[House Report 107-286] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] Calendar 107th Congress Report HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SENATE 1st Session 107-286 ====================================================================== HEALING OPPORTUNITIES IN PARKS AND THE ENVIRONMENT PASS ACT _______ November 13, 2001.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed _______ Mr. Hansen, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the following R E P O R T CONFERENCE REPORT [To accompany H.R. 2976] [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office] The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill (H.R. 2976) to provide for the issuance of a special entrance pass for free admission to any federally owned area which is operated and maintained by a Federal agency and used for outdoor recreation purposes to the survivors, victims' immediate families, and police, fire, rescue, recovery, and medical personnel directly affected by the September 11, 2001, terrorist hijackings and the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, 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. 2976 is to provide for the issuance of a special entrance pass for free admission to any federally owned area which is operated and maintained by a Federal agency and used for outdoor recreation purposes to the survivors, victims' immediate families, and police, fire, rescue, recovery, and medical personnel directly affected by the September 11, 2001, terrorist hijackings and the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and for other purposes. BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION The horrific terrorist hijackings and attack on America was, by far, the single most deadly one day event on American soil in the history of the United States. This dastardly assault left over 6,000 people dead or presumed dead, most of them non-military citizens, and thousands of others injured. This death toll easily surpassed the heretofore most deadly one day total which occurred during the Civil War at the battle of Antietam where 2,000 soldiers lost their lives. Even though the dreadful and deplorable sneak-attack by the cowardly terrorists was one of, if not the, saddest days in American history, the spirit and essence of the American people refused to fade and was not diminished. Contrarily, the people of this country have reached out and helped with the recovery effort in a variety of ways and contributions. This bill seeks to recognize those people directly affected by the sudden and tragic loss of loved ones along with those who have given so much in aid and assistance in the recovery effort. In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the House of Representatives has approved four pieces of legislation authorizing compensation or tax relief for those most directly affected. To implement these programs, a universe of eligible recipients will be developed. For example, title IV of the Air Transportation Stabilization Act (Public Law 107-42) requires the Attorney General to appoint a Special Master for the purpose of administering such a compensation program. H.R. 2976 follows the parameters of these previously passed measures and it is the Committee's intention that in developing the HOPE Pass program, the Secretary will coordinate her efforts with other federal agencies administering compensation plans to provide a reasonable and workable definition of a qualified passholder. H.R. 2976 would provide some recognition and appreciation to the aggrieved families and also the heroic efforts of all those people involved in the senseless and despicable attack on America by vile and deceitful terrorists. COMMITTEE ACTION H.R. 2976 was introduced on October 2, 2001, by Congressman Nick Rahall II (D-WV). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources. On October 3, 2001, the Full Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The bill was ordered favorably reported without amendment 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 Resources' oversight findings and recommendations are reflected in the body of this report. CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill. COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII 1. Cost of Legislation.--Clause 3(d)(2) 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)(3)(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. 2. 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 tax expenditures. According to the Congressional Budget Office, enactment of H.R. 2976 would reduce offsetting receipts and reduce direct spending but ``that the net changes would be insignificant for each year.'' 3. General Performance Goals and Objectives.--This bill does not authorize funding and therefore, clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives does not apply. 4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate.--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: U.S. Congress, Congressional Budget Office, Washington, DC, November 5, 2001. Hon. James V. Hansen, Chairman, Committee on Resources, House of Representatives, Washington, DC. Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2976, the Healing Opportunities in Parks and the Environment Pass Act. If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis. Sincerely, Barry B. Anderson (For Dan L. Crippen, Director). Enclosure. H.R. 2976--Healing Opportunities in Parks and the Environment Pass Act H.R. 2976 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to issue to persons directly affected by the events of September 11, 2001, a lifetime pass for admission to federal recreational lands such as national parks. Those eligible for the free passes include individuals present at the four crash sites, the immediate families of those killed in the incidents, and all police, fire, and related personnel who were directly involved in the aftermath of the crashes. The legislation would affect direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would apply. CBO estimates that the net changes would be insignificant for each year. H.R. 2976 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. Providing people with free lifetime passes to federal recreation areas would reduce the total amount of recreation fees collected by land management agencies each year. Based on information provided by the National Park Service, CBO estimates that the loss of offsetting receipts (a credit against direct spending) would be less than $500,000 a year beginning in fiscal year 2002. The loss would be offset entirely in fiscal year 2002 by a like reduction in direct spending because, under existing law, fee-collecting agencies are allowed to spend recreation receipts earned that year without further appropriation action. For each of the following years, the receipt loss also would be offset but by a much smaller amount--15 percent, which is the amount that agencies are allowed to retain and use for fee collections. The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis. This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis. COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4 This bill contains no unfunded mandates. 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.