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106th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    106-351

======================================================================



 
                  NATIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR MEMORIAL ACT

                                _______


 September 30, 1999.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Stump, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1663]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 1663) to designate as a national memorial the 
memorial being built at the Riverside National Cemetery in 
Riverside, California to honor recipients of the Medal of 
Honor, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
with amendments and recommends that the bill as amended do 
pass.

  The amendments are as follows:
  Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``National Medal of Honor Memorial 
Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

  Congress makes the following findings:
          (1) The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration 
        which the Nation bestows.
          (2) The Medal of Honor is the only military decoration given 
        in the name of Congress, and therefore on behalf of the people 
        of the United States.
          (3) The Congressional Medal of Honor Society was established 
        by an Act of Congress in 1958, and continues to protect, 
        uphold, and preserve the dignity, honor, and name of the Medal 
        of Honor and of the individual recipients of the Medal of 
        Honor.
          (4) The Congressional Medal of Honor Society is composed 
        solely of recipients of the Medal of Honor.

SEC. 3. NATIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR SITES.

  (a) Recognition.--The following sites to honor recipients of the 
Medal of Honor are hereby recognized as National Medal of Honor sites:
          (1) Riverside, california.--The memorial under construction 
        at the Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California, to 
        be dedicated on November 5, 1999.
          (2) Indianapolis, indiana.--The memorial at the White River 
        State Park in Indianapolis, Indiana, dedicated on May 28, 1999.
          (3) Mount pleasant, south carolina.--The Congressional Medal 
        of Honor Museum at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, South 
        Carolina, currently situated on the ex-U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-6).
  (b) Interpretation.--This section shall not be construed to require 
or permit Federal funds (other than any provided for as of the date of 
the enactment of this Act) to be expended for any purpose related to 
the sites recognized in subsection (a).

  Amend the title so as to read:

      A bill to recognize National Medal of Honor sites in 
California, Indiana, and South Carolina.

                              Introduction

    Mr. Calvert and 69 cosponsors introduced H.R. 1663, a bill 
to designate as a national memorial the memorial being built at 
the Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California to 
honor recipients of the Medal of Honor, on May 4, 1999. On June 
16, 1999 the Subcommittee on Benefits met to receive testimony 
on H.R. 1663. On September 22, 1999, the full Committee met 
and, after adopting by unanimous voice vote an amendment 
proposed by Ms. Carson, the Committee ordered the bill reported 
favorably to the House.

                      Summary of the Reported Bill

    H.R. 1663, as amended, would recognize National Medal of 
Honor sites in Riverside, California; Indianapolis, Indiana; 
and Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. Nothing in this legislation 
would require or permit Federal funds (other than any provided 
for as of the date of enactment of this Act) to be expended for 
any purpose related to the sites recognized in the bill.

                       Background and Discussion

    The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration the 
Nation bestows. The Medal has its origins in the Civil War era. 
In December 1861, Congress passed legislation signed by Abraham 
Lincoln establishing the Medal of Honor. Since that time our 
Nation has awarded 3,429 Medals of Honor. Originally, only 
enlisted men were eligible, but Congress soon expanded 
eligibility to include officers as well.

    Congress chartered the Congressional Medal of Honor Society 
in 1958. The purposes of the Society are to:

          Lform a bond of friendship and comradeship 
        among all holders of the Medal of Honor;
          Lprotect, uphold, and preserve the dignity 
        and honor of the medal at all times and on all 
        occasions;
          Lprotect the name of the medal and individual 
        holders of the medal from exploitation;
          Lprovide appropriate aid to all persons to 
        whom the medal has been awarded, their widows, and 
        their children;
          Lserve our country in peace as in war;
          Linspire and stimulate our youth to become 
        worthy citizens of our country; and
          Lfoster and perpetuate Americanism.

    The Society's theme under Mr. Paul W. Bucha, its president 
since 1995, is that ordinary persons can do extraordinary 
things. The Society desires to recognize the unlimited 
potential of the ordinary individual in all aspects of American 
life. One hundred fifty five recipients of the Medal of Honor 
are alive today.
    H.R. 1663, as amended, recognizes Medal of Honor recipients 
by designating three national Medal of Honor sites.
1. Riverside, California.--The memorial under construction at the 
        Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California, to be 
        dedicated on November 5, 1999.
    A Medal of Honor Memorial is being built with $1.3 million 
in private donations on Department of Veterans Affairs land at 
the Riverside, California VA National Cemetery. The purpose of 
the Memorial is to:

          Lperpetuate the names of Medal of Honor 
        recipients in a national shrine;
          Lhelp exalt and glorify one of the busiest--
        and prospectively one of the largest--national 
        cemeteries in VA's 117-cemetery system, which in turn 
        will;
          Lfurther honor all of those who have paid for 
        the freedoms and liberties we enjoy.

    Aspects of the design of the Memorial:

          LThe Memorial will be a partially enclosed 
        contemplative setting situated within Riverside 
        National Cemetery. It will not interfere with the 
        burial capabilities of the cemetery, occurring at a 
        rate of approximately 29 burials per day;
          LThe interior of the Memorial will include a 
        waterfall and a polished granite wall on which will be 
        inscribed the names of all 3,417 recipients of the 
        Medal of Honor. Space will be provided for additional 
        names;
          LFor each Medal of Honor recipient, the 
        Society will plant an Italian Cypress. An initial 
        grouping of 300 trees will be planted in the immediate 
        vicinity of the memorial. The remaining number will be 
        planted throughout the cemetery; and
          LA computer kiosk will provide detailed 
        information on the history of the Medal of Honor, the 
        congressional legislation associated with the 
        decoration, and the citation for each recipient 
        (including the 20 who were decorated twice).
2. Indianapolis, Indiana.--The memorial at the White River State Park 
        in Indianapolis, Indiana, unveiled and dedicated on May 28, 
        1999.
    Features of the design of the memorial include the 
following:

          LThe memorial is composed of 27 curved walls 
        of glass, each between 7 and 10-feet high and 
        representing specific conflicts in which the medal was 
        awarded; and
          LThe glass walls feature the names of the 
        recipients, along with their branch of service and the 
        location of their heroic action. Each day at dusk, the 
        sound system of the memorial plays recorded stories of 
        medal winners or of the conflicts in which they fought. 
        Most of the stories have been recorded by living Medal 
        of Honor recipients.

