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Text of the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act

This bill was introduced on January 5, 2011, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jan 5, 2011 (Introduced).

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Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 44

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 5, 2011

(for herself, Ms. Loretta Sanchez of California, Mr. Andrews, Ms. Hirono, Mr. Cummings, Mr. Bishop of Georgia, Ms. Richardson, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Sablan, Mrs. Christensen, Mr. Faleomavaega, Mr. Pierluisi, Mr. Jones, Mr. Hoyer, Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas, Mr. Loebsack, Mr. Burton of Indiana, Mr. Sensenbrenner, Mr. Becerra, Ms. Norton, Mr. Bartlett, Mr. Rahall, Mr. Wilson of South Carolina, Mr. Nadler, and Mr. Michaud) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources

A BILL

To implement the recommendations of the Guam War Claims Review Commission.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act.

2.

Recognition of the suffering and loyalty of the residents of Guam

(a)

Recognition of the Suffering of the Residents of Guam

The United States recognizes that, as described by the Guam War Claims Review Commission, the residents of Guam, on account of their United States nationality, suffered unspeakable harm as a result of the occupation of Guam by Imperial Japanese military forces during World War II, by being subjected to death, rape, severe personal injury, personal injury, forced labor, forced march, or internment.

(b)

Recognition of the Loyalty of the Residents of Guam

The United States forever will be grateful to the residents of Guam for their steadfast loyalty to the United States of America, as demonstrated by the countless acts of courage they performed despite the threat of death or great bodily harm they faced at the hands of the Imperial Japanese military forces that occupied Guam during World War II.

3.

Payments for Guam World War II claims

(a)

Payments for Death, Personal Injury, Forced Labor, Forced March, and Internment

Subject to the availability of appropriations authorized to be appropriated under section 6(a), after receipt of certification pursuant to section 4(b)(8) and in accordance with the provisions of this title, the Secretary of the Treasury shall make payments as follows:

(1)

Residents injured

Before any payments are made to individuals described in paragraph (2), the Secretary shall pay compensable Guam victims who are not deceased as follows:

(A)

If the victim has suffered an injury described in subsection (c)(2)(A), $15,000.

(B)

If the victim is not described in subparagraph (A) but has suffered an injury described in subsection (c)(2)(B), $12,000.

(C)

If the victim is not described in subparagraph (A) or (B) but has suffered an injury described in subsection (c)(2)(C), $10,000.

(2)

Survivors of residents who died in war

In the case of a compensable Guam decedent, the Secretary shall pay $25,000 for distribution to eligible survivors of the decedent as specified in subsection (b). The Secretary shall make payments under this paragraph after payments are made under paragraph (1).

(b)

Distribution of Survivor Payments

Payments under paragraph (2) of subsection (a) to eligible survivors of an individual who is a compensable Guam decedent shall be made as follows:

(1)

If there is living a spouse of the individual, but no child of the individual, all of the payment shall be made to such spouse.

(2)

If there is living a spouse of the individual and one or more children of the individual, one-half of the payment shall be made to the spouse and the other half to the child (or to the children in equal shares).

(3)

If there is no living spouse of the individual, but there are one or more children of the individual alive, all of the payment shall be made to such child (or to such children in equal shares).

(4)

If there is no living spouse or child of the individual but there is a living parent (or parents) of the individual, all of the payment shall be made to the parent (or to the parents in equal shares).

(5)

If there is no such living spouse, child, or parent, no payment shall be made.

(c)

Definitions

For purposes of this title:

(1)

Compensable Guam decedent

The term compensable Guam decedent means an individual determined under section 4 to have been a resident of Guam who died or was killed as a result of the attack and occupation of Guam by Imperial Japanese military forces during World War II, or incident to the liberation of Guam by United States military forces, and whose death would have been compensable under the Guam Meritorious Claims Act of 1945 (Public Law 79–224) if a timely claim had been filed under the terms of such Act.

(2)

Compensable Guam victim

The term compensable Guam victim means an individual determined under section 4 to have suffered, as a result of the attack and occupation of Guam by Imperial Japanese military forces during World War II, or incident to the liberation of Guam by United States military forces, any of the following:

(A)

Rape or severe personal injury (such as loss of a limb, dismemberment, or paralysis).

(B)

Forced labor or a personal injury not under subparagraph (A) (such as disfigurement, scarring, or burns).

(C)

Forced march, internment, or hiding to evade internment.

