
religious freedom associated with the signing of the Flushing
(2) determine the suitability and feasibility of designating
resources within the study area as a unit of the National Park
(3) consider other alternatives for preservation, protection,
and interpretation of the study area by Federal, State, or
local governmental entities, or private and nonprofit
(4) identify properties related to the John Bowne House that
could potentially meet criteria for designation as a National
(5) consult with interested Federal, State, or local
governmental entities, private and nonprofit organizations, or
any other interested individuals;
(6) evaluate the impact of the proposed action on the flow of
commerce and commercial activity, job opportunities, and any
adverse economic effects that could not be avoided if the
proposal is implemented;
(7) identify cost estimates for any Federal acquisition,
development, interpretation, operation, and maintenance
associated with the alternatives;
(8) analyze the effect of the designation of the study area
as a unit of the National Park System on--
(A) existing recreational activities, and on the
authorization, construction, operation, maintenance, or
improvement of energy production and transmission
(B) the authority of State and local governments to
manage those activities; and
(9) identify any authorities, including condemnation, that
will compel or permit the Secretary to influence or participate
in local land use decisions (such as zoning) or place
restrictions on non-Federal lands if the study area is
designated a unit of the National Park System.
(c) Notification of Private Property Owners.--Upon the commencement
of the study, owners of private property in or adjacent to the study
area shall be notified of the study's commencement and scope.
(d) Applicable Law.--The study required under subsection (a) shall be
conducted in accordance with section 8(c)) of the National Park System
General Authorities Act (16 U.S.C. 1a-5(c)).
(e) Report.--Not later than 3 years after the date on which funds are
first made available for the study under subsection (a), the Secretary
shall submit to the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of
Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of
the Senate a report containing the results of the study and any
conclusions and recommendations of the Secretary.
PURPOSE OF THE BILL
The purpose of H.R. 3222 is to authorize the Secretary of
the Interior to conduct a special resource study of sites
associated with the 1657 signing of the Flushing Remonstrance
in Queens, New York.
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION
H.R. 3222 authorizes a special resource study to determine
the suitability and feasibility of creating a National Park
unit in Queens, New York, of resources associated with the
history of religious freedom and the signing of the Flushing
The Flushing Remonstrance was a 1657 petition to Director-
General of New Netherland Peter Stuyvesant, in which several
citizens requested an exemption to his ban on Quaker worship.
It is recognized as a forerunner of the First Amendment of the
Constitution and one of the earliest demands for freedom of
religion in what became the United States.
The study will evaluate whether the resources meet the
criteria to become a unit of the Park System and provides
different federal, local and non-governmental management
proposals. The study is informational; Congress would still
have to act on separate legislation to create a park.
Legislative language has been included to require that the
study consider potential impacts on commercial and recreational
uses. The study will also have to identify those authorities,
including condemnation, which will allow the Park Service to
become involved in local zoning issues, or have influence over
H.R. 3222 was introduced on September 30, 2013, by
Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY). The bill was referred to the
Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the
Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation. On
February 26, 2014, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill.
On March 13, 2014, the Natural Resources Committee met to
consider the bill. The Subcommittee on Public Lands and
Environmental Regulation was discharged by unanimous consent.
Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT) offered an amendment designated
#1 to the bill; the amendment was adopted by unanimous consent.
The bill as amended was then adopted and 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.
COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII
1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) 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)(2)(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. 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 Office:
H.R. 3222--Flushing Remonstrance Study Act
H.R. 3222 would require the National Park Service (NPS) to
conduct a study of sites related to the signing of the Flushing
Remonstrance in New York City to determine the suitability and
feasibility of designating the area as a unit of the National
Park System. Based on information provided by the NPS and
assuming the availability of appropriated funds, CBO estimates
that carrying out the study required by H.R. 3222 would cost
about $250,000 over the next three years. Enacting H.R. 3222
would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-
as-you-go procedures do not apply.
H.R. 3222 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
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Martin von
Gnechten. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
2. Section 308(a) of 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. CBO estimates that
carrying out the study required by H.R. 3222 would cost about
$250,000 over the next three years, subject to appropriation.
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 authorize the Secretary of the
Interior to conduct a special resource study of sites
associated with the 1657 signing of the Flushing Remonstrance
in Queens, New York.
This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks,
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of
the House of Representatives.
COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4
This bill contains no unfunded mandates.
COMPLIANCE WITH H. RES. 5
Directed Rule Making. The Chairman does not believe that
this bill directs any executive branch official to conduct any
specific rule-making proceedings.
Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was
not included in any report from the Government Accountability
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law
98-169) as relating to other programs.
PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW
This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing