H.R. 1949, National Liberty Memorial Clarification Act of 2015, as amended

H.R. 1949

National Liberty Memorial Clarification Act of 2015, as amended

Rep. G, K. Butterfield

September 16, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, September 16, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 1949, the National Liberty Memorial Clarification Act of 2015, as amended, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 1949 was introduced on April 22, 2015 by Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) and was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which ordered the bill reported by unanimous consent on July 9, 2015.

Bill Summary

H.R. 1949 provides for the consideration and submission of site and design proposals for the National Liberty Memorial approved for establishment in the District of Columbia.


Congress previously enacted legislation to authorize the National Mall Liberty Fund “to establish a memorial on eligible federal land to honor the more than 5,000 courageous slaves and free black persons who served as soldiers and sailors or provided civilian assistance during the American Revolution.”[1]

“Under the Commemorative Works Act (CWA), which details a process for placement of memorials and monuments in Washington, D.C., memorials must be recommended by the Government Services Administration (GSA) or the Department of the Interior, for placement within what is known as Area I, as defined by the CWA. Area I is generally the locations around the National Mall but not on the Mall itself.  A recommendation is made if GSA finds that the proposed memorial is ‘of preeminence and lasting significance.’”[2]

“On June 3, 2014, GSA notified the Natural Resources Committee that it found the proposed National Liberty Memorial to be `of preeminence and lasting significance.’ Under the requirements of the CWA, upon this notification, Congress had 150 days to concur with the finding with a joint resolution clearing the memorial to be placed within Area I.”[3]   On September 26, 2014, President Obama signed Public Law 113-176 approving the recommendation made by GSA to locate the previously-authorized memorial.

“The approved site is located on the northeast corner of 14th Street and Independence Avenue in what is currently a surface parking lot adjacent to the Department of Agriculture.  Because the approved site is located next to the Department of Agriculture, H.R. 1949 would transfer responsibility over site and design proposals and the submission of such proposals from the Secretary of the Interior or Administrator of General Services to the Secretary of Agriculture.”[4]

[1] House Report 114-252 at 2.
[2] Id.
[3] Id.
[4] Id.


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing H.R. 1949 would have no significant impact on the federal budget.  Enacting H.R. 1949 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jerry White with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or by phone at 6-5539.