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113th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    113-140

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



 
                      WAR MEMORIAL PROTECTION ACT

                                _______
                                

  July 8, 2013.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1497]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1497) to amend title 36, United States Code, to 
ensure that memorials commemorating the service of the United 
States Armed Forces may contain religious symbols, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon with amendments and recommend that the bill as amended 
do pass.
    The amendments are as follows:
  Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``War Memorial Protection Act''.

SEC. 2. INCLUSION OF EMBLEMS OF BELIEF AS PART OF MILITARY MEMORIALS.

  (a) Authority.--Chapter 21 of title 36, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following:

``Sec. 2115. Inclusion of emblems of belief as part of military 
                    memorials

  ``(a) Authorized Inclusion.--For the purpose of honoring the 
sacrifices of members of the United States Armed Forces, including 
those members who make the ultimate sacrifice in defense of the United 
States, emblems of belief may be included as part of--
          ``(1) a military memorial that is established or acquired by 
        the United States Government; or
          ``(2) a military memorial that is not established by the 
        United States Government, but for which the American Battle 
        Monuments Commission cooperated in the establishment of the 
        memorial.
  ``(b) Scope of Inclusion.--When including emblems of belief as part 
of a military memorial, any approved emblem of belief may be included 
on such a memorial. The list of approved emblems of belief shall 
include, at a minimum, all those emblems of belief authorized by the 
National Cemetery Administration.
  ``(c) Definitions.--In this section:
          ``(1) The terms `emblem of belief' and `emblems of belief' 
        refer to the emblems of belief contained on the list maintained 
        by the National Cemetery Administration for placement on 
        Government-provided headstones and markers.
          ``(2) The term `military memorial' means a memorial or 
        monument commemorating the service of the United States Armed 
        Forces. The term includes works of architecture and art 
        described in section 2105(b) of this title.''.
  (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following:

``2115. Inclusion of emblems of belief as part of military 
memorials.''.

    Amend the title to read:
    A bill to amend title 36, United States Code, to ensure 
that memorials commemorating the service of the United States 
Armed Forces may contain emblems of belief, and for other 
purposes.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 1497, as ordered reported, is to amend 
title 36, United States Code, to ensure that memorials 
commemorating the service of the United States Armed Forces may 
contain emblems of belief.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    H.R. 1497 would allow the inclusion of religious symbols as 
part of military monuments. This legislation was originally 
introduced after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that 
the Mount Soledad Cross in La Jolla, California, violated the 
Constitution because it displayed a religious preference and 
was not solely a war memorial.
    In 1913, a 43-foot cross was placed on Mount Soledad in La 
Jolla, California. Starting in 1989, the City of San Diego was 
sued over the cross. The plaintiffs claimed a violation of the 
First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the California 
Constitution which bars the State or local government from 
using funds to assist religious sects or churches, or from 
showing preference to one religion over another.
    Several remedies were attempted over the years to avoid 
having the cross removed by order of the courts. These included 
transferring the property to a non-profit, for which San Diego 
was sued for showing a preference; and the federal government 
taking the land by eminent domain (the Department of Defense 
took possession of the property in 2006). Subsequently, the 
federal government was sued and the Ninth Circuit Court of 
Appeals ruled the cross unconstitutional in January 2011.
    While the legislation does not specifically address the 
Mount Soledad situation, its purpose is to statutorily protect 
religious symbols in all war memorials.
    Section 2 of the legislation states that inclusion of 
emblems of belief is authorized as part of a military memorial. 
These symbols may be included as part of a military memorial 
that is established or acquired by the United States 
Government; or a military memorial that is not established by 
the United States Government, but for which the American Battle 
Monuments Commission cooperated in the establishment of the 
memorial.
    During Full Committee consideration of H.R. 1497, 
Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT) offered an amendment to conform 
the legislation to terminology used by the Department of 
Defense with respect to religious symbols. The amendment was 
adopted by unanimous consent.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 1497 was introduced on April 11, 2013, by Congressman 
Duncan Hunter (R-CA). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee 
on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation. On June 6, 2013, 
the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation 
held a hearing on the bill. On June 12, 2013, the Full Natural 
Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The Subcommittee 
on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation was discharged by 
unanimous consent. Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT) offered an 
amendment designated #1 to the bill; the amendment was adopted 
by unanimous consent. The bill, as amended, was then adopted 
and ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives 
by unanimous consent.

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Under clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the following cost estimate for this bill from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

H.R. 1497--War Memorial Protection Act

    H.R. 1497 would allow emblems of belief to be included as 
part of any military monument established or acquired by the 
U.S. government or military memorials established in 
cooperation with the American Battle Monuments Commission 
(ABMC).
    Under current law, emblems of belief are not barred from 
any military memorials and have been allowed in a number of 
instances; thus, H.R. 1497 would codify current practice. 
According to the Department of Defense, the National Park 
Service, and the ABMC, implementing H.R. 1497 would not require 
any new memorials to be built or current memorials to be 
changed. On that basis, CBO estimates that there would be no 
federal costs associated with implementing H.R. 1497.
    Enacting H.R. 1497 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 1497 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Dwayne M. 
Wright. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of Congressional Budget Act. As required 
by clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, this bill does not contain any new budget 
authority, spending authority, credit authority, or an increase 
or decrease in revenues or tax expenditures. CBO estimates that 
there would be no federal costs associated with implementing 
H.R. 1497.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill, as ordered reported, is to amend title 
36, United States Code, to ensure that memorials commemorating 
the service of the United States Armed Forces may contain 
emblems of belief.

                           Earmark Statement

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                       Compliance With H. Res. 5

    Directed Rule Making. The Chairman does not believe that 
this bill directs any executive branch official to conduct any 
specific rule-making proceedings.
    Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 
98-169) as relating to other programs.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 36, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBTITLE I--PATRIOTIC AND NATIONAL OBSERVANCES AND CEREMONIES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


     PART B--UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED WITH 
OBSERVANCES AND CEREMONIES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


            CHAPTER 21--AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION

Sec.
2101. Membership.
     * * * * * * *
2115. Inclusion of emblems of belief as part of military memorials.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 2115. INCLUSION OF EMBLEMS OF BELIEF AS PART OF MILITARY MEMORIALS

  (a) Authorized Inclusion.--For the purpose of honoring the 
sacrifices of members of the United States Armed Forces, 
including those members who make the ultimate sacrifice in 
defense of the United States, emblems of belief may be included 
as part of--
          (1) a military memorial that is established or 
        acquired by the United States Government; or
          (2) a military memorial that is not established by 
        the United States Government, but for which the 
        American Battle Monuments Commission cooperated in the 
        establishment of the memorial.
  (b) Scope of Inclusion.--When including emblems of belief as 
part of a military memorial, any approved emblem of belief may 
be included on such a memorial. The list of approved emblems of 
belief shall include, at a minimum, all those emblems of belief 
authorized by the National Cemetery Administration.
  (c) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) The terms ``emblem of belief'' and ``emblems of 
        belief'' refer to the emblems of belief contained on 
        the list maintained by the National Cemetery 
        Administration for placement on Government-provided 
        headstones and markers.
          (2) The term ``military memorial'' means a memorial 
        or monument commemorating the service of the United 
        States Armed Forces. The term includes works of 
        architecture and art described in section 2105(b) of 
        this title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *