H.R. 6364 (112th): World War I Centennial Commission Act

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Sep 10, 2012 (Introduced).

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I

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 6364

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 10, 2012

(for himself, Ms. Norton, and Mr. Cleaver) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and in addition to the Committee on Natural Resources, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To establish a commission to ensure a suitable observance of the centennial of World War I, to designate memorials to the service of members of the United States Armed Forces in World War I, including a National World War I Memorial on the National Mall in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Frank Buckles World War I Memorial Act.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Findings.

Sec. 3. Definitions.

Sec. 4. Establishment of World War I Centennial Commission.

Sec. 5. Duties of Centennial Commission.

Sec. 6. Powers of Centennial Commission.

Sec. 7. Centennial Commission personnel matters.

Sec. 8. Termination of Centennial Commission.

Sec. 9. Designation of National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri.

Sec. 10. Establishment of National World War I Memorial on the National Mall in the District of Columbia.

Sec. 11. Prohibition on obligation of Federal funds.

2.

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

From 2014 through 2018, the United States and nations around the world will mark the centennial of World War I, including the entry of the United States into the war in April 1917.

(2)

America’s support of Great Britain, France, Belgium, and its other allies in World War I marked the first time in United States history that American soldiers went abroad in defense of liberty against foreign aggression, and it marked the true beginning of the American century.

(3)

Although World War I was at the time called the war to end all wars, in fact the United States would commit its troops to the defense of foreign lands 3 more times in the 20th century.

(4)

More than 4,000,000 men and women from the United States served in uniform during World War I, among them 2 future presidents, Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Two million individuals from the United States served overseas during World War I, including 200,000 naval personnel who served on the seas. The United States suffered 375,000 casualties during World War I, including 116,516 deaths.

(5)

The events of 1914 through 1918 shaped the world, the United States, and the lives of millions of people.

(6)

The centennial of World War I offers an opportunity for people in the United States to learn about and commemorate the sacrifices of their predecessors.

(7)

Commemorative programs, activities, and sites allow people in the United States to learn about the history of World War I, the United States involvement in that war, and the war’s effects on the remainder of the 20th century, and to commemorate and honor the participation of the United States and its citizens in the war effort.

(8)

While the other great conflicts of the 20th century, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, have national memorials on the Mall in Washington, DC, there currently exists no national memorial honoring the service of the United States and its citizens in World War I.

(9)

In 1921, the people of Kansas City, Missouri, dedicated a site in that city for a memorial to the service of Americans in World War I, a ceremony attended by General John J. Pershing and military leaders of Great Britain, France, Belgium, and Italy. In 1924, the cornerstone of the 217-foot Liberty Memorial Tower was laid. On Armistice Day 1926, President Calvin Coolidge delivered the key note address at the Memorial’s dedication ceremony. The Memorial and surrounding grounds were completed in 1938, with an inscription that reads In Honor of Those Who Served in the World War in Defense of Liberty and Our Country..

(10)

The 106th Congress recognized the Liberty Memorial as a national symbol of World War I.

(11)

The 108th Congress designated the museum at the base of the Liberty Memorial as America’s National World War I Museum. The museum preserves the story of World War I, and educates and enlightens people about this significant event.

3.

Definitions

In this Act—

(1)

America’s national world war I museum

The term America’s National World War I Museum means the Liberty Memorial Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, as recognized by Congress in section 1031(b) of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (Public Law 108–375; 118 Stat. 2045).

(2)

Centennial Commission

The term Centennial Commission means the World War I Centennial Commission established by section 4(a).

(3)

Memorial Foundation

The term Memorial Foundation means the World War I Memorial Foundation authorized to establish the National World War I Memorial in the District of Columbia under section 10.

(4)

Veterans service organization

The term veterans service organization means any organization recognized by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for the representation of veterans under section 5902 of title 38, United States Code.

4.

Establishment of World War I Centennial Commission

(a)

Establishment

There is established a commission to be known as the World War I Centennial Commission.

(b)

Membership

(1)

Composition

The Centennial Commission shall be composed of 12 members as follows:

(A)

Two members who shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(B)

One member who shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives.

