H.R. 1726, To award a Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the Borinqueneers, as amended

H.R. 1726

To award a Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the Borinqueneers, as amended

Sponsor
Rep. Bill Posey

Date
May 19, 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Monday, May 19, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 1726, a bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the Borinqueneers, as amended, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 1726 was introduced on April 25, 2013 by Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) and was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.  The bill has 301 cosponsors.

Bill Summary

H.R. 1726 authorizes the striking and award of a single gold medal in recognition of the heroism of the members of the 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the “Borinqueneers.”  The bill would additionally authorize the creation of bronze Congressional Gold Medal duplicates at a price intended to recoup the costs of designing and striking the gold medal.

Background

Often described as the Hispanic version of the Tuskegee Airmen, Puerto Rico’s 65th Infantry Regiment fought in the Korean War as a linguistic and ethnic segregated unit despite President Truman’s order desegregating the U.S. military two years prior.  Soldiers of the regiment suffered ethnic prejudice, being called “Rum and Coca-Cola Soldiers” and at one point were forbidden to speak Spanish under penalty of court-martial.

In the face of this adversity, the Borinqueneers served with distinction in key battles of the Korean War, including the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.  This service was not without cost.  One of every 40 soldiers killed in the Korean War was Puerto Rican, and Puerto Rico suffered more casualties per capita than any state or U.S. territory.

Cost

The total cost of issuing a Congressional Gold Medal and its duplicates is $35,000.  However, the Gold Medal is paid for by the sale of duplicate bronze medals, which will fully offset the cost of creating the medals.  Implementing H.R. 1726 will have no significant impact on the federal budget.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.