CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 174 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Monday, November 2, 2009, under a motion to suspend the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. The bill was introduced by Rep. John Salazar (D-CO), and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
H.R. 174 would require the Secretary of Veterans' Affairs (VA) to establish a new national cemetery in El Paso County, Colorado, to serve 28 counties in southern Colorado. The Secretary would be required to consult with local and federal officials to determine the location that would be most suitable to establish the cemetery. The bill would require the Secretary to issue a report on the establishment of the cemetery and its cost. Finally, the Secretary would be authorized to accept gifts of real property for the establishment of a national cemetery.
The VA's National Cemetery Administration operates and maintains 130 national cemeteries in 30 States and Puerto Rico. The administration also maintains 33 soldier's monument sites around the country. The State of Colorado currently has two national cemeteries in Denver and Las Animas respectively.
A CBO cost estimate for H.R. 174 was not yet available as of press time.