(C)

Two members who shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate.

(D)

One member who shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate.

(E)

Three members who shall be appointed by the President from among persons who are broadly representative of the people of the United States (including members of the Armed Forces, veterans, and representatives of veterans service organizations).

(F)

One member who shall be appointed by the executive director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

(G)

One member who shall be appointed by the executive director of the American Legion.

(H)

One member who shall be appointed by the president of the Liberty Memorial Association.

(2)

Time for appointment

The members of the Centennial Commission shall be appointed not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(3)

Period of appointment

Each member shall be appointed for the life of the Centennial Commission.

(4)

Vacancies

A vacancy in the Centennial Commission shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made.

(c)

Meetings

(1)

Initial meeting

(A)

In general

Not later than 30 days after the date on which all members of the Centennial Commission have been appointed, the Centennial Commission shall hold its first meeting.

(B)

Location

The location for the meeting held under subparagraph (A) shall be the America’s National World War I Museum.

(2)

Subsequent meetings

(A)

In general

The Centennial Commission shall meet at the call of the Chair.

(B)

Frequency

The Chair shall call a meeting of the members of the Centennial Commission not less frequently than once each year.

(C)

Location

Not less frequently than once each year, the Centennial Commission shall meet at the America’s National World War I Museum.

(3)

Quorum

Seven members of the Centennial Commission shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number may hold hearings.

(d)

Chair and vice chair

The Centennial Commission shall select a Chair and Vice Chair from among its members.

5.

Duties of Centennial Commission

(a)

In general

The duties of the Centennial Commission are as follows:

(1)

To plan, develop, and execute programs, projects, and activities to commemorate the centennial of World War I.

(2)

To encourage private organizations and State and local governments to organize and participate in activities commemorating the centennial of World War I.

(3)

To facilitate and coordinate activities throughout the United States relating to the centennial of World War I.

(4)

To serve as a clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of information about events and plans for the centennial of World War I.

(5)

To develop recommendations for Congress and the President for commemorating the centennial of World War I.

(b)

Reports

(1)

Periodic report

Not later than the last day of the 6-month period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, and not later than the last day of each 3-month period thereafter, the Centennial Commission shall submit to Congress and the President a report on the activities and plans of the Centennial Commission.

(2)

Recommendations

Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Centennial Commission shall submit to Congress and the President a report containing specific recommendations for commemorating the centennial of World War I and coordinating related activities.

6.

Powers of Centennial Commission

(a)

Hearings

The Centennial Commission may hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence as the Centennial Commission considers appropriate to carry out its duties under this Act.

(b)

Powers of member and agents

If authorized by the Centennial Commission, any member or agent of the Centennial Commission may take any action which the Centennial Commission is authorized to take under this Act.

(c)

Information from federal agencies

The Centennial Commission shall secure directly from any Federal department or agency such information as the Centennial Commission considers necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act. Upon the request of the Chair of the Centennial Commission, the head of such department or agency shall furnish such information to the Centennial Commission.

(d)

Administrative support services

Upon the request of the Centennial Commission, the Administrator of the General Services Administration shall provide to the Centennial Commission, on a reimbursable basis, the administrative support services necessary for the Centennial Commission to carry out its responsibilities under this Act.

(e)

Contract authority

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Centennial Commission is authorized—

(A)

to procure supplies, services, and property; and

(B)

to make or enter into contracts, leases, or other legal agreements.

(2)

Limitation

The Centennial Commission may not enter into any contract, lease, or other legal agreement that extends beyond the date of the termination of the Centennial Commission under section 8(a).

(f)

Postal services

The Centennial Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the Federal Government.

(g)

Gifts, bequests, and devises

The Centennial Commission shall accept, use, and dispose of gifts, bequests, or devises of services or property, both real and personal, for the purpose of covering the costs incurred by the Centennial Commission to carry out its duties under this Act.

7.

Centennial Commission personnel matters

(a)

Compensation of members

Members of the Centennial Commission shall serve without compensation for such service.

(b)

Travel expenses

Each member of the Centennial Commission shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with the applicable provisions of title 5, United States Code.

