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First Ladies White House Endowment Fund

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The White House Endowment Trust, sometimes also called the White House Endowment Fund, is a private, non-profit, tax-exempt fund established to finance the ongoing restoration and refurbishment of the state rooms at the White House, the official home and principal workplace of the President of the United States. The fund is funded by private donation, through individual citizens and corporations. The trust is administered by the White House Historical Association.

 

FIRST LADIES WHITE HOUSE ENDOWMENT FUND

 

September 30, 1996.--Ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


Mr. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
submitted the following

R E P O R T

[To accompany S. 951]

The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was
referred the bill (S. 951) to commemorate the service of First
Ladies Jacqueline Kennedy and Patricia Nixon to improving and
maintaining the Executive Residence of the President and to
authorize grants to the White House Endowment Fund in their
memory to continue their work, having considered the same,
reports favorably thereon with an amendment and an amendment to
the title and recommends that the bill as amended do pass.
The amendments are as follows:
1. Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in
lieu thereof the following:

``SECTION 1. GRANTS TO THE WHITE HOUSE ENDOWMENT FUND.

``Subject to appropriations, the Secretary of the Interior is
authorized to make grants totaling not more than $10,000,000 to the
White House Endowment Fund to support the acquisition of objects for,
and the preservation of, the public rooms of the White House and its
collection of Fine and Decorative Arts; and to serve as a memorial to
the Nation's First Ladies, whose interest and dedication have done so
much to preserve and enhance the historic integrity of the White
House.''.

2. Amend the title so as to read:

``A bill to commemorate the service of the Nation's First
Ladies to improving and maintaining the Executive Residence of
the President and to authorize grants to the White House
Endowment Fund in their memory to continue their work.''.

purpose of the measure

The purpose of S. 951 is to direct the President of the
United States to make grants to the White House Endowment Fund
to be used for the preservation and conservation of the public
rooms of the White House and the acquisition of historical
objects for the White House collection of fine and decorative
American art.

background and need

Over 1.5 million people visit the White House each year. It
has been estimated that the public rooms of the White House
require a complete refurbishing every eight to ten years.
The White House historic preservation program was initiated
by Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961. Mrs. Kennedy initiated the
program in order to restore the historic integrity of the
public rooms of the White House; to establish a fine and
decorative arts collection; and to establish the White House
Historical Association to publish and distribute educational
materials describing the White House and its history.
Patricia Nixon provided the leadership for the most
extensive acquisition of fine and decorative arts in the
history of the White House. Her plan for refurbishing the
public rooms remains intact after more than twenty years. The
fine and decorative arts donated to the White House during the
leadership of Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Nixon, valued today at tens
of millions of dollars, far exceed those received during all
other modern Presidential administrations combined.
With the leadership of First Lady Barbara Bush, the White
House Endowment Fund was established in 1990 to create a
permanent endowment of $25,000,000 to maintain the public rooms
and collection of the White House. As of February, 1996, the
combined total of contributions and pledges to the Endowment
Fund was $14,528,548.

S. 951, as amended, would authorize an unrestricted grant
of $10 million, subject to appropriations, to be used for the
preservation and conservation of the public rooms of the White
House and the acquisition of historical objects for the White
House collection of fine and decorative American art. The grant
would also commemorate the service of all the Nation's First
Ladies and their efforts in improving and maintaining the
Executive Residence of the President.

legislative history

Senator Hutchison introduced S. 951 on June 21, 1995. The
Subcommittee on Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
held a hearing on the bill on April 25, 1996. At the business
meeting on June 19, 1996, the Committee on Energy and Natural
Resources ordered S. 951 favorably reported, as amended.

committee recommendation

The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open
business session on September 12, 1996, by a unanimous voice
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S.
951, if amended as described herein.

committee amendment

During the consideration of S. 951, the Committee adopted
an amendment in the nature of a substitute. The amended bill
commemorates the service of all the Nation's First Ladies and
their efforts in improving and maintaining the Executive
Residence of the President, and amends the title of the bill to
reflect this change. The amended bill eliminates the
``Findings'' section; revises and clarifies the grant language;
and includes a provision to make the authorization subject to
appropriation.

