Text: H.R.3467 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/25/2019)

[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 3467 Introduced in House (IH)]


  1st Session
                                H. R. 3467

 To rescind each Medal of Honor awarded for acts at Wounded Knee Creek 
             on December 29, 1890, and for other purposes.



                             June 25, 2019

Mr. Heck (for himself, Mr. Cook, Ms. Haaland, Ms. Davids of Kansas, Mr. 
    Kildee, and Mr. Lujan) introduced the following bill; which was 
              referred to the Committee on Armed Services


                                 A BILL

 To rescind each Medal of Honor awarded for acts at Wounded Knee Creek 
             on December 29, 1890, and for other purposes.

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


    This Act may be cited as the ``Remove the Stain Act''.


    Congress finds as follows:
            (1) The Medal of Honor is the highest military award of the 
        United States.
            (2) Congress found that to earn the Medal of Honor ``the 
        deed of the person . . . must be so outstanding that it clearly 
        distinguishes his gallantry beyond the call of duty from lesser 
        forms of bravery''.
            (3) The actions of Medal of Honor recipients inspire 
        bravery in those currently serving in the Armed Forces and 
        those who will come to serve in the future.
            (4) Those listed on the Medal of Honor Roll have come to 
        exemplify the best traits of members of the Armed Forces, a 
        long and proud lineage of those who went beyond the call of 
        service to the United States of America.
            (5) To date the Medal of Honor has been awarded only 3,522 
        times, including only 145 times for the Korean War, 126 times 
        in World War I, 23 times during the Global War on Terror, and 
        20 times for the massacre at Wounded Knee.
            (6) The Medal of Honor is awarded in the name of Congress.
            (7) As found in Senate Concurring Resolution 153 of the 
        101st Congress, on December 29, 1890 the 7th Cavalry of the 
        United States engaged a tribal community ``resulting in the 
        tragic death and injury of approximately 350-375 Indian men, 
        women, and children'' led by Lakota Chief Spotted Elk of the 
        Miniconjou band at ``Cankpe' Opi Wakpa'' or ``Wounded Knee 
            (8) This engagement became known as the ``Wounded Knee 
        Massacre'', and took place between unarmed Native Americans and 
        soldiers, heavily armed with standard issue army rifles as well 
        as four ``Hotchkiss guns'' with five 37 mm barrels capable of 
        firing 43 rounds per minute.
            (9) Nearly two-thirds of the Native Americans killed during 
        the Massacre were unarmed women and children who were 
        participating in a ceremony to restore their traditional 
        homelands prior to the arrival of European settlers.
            (10) Poor tactical emplacement of the soldiers meant that 
        most of the casualties suffered by the United States troops 
        were inflicted by friendly fire.
            (11) On January 1st, 1891, Major General Nelson A. Miles, 
        Commander of the Division of Missouri, telegraphed Major 
        General John M. Schofield, Commander-in-Chief of the Army 
        notifying him that ``[I]t is stated that the disposition of 
        four hundred soldiers and four pieces of artillery was fatally 
        defective and large number of soldiers were killed and wounded 
        by the fire from their own ranks and a very large number of 
        women and children were killed in addition to the Indian men''.
            (12) The United States awarded 20 Medals of Honor to 
        soldiers of the U.S. 7th Cavalry following their participation 
        in the Wounded Knee Massacre.
            (13) In 2001, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, a member 
        Tribe of the Great Sioux Nation, upon information provided by 
        Lakota elders and by veterans, passed Tribal Council Resolution 
        No. 132-01, requesting that the Federal Government revoke the 
        Medals of Honor from the soldiers of the United States Army, 
        7th Cavalry issued following the massacre of unarmed men, 
        women, children, and elderly of the Great Sioux Nation on 
        December 29, 1890, on Tribal Lands near Wounded Knee Creek.
            (14) The National Congress of American Indians requested in 
        a 2007 Resolution that the Congress ``renounce the issuance of 
        said medals, and/or to proclaim that the medals are null and 
        void, given the atrocities committed upon unarmed men, women, 
        children and elderly of the Great Sioux Nation''.
            (15) General Miles contemporaneously stated that a 
        ``[w]holesale massacre occurred and I have never heard of a 
        more brutal, cold-blooded massacre than that at Wounded Knee''.
            (16) Allowing any Medal of Honor, the United States highest 
        and most prestigious military decoration, to recognize a member 
        of the Armed Forces for distinguished service for participating 
        in the massacre of hundreds of unarmed Native Americans is a 
        disservice to the integrity of the United States and its 
        citizens, and impinges on the integrity of the award and those 
        who have earned the Medal since.

              CREEK ON DECEMBER 29, 1890.

    (a) In General.--Each Medal of Honor awarded for acts at Wounded 
Knee Creek, Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, on 
December 29, 1890, is rescinded.
    (b) Medal of Honor Roll.--The Secretary concerned shall remove the 
name of each individual awarded a Medal of Honor for acts described in 
subsection (a) from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard Medal of 
Honor Roll maintained under section 1134a of title 10, United States 
    (c) Return of Medal Not Required.--No person may be required to 
return to the Federal Government a Medal of Honor rescinded under 
subsection (a).
    (d) No Denial of Benefits.--This Act shall not be construed to deny 
any individual any benefit from the Federal Government.

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