CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, April 9, 2013, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 1033, the American Battlefield Protection Program Amendments Act of 2013 under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on March 7, 2013 by Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which reported the bill by unanimous consent.
H.R. 1033 amends the American Battlefield Protection Program to allow for the acquisition and preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefields. The legislation also includes provisions that ensure that land is purchased only from willing sellers and prevent the use of program funds for lobbying. Lastly, H.R. 1033 reauthorizes the American Battlefield Protection program for an additional five years at $10 million annually, consistent with its previous authorization.
The American Battlefield Protection Act of 1996 was enacted to preserve and protect historically significant battlefields associated with the Civil War. It placed an emphasis on creating partnerships among State and local governments, regional entities, and the private sector to preserve, conserve, and enhance these nationally significant battlefields. The authorization of appropriations for this Act expired in 2008, but was reauthorized through 2013 as part of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009.
However, the program was limited to the Civil War in scope and did not address other sites. In September 2007, the National Park Service completed a “Report to Congress on the Historic Preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites in the United States.” The report examined 243 battlefields and 434 historic properties in 31 States, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands.
H.R. 1033 amends the American Battlefield Protection program to include this report, allowing for the acquisition and preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefields along with battlefields of the Civil War.
Similar legislation, H.R. 2489, passed the House in the 112th Congress on September 10, 2012 by voice vote.
CBO estimates that H.R. 1033 would cost $46 million over the 2014-2018 period and about $4 million after 2018, assuming appropriation of authorized amounts. Enacting H.R. 1033 would not affect direct spending or revenues, therefore pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.