First Lady Urges Passage of Historic Preservation Bills

At a Capitol Hill press conference this week, First Lady Laura Bush announced introduction of bipartisan legislation authorizing two complementary historic preservation grant programs–Preserve America established by the Bush Administration and Save America’s Treasures established by the Clinton Administration.

Mrs. Bush was joined by Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne and Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Pete Domenici (R-NM), who introduced the legislation (S. 2262) in the Senate and by Congressional Historic Preservation Caucus Co-Chairs Representatives Brad Miller (D-NC) and Mike Turner (R-OH), who introduced the legislation (H.R. 3981) in the House.

The legislation seeks to authorize both the Preserve America and Save America’s Treasures programs, making them permanent tools for those engaged in historic preservation activities.

Both programs encourage heritage tourism and public-private partnerships in historic and cultural preservation. Preserve America fosters reuse and interpretation of cultural resources. The Save America’s Treasures grant program funds “bricks and mortar” improvements to historic structures and assets by providing competitive grants to encourage sustainable historic resource management through heritage tourism.