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113th Congress     }                                  {        Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session        }                                  {       113-694
======================================================================
 
             PROTECTING STATES, OPENING NATIONAL PARKS ACT

                                _______
                                

 December 22, 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

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 3286]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 3286) to direct the Secretary of the Treasury to 
reimburse States that use State funds to operate National Parks 
during the Federal Government shutdown, and for other purposes, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 3286 is to direct the Secretary of the 
Treasury to reimburse States that use State funds to operate 
National Parks during the Federal Government shutdown.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Upon the lapse of federal appropriations in October 2013, 
the National Park Service quickly and enthusiastically closed 
the doors and gates to the 401 park units. Several states 
immediately put forward offers to fund continued operations at 
key National Parks. Those offers were rejected for unspecified 
reasons, and the Park Service chose to keep visitors out.
    After continued pressure, the National Park Service agreed 
to receive ``donations'' that would open parks back up to the 
public. Arizona, Colorado, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee 
and Utah entered into agreements that funded select parks in 
their states at pre-closure levels, but provided no guarantee 
of reimbursement.
    This appears to be contrary to agreements reached during 
the 1995-96 lapse in appropriations. Specifically, the State of 
Arizona funded the Grand Canyon National Park at a modest 
level, just enough to keep the gates open and services in 
operation. The demand made for full funding by the Park Service 
in 2014 made it more difficult for states to contribute and 
open up the National Parks.
    Because of the short duration between the funding 
agreements with the states and the resolution of the 
appropriations process, the federal government only spent 
approximately 2 million third party dollars. However, it is 
unclear what National Park Service has done, or intends to do 
with the windfall of cash it received from Congress, having 
cashed the checks from the states and accepted backfilled 
appropriations.
    H.R. 3286 directs the Secretary of the Treasury to 
reimburse states for costs associated with maintaining National 
Parks in operational status during the lapse of appropriations 
during fiscal year 2014.

                          COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 3286 was introduced on October 11, 2013, by 
Congressman Steve Daines (R-MT). The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation. On 
November 21, 2013, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. 
On December 4, 2013, the Natural Resources Committee met to 
consider the bill. The Subcommittee on Public Lands and 
Environmental Regulation was discharged by unanimous consent. 
No amendments were offered and the bill was adopted and ordered 
favorably reported to the House of Representatives by voice 
vote.

            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. 3286--Protecting States, Opening National Parks Act

    H.R. 3286 would direct the Secretary of the Treasury to 
reimburse states for funds they donated to the Federal 
Government to operate certain national park units during the 
period of lapsed appropriations that occurred from October 1, 
2013, to October 14, 2013. Governors of six states (Arizona, 
Colorado, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Utah) signed 
agreements with the Department of the Interior (DOI) to donate 
about $3.6 million to operate 13 national park units. When the 
appropriations for the National Park Service were enacted on 
October 17, 2013, about $1.6 million of the unspent donations 
were returned to the states. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 
3286 would result in spending of about $2 million--an amount 
equivalent to the states' donations that were spent to operate 
national park units during that period.
    Enacting H.R. 3286 would increase direct spending by $2 
million in 2014; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. 
Enacting H.R. 3286 would not impact revenues.
    The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 establishes budget-
reporting and enforcement procedures for legislation affecting 
direct spending or revenues. The net changes in outlays that 
are subject to those pay-as-you-go procedures are shown in the 
following table.

         CBO ESTIMATE OF PAY-AS-YOU-GO EFFECTS FOR H.R. 3286 AS ORDERED REPORTED BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES ON DECEMBER 4, 2013
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                       By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   2022   2023  2014-2018  2014-2023
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               NET INCREASE IN THE DEFICIT
 
Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Impact..............................      2      0      0      0      0      0      0      0      0      0         2          2
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    H.R. 3286 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. Six 
states would benefit from reimbursement of operating expenses 
for some national parks if this bill is enacted.
    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, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures. Enacting H.R. 3286 would increase 
direct spending by $2 million in 2014.
    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 direct the Secretary of the 
Treasury to reimburse States that use State funds to operate 
National Parks during the Federal Government shutdown.

                           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.

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

        H.R. 3286: PROTECTING STATES, OPENING NATIONAL PARKS ACT

    As part of their endless, futile attacks on the Affordable 
Care Act, House Republicans instigated a 16-day federal 
government shut-down in October of last year. As a result of 
this intentional lapse in federal funding, the National Park 
Service (NPS) was required to close all 401 units of the 
National Park System and furlough more than 20,000 employees.
    Shuttering national parks comes at a price. According to a 
2011 peer-reviewed report, visitors to parks generated $30.1 
billion in economic activity and supported 252,000 jobs 
nationwide. This is comparable to some of the most profitable 
Fortune 500 corporations.
    At many of the nation's most popular parks, like Grand 
Canyon in Arizona and Acadia in Maine, October in particular is 
a profitable time for area communities. More than 715,000 
people visit national parks per day in October, spending about 
$76 million in nearby communities.
    The National Park Service is authorized to accept donations 
and several Governors petitioned the Secretary of the Interior 
for permission to donate state funds to reopen national parks 
in their states. Ultimately, five states signed such 
agreements:
     New York--$369,300 to reopen the Statue of Liberty 
from October 13 to 17.
     Arizona--$651,000 to reopen Grand Canyon National 
Park for a week beginning October 13.
     South Dakota--$152,000 to reopen Mount Rushmore 
National Memorial starting October 14.
     Utah--$1,665,720.80 to reopen eight sites starting 
October 11.
     Colorado--$362,700 to reopen Rocky Mountain 
National Park starting October 11.
    The agreements specified that these funds were donations. 
Once the shutdown ended, NPS returned all unexpended state 
funds, but the agency is prohibited by law from using 
appropriated dollars to repay the states for their donations.
    H.R. 3286 would require the federal government to pay 
states for any ``activity conducted in fiscal year 2014 during 
a time when the Federal Government was not conducting that 
activity due to the partial shutdown of the Federal 
Government'' if ``the activity was necessary to operate and 
open to the public a National Park located, in whole or in 
part, within the State.''
    According to the Congressional Budget Office, this 
legislation would result in approximately $2 million in direct 
spending and the bill includes no offset for this expenditure.
    Increasing the deficit by $2 million cannot be justified in 
this case. These five states donated this funding because their 
local economies stood to profit more from reopening national 
parks than the cost of the donation; they are not ``owed'' 
reimbursement.
    The Majority's sudden realization that national parks are 
good investments is welcome and contrasts with Republican 
budgets which have slashed NPS funding by 13% over the last 
three years. In the future, if House Republicans want to avoid 
states having to pony up to keep national parks open, the 
solution is simple: don't shut down the government.
                                   Peter DeFazio,
                                           Ranking Member, Committee on 
                                               Natural Resources.
                                   Rauul Grijalva,
                                           Ranking Member, Subcommittee 
                                               on Public Lands and 
                                               Environmental 
                                               Regulations.