H.R. 5441, To amend the Federal charter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States to reflect the service of women in the Armed Forces of the United States

H.R. 5441

To amend the Federal charter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States to reflect the service of women in the Armed Forces of the United States

Committee
Judiciary

Date
November 17, 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Monday, November 17, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 5441, To amend the Federal charter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States to reflect the service of women in the Armed Forces of the United States, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 5441 was introduced on September 10, 2014 by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) and was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.  The bill was marked up on November 13, 2014 and was ordered reported by voice vote.

Bill Summary

H.R. 5441 amends the federal charter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) to reflect the service of women in the Armed Forces.  Specifically, H.R. 5441 strikes the word “men” and inserts the word “veterans.”  In addition, the bill strikes “widows” and inserts “surviving spouses.”  The bill does not confer federal benefits.[1]

__________
[1] CBO Cost Estimate: H.R. 5441, A bill to amend the federal charter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States to reflect the service of women in the armed forces of the United States (Nov. 14, 2014).

Background

The congressional charter of the VFW was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936.[2]  At that time, “the military was comprised almost entirely of men.”[3]  The charter reads, “Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States . . . a national association of men who as soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen served this Nation in wars, campaigns, and expeditions on foreign soil or in hostile waters, is a federally chartered corporation.”[4]  At the 115th VFW National Convention in July of 2014, delegates approved a resolution to update the charter to reflect the service of women.[5]  H.R. 5441 grants the VFW’s request by amending its congressional charter.

__________
[2] VFW to Update Congressional Charter, Veterans of Foreign Wars (Sep. 12, 2014).
[3] Id.
[4] 36 U.S.C. § 230101.
[5] VFW to Update Congressional Charter, Veterans of Foreign Wars (Sep. 12, 2014).

Cost

According to CBO estimates, implementing H.R. 5441 would have no impact on the budget.  The bill would not affect direct spending or revenues.

Additional Information

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