IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
March 28, 2012
Mr. Portman (for himself and Mr. Begich) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs
To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to assist in the identification of unclaimed and abandoned human remains to determine if any such remains are eligible for burial in a national cemetery, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Veterans Missing in America Act of
Sense of Congress
Congress recognizes the tireless work and dedication of the members of the Missing in America Project, in conjunction with numerous veterans service organizations, in identifying the unclaimed remains of veterans.
Identification of unclaimed and abandoned human remains
Identification of unclaimed or abandoned human remains
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall cooperate with veterans service organizations to assist entities in possession of unclaimed or abandoned human remains in determining if any such remains are the remains of veterans or other individuals eligible for burial in a national cemetery.
Burial of unclaimed or abandoned human remains
If the Secretary determines that any unclaimed or abandoned human remains are the remains of a person who is eligible for burial in an open national cemetery under the control of the National Cemetery Administration under section 2402 of title 38, United States Code, the Secretary shall provide for the burial of the remains and cover the cost of the burial of the remains and the cost of preparing the remains and transporting them to the place of burial, if the Secretary determines, with respect to the remains—
that there is no next of kin or other person claiming the remains; and
that there are not available other sufficient resources to cover burial and funeral expenses.
Creation of national database
The Secretary shall establish a database in which the Secretary shall enter the names of any veteran or other individual identified pursuant to subsection (a). The Secretary shall ensure that the database is publicly accessible.