Text: H.R.938 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (03/08/2011)


112th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 938

To establish a commission to ensure a suitable observance of the centennial of World War I and to designate memorials to the service of men and women of the United States in World War I.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 8, 2011

Mr. Poe of Texas (for himself, Mr. Cleaver, and Mr. Huizenga of Michigan) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and in addition to the Committee on Natural Resources, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To establish a commission to ensure a suitable observance of the centennial of World War I and to designate memorials to the service of men and women of the United States in World War I.

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

SECTION 1. Short title; table of contents.

(a) Short title.—This Act may be cited as the “Frank Buckles World War I Memorial Act”.

(b) Table of contents.—The table of contents for this Act is as follows:


Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Findings.

Sec. 3. Purpose.

Sec. 4. Definitions.

Sec. 5. Establishment of World War I Centennial Commission.

Sec. 6. Duties of the Commission.

Sec. 7. Powers of the Commission.

Sec. 8. Commission personnel matters.

Sec. 9. Termination of the Commission.

Sec. 10. Designation of National World War I Memorials.

Sec. 11. Authorization of appropriations.

Sec. 12. Effective date.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) From 2014 through 2018, the United States and nations around the world will mark the centennial of World War I, including the entry of the United States into the war in April 1917.

(2) America’s support of Great Britain, France, Belgium, and its other allies in World War I marked the first time in United States history that American soldiers went abroad in defense of liberty against foreign aggression, and it marked the true beginning of the “American century”.

(3) Although World War I was at the time called “the war to end all wars”, in fact the United States would commit its troops to the defense of foreign lands 3 more times in the 20th century.

(4) More than 4,000,000 men and women from the United States served in uniform during World War I, among them 2 future presidents, Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Two million individuals from the United States served overseas during World War I, including 200,000 naval personnel who served on the seas. The United States suffered 375,000 casualties during World War I, including 116,516 deaths.

(5) The events of 1914 through 1918 shaped the world, the United States, and the lives of millions of people.

(6) The centennial of World War I offers an opportunity for people in the United States to learn about and commemorate the sacrifices of their predecessors.

(7) Commemorative programs, activities, and sites allow people in the United States to learn about the history of World War I, the United States involvement in that war, and the war’s effects on the remainder of the 20th century, and to commemorate and honor the participation of the United States and its citizens in the war effort.

(8) While the other great conflicts of the 20th century, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, have national memorials on the Mall in Washington, DC, there currently exists no nationally recognized memorial honoring the service of the United States and its citizens in World War I.

(9) In 1921, the people of Kansas City, Missouri, dedicated a site in that city for a memorial to the service of Americans in World War I, a ceremony attended by General John J. Pershing and military leaders of Great Britain, France, Belgium, and Italy. In 1924, the cornerstone of the 217-foot Liberty Memorial Tower was laid. On Armistice Day 1926, President Calvin Coolidge delivered the key note address at the Memorial’s dedication ceremony. The Memorial and surrounding grounds were completed in 1938, with an inscription that reads “In Honor of Those Who Served in the World War in Defense of Liberty and Our Country.”.

(10) The 106th Congress recognized the Liberty Memorial as a national symbol of World War I.

(11) The 108th Congress designated the museum at the base of the Liberty Memorial as “America’s National World War I Museum”. The museum preserves the story of World War I, and educates and enlightens people about this significant event.

(12) The District of Columbia War Memorial was authorized in 1924 by resolution of the 68th Congress, and was dedicated on Armistice Day 1931 by President Herbert Hoover. The DC War Memorial, erected in memory of the 499 residents of the District of Columbia who died in World War I, is often overlooked by residents and visitors to Washington.

(13) The DC War Memorial is located on the national Mall in Washington, adjacent to the World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam memorials. Of these memorials, which now compose a quartet of memorials to the 4 great wars of the American Century, only the DC War Memorial is not a national memorial.

SEC. 3. Purpose.

The purpose of this Act is to—

(1) establish a commission, in Kansas City, Missouri, to ensure a suitable national observance of the centennial of World War I; and

(2) rededicate the Liberty Memorial of Kansas City and the District of Columbia War Memorial, respectively, as the “National World War I Museum and Memorial” and the “District of Columbia and National World War I Memorial”.

SEC. 4. Definitions.