    As a gift to the Nation to honor the acts of Medal of Honor 
recipients, Indiana Power and Light Company (IPALCO) donated 
$2.5 million for the memorial, including design, construction, 
and future maintenance. Ninety-six of the 155 living members of 
the Society participated in the dedication. Located on the 
north bank of the Central Canal in White River State Park in 
downtown Indianapolis, the site is adjacent to Military Park. 
During the Civil War, the park was a military camp used for 
recruitment and training of troops. The city held its first 
recorded Fourth of July celebration there in 1822.

    ``As a symbol of heroism, the Medal of Honor has no equal 
in American life,'' said IPALCO Chairman John Hodowal at the 
dedication. ``The individuals who received the medal for acts 
of valor have been singled out not to glorify war, but to 
recognize that, for all its destructiveness, war often is the 
backdrop for extraordinary acts of bravery.''
3. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.--The Congressional Medal of Honor 
        Museum at Patriot's Point in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, 
        currently situated on the ex-U.S.S. Yorktown.
    The Museum is located on the hangar deck of the ex-U.S.S. 
Yorktown (CV-6) at Patriot's Point in Charleston Harbor. The 
Yorktown is the centerpiece of Patriots Point Naval and 
Maritime Museum:
          LThe Medal of Honor Museum details the eight 
        eras of Medal of Honor history: Civil War; Indian 
        Campaigns; Wars of American Expansion; Peacetime; World 
        War I; World War II; Korea; and Vietnam;
          LPanels list all of the Medal of Honor 
        recipients to date and include such well-known names as 
        Audie Murphy, Sergeant Alvin York, and Jimmy Doolittle; 
        and
          LExhibits include memorabilia and artifacts 
        relating to Medal of Honor recipients and archives of 
        important documents.

    The Committee notes that H.R. 1663, as amended, shall not 
be construed to require or permit Federal funds (other than any 
provided for as of the date of enactment of this Act) to be 
expended for any purpose related to the sites recognized by the 
bill.

                      Section-By-Section Analysis

    Section 1 states that the title of the Act is the 
``National Medal of Honor Memorial Act''.
    Section 2 makes findings with respect to the Medal of Honor 
and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Such findings 
include that the Medal of Honor is the only military decoration 
given in the name of Congress and, therefore, on behalf of the 
people of the United States. The Society continues to protect, 
uphold, and preserve the dignity, honor, and name of the Medal 
of Honor and of the individual recipients of the Medal of 
Honor. The Society is composed solely of recipients of the 
Medal of Honor.
    Section 3 recognizes three sites to honor recipients of the 
Medal of Honor to be recognized as National Medal of Honor 
sites: the memorial under construction at the Riverside 
National Cemetery in Riverside, California, to be dedicated on 
November 5, 1999; the memorial at the White River State Park in 
Indianapolis, Indiana, dedicated on May 28, 1999; the 
Congressional Medal of Honor Museum at Patriots Point in Mount 
Pleasant, South Carolina, currently situated on the ex-U.S.S. 
Yorktown.

                           Oversight Findings

    No oversight findings have been submitted to the Committee 
by the Committee on Government Reform.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    The following letter was received from the Congressional 
Budget Office concerning the cost of the reported bill:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 24, 1999.
Hon. Bob Stump,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.

    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) 
has prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1663, the 
National Medal of Honor Memorial Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Evan W. 
Christman who can be reached at 226-2840.
            Sincerely,
                                            Dan L. Crippen,
                                                           Director
    Enclosure.

               congressional budget office cost estimate

H.R. 1663, National Medal of Honor Memorial Act, As ordered reported by 
     the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs on September 22, 1999

    H.R. 1663 would recognize three sites in California, 
Indiana, and South Carolina as National Medal of Honor sites. 
CBO estimates that this bill would have no budgetary impact 
because it would only confer recognition on these sites and 
would not authorize any additional federal action or spending.
    Because H.R. 1663 would not affect direct spending or 
receipts, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply. This bill 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates. Any 
costs to state or local governments as a result of enactment of 
this bill would be incurred voluntarily.
    This estimate was prepared by Evan W. Christman, who can be 
reached at 226-2840. This estimate was approved by Robert A. 
Sunshine, Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                     Inflationary Impact Statement

    The enactment of the reported bill would have no 
inflationary impact.

                Applicability to the Legislative Branch

    The reported bill would not be applicable to the 
legislative branch under the Congressional Accountability Act, 
Public Law 104-1, because the bill simply designates National 
Medal of Honor sites.

                     Statement of Federal Mandates

    The reported bill would not establish a federal mandate 
under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, Public Law 104-4.

                 Statement of Constitutional Authority

    Pursuant to Article I, section 8 of the United States 
Constitution, the reported bill is authorized by Congress' 
power to ``provide for the common Defence and general Welfare 
of the United States''.