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104th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
2d Session 104-796
TO CONFER HONORARY CITIZENSHIP OF THE UNITED STATES ON AGNES GONXHA
BOJAXHIU, ALSO KNOWN AS MOTHER TERESA
September 17, 1996.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be
Mr. Hyde, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.J. Res. 191]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the
joint resolution (H.J. Res. 191) to confer honorary citizenship
of the United States on Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, also known as
Mother Teresa, having considered the same, report favorably
thereon without amendment and recommend that the joint
resolution do pass.
PURPOSE AND SUMMARY
The purpose of House Joint Resolution 191 is to confer
honorary United States citizenship upon Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu,
also known as Mother Teresa, in recognition of her many
humanitarian efforts around the world.
The Committee believes that American citizenship is the
highest honor that our country can confer upon a person who is
a citizen of another land. The granting of an honorary
citizenship is the admission and welcoming of that person into
our national family. Honorary United States citizenship has
only been bestowed on individuals three times in our history.
As stated by this Committee in the past, any decision to grant
honorary citizenship is unique and cannot be treated as a
It should also be noted that ``honorary citizenship'' is a
symbolic gesture. It does not grant any additional legal rights
in the United States or in international law. It also does not
impose additional duties or responsibilities, in the United
States or internationally, on the honoree.
In line with the above statements, the resolution notes
that the United States has conferred honorary citizenship on
only three occasions in the last two hundred years, and that
honorary citizenship is and should always be an extraordinary
honor not lightly conferred and rarely given.
This resolution contains statements defining the
extraordinary act of conferring honorary citizenship and
acknowledging the many efforts made by Mother Teresa which are
the basis for granting her honorary United States citizenship.
The resolution acknowledges Mother Teresa's tireless work
with orphaned and abandoned children, the poor, the sick, and
the dying; that she founded the Missionaries of Charity in
1950; and has taken in those who have been rejected as
``unacceptable'' and cared for them when no one else would,
regardless of their race, color, creed, or condition. September
10, 1946 was Mother Teresa's ``day of decision''. On that date
she requested permission from her superior to leave the
cloister to go work in the Calcutta slums. On that day, the
world was given the gift of Mother Teresa's personal life
mission to protect the unprotected. After four years in
Calcutta, she received approval to institute the Missionaries
of Charity in Calcutta. The Missionaries of Charity currently
operates more than 50 schools, orphanages and houses for the
poor in many countries. Her congregration includes several
thousand sisters and brothers working with the poor, orphaned,
disabled, sick, and dying to provide them with sustenance,
medical assistance and education.
This resolution further notes that Mother Teresa has
received numerous honors, including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize
and the 1985 Presidential Medal of Freedom. Among the other
honors awarded Mother Teresa are: the 1971 Pope John XXIII
Peace prize; the 1973 Templeton Foundation prize; the 1980
Bharat Ratna (Star of India); the 1989 Woman of the Year award;
the 1992 Notre Dame University award; the 1994 U Thant Peace
award. In 1982, Mother Teresa was named an honorary citizen of
Assisi. In 1992, she was also named an honorary fellow by the
Royal College of Surgeons Ireland.
Mother Teresa has worked in areas all over the world,
including the United States, to provide comfort to the world's
neediest. Mother Teresa's faith and mission have infused a
world beset by warfare, disease, and poverty. She has affirmed
more so than any other single person of our age, and as few
persons have throughout the course of human history, the
intrinsic value and dignity of every human life. Whether with
the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, the victims of sectarian
violence in Beirut, or those suffering from AIDS in New York,
Washington, D.C., and other American cities, she has defined
the reach of human compassion.
Mother Teresa through her Missionaries of Charity has
established many soup kitchens, emergency shelters for women,
shelters for unwed mothers, shelters for men, after-school and
summer camp programs for children, homes for the dying, prison
ministry, nursing homes, and shut-in ministry within the United
Mother Teresa has been called a ``saint'' by people of all
religious denominations. Through her many selfless acts, she
has inspired millions to realize that in their own daily lives,
they too are capable of doing ``something beautiful for God''.
For all of the aforementioned reasons, the Committee
believes it is appropriate to bestow upon Mother Teresa our
country's highest honor.
On September 11, 1996, the Committee met in open session
and order reported favorably the joint resolution H.J. Res.
191, without amendment by voice vote, a quorum being present.
COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS
In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(A) of rule XI of the
Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee reports
that the findings and recommendations of the Committee, based
on oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the
descriptive portions of this report.
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT FINDINGS
No findings or recommendations of the Committee on
Government Reform and Oversight were received as referred to in
clause 2(l)(3)(D) of rule XI of the Rules of the House of
NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY AND TAX EXPENDITURES
Clause 2(l)(3)(B) of House rule XI is inapplicable because
this legislation does not provide new budgetary authority or
increased tax expenditures.
CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE
In compliance with clause 2(l)(C)(3) of rule XI of the
Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets
forth, with respect to the joint resolution, H.J. Res. 191, the
following estimate and comparison prepared by the Director of
the Congressional Budget Office under section 403 of the
Congressional Budget Act of 1974:
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, September 12, 1996.
Hon. Henry J. Hyde,
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
reviewed H.J. Res. 191, a joint resolution to confer honorary
citizenship of the United States on Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhui, also
known as Mother Teresa. The joint resolution was ordered
reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary on September
11, 1996. CBO estimates that enacting H.J. Res. 191 would
result in no significant cost to the federal government. We
estimate that enacting the joint resolution would not affect
direct spending or receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-go
procedures would not apply.
H.J. Res. 191 would impose no private-sector or
intergovernmental mandates as defined by the Unfunded Mandates
Reform Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-4), and CBO estimates that
its enactment would have no impact on the budgets of state,
local, or tribal governments.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark
James L. Blum
(For June E. O'Neill, Director).
INFLATIONARY IMPACT STATEMENT
Pursuant to clause 2(l)(4) of rule XI of the Rules of the
House of Representatives, the Committee estimates that H.J.
Res. 191 will have no significant inflationary impact on prices
and costs in the national economy.