H.R. 588: Vietnam Veterans Donor Acknowledgment Act of 2013

H.R. 588

Vietnam Veterans Donor Acknowledgment Act of 2013

Sponsor
Rep.

Date
May 6, 2013 (113th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Monday, May 6, 2013, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 588, the Vietnam Veterans Donor Acknowledgment Act of 2013,under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on February 6, 2013 by Rep. Don Young (R-AK) and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which held a mark-up and reported the bill by unanimous consent.

Bill Summary

H.R. 588 provides authority to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (the Fund) to display and recognize donor contributions at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Visitor Center (the Center).  Under the bill, the Fund is authorized to submit a “recognition” plan for approval to the Secretary of the Interior that describes the process for recognizing donors at the Center.  The Fund must bear all the expenses related to the display of donor acknowledgments, and any acknowledgments under the plan must be short, discrete, and not contain any advertising slogans or company logos.

Background

In 2003, Congress authorized the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund to create an underground visitor center near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  According to the Committee on Natural Resources, the estimated cost to construct the Center is $95 million, none of which may come from the federal government.[1]  In addition to the prohibition on federal funding, donor recognition is currently prohibited at all memorials covered under the Commemorative Works Act.  This includes the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  Proponents of the visitor center have claimed that this prohibition has caused an undue burden to be placed on the Fund to raise private funds.

H.R. 588 addresses this issue by granting an exception to the donor recognition restriction in the Commemorative Works Act in order to ease fundraising efforts for the visitor center.



[1] Committee on Natural Resources Report 113-28 at 1

Cost

CBO estimates that H.R. 588 would “have no significant impact on the federal budget.”