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114th Congress    }                                       {     Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                       {    114-663

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




 
                     GOLD STAR FAMILIES VOICES ACT

                                _______
                                

  July 5, 2016.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mrs. Miller of Michigan, from the Committee on House Administration, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4511]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on House Administration, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 4511) to amend the Veterans' Oral History 
Project Act to allow the collection of video and audio 
recordings of biographical histories by immediate family 
members of members of the Armed Forces who died as a result of 
their service during a period of war, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend 
that the bill do pass.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 4511, titled the ``Gold Star Families Voices Act,'' 
amends the Veterans' Oral History Project Act to include the 
collection of video and audio recordings of biographical 
histories by immediate family members of members of the Armed 
Forces who became missing in action or who died as a result of 
their wartime service.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    In 2000, Congress created the Veterans History Project 
(VHP) at the Library of Congress to collect and catalog the 
stories of American war veterans. The purpose of the VHP (which 
was established by Public Law 106-380) is ``to preserve the 
memories of this Nation's war veterans so that Americans of all 
current and future generations may hear directly from veterans 
and better appreciate the realities of war and the sacrifices 
made by those who served in uniform during wartime.''
    To date, the VHP has collected the oral history records of 
over 100,000 veterans who have served in military engagements 
since World War I.
    However, the current project Veterans' History Project 
limits the scope of veterans' service, as it is not able to 
provide accounts and histories of service members who did not 
return from action.
    H.R. 4511 allows the immediate family members of veterans 
who were killed in action or are missing in action to provide 
these stories on behalf of their relatives who gave their lives 
for their country. Immediate family members who can participate 
include parents, spouses, siblings, and/or children. This bill 
is supported by the American Gold Star Mothers Inc., a group of 
mothers who have lost a son or daughter in service of the 
country. The organization was established in 1928 and chartered 
Congress in 1984, and the organization honors lost sons and 
daughters through service to veterans and patriotic events.

                               Conclusion

    H.R. 4511 recognizes and honors this country's service 
members who were either killed in action or are missing in 
action. Given their enormous sacrifice, their stories should be 
included in the Veterans' Oral History Project. The Gold Star 
Families Voices Act will ensure we record and remember the 
lives and sacrifices of all who have served.

                       Introduction and Referral

    On February 9, 2016, Rep. Christopher Smith (NJ-4) 
introduced H.R. 4511, which was referred to the Committee on 
House Administration.

                                Hearings

    There were no legislative hearings held on H.R. 4511.

                        Committee Consideration

    On May 17, 2016, the Committee on House Administration met 
to consider H.R. 4511. The Committee ordered the bill reported 
favorably to the House without amendment by voice vote with a 
quorum present.

                         Committee Record Votes

    In compliance with House rule XIII, clause 3(b), requiring 
the results of each record vote on an amendment or motion to 
report, together with the names of those voting for and 
against, to be printed in the Committee report, the Committee 
states that there were no record votes during the Committee's 
consideration of H.R. 4511.

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    In compliance with House rule XIII, clause 3(c)(1), the 
Committee states that the findings and recommendations of the 
Committee, based on oversight activities under House rule X, 
clause 2(b)(1), are incorporated into the general discussion 
section of this report.

            Statement of Budget Authority and Related Items

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4511, from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 14, 2016.
Hon. Candice Miller,
Chairman, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Madam Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4511, the Gold 
Star Families Voices Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Christina 
Hawley Anthony.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 4511--Gold Star Families Voices Act