(c)

Staff

(1)

In general

The Chair of the Centennial Commission shall, in consultation with the members of the Centennial Commission, appoint an executive director and such other additional personnel as may be necessary to enable the Centennial Commission to perform its duties.

(2)

Compensation

(A)

In general

Subject to subparagraph (B), the Chair of the Centennial Commission may fix the compensation of the executive director and any other personnel appointed under paragraph (1).

(B)

Limitation

The Chair of the Centennial Commission may not fix the compensation of the executive director or other personnel appointed under paragraph (1) at a rate that exceeds the rate of payable for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code.

(C)

Work location

If the city government for Kansas City, Missouri, and the Liberty Memorial Association make space available in the building in which the America’s National World War I Museum is located, the executive director of the Centennial Commission and other personnel appointed under paragraph (1) shall work in such building to the extent practical.

(d)

Detail of government employees

Upon request of the Centennial Commission, the head of any Federal department or agency may detail, on a reimbursable basis, any employee of that department or agency to the Centennial Commission to assist it in carrying out its duties under this Act.

(e)

Procurement of temporary and intermittent services

The Chair of the Centennial Commission may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code.

(f)

Source of funds

Gifts, bequests, and devises of services or property, both real and personal, received by the Centennial Commission under section 6(g) shall be the only source of funds to cover the costs incurred by the Centennial Commission under this section.

8.

Termination of Centennial Commission

(a)

In general

The Centennial Commission shall terminate on the earlier of—

(1)

the date that is 30 days after the date the completion of the activities under this Act honoring the centennial observation of World War I; or

(2)

July 28, 2019.

(b)

Application of federal advisory committee act

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall apply to the activities of the Centennial Commission under this Act.

(2)

Exception

Section 14(a)(2) of such Act shall not apply to the Centennial Commission.

9.

Designation of National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri

(a)

In general

The Liberty Memorial of Kansas City at America’s National World War I Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, is hereby designated as the National World War I Museum and Memorial.

(b)

Ceremonies

The Centennial Commission may plan, develop, and execute ceremonies to recognize the designation of the Liberty Memorial of Kansas City as the National World War I Museum and Memorial.

10.

Establishment of National World War I Memorial on the National Mall in the District of Columbia

(a)

Authority to establish commemorative work

The World War I Memorial Foundation may establish a commemorative work on Federal land located in the general vicinity of Constitution Gardens in the Reserve portion of the District of Columbia to consist of an appropriate sculptural or other commemorative elements to serve as the National World War I Memorial.

(b)

Limitation on size of memorial

The National World War I Memorial may not exceed 1.5 acres in size.

(c)

Compliance with standards for commemorative works

(1)

In general

Chapter 89 of title 40, United States Code, shall apply to the establishment of the National World War I Memorial in the Reserve.

(2)

Exception from prohibition on additional commemorative works in reserve

Section 8908(c) of title 40, United States Code, does not apply with respect to the selection of the site for the National World War I Memorial.

(d)

No infringement upon existing memorial

The location in the general vicinity of Constitution Gardens in the Reserve selected as the site for the National World War I Memorial may not infringe upon or otherwise adversely impact the District of Columbia War Memorial.

(e)

Limitation on total cost

The total cost to design and construct the National World War I Memorial may not exceed $10,000,000.

(f)

Deposit of excess funds

The Memorial Foundation shall transmit to the Secretary of the Treasury for deposit in the account provided for in section 8906(b)(3) of title 40, United States Code—

(1)

any funds that remain after payment of all expenses incurred in the establishment of the National World War I Memorial (including payment of the amount for maintenance and preservation required under section 8906(b) of that title); or

(2)

any funds that remain for the establishment of the commemorative work on expiration of the authority for the commemorative work under section 8903(e) of that title.

(g)

Ceremonies

The Centennial Commission may plan, develop, and execute ceremonies to recognize the establishment of the National World War I Memorial.

(h)

Reserve defined

In this section, the term Reserve has the meaning given that term in section 8902(a)(3) of title 40, United States Code.

11.

Prohibition on obligation of Federal funds

No Federal funds may be obligated to carry out this Act.