In this Act—

(1) AMERICA’S NATIONAL WORLD WAR I MUSEUM.—The term “America’s National World War I Museum” means the Liberty Memorial Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, as recognized by Congress in section 1031(b) of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (Public Law 108–375; 118 Stat. 2045).

(2) COMMISSION.—The term “Commission” means the World War I Centennial Commission established by section 5(a).

(3) VETERANS SERVICE ORGANIZATION.—The term “veterans service organization” means any organization recognized by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for the representation of veterans under section 5902 of title 38, United States Code.

SEC. 5. Establishment of World War I Centennial Commission.

(a) Establishment.—There is established a commission to be known as the “World War I Centennial Commission”.

(b) Membership.—

(1) COMPOSITION.—The Commission shall be composed of 24 members as follows:

(A) Four members who shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(B) Three members who shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives.

(C) Four members who shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate.

(D) Three members who shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate.

(E) Seven members who shall be appointed by the President from among persons who are broadly representative of the people of the United States (including members of the Armed Forces, veterans, and representatives of veterans service organizations).

(F) One member who shall be appointed by the executive director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

(G) One member who shall be appointed by the executive director of the American Legion.

(H) One member who shall be appointed by the president of the Liberty Memorial Association.

(2) PERIOD OF APPOINTMENT.—Each member shall be appointed for the life of the Commission.

(3) VACANCIES.—A vacancy in the Commission shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made.

(4) INITIAL MEETING.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 30 days after the date on which all members of the Commission have been appointed, the Commission shall hold its first meeting.

(B) LOCATION.—The location for the meeting held under subparagraph (A) shall be the America’s National World War I Museum.

(5) MEETINGS.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The Commission shall meet at the call of the Chair.

(B) FREQUENCY.—The Chair shall call a meeting of the members of the Commission not less frequently than once each year.

(C) LOCATION.—Not less frequently than once each year, the Commission shall meet at the America’s National World War I Museum.

(6) QUORUM.—Thirteen members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number may hold hearings.

(7) CHAIR AND VICE CHAIR.—The Commission shall select a Chair and Vice Chair from among its members.

SEC. 6. Duties of the Commission.

(a) In general.—The duties of the Commission are as follows:

(1) To plan, develop, and execute programs, projects, and activities to commemorate the centennial of World War I.

(2) To encourage private organizations and State and local governments to organize and participate in activities commemorating the centennial of World War I.

(3) To facilitate and coordinate activities throughout the United States relating to the centennial of World War I.

(4) To serve as a clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of information about events and plans for the centennial of World War I.

(5) To develop recommendations for Congress and the President for commemorating the centennial of World War I.

(b) Reports.—

(1) PERIODIC REPORT.—Beginning not later than the last day of the 3-month period beginning on the effective date of this Act and the last day of each 3-month period thereafter, the Commission shall submit to Congress and the President a report on the activities and plans of the Commission.

(2) RECOMMENDATIONS.—Not later than 2 years after the effective date of this Act, the Commission shall submit to Congress and the President a report containing specific recommendations for commemorating the centennial of World War I and coordinating related activities.

SEC. 7. Powers of the Commission.

(a) Hearings.—The Commission may hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence as the Commission considers appropriate to carry out the purposes of this Act.

(b) Powers of member and agents.—If authorized by the Commission, any member or agent of the Commission may take any action which the Commission is authorized to take under this Act.

(c) Information from federal agencies.—The Commission shall secure directly from any Federal department or agency such information as the Commission considers necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act. Upon the request of the Chair of the Commission, the head of such department or agency shall furnish such information to the Commission.

(d) Administrative support services.—Upon the request of the Commission, the Administrator of the General Services Administration shall provide to the Commission, on a reimbursable basis, the administrative support services necessary for the Commission to carry out its responsibilities under this Act.

(e) Contract authority.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Commission is authorized—

(A) to procure supplies, services, and property; and

(B) to make or enter into contracts, leases, or other legal agreements.

(2) LIMITATION.—The Commission may not enter into any contract, lease, or other legal agreement that extends beyond the date of the termination of the Commission under section 9(a).

(f) Postal services.—The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the Federal Government.

(g) Gifts, bequests, and devises.—

(1) ACCEPTANCE BY COMMISSION.—The Commission may accept, use, and dispose of gifts, bequests, or devises of services or property, both real and personal, for the purpose of aiding or facilitating the work of the Commission.

