Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
115th Congress     }                                          {    Report
                          HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session        }                                          {  115-1031




 November 16, 2018.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 


Mr. Bishop of Utah, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted 
                             the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 553]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 553) to redesignate Gravelly Point Park, located 
along the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Arlington 
County, Virginia, as the Nancy Reagan Memorial Park, 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. 553 is to redesignate Gravelly Point 
Park, located along the George Washington Memorial Parkway in 
Arlington County, Virginia, as the Nancy Reagan Memorial Park.


    H.R. 553 would redesignate Gravelly Point Park as the Nancy 
Reagan Memorial Park to celebrate the life and work of the 
former First Lady.
    Gravelly Point Park is a favorite location of hikers, 
bikers and walkers along the Potomac River and a beloved 
location of airplane-spotters. The park sits directly next to 
the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and near the Lady 
Bird Johnson Park along the George Washington Memorial Parkway 
in Arlington, Virginia.\1\ Gravelly Point was a site of 
dredging and resource extraction in the late 19th century due 
to the presence of sand and gravel deposits, giving rise to its 
current name.\2\
    Nancy Reagan was born Anne Frances Robbins on July 6, 1921, 
in Queens, New York and grew up in Chicago, Illinois. Reagan 
graduated from Smith College in Massachusetts, where she 
majored in theatre. During her career as a professional actress 
she landed a role on Broadway and performed in Hollywood films. 
After marrying Ronald Reagan, in 1952, the couple had two 
children together.\3\ At the election of her husband to 
governor of California, Reagan became the first lady of 
California from 1967 to 1975.\4\ Mrs. Reagan became First Lady 
of the United States in January 1981 after President Reagan's 
election. During her time as First Lady, Mrs. Reagan was 
passionate about many causes, including her ``Just Say No'' 
anti-drug campaign, promoting foster grandparents and 
advocating for the arts.\5\
    After leaving the White House, Mrs. Reagan retired to their 
family home in California but continued to be a proponent for 
causes she was passionate about, including Alzheimer's disease. 
Mrs. Reagan passed away on March 6, 2016, and is buried next to 
her husband at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.\6\
    Nancy Reagan Memorial Park would recognize First Lady Nancy 
Reagan for her dedication and support of important causes 
throughout her life. The redesignation would act as a tribute 
to the First Lady's legacy while maintaining the current status 
and uses of the park.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 553 was introduced on January 13, 2017, by Congressman 
Jody B. Hice (R-GA). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee 
on Federal Lands. On January 17, 2018, the Natural Resources 
Committee met to consider the bill. The Subcommittee was 
discharged by unanimous consent. No amendments were offered, 
and the bill was initially not ordered favorably reported to 
the House of Representatives by a roll call vote of 15 ayes to 
17 noes, as follows:

    Later in the markup, Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) moved to 
reconsider the vote by which H.R. 553 was not ordered favorably 
reported; the motion was adopted by a roll call vote of 18 ayes 
to 16 noes. Immediately after this vote, the bill was adopted 
and ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives 
by a roll call vote of 18 ayes to 16 noes, as follows:


    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.


    1. Cost of Legislation and the Congressional Budget Act. 
With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) and (3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
sections 308(a) and 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974, the Committee has received the following estimate for the 
bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, January 26, 2018.
Hon. Rob Bishop,
Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
reviewed H.R. 553, a bill to redesignate Gravelly Point Park, 
located along the George Washington Memorial Parkway in 
Arlington County, Virginia, as the Nancy Reagan Memorial Park, 
and for other purposes, as ordered reported by the House 
Committee on Natural Resources on January 17, 2018.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 553 would have no 
significant effect on the federal budget and would not affect 
direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures do not apply. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 553 
would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in 
any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 553 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Janani 
                                                Keith Hall,
    2. 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 redesignate Gravelly Point Park, 
located along the George Washington Memorial Parkway in 
Arlington County, Virginia, as the Nancy Reagan Memorial Park.

                           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. This bill does not contain any 
directed rule makings.
    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.


    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 to existing 

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    We oppose the bill to rename Gravelly Point after former 
First Lady Nancy Reagan. Our reasons for this opposition are 
many: It is the pet project of a special interest, involved no 
public input, does not have the support of the local community, 
lacked congressional courtesy, and raises technical concerns.
    Gravelly Point Park is not a national tourist attraction--
its where local families go to have a picnic, throw a ball 
around, put a blanket down and watch the planes coming in and 
out of the airport. There is no connection to Nancy Reagan, and 
the only reason this proposal is before Congress is because it 
is the pet project of Americans for Tax Reform, an influential 
conservative interest group and the political funding arm of 
anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist.
    Residents of Arlington and Alexandria, the communities 
closet to Gravelly Point, have not had their input taken into 
consideration. Local officials have raised concerns about the 
renaming and reaction by the local community upon hearing about 
the bill has been overwhelmingly negative.
    Exactly 20 years ago, Grover Norquist led a similar charge 
in Virginia's eighth Congressional district to rename 
Washington National Airport after Ronald Reagan. At the time, 
the bill flouted typical naming procedure and was passing over 
strong Congressional opposition, opposition by the local 
community, local elected officials, the Washington Metropolitan 
Airports Authority, and air traffic controllers, recalling 
Reagan's firing of 11,000 controllers during a 1981 strike. It 
was unpaid for, at a cost $400,000, which given the lack of 
Congressional appropriation had to be absorbed into Washington 
Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's budget. For the original 
dissenting views, please see 105th Congress, H.R. 2625, House 
Report 105-408. As former Congressman Jim Moran then said, 
``[Ronald Reagan] stood against the abuse of federal power and 
the waste of taxpayers' money, and this is both.''
    We are concerned about allowing one powerful fundraiser to 
again ignore procedure and dictate names, this time about a 
federal park. Special interests should not be able to determine 
the name of land that belongs to all Americans. This bill does 
not take any input from the American people into consideration, 
particularly the very people that are users of the Park. If a 
renaming is to be considered, the American public, especially 
the Park users, should have a say in the name.
    To that end, it should be noted that the sponsor's office 
did not notify or work with the office of Congressman Don 
Beyer, where Gravelly Point Park is located, and that outreach 
by Congressman Beyer's office after learning about the bill 
went unheeded.
    Furthermore, there is a potential technical impediment to 
the bill that needs further consideration. Memorials, monuments 
and other commemorative works in Washington DC and its environs 
are governed by the Commemorative Works Act (CWA), which lays 
out a series of guidelines for the establishment of memorials 
and requires consultation with the National Capital Memorial 
Advisory Commission.
    The Commission reviewed H.R. 5457--the identical bill 
introduced in the 114th Congress--and determined that the 
proposal potentially violates several guidelines established by 
the CWA.
    Congressional authorization for memorials to individuals is 
not supposed to occur until the 25th anniversary of the death 
of the individual. Since space is limited and memorials should 
not be established without careful consideration, this provides 
time for reflection on the individual's contributions. Since 
Mrs. Reagan passed away less than two years ago, the 
designation of a memorial park in her name fails to comply with 
that provision of the CWA.
    The CWA also requires a comprehensive evaluation of site 
locations to determine suitability. The commission noted that 
this hasn't happened for this proposal and that the designation 
of this site after the Former First Lady could prevent the 
establishment of other memorials in the area, since CWA states 
that no new memorial shall encroach upon an existing memorial. 
In addition, there has been no assessment on how much it would 
cost to rename the Park.
    Our responsibilities as Members of the committee with 
jurisdiction over federal land require us to evaluate proposals 
on their merits. We cannot blindly accept any proposal that is 
made regardless of our respect for the individuals or entities 
to be honored. By these standards, the proposal to rename 
Gravelly Point must be rejected.
                                   Raul M. Grijalva,
                                           Ranking Member.
                                   Donald S. Beyer Jr.