section-by-section analysis

S. 951 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to make
grants totaling not more that $10,000,000 to the White House
Endowment Fund to be used for the preservation and conservation
of the public rooms of the White House and the acquisition of
historical objects for the White House collection of fine and
decorative art. The funds would serve as a memorial to the
Nation's First Ladies and their efforts to enhance and preserve
the historic integrity of the White House.

cost and budgetary considerations

The following estimate of the cost of this measure has been
provided by the Congressional Budget Office:

U.S. Congress,
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, September 17, 1996.
Hon. Frank H. Murkowski,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, U.S. Senate,
Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
reviewed S. 951, a bill to commemorate the service of the
nation's First Ladies to improving and maintaining the
Executive Residence of the President and to authorize grants to
the White House Endowment Fund in their memory to continue
their work, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on
Energy and Natural Resources on September 12, 1996. Subject to
the appropriation of the necessary funds, CBO estimates that S.
951 would increase outlays of the federal government by $10
million in the year in which it is appropriated. Enacting S951
would not affect direct spending or receipts; therefore, pay-
as-you-go procedures would not apply.
S. 951 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to
make grants totaling up to $10 million to the White House
Endowment Fund, a nonprofit corporation, to assist in the
acquiring of objects for and the preserving of the White House.
Once the funds are appropriated, the Department of the Interior
would transfer the $10 million to the White House Endowment
Fund.
S. 951 contains no private-sector or intergovernmental as
defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Public Law
104-4) and would have no impact on the budgets of state, local,
or tribal governments.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is John R.
Righter.
Sincerely,
June E. O'Neill, Director.

regulatory impact evaluation

In compliance with paragraph 11( B) of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in
carrying out S. 951. The bill is not a regulatory measure in
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals
and businesses.
No personal information would be collected in administering
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal
privacy.

Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the
enactment of S. 951, as ordered reported.

executive communications

On September 13, 1996, the Committee on Energy and Natural
Resources requested legislative reports from the Department of
the Interior and the Office of Management and Budget setting
forth Executive agency recommendations on S. 951. These reports
had not been received at the time the report on S. 951 was
filed. When these reports become available, the Chairman will
request that they be printed in the Congressional Record for
the advice of the Senate. The testimony provided by the
Department of the Interior at the Subcommittee hearing follows:

Statement of Denis P. Galvin, Associate Director for Professional
Services, National Park Service, Department of the Interior

Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear
before your committee to testify on S. 951, a bill to
commemorate the service of First Ladies Jacqueline Kennedy and
Patricia Nixon to improving and maintaining the Executive
Residence of the President and to authorize grants to the White
House Endowment Fund in their memory to continue their work.
We strongly support the efforts of the White House
Historical Association, through the White House Endowment Fund,
to raise private funds for the preservation of White House
public rooms and historical objects. The Fund provides
substantial support for the National Park Service (NPS) mission
at the White House and increases the preservation and
interpretation of the museum character of the public areas of
the White House for the benefit of its 1.5 million annual
visitors.

The Association was established in 1961 and has been quite
successful without Federal funding. We do not believe that
financing this non-profit corporation should now become a
Federal responsibility. Consequently, we do not believe that
the grants proposed in S. 951 are necessary to complete the
endowment.

The White House Endowment Fund was incorporated January 12,
1990, under the laws of the State of Maryland to operate
exclusively for charitable, educational, scientific, and
literary purposes within the meaning of the Internal Revenue
Code. The Internal Revenue Service has determined that the
Endowment Fund is exempt from Federal income tax under IRS
Section 501( c )( 3 ).

The Endowment Fund was established for the purpose of
raising a $25 million endowment to provide permanent support of
the White House collection of fine art and furnishings and to
preserve the historic character of the public museum rooms of
the White House.