(2) DEPOSIT AND AVAILABILITY.—Gifts, bequests, or devises of money and proceeds from sales of other property received as gifts, requests, or devises shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States and shall be available for disbursement upon order of the Commission.

SEC. 8. Commission personnel matters.

(a) Compensation of members.—Members of the Commission shall serve without compensation for such service.

(b) Travel expenses.—Each member of the Commission shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with the applicable provisions of title 5, United States Code.

(c) Staff.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Chair of the Commission shall, in consultation with the members of the Commission, appoint an executive director and such other additional personnel as may be necessary to enable the Commission to perform its duties.

(2) COMPENSATION.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Subject to subparagraph (B), the Chair of the Commission may fix the compensation of the executive director and any other personnel appointed under paragraph (1).

(B) LIMITATION.—The Chair of the Commission may not fix the compensation of the executive director or other personnel appointed under paragraph (1) at a rate that exceeds the rate of payable for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code.

(C) WORK LOCATION.—If the city government for Kansas City, Missouri, and the Liberty Memorial Association make space available in the building in which the America’s National World War I Museum is located, the executive director of the Commission and other personnel appointed under paragraph (1) shall work in such building to the extent practical.

(d) Detail of government employees.—Upon request of the Commission, the head of any Federal department or agency may detail, on a reimbursable basis, any employee of that department or agency to the Commission to assist it in carrying out its duties under this Act.

(e) Procurement of temporary and intermittent services.—The Chair of the Commission may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code.

SEC. 9. Termination of the Commission.

(a) In general.—The Commission shall terminate on the earlier of—

(1) the date that is 30 days after the date the completion of the activities under this Act honoring the centennial observation of World War I; or

(2) July 28, 2019.

(b) Application of federal advisory committee act.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall apply to the activities of the Commission under this Act.

(2) EXCEPTION.—Section 14(a)(2) of such Act shall not apply to the Commission.

SEC. 10. Designation of National World War I Memorials.

(a) Designation of the national world war i museum and memorial, Missouri.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Liberty Memorial of Kansas City at the America’s National World War I Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, is designated as the “National World War I Museum and Memorial”.

(2) CEREMONIES.—The Commission may plan, develop, and execute ceremonies to rededicate the Liberty Memorial of Kansas City as the National World War I Museum and Memorial.

(b) Designation of the district of Columbia and national world war i memorial.—

(1) DESIGNATION.—The District of Columbia War Memorial in Washington, DC, is designated as the “District of Columbia and National World War I Memorial”.

(2) CEREMONIES.—The Commission may plan, develop, and execute ceremonies to rededicate the District of Columbia War Memorial as the District of Columbia and National World War I Memorial.

(3) AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH COMMEMORATIVE WORK.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The World War I Memorial Foundation may establish a commemorative work at the site of the District of Columbia and National World War I Memorial consisting of an appropriate sculptural or other commemorative element reflecting the national character of the memorial.

(B) REQUIREMENTS.—Any commemorative work established under subparagraph (A) shall complement and preserve the memorial (including the landscape of the memorial), as in existence on the date of enactment of this Act.

(4) COMPLIANCE WITH STANDARDS FOR COMMEMORATIVE WORKS; LOCATION OF MEMORIAL.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Subject to subparagraph (B), the rededication of the District of Columbia and National World War I Memorial shall be in accordance with chapter 89 of title 40, United States Code.

(B) CONGRESSIONAL FINDING.—Congress finds that because this Act authorizes the rededication and related enhancement of a commemorative work that, as of the date of enactment of this Act, is in existence and is sited within the Reserve (as defined in section 8902(a)(3) of title 40, United States Code), the provisions regarding site approval and location of commemorative works under sections 8905 and 8908(c) of title 40, United States Code, do not apply to this Act.

(5) DEPOSIT OF EXCESS FUNDS.—The World War I Memorial Foundation shall transmit to the Secretary of the Treasury for deposit in the account provided for in section 8906(b)(3) of title 40, United States Code—

(A) any funds that remain after payment of all expenses incurred in the rededication of the memorial (including payment of the amount for maintenance and preservation required under section 8906(b) of that title); or

(B) any funds that remain for the commemorative work authorized under subsection (a) on expiration of the authority for the commemorative work under section 8903(e) of that title.

SEC. 11. Authorization of appropriations.

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act $1,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2012 through 2019.

SEC. 12. Effective date.

This Act takes effect on the date that is 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act.