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H.R. 1451 (106th): Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Act

The text of the bill below is as of Apr 15, 1999 (Introduced).

HR 1451 IH


1st Session

H. R. 1451

To establish the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.


April 15, 1999

Mr. LAHOOD (for himself, Mr. SHIMKUS, Mr. EVANS, Mr. BLAGOJEVICH, Mr. PHELPS, Ms. SCHAKOWSKY, Mr. PORTER, Mr. RUSH, Mr. MANZULLO, Mr. LIPINSKI, Mr. COSTELLO, Mr. GUTIERREZ, Mr. HYDE, Mr. WELLER, Mr. EWING, Mr. CRANE, Mrs. BIGGERT, Mr. JACKSON of Illinois, and Mr. DAVIS of Illinois) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Government Reform


To establish the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ‘Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Act’.


    The Congress makes the following findings:

      (1) Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President, was one of the Nation’s most prominent leaders, demonstrating true courage during the Civil War, one of the greatest crises in the Nation’s history.

      (2) Born of humble roots in Hardin County, Kentucky, on February 12, 1809, Abraham Lincoln rose to the Presidency through a legacy of honesty, integrity, intelligence, and commitment to the United States.

      (3) With the belief that all men were created equal, Abraham Lincoln led the effort to free all slaves in the United States.

      (4) Abraham Lincoln had a generous heart, with malice toward none and with charity for all.

      (5) Abraham Lincoln gave the ultimate sacrifice for the country he loved, dying from an assassin’s bullet on April 15, 1865.

      (6) All Americans could benefit from studying the life of Abraham Lincoln, for his life is a model for accomplishing the ‘American Dream’ through honesty, integrity, loyalty, and a lifetime of education.

      (7) The Year 2009 will be the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, and a commission should be established to study and recommend to the Congress activities that are fitting and proper to celebrate that anniversary in a manner that appropriately honors Abraham Lincoln.


    There is established a commission to be known as the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (in this Act referred to as the ‘Commission’).


    The Commission shall have the following duties:

      (1) To study activities that may be carried out by the Federal Government to determine whether they are fitting and proper to honor Abraham Lincoln on the occasion of the bicentennial anniversary of his birth, including--

        (A) the minting of an Abraham Lincoln bicentennial penny;

        (B) the issuance of an Abraham Lincoln bicentennial postage stamp;

        (C) the convening of a joint meeting or joint session of the Congress for ceremonies and activities relating to Abraham Lincoln;

        (D) a redesignation of the Lincoln Memorial, or other activity with respect to the Memorial; and

        (E) the acquisition and preservation of artifacts associated with Abraham Lincoln.

      (2) To recommend to the Congress the activities that the Commission considers most fitting and proper to honor Abraham Lincoln on such occasion, and the entity or entities in the Federal Government that the Commission considers most appropriate to carry out such activities.


    (a) NUMBER AND APPOINTMENT- The Commission shall be composed of 9 members appointed as follows:

      (1) 3 members, each of whom shall be a qualified citizen described in subsection (b), appointed by the President.

      (2) 2 members, each of whom shall be a qualified citizen described in subsection (b), appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Governor of Illinois.

      (3) 2 members, each of whom shall be Members of the House of Representatives from the State of Illinois, appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

      (4) 1 member, who shall be a Senator from the State of Illinois, appointed by the Majority Leader of the Senate.

      (5) 1 member, who shall be a Senator, appointed by the Majority Leader of the Senate.

    (b) QUALIFIED CITIZEN- A qualified citizen described in this subsection is a private citizen of the United States with--

      (1) a demonstrated dedication to educating others about the importance of historical figures and events; and

      (2) substantial knowledge and appreciation of Abraham Lincoln.

    (c) TIME OF APPOINTMENT- Each initial appointment of a member of the Commission shall be made before the expiration of the 120-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.

    (d) WAIVER OF LIMITATION ON EXECUTIVE SCHEDULE POSITIONS- Appointments may be made under this section without regard to section 5311(b) of title 5, United States Code.

    (e) CONTINUATION OF MEMBERSHIP- If a member was appointed to the Commission as a Member of Congress and the member ceases to be a Member of Congress, that member may continue as a member for not longer than the 30-day period beginning on the date that member ceases to be a Member of Congress.

    (f) TERMS- Each member shall be appointed for the life of the Commission.

    (g) VACANCIES- A vacancy in the Commission shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made.

    (h) BASIC PAY- Members shall serve without pay.

    (i) TRAVEL EXPENSES- Each member shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with sections 5702 and 5703 of title 5, United States Code.

    (j) QUORUM- 5 members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum but a lesser number may hold hearings.

    (k) CHAIRPERSON- The Chairperson shall be designated by the President from among the members of the Commission appointed under section 5(a)(1). The term of office of the Chairperson shall be for the life of the Commission.

    (l) MEETINGS- The Commission shall meet at the call of the Chairperson. Periodically, the Commission shall hold its meeting in Springfield, Illinois.


    (a) DIRECTOR- The Commission may appoint and fix the pay of a Director and any additional personnel as the Commission considers appropriate.

    (b) APPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN CIVIL SERVICE LAWS- The Director and staff of the Commission may be appointed without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and may be paid without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of that title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates.


    (a) HEARINGS AND SESSIONS- The Commission may, for the purpose of carrying out this Act, hold hearings, sit and act at times and places, take testimony, and receive evidence as the Commission considers appropriate.

    (b) POWERS OF MEMBERS AND AGENTS- Any member or agent of the Commission may, if authorized by the Commission, take any action which the Commission is authorized to take by this section.

    (c) OBTAINING OFFICIAL DATA- The Commission may secure directly from any department or agency of the United States information necessary to enable it to carry out this Act. Upon request of the Chairperson of the Commission, the head of that department or agency shall furnish that information to the Commission.

    (d) GIFTS, BEQUESTS, AND DEVISES- The Commission may accept, use, and dispose of gifts, bequests, or devises of services or property, both real and personal, for the purpose of aiding or facilitating the work of the Commission. Gifts, bequests, or devises of money and proceeds from sales of other property received as gifts, bequests, or devises shall be deposited in the Treasury and shall be available for disbursement upon order of the Commission. For purposes of Federal income, estate, and gift taxes, property accepted under this subsection shall be considered as a gift, bequest, or devise to the United States.

    (e) MAILS- The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the United States.

    (f) ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT SERVICES- Upon the request of the Commission, the Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Commission, on a reimbursable basis, the administrative support services necessary for the Commission to carry out its responsibilities under this Act.


    (a) INTERIM REPORTS- The Commission may submit to the Congress interim reports as the Commission considers appropriate.

    (b) FINAL REPORT- The Commission shall transmit a final report to the Congress not later than the expiration of the 4-year period beginning on the date of the formation of the Commission. The final report shall contain--

      (1) a detailed statement of the findings and conclusions of the Commission;

      (2) the recommendations of the Commission; and

      (3) any other information the Commission considers appropriate.


    The Commission shall terminate 120 days after submitting its final report pursuant to section 8.


    There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act.


    Any spending authority (as defined in subparagraphs (A) and (C) of section 401(c)(2) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C. 651(c)(2)(A) and (C))) under this Act shall be effective only to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts.