CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Wednesday, November 30, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 2992, the Merchant Marine of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 2992 was introduced in the House by Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) and subsequently referred to the Committee on Financial Services on July 9, 2015.
H.R. 2992 requires the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate to arrange for the award, on behalf of Congress, of a single gold medal to the U.S. Merchant Marine of World War II, in recognition of their dedicated and vital service during World War II.
In times of war, Merchant Mariners act as an auxiliary to the U.S. Navy and are in charge of the transoceanic transport of both military and civilian personnel as well as combat equipment, fuel, food, and other necessary materials. Specifically, during World War II, these Merchant Mariners suffered the highest per-capita casualty rate of any other branch in the U.S. Armed Forces while risking their lives to provide necessary supplies for battle. It is estimated that hundreds of Mariner ships and thousands of men were lost to enemy combatants as a result of their service during their World War II. Rep. Susan Brooks introduced this legislation in an effort to formally recognize the Merchant Mariner’s for their diligent service and sacrifices during World War II. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award that Congress can bestow.
According to the bill’s sponsor, “These loyal and courageous men put their lives on the line for the cause of freedom, and selflessly answered their nation’s call to duty. Unfortunately, their sacrifice is commonly overlooked, and there are fewer surviving Merchant Mariners every year. It is time for Congress to honor their service before we miss the opportunity to properly recognize these heroes.”
A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate for this bill is currently unavailable.
For questions or further information please contact John Wilson with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-1811.