H. Rept. 113-395 - 113th Congress (2013-2014)
April 01, 2014, As Reported by the Natural Resources Committee

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House Report 113-395 - FLUSHING REMONSTRANCE STUDY ACT




[House Report 113-395]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


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 
following:

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 
        Queens County.
          (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 
        languages.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

  As used in this Act:
          (1) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        the Interior.
          (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 
Secretary shall--
          (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 
        Remonstrance;
          (2) determine the suitability and feasibility of designating 
        resources within the study area as a unit of the National Park 
        System;
          (3) consider other alternatives for preservation, protection, 
        and interpretation of the study area by Federal, State, or 
        local governmental entities, or private and nonprofit 
        organizations;
          (4) identify properties related to the John Bowne House that 
        could potentially meet criteria for designation as a National 
        Historic Landmark;
          (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 
                infrastructure; and
                  (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 
Remonstrance.
    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 
private property.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    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 
governments.
    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.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    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 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.