May 19, 1998
H.R. 1522 would amend the National Historic Preservation Act to
reauthorize the National Historic Preservation Fund and related activities.
The Administration does not object to House passage of H.R. 1522 and appreciates the efforts of the Congress to address concerns related to the provisions affecting the status of employees of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and codification of Executive Order 13006. But during Senate consideration of the bill, the Administration will seek an amendment to delete the bill's provision that would make the Department of the Interior's National Register eligibility determinations discretionary rather than mandatory. To eliminate mandatory determinations would prevent the Department from assessing a property's historic significance, inhibit historic preservation, and preclude the unbiased and critical assessment of historic properties.