    H.R. 4511 would amend the Veterans Oral History Project Act 
to allow the immediate family of certain members of the armed 
forces to provide biographical histories of those members 
through video and audio recordings. Under current law, only 
histories by veterans may be collected. About $2 million was 
appropriated for the project in 2016. Based on information from 
the Library of Congress, CBO estimates that expansion would 
result in approximately 1,000 new collections to the project, 
and that the cost of the expansion would be $0.6 million.
    Assuming the appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO 
estimates enacting H.R. 4511 would increase spending over the 
2017-2021 period by $0.6 million. Enacting the bill would not 
affect direct spending or revenues, and so pay-as-you-go 
procedures do not apply. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 4511 
would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in 
any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.
    H.R. 4511 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 Christina Hawley 
Anthony. This estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    In compliance with House rule XIII, clause 3(c)(4), the 
Committee states that the general discussion section of this 
report includes a statement of the general performance goals 
and objectives, including outcome-related goals and objectives.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    In compliance with Sec. 3(g)(2) of H. Res. 5 (114th 
Congress), the Committee states that no provision of the bill 
establishes or reauthorizes: (1) a program of the Federal 
Government known to be duplicative of another Federal program; 
(2) a program included in any report from the Government 
Accountability Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of 
Public Law 111-139; or (3) a program related to a program 
identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance, published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Pub. L. No. 95-220, as amended by Pub. L. No. 
98-169).

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    In compliance with Sec. 3(i) of H. Res. 5 (114th Congress), 
the following statement is made concerning directed rule 
makings: The Committee estimates that the bill requires no 
directed rule makings within the meaning of such section.

               Information Relating to Unfunded Mandates

    This information is provided in accordance with section 423 
of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. No. 104-
4). The Committee has determined that the bill contains no 
unfunded mandate on the private sector, nor does it impose a 
Federal intergovernmental mandate on State, local, or tribal 
governments.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Congress has the power to enact this legislation pursuant 
to Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution granting 
Congress the authority to exercise exclusive legislation in all 
cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles 
square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the 
acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of 
the United States.

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In accordance with House rule XXI, clause 9, the Committee 
states that H.R. 4511 does not contain any congressional 
earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as 
defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of rule XXI.

         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 (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

VETERANS' ORAL HISTORY PROJECT ACT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM AT AMERICAN FOLKLIFE CENTER TO COLLECT 
                    VIDEO AND AUDIO RECORDINGS OF HISTORIES OF 
                    VETERANS.

  (a) In General.--The Director of the American Folklife Center 
at the Library of Congress shall establish an oral history 
program--
          [(1) to collect video and audio recordings of 
        personal histories and testimonials of veterans of the 
        Armed Forces who served during a period of war;]
          (1) to collect video and audio recordings of--
                  (A) personal histories and testimonials of 
                veterans of the Armed Forces who served during 
                a period of war; and
                  (B) biographical histories by immediate 
                family members of members of the Armed Forces 
                who became missing in action or died as a 
                result of their service during a period of war;
          (2) to create a collection of the recordings obtained 
        (including a catalog and index) which will be available 
        for public use through the National Digital Library of 
        the Library of Congress and such other methods as the 
        Director considers appropriate to the extent feasible 
        subject to available resources; and
          (3) to solicit, reproduce, and collect written 
        materials (such as letters and diaries) relevant to the 
        personal histories of veterans of the Armed Forces who 
        served during a period of war and to catalog such 
        materials in a manner the Director considers 
        appropriate, consistent with and complimentary to the 
        efforts described in paragraphs (1) and (2).
  (b) Use of and Consultation With Other Entities.--The 
Director may carry out the activities described in paragraphs 
(1) and (3) of subsection (a) through agreements and 
partnerships entered into with other government and private 
entities, and may otherwise consult with interested persons 
(within the limits of available resources) and develop 
appropriate guidelines and arrangements for soliciting, 
acquiring, and making available recordings under the program 
under this Act.
  (c) Timing.--As soon as practicable after the enactment of 
this Act, the Director shall begin collecting video and audio 
recordings under subsection (a)(1), and shall attempt to 
collect the first such recordings from the oldest veterans.
  (d) Definition of Immediate Family Member.--For purposes of 
subsection (a), the term ``immediate family member'' means a 
parent, spouse, sibling, or child.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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