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113th Congress                                            Rept. 113-411
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                      Part 1


                       HISTORY MUSEUM ACT OF 2013


                 April 10, 2014.--Ordered to be printed


 Mrs. Miller of Michigan, from the Committee on House Administration, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 863]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on House Administration, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 863) to establish the Commission to Study the 
Potential Creation of a National Women's History Museum, and 
for other purposes, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill 
do pass.

                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    The purpose of the legislation is to establish a commission 
to study the potential creation of a National Women's History 
Museum in the Washington, DC area. The commission is charged 
with submitting a report to the President and Congress, within 
18 months of its first meeting, containing recommendations with 
respect to the establishment of a museum. The eight-member 
commission, equally appointed by bipartisan and bicameral 
congressional leadership, is prohibited from using federal 
funds and is solely responsible for payment of its expenses. 
The commission terminates 30 days after submitting its final 


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women comprise more 
than half of our nation's population.\1\ Since our nation's 
founding, women have made substantial contributions to the 
economic, financial, political, and cultural fabric of our 
society. Yet at the present time, there is no single museum in 
the nation's capital dedicated to telling the comprehensive 
story of women's history and preserving the legacies of women's 
contributions to our nation.
    \1\United States Census Bureau, State & County Quickfacts, Mar. 27, 
    Private efforts to establish a women's history museum have 
been ongoing for many years. For example, the non-profit 
National Women's History Museum (NWHM) was incorporated in 1996 
and has worked towards obtaining a permanent museum site on or 
near the National Mall.
    Since the 105th Congress, various bills have been 
introduced to advance the creation of a women's museum. In the 
108th and 109th Congresses, legislation authorizing a 99-year 
occupancy agreement with the NWHM at the Old Post Office 
Pavilion annex passed the Senate by unanimous consent but the 
House took no action.\2\ In the 111th Congress, the House 
passed legislation conveying the Cotton Annex site to NHWM at 
fair market value for the purposes of establishing the museum 
but the Senate did not act on the legislation.\3\
    \2\S. 1741, 108th Cong. (as passed by Senate on Nov. 21, 2003); S. 
501, 109th (as passed by Senate on July 29, 2005).
    \3\H.R. 1700, 111th Cong. (as passed by House on Oct. 14, 2009).

Museum Commissions

    Precedent exists to establish a commission to study the 
creation of a national museum, notably the National Museum of 
African American History and Culture Plan for Action 
Presidential Commission and the National Museum of the American 
Latino Commission. These commissions examined a number of 
issues surrounding the creation of national museums and their 
reports, issued in 2003 and 2011 respectively, provided policy 
guidance and recommendations to Congress and the President.\4\
    \4\National Museum of African American History and Culture Plan for 
Action Presidential Commission, The Time Has Come Report to the 
President and Congress (2003),
The_Time_Has_Come.pdf; National Museum of the American Latino 
Commission, Final Report to the President and Congress of the United 
States, to Illuminate the American Story for All (2011), http://


    The Commission is directed to consider whether the museum 
should be part of the Smithsonian Institution, which is the 
primary focus of this Committee. The two recent museum 
commissions recommended those museums be part of the 
Smithsonian. The issue warrants thorough review and reflection 
by a commission as it has repercussions for the museum 
including its governance and financing.
    An affirmative decision dictates the governing structure of 
the museum, as it would be integrated into the Smithsonian's 
organizational structure. The museum would be subject to the 
policies approved by the Smithsonian Board of Regents.
    Over the last decade, the Smithsonian has added two major 
facilities to its collection, and a third one, the National 
Museum of African American History and Culture, is expected to 
open by 2016, bringing the total number of Smithsonian museums 
to 19.\5\ An additional museum added to the Smithsonian 
portfolio would increase the demands on the Smithsonian for 
fundraising and other support. The fully private funding model 
for construction and maintenance contemplated in testimony 
before the Committee departs from past approaches to creating 
museums within the Smithsonian umbrella and would require 
adapting those approaches to the private model.
    \5\The Udvar-Hazy Center, part of the Air and Space Museum, opened 
in 2003. The National Museum of the American Indian opened in 2004.

                       INTRODUCTION AND REFERRAL

    On February 27, 2013, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney 
introduced H.R. 863, which was referred to the Committee on 
Natural Resources, and in addition the Committee on House 


    On December 11, 2013, the Committee held a hearing on 
``Establishing a Commission to Study the Potential Creation of 
a National Women's History Museum.'' The Committee heard 
testimony from the sponsor of H.R. 863, Rep. Carolyn Maloney 
and an original cosponsor of the legislation, Rep. Marsha 
Blackburn. In addition, Ms. Joan Wages, President and CEO of 
the non-profit National Women's History Museum testified.
    The witnesses testified regarding the need for a national 
museum to serve as a repository for women's achievements and 
the bipartisan support for the concept of such a museum. Ms. 
Wages also elaborated on the fully private funding model 
championed by her organization for the construction and 
maintenance of a national women's history museum.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On April 2, 2014, the Committee on House Administration met 
to consider H.R. 863. The Committee ordered the bill reported 
favorably to the House without amendment by voice vote with a 
quorum present.

                         COMMITTEE RECORD VOTES

    In compliance with House Rule XIII, clause 3(b), requiring 
the results of each record vote on an amendment or motion to 
report, together with the names of those voting for and 
against, to be printed in the Committee report, the Committee 
states that there were no record votes during the Committee's 
consideration of H.R. 863.


    In compliance with House Rule XIII, clause 3(c)(1), the 
Committee states that the findings and recommendations of the 
Committee, based on oversight activities under House Rule X, 
clause 2(b)(1), are incorporated into the general discussion 
section of this report.


    The bill does not provide new budget authority, new 
spending authority, new credit authority, or an increase or 
decrease in revenues or tax expenditures and a statement under 
House Rule XIII, clause 3(c)(2), and section 308(a)(1) of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 is not required.


    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, April 9, 2014.
Hon. Candice Miller,
Chairman, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Madam Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 863, the 
Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National 
Women's History Museum Act of 2013.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.

H.R. 863--Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National 
        Women's History Museum Act of 2013

    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 863 would have no 
significant effect on the federal budget. The legislation would 
affect direct spending because it would authorize the 
commission to accept and spend monetary gifts. Therefore, pay-
as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that the net 
effect on direct spending would be insignificant. Enacting H.R. 
863 would not affect revenues.
    H.R. 863 would establish a commission to prepare a report 
containing recommendations for establishing and maintaining a 
National Women's History Museum in Washington, D.C. The 8-
member commission would have 18 months to produce the report 
and submit it to the Congress. All commission members would 
serve without pay but would be reimbursed for travel expenses. 
In addition, the commission would be authorized to hire staff 
and, while no federal employees could be detailed to the 
commission, federal agencies could provide technical support. 
Finally, the bill would prohibit federal funds from being used 
for commission expenses; it would have to rely on gifts and 
contributions to cover those costs.
    H.R. 863 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 Matthew 
Pickford. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.


    In compliance with House Rule XIII, clause 3(c)(4), the 
Committee states that the general discussion section of this 
report includes a statement of the general performance goals 
and objectives, including outcome-related goals and objectives, 
for which H.R. 863 authorizes funding.


    Congress has the power to enact this legislation pursuant 
to Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution granting 
Congress the power ``To exercise exclusive Legislation in all 
Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles 
square) as may by Cession of particular States, and the 
Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of 
the United States.''

                          ADVISORY ON EARMARKS

    In accordance with House rule XXI, clause 9, the Committee 
states that H.R. 863 does not contain any congressional 
earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as 
defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of rule XXI.


