Pascrell's Great Falls National Park Bill Passes House
Measure to authorize needed study moves on to Senate for action
WASHINGTON - A bill authored by U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J., 8th) to pave the way for designation of the Great Falls Historic District in Paterson as a national park made its greatest stride to date and is now one giant step closer to passage.
The U.S. House of Representatives today passed by a unanimous voice vote the "Great Falls Historic District Study Act of 2001," which now goes to the United States Senate for consideration.
"We cannot pop the champagne yet, but we are closer now than ever to getting this study done so that we can give the Great Falls the enriched status and real resources it truly deserves," stated Pascrell. "In this time of partisan rancor in Congress, I am so gratified that we could come together to pass this important piece of legislation. This is a great day for Paterson and for our cause to protect this greatest of natural and historical gems."
Pascrell's bill, H.R. 146, would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to study the suitability and feasibility of designating the Great Falls Historic District as a unit of the National Park System.
Pascrell introduced the measure in the House on January 3 and it has moved quickly toward passage in the House. On March 13, the House Committee on Resource's Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation and Public Lands subcommittee conducted a hearing on Pascrell's legislation. That subcommittee passed the bill by a voice vote on March 22. The full House Committee on Resources passed the measure on March 28, giving rise to today's action. And last week, Pascrell testified before the Subcommittee on the Interior of the House Appropriations Committee to make a case for a specific monetary earmark for the study, which would cost approximately $250,000.
U.S. Senators Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.) Jon Corzine (D-N.J.) introduced parallel legislation, S. 366, in the Senate on February 15. The bill now moves onto the Senate for consideration.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that we would move this bill so far and so fast and I now pass the mantle to my fellow New Jerseyans Senator Torricelli and Senator Corzine," Pascrell concluded, "I know they will fight like hell to turn our dreams into reality."