H.R. 5120 (108th): U.S. National Arboretum Appreciation Act of 2004

108th Congress, 2003–2004. Text as of Sep 22, 2004 (Introduced).

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HR 5120 IH

108th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5120

To improve the operation and utilization of the United States National Arboretum in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 22, 2004

Mr. DOOLEY of California (for himself and Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture


A BILL

To improve the operation and utilization of the United States National Arboretum in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘U.S. National Arboretum Appreciation Act of 2004’.

SEC. 2. PARTNERING AGREEMENTS TO EXPAND OPERATION AND USE OF UNITED STATES NATIONAL ARBORETUM.

    (a) Findings- Congress finds the following:

      (1) The United States National Arboretum, which is located in the District of Columbia and is operated by the Agriculture Research Service of the Department of Agriculture, is nationally and internationally recognized for its outstanding research and public education contributions.

      (2) However, the National Arboretum has been under-utilized by the public, thereby creating a need for greater visibility, awareness, and use of the National Arboretum.

      (3) Expanded use of the National Arboretum would bring increased financial support, public recognition, and appreciation of the facility and its research and education functions.

      (4) The Friends of the National Arboretum is a private nonprofit organization whose mission is solely the support and promotion of the National Arboretum.

      (5) A congressional oversight hearing in 2003 highlighted the bipartisan consensus for greater outreach and fund-raising events to be conducted at the National Arboretum through the Friends of the National Arboretum.

      (6) At a time of extreme budget constraints, many Federal agencies are permitting the use of their buildings and facilities for private functions and special events that raise funds to supplement appropriated funds.

      (7) Despite encouragement from Congress, the Secretary of Agriculture has not taken adequate steps to improve the accessibility and use of the National Arboretum.

    (b) Partnering Agreement With the Friends of the National Arboretum- Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall enter into a contract with the Friends of the National Arboretum, either through a sole-source contract or other method, to authorize the Friends of the National Arboretum to act as agent of the Department of Agriculture for the purpose of--

      (1) allowing the use of the grounds and facilities of the National Arboretum by private persons and entities;

      (2) providing services related to planning and overseeing special events at the National Arboretum; and

      (3) making such other arrangements as appropriate for the private use of the National Arboretum.

    (c) Additional Contract Authority- The Secretary of Agriculture may enter into contracts with other persons or entities for the private use of the grounds and facilities of the National Arboretum so long as such contracts do not conflict with the contract with the Friends of the National Arboretum.

    (d) Effect of Failure to Comply- If the contract required by subsection (b) is not entered into by the end of the 30-day period specified in such subsection, the contract proposal submitted to the Department of Agriculture by the Friends of the National Arboretum on January 13, 2004, shall be deemed to be a legal and binding sole-source contract between the Secretary of Agriculture and the Friends of the National Arboretum for a period of five years, effective beginning at the end of such 30-day period. The Secretary shall publish a copy of the contract proposal in the Federal Register as soon as practicable after the contract proposal takes legal effect pursuant to this subsection. The contract proposal may be amended or extended by the mutual agreement of the parties.