Out of 2,341
designated national historic landmarks, five recognize civilian or military
aspects of Cold War history, and out of nearly 75,000 listings on the National
Register of Historic Places, 17 (including the five landmarks) are related to
the Cold War. The relatively small
number of recognized sites is due in large part to the fact that the Cold War
has only recently been viewed as historically important. With or without a theme study, these numbers
would likely increase over time, and the Department of Defense could take steps
on its own to identify these sites under their jurisdiction.
S. 1257 and H.R. 107 as passed by the House are very similar, there are some
important differences between the two.
As introduced, both H.R. 107 and S. 1257 included a provision requiring
the Secretary to establish a Cold War Advisory Committee to assist with the
study [Section 3 of S. 1257]. At our
request, the House deleted this provision from H.R. 107. Whether this committee acts on H.R. 107 or
S. 1257, we strongly recommend that the advisory commission be omitted. In our view, such a committee is unnecessary
and would add greatly to the cost of a study and time required to complete
it due to the legal requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5
Historic Landmark program regulations already require consultation with
Federal, state, and local governments; national and statewide associations; and
a variety of other interested parties.
Through partnering with a national historical organization, using a
peer-review process, and consulting with appropriate subject experts as well as
the general public, the National Park Service would ensure that the broadest
historical perspectives are represented in any study it undertakes.
difference between S. 1257 and H.R. 107 is a provision requiring the inclusion
in the study of recommendations on the suitability and feasibility of
establishing a central repository for Cold War artifacts and information. This provision is found in H.R. 107, but not
in S. 1257. Studying and developing
recommendations of that nature would be an undertaking that is well beyond the
scope of a theme study, and that also could consume a large portion of the
$300,000 authorized for the legislation.
We urge that this provision [Section 1(b)(1)(C) of H.R. 107] be omitted
from the legislation reported by this committee.
In addition, we have been informed by the Department of
Justice that the provisions of the bill that would require the Secretary of the
Interior to make recommendations to Congress concerning federal protection for
Cold War sites appear to violate the Recommendations Clause of the
Constitution, which reserves to the President the power to decide whether it is
necessary or expedient for the Executive Branch to make legislative policy
recommendations to the Congress. The
Administration would be pleased to provide language to remedy the bill's
Chairman, that concludes my statement.
I would be pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the
Subcommittee may have.