    Section 1 provides the title of the bill.
    Section 2 provides definitions of key terms used in the 
    Section 3 establishes the commission, the qualifications of 
its members, the selection process for the chair of the 
commission and prohibits federal employees from serving as a 
member of the commission.
    Section 4 outlines the duties of the commission including 
the submission of reports to Congress and the President within 
18 months after its first meeting which provide a plan of 
action for the establishment of the museum and examine issues 
including collections; impact on regional women history-related 
museums; potential locations; whether it should be part of the 
Smithsonian; governance structure; engagement of women in the 
running and construction of the museum; and costs of 
constructing, operating and maintaining the museum. The section 
directs the commission to develop a fundraising plan and 
authorizes the commission to convene a national conference no 
later than 18 months after appointment of commission members.
    Section 5 authorizes the commission to employ staff and 
federal agency heads to provide technical assistance, other 
than detailed employees, to the commission.
    Section 6 stipulates that commission members are not 
considered federal employees and will not compensated; provides 
for per diem allowance for travel expenses; authorizes the 
commission to use, solicit, and accept gifts to aid the 
commission's work; and provides that the commission is not 
subject to the Federal Advisory Commission Act.
    Section 7 provides that commission terminates 30 days after 
issuing its final report.
    Section 8 prohibits federal funds from being used to carry 
out the act and stipulates that the commission is solely 
responsible for the acceptance of contributions for and payment 
of its expenses.

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    We strongly support the ``Commission to Study the Potential 
Creation of a National Women's History Museum Act of 2013'', to 
recognize the role and achievements of the women of America. 
H.R. 863, the bill introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New 
York to authorize the commission, was ordered reported 
unanimously by the Committee on House Administration on April 
2, 2014. The primary committee to which the legislation was 
referred, Natural Resources, is expected to report the 
legislation shortly.
    The principal interest of our Committee is in whether such 
a museum should become part of the Smithsonian Institution. The 
commission created by H.R. 863 is directed to study pros and 
cons of a potential Smithsonian affiliation, and that issue was 
also discussed during testimony at our earlier hearing on this 
legislation. A Smithsonian museum would be subject to direction 
by that Institution's Board of Regents and its governance and 
management structure. Two other recent national commissions 
were authorized by Congress and both recommended that the 
Smithsonian structure be used for the museums they were 
studying: the National Museum of African American History and 
Culture, currently under construction on the National Mall and 
scheduled to open in less than two years; and the National 
Museum of the American Latino, whose commission's report 
submitted in 2011 is likely to receive a hearing soon in the 
Committee on House Administration.
    An alternative recommendation by the commission might be 
for a National Women's History Museum to exist as an 
independent entity, with its own governing board. In either 
case, whether as a Smithsonian museum or independent, H.R. 863 
anticipates that the museum will receive private donations but 
no government funding.
    In reporting H.R. 863, our Committee took no position on 
the governance issue, but we have ample experience in 
evaluating the Smithsonian's capabilities in building and 
managing the large number of museums currently under its 
control, and so we kept that option in the bill. The commission 
should exercise its best judgment in determining what would 
work best for this specific museum within the expected 
budgetary constraints, and Congress would review those 
recommendations in formulating later legislation to actually 
create a museum.
    One issue of concern to us relates to the size and 
composition of the eight-member congressionally-appointed 
commission proposed to be established in H.R. 863, and the 
absence of any presidential appointees. In order to have a true 
national museum, participation by the president is important in 
order to give the commission the status and credibility, as 
well as the variety of members, necessary to perform its tasks 
and to help raise the necessary private funds when that time 
comes. Both the African American Museum commission and the 
American Latino Museum commission had seven presidential 
appointees out of 23 members, with the majority appointed by 
the congressional leadership.
    There are no partisan issues concerning this legislation. 
The commission needs to be seen as the national commitment that 
it is, rather than be limited as a creature of the legislative 
    An amendment had been drafted by the Democratic staff, 
which the House parliamentarian confirmed was within the 
jurisdiction of the House Administration Committee to take up, 
to establish presidential appointees in H.R. 863. Ranking 
Member Brady alluded to the issue in his opening statement. But 
the amendment was withheld during our markup at Chairman 
Miller's request. The Committee on Natural Resources may 
consider the issue in their role as the primary committee, at 
their own markup, and we will continue to focus attention on 
the issue during preparation of a final text of the bill for 
action on the House floor.

                                   Robert A. Brady.
                                   Zoe Lofgren.
                                   Juan Vargas.