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106th Congress                                            Rept. 106-352
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 1

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



 
 COMMENDING THE WORLD WAR II VETERANS WHO FOUGHT IN THE BATTLE OF THE 
                                 BULGE

                                _______


               September 30, 1999.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                      [To accompany H.J. Res. 65]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred the 
joint resolution (H.J. Res. 65) commending the World War II 
veterans who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and for other 
purposes, 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 resolving clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

That Congress--
          (1) commends the veterans of service in the United States 
        Army who fought during World War II in the German Ardennes 
        offensive known as the Battle of the Bulge;
          (2) honors those who gave their lives during that battle;
          (3) authorizes the President to issue a proclamation calling 
        upon the people of the United States to honor the veterans of 
        the Battle of the Bulge with appropriate programs, ceremonies, 
        and activities; and
          (4) calls upon the President to reaffirm the bonds of 
        friendship between the United States and both Belgium and 
        Luxembourg.

  Amend the preamble to read as follows:

Whereas the battle in the European theater of operations during World 
        War II known as the Battle of the Bulge was fought from 
        December 16, 1944, to January 25, 1945;
Whereas the Battle of the Bulge was a major German offensive in the 
        Ardennes forest region of Belgium and Luxembourg which took 
        Allied forces by surprise and was intended to split the Allied 
        forces in Europe by breaking through the Allied lines, 
        crippling the Allied fuel supply lines, and exacerbating 
        tensions within the alliance;
Whereas 600,000 American troops participated in the Battle of the 
        Bulge, overcoming numerous disadvantages in the early days of 
        the battle that included fewer numbers, treacherous terrain, 
        and bitter weather conditions;
Whereas the Battle of the Bulge resulted in 81,000 American casualties, 
        of whom approximately 19,000 were killed, with the remainder 
        wounded, captured, or listed as missing in action;
Whereas the worst atrocity involving Americans in the European theater 
        during World War II, known as the Malmedy Massacre, occurred on 
        December 17, 1944, when 86 unarmed American prisoners of war 
        were gunned down by elements of the German 1st SS Panzer 
        Division;
Whereas American forces overcame great odds throughout the battle, 
        including most famously the action of the 101st Airborne 
        Division in holding back German forces at the key Belgian 
        crossroads town of Bastogne, thereby preventing German forces 
        from achieving their main objective of reaching Antwerp as well 
        as the Meuse River line;
Whereas the success of American forces in defeating the German attack 
        made possible the defeat of Nazi Germany four months later in 
        April 1945;
Whereas thousands of United States veterans of the Battle of the Bulge 
        have traveled to Belgium and Luxembourg in the years since the 
        battle to honor their fallen comrades who died during the 
        battle;
Whereas the peoples of Belgium and Luxembourg, symbolizing their 
        friendship and gratitude toward the American soldiers who 
        fought to secure their freedom, have graciously hosted 
        countless veterans groups over the years;
Whereas the city of Bastogne has an annual commemoration of the battle 
        and its annual Nuts Fair has been expanded to include 
        commemoration of the legendary one-word reply of ``Nuts'' by 
        Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe of the 101st Airborne 
        Division when called upon by the opposing German commander at 
        Bastogne to surrender his forces to much stronger German 
        forces;
Whereas the Belgian people erected the Mardasson Monument to honor the 
        Americans who fought in the Battle of the Bulge as well as to 
        commemorate their sacrifices and service during World War II;
Whereas the 55th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge in 1999 will be 
        marked by many commemorative events by Americans, Belgians, and 
        Luxembourgers; and
Whereas the friendship between the United States and both Belgium and 
        Luxembourg is strong today in part because of the Battle of the 
        Bulge: Now, therefore, be it

                              Introduction

    On August 5, 1999, the Honorable Chris Smith of New Jersey, 
along with the Honorable Bob Stump, Chairman of the Committee 
on Veterans' Affairs and Honorable Lane Evans, Ranking 
Democratic Member of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, 
introduced H.J. Res. 65, to commend the World War II veterans 
who fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
    The Full Committee met on September 22, 1999 and ordered 
H.J. Res. 65 reported, as amended, favorably to the House by 
unanimous voice vote.

                       Background and Discussion

    The battle in the European theater of operations during 
World War II known as the Battle of the Bulge was fought from 
December 16, 1944, to January 25, 1945. The Battle of the Bulge 
was a major German offensive in the Ardennes forest region of 
Belgium and Luxembourg which took Allied forces by surprise. 
This failed offensive was intended to split the Allied forces 
in Europe by breaking through the Allied lines, crippling the 
Allied fuel supply lines, and exacerbating tension within the 
alliance. Over 600,000 American troops participated in the 
Battle of the Bulge, overcoming numerous disadvantages in the 
early days of the battle that included fewer troops, 
treacherous terrain, and bitter weather conditions. American 
forces sustained 81,000 casualties during the engagement. One 
of the worst atrocities involving Americans in the European 
theater during World War II is known as the Malmedy Massacre. 
On December 17, 1944, elements of the German 1st SS Panzer 
Division gunned down 86 unarmed American prisoners of war. One 
of the most memorable triumphs during the battle was the 
actions of the 101st Airborne Division in holding back German 
forces at the key Belgian crossroads town of Bastogne, thereby 
preventing them from achieving their main objective of reaching 
Antwerp as well as the Meuse River line. The success of 
American forces in defeating the German attack made possible 
the defeat of Nazi Germany four months later in April 1945. 
Thousands of United States veterans of the Battle of the Bulge 
have traveled to Belgium in the years since the battle to honor 
fallen comrades who died during the battle. The people of 
Belgium and Luxembourg, symbolizing the friendship and 
gratitude toward the American soldiers who fought to secure 
their freedom, have graciously hosted countless veterans groups 
over the years.
    The city of Bastogne has an annual commemoration of the 
battle, and its annual Nuts Fair has been expanded to include 
commemorations of the legendary one-word reply of ``Nuts'' by 
Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe of the 101st Airborne 
Division when called upon by the opposing German commander at 
Bastogne to surrender his forces to much stronger German 
forces. The Belgian people erected the Mardasson Monument to 
honor the Americans who fought in the Battle of the Bulge as 
well as to commemorate their sacrifices and service during 
World War II. The 55th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge 
in 1999 will be marked by many commemorative events by American 
and Belgians and Luxembourgers, and the friendship between the 
United States and Belgium and Luxembourg is strong today in 
part because of the Battle of the Bulge. Accordingly, the 
Committee believes it is appropriate to commend the World War 
II veterans who fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

                           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.J. Res. 65, a 
joint resolution commending the World War II veterans who 
fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and for other purposes.
    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.J. Res. 65, Joint resolution commending the World War II veterans who 
 fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and for other purposes, As ordered 
 reported by the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs on September 22, 
                                  1999

    H.J. Res. 65 would commend World War II veterans who fought 
in the Battle of the Bulge for their service to the United 
States. The joint resolution would attest to the friendly 
relationship between Belgium and the United States and would 
authorize the President to issue a proclamation urging 
Americans to honor veterans of the Battle of the Bulge. CBO 
estimates that this joint resolution would have no budgetary 
impact.
    Because H.J. Res. 65 would not affect direct spending or 
receipts, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply. This joint 
resolution contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    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 resolution would have no 
inflationary impact.

                Applicability to the Legislative Branch

    The reported resolution would not be applicable to the 
legislative branch under the Congressional Accountability Act, 
Public Law 104-1.

                     Statement of Federal Mandates

    The reported resolution 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 resolution is authorized by 
Congress' power to ``provide for the common Defence and general 
Welfare of the United States''.