(3)

Definitions of severe personal injuries and personal injuries

The Foreign Claims Settlement Commission shall promulgate regulations to specify injuries that constitute a severe personal injury or a personal injury for purposes of subparagraphs (A) and (B), respectively, of paragraph (2).

4.

Adjudication

(a)

Authority of Foreign Claims Settlement Commission

(1)

In general

The Foreign Claims Settlement Commission is authorized to adjudicate claims and determine eligibility for payments under section 3.

(2)

Rules and regulations

The chairman of the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission shall prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary to enable it to carry out its functions under this title. Such rules and regulations shall be published in the Federal Register.

(b)

Claims Submitted for Payments

(1)

Submittal of claim

For purposes of subsection (a)(1) and subject to paragraph (2), the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission may not determine an individual is eligible for a payment under section 3 unless the individual submits to the Commission a claim in such manner and form and containing such information as the Commission specifies.

(2)

Filing period for claims and notice

All claims for a payment under section 3 shall be filed within one year after the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission publishes public notice of the filing period in the Federal Register. The Foreign Claims Settlement Commission shall provide for the notice required under the previous sentence not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this title. In addition, the Commission shall cause to be publicized the public notice of the deadline for filing claims in newspaper, radio, and television media on Guam.

(3)

Adjudicatory decisions

The decision of the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission on each claim shall be by majority vote, shall be in writing, and shall state the reasons for the approval or denial of the claim. If approved, the decision shall also state the amount of the payment awarded and the distribution, if any, to be made of the payment.

(4)

Deductions in payment

The Foreign Claims Settlement Commission shall deduct, from potential payments, amounts previously paid under the Guam Meritorious Claims Act of 1945 (Public Law 79–224).

(5)

Interest

No interest shall be paid on payments awarded by the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission.

(6)

Remuneration prohibited

No remuneration on account of representational services rendered on behalf of any claimant in connection with any claim filed with the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission under this title shall exceed one percent of the total amount paid pursuant to any payment certified under the provisions of this title on account of such claim. Any agreement to the contrary shall be unlawful and void. Whoever demands or receives, on account of services so rendered, any remuneration in excess of the maximum permitted by this section shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than 12 months, or both.

(7)

Appeals and finality

Objections and appeals of decisions of the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission shall be to the Commission, and upon rehearing, the decision in each claim shall be final, and not subject to further review by any court or agency.

(8)

Certifications for payment

After a decision approving a claim becomes final, the chairman of the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission shall certify it to the Secretary of the Treasury for authorization of a payment under section 3.

(9)

Treatment of affidavits

For purposes of section 3 and subject to paragraph (2), the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission shall treat a claim that is accompanied by an affidavit of an individual that attests to all of the material facts required for establishing eligibility of such individual for payment under such section as establishing a prima facie case of the individual’s eligibility for such payment without the need for further documentation, except as the Commission may otherwise require. Such material facts shall include, with respect to a claim under paragraph (2) or (3) of section 3(a), a detailed description of the injury or other circumstance supporting the claim involved, including the level of payment sought.

(10)

Release of related claims

Acceptance of payment under section 3 by an individual for a claim related to a compensable Guam decedent or a compensable Guam victim shall be in full satisfaction of all claims related to such decedent or victim, respectively, arising under the Guam Meritorious Claims Act of 1945 (Public Law 79–224), the implementing regulations issued by the United States Navy pursuant thereto, or this title.

5.

Grants program to memorialize the occupation of Guam during World War II

(a)

Establishment

Subject to section 6(b) and in accordance with this section, the Secretary of the Interior shall establish a grants program under which the Secretary shall award grants for research, educational, and media activities that memorialize the events surrounding the occupation of Guam during World War II, honor the loyalty of the people of Guam during such occupation, or both, for purposes of appropriately illuminating and interpreting the causes and circumstances of such occupation and other similar occupations during a war.

(b)

Eligibility

The Secretary of the Interior may not award to a person a grant under subsection (a) unless such person submits an application to the Secretary for such grant, in such time, manner, and form and containing such information as the Secretary specifies.

6.

Authorization of appropriations

(a)

Guam World War II Claims Payments and Adjudication

For purposes of carrying out sections 3 and 4, there are authorized to be appropriated $100,000,000, to remain available for obligation until September 30, 2016, to the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission. Not more than 5 percent of funds made available under this subsection shall be used for administrative costs.

(b)

Guam World War II Grants Program

For purposes of carrying out section 5, there are authorized to be appropriated $5,000,000, to remain available for obligation until September 30, 2016.