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115th Congress    }                                   {         Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                   {        115-658


                      FREE VETERANS FROM FEES ACT


 April 27, 2018.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed


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

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3997]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 3997) to waive the application fee for any 
special use permit for veterans demonstrations and special 
events at war memorials on Federal land, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do 
    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 


  This Act may be cited as the ``Free Veterans from Fees Act''.


  (a) Waiver.--The application fee for any special use permit solely 
for a veterans demonstration or special event at war memorials on 
Federal land shall be waived.
  (b) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Demonstration; special event.--The terms 
        ``demonstration'' and ``special event'' have the meaning given 
        those terms in section 7.96 of title 36, Code of Federal 
          (2) Veteran.--The term ``veteran'' has the meaning given that 
        term in section 101(2) of title 38, United States Code.
          (3) Veterans demonstration or special event.--The term 
        ``veterans demonstration or special event'' means a 
        demonstration or special event whose primary purpose is to 
        commemorate, or honor either a group of people because of their 
        service as veterans or immediate family members of veterans.
          (4) War memorial.--The term ``war memorial'' means any 
        tangible object which has been erected or dedicated to 
                  (A) war, conflict, victory, or peace;
                  (B) casualties who served in, were affected by, or 
                killed as a result of war, conflict, or peacekeeping; 
                  (C) those who died as a result of accident or disease 
                while engaged in military service.
  (c) Applicability.--This section shall apply to any special use 
permit application submitted after the date of the enactment of this 
  (d) Applicability of Existing Laws.--Permit applicants remain subject 
to all other laws, regulations, and policies regarding the application, 
issuance and execution of special use permits for a veterans 
demonstration or special event at war memorials on Federal land.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 3997 is to waive the application fee 
for any special use permit for veterans demonstrations and 
special events at war memorials on federal land.


    Special use permits are required by the National Park 
Service (NPS) for activities that provide a benefit to an 
individual, group, or organization, and for activities that 
require the use of a designated park location for a specific 
purpose and length of time.\1\ According to NPS, special use 
permits can be used for reoccurring events like sports 
activities, picnics, weddings and family celebrations.\2\ Other 
types of special use permits are used for special events 
including entertainment, charity events, races, tournaments, 
educational activities and demonstrations.\3\ The final type of 
special use permits are for construction, research and 
utilities that benefit the surrounding communities and often 
involve access, infrastructure or research.\4\ Special use 
permits are only issued by NPS for activities which are 
appropriate for the purpose for which the park was established 
and activities that can be sustained without causing 
unacceptable impacts to the valuable resources of the park.\5\
    \1\National Park Service, Special Use Permits,
    \3\Ibid 2
    \4\Ibid 2
    \5\Ibid 2
    All applications for special use permits must be 
accompanied by a payment for initial processing, unless 
determined to be a First Amendment activity. Application fees 
vary widely. Currently, NPS charges $120 for public gatherings 
and special events applications and $90 for special use 
applications on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.\6\ These 
application fees do not preclude the recovery of other costs 
associated with issuance of the permit.
    \6\National Park Service, Permits & Reservations https://
    In recognition of the significant sacrifices veterans have 
made for our country, H.R. 3997 would waive the application fee 
associated with special use permits for any veteran 
demonstration or special event at war memorials on federal 

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 3997 was introduced on October 10, 2017, by 
Congressman Keith J. Rothfus (R-PA). The bill was referred to 
the Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to 
the Subcommittee on Federal Lands. On April 11, 2018, the 
Natural Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The 
Subcommittee was discharged by unanimous consent. Congressman 
Rob Bishop (R-UT) offered an amendment designated #1; it was 
adopted by unanimous consent. No further amendments were 
offered, and the bill, as amended, was ordered favorably 
reported to the House of Representatives by unanimous consent.


    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, April 26, 2018.
Hon. Rob Bishop,
Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3997, the Free 
Veterans from Fees Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Janani 
                                                Keith Hall,

H.R. 3997--Free Veterans from Fees Act

    H.R. 3997 would waive application fees for permits to hold 
certain veterans' events at war memorials on federal land.
    CBO is aware of two agencies that operate such war 
memorials: the National Park Service (NPS) and the Department 
of Defense (DoD). Current law authorizes the NPS to recover the 
costs of providing necessary services at events held on NPS 
lands. Permit application fees, which average $75 each, may be 
applied toward that cost recovery. Those fees and any other 
cost recovery payments are recorded as discretionary offsetting 
collections. According to the NPS, however, the agency already 
waives permit application fees for most veterans' events that 
would be covered under the bill. According to DoD, veterans 
typically have access to war memorials on military bases, and 
it does not collect application fees for the type of permits 
that would be covered under the bill. As a result, CBO 
estimates that implementing H.R. 3997 would affect a small 
number of permit applications and would increase net 
discretionary spending by an insignificant amount.
    Enacting H.R. 3997 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3997 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    H.R. 3997 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Janani 
Shankaran (for the NPS) and David Newman (for DoD). The 
estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.
    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 waive the application fee for any 
special use permit for veterans demonstrations and special 
events at war memorials on federal land.

                           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