H.R. 2070: War Memorial Protection Act

H.R. 2070

War Memorial Protection Act

Date
January 24, 2012 (112th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, January 24, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider, H.R. 2070, the World War II Memorial Prayer Act of 2011, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-third majority vote for approval. The bill was introduced on June 1, 2011, by Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) and referred to the committee on Natural Resources, which held a mark up and reported the bill, as amended, by unanimous consent on November 17, 2011.  

Bill Summary

H.R. 2070 would require the Secretary of the Interior to install a plaque or an inscription with the words that President Franklin D. Roosevelt prayed with the Nation on June 6, 1944, the morning of D-Day, in the area of the World War II Memorial. Under the bill, the Secretary would be required to design, procure, prepare, and install the plaque, however, the Secretary would be prohibited from using federal funds to prepare or install the plaque or inscription. The Secretary would be allowed to accept and expend private contributions for the purpose of carrying out this legislation.  Under the bill, the proposed addition to the memorial would be exempt from the requirements of the Commemorative Works Act (CWA).

Background

According to House Report 112-368, there has been some controversy regarding the omission of the phrase “so help us God” in an inscription with an excerpt of President Roosevelt's address to Congress following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The Park Service responded with the explanation that the phrase was excluded because it was not spoken at the point in the address from which the excerpt was derived.  This legislation would require the Secretary of the Interior to install in the area of the World War II Memorial in the District of Columbia a suitable plaque or an inscription with the words that President Franklin D. Roosevelt prayed with the Nation on June 6, 1944:

  • With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace—a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil. Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.

Cost

According to CBO, implementing H.R. 2070 would “have no significant impact on the federal budget.”