The Endowment Fund was incorporated as a wholly owned
subsidiary of the White House Historical Association. The
Association is also a not-for-profit charitable and educational
organization, founded in 1961 as a National Park Service
cooperating association, for the purpose of enhancing the
public's understanding and appreciation of the history of the
White House. The board of directors of the Endowment Fund are
elected to annual terms by the board of directors of the
Association.

As of February 29, 1996, the total contributions and
pledges to the Endowment Fund was $14,524,548. The total amount
contributed from revenue by the Endowment Fund to White House
projects was $711,000. In addition, $428,000 has been set aside
for projects in FY 1996. This brings the total amount expended
for White House preservation to $1,139,000 through September,
1996. Operating and management costs in 1995 represented 5% of
the total increase in assets in the Endowment Fund during the
year.
Two hundred twenty private donors have contributed to the
Endowment Fund. There have been 62 corporations, 45
foundations, and 113 individuals. The size of gifts range from
$3 from a young boy attending a White House function to
$1,000,000 each from a foundation and an individual.
In 1995, the restoration of the Blue Room of the White
House was the first complete renovation of a state room in the
White House totally underwritten by the Endowment Fund. The
work included new reproduction wall covering and carpet,
gilding and reconditioning of the woodwork, and the
conservation of the French Empire furniture purchased and
brought to the White House by President Monroe. The Endowment
Fund contributed $355,611 to this historic preservation
project.
Requests for funding from the Endowment Fund are made
jointly by the White House Chief Usher and White House Curator
with the approval of the Committee for the Preservation of the
White House. The Chairman and Administrator of the Endowment
Fund advise the Curator and Chief Usher each year of the amount
of funds available for expenditure, based on the investment
income received and a spending policy established by the fund's
board of directors.
The Director of the National Park Service serves as
Chairman of the Committee for the Preservation of the White
House and as an ex officio member of the board of directors of
the White House Historical Association. The Director,
therefore, has a role in determining the policies and programs
related to the Endowment Fund and can ensure that the highest
standards of resources stewardship will be applied to the work
funded with the Endowment Fund proceeds.

We support the efforts of the Endowment Fund to raise
private donations to provide permanent support of the historic
character and interpretation of the museum rooms of the White
House, which are open to all visitors to our Nation's Capital.
We do not believe, however, that this legislation is necessary.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my prepared remarks. I would
be glad to answer any questions you might have.

Changes In Existing Law

In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no
changes in existing law are made by the bill S. 951 as ordered
reported.

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National Park Service Director

 

Jonathan B. Jarvis
18th Director, National Park Service

 

Jonathan B. Jarvis began his career with the National Park Service in 1976 as a seasonal interpreter in Washington, D.C. Today, he manages that agency whose mission is to preserve America's most treasured landscapes and cultural icons.

Jarvis's 39-year career has taken him from ranger to resource management specialist to park biologist to superintendent of parks such as Craters of the Moon, North Cascades, Wrangell-St. Elias, and Mount Rainier. Before being confirmed as the 18th Director of the National Park Service on September 24, 2009, Jarvis served as regional director of the bureau's Pacific West Region.

Today, he is responsible for overseeing an agency with more than 22,000 employees, a $3 billion budget, and more than 400 national parks that attract more than 280 million visitors every year who generate $30 billion in economic benefit across the nation.

 

A Call to Action

 

OUR ORIGINS ARE GROUNDED IN A BELIEF
The aspirations of the Declaration of Independence and
the rights protected for all citizens in the Constitution
are based upon our founders’ belief that every individual
has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

These ideas were formed from the lessons of history
shaped by struggles with governments in former
homelands. The founders and subsequent generations
also knew that the grandeur of the American landscape
compared equally to the cathedrals and castles of the Old
World. So it was inevitable that an institution to preserve
both the lessons of history and the best of the land be
conceived and established. That institution, the National
Park Service, will be 100 years old in 2016.

 

 

To visit our national parks is to witness American values on full display in extraordinary places that embody certain “unalienable rights” and inspire our nation to succeed. To actively ensure
conservation of national parks, public lands, wilderness, and historic places for the enjoyment of future generations is a priceless gift to our children.

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