IAVA’s DC Team continues our push for the Senate to pass the “9/11 Memorial Act” (H.R. 3036). Currently the 9/11 Memorial in New York City is not a National Memorial, with funding to ensure that it is an everlasting monument to the women and men lost on 9/11/2001.
The House passed the bill earlier this year in a near-unanimous vote. It now awaits approval by the Senate the first week they return from their summer vacation. What better way to recognize the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, this coming 9/11, than guaranteeing the memorial? Time is short!
Why the hold-up? The Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee – responsible for the bill – held a hearing in June on the measure. During the hearing, the National Park Service opposed the bill because it objects to funding for the memorial coming from their budget. Committee members at the hearing did not express similar – or any – objections.
On a separate track, the bill was added to a package of energy legislation (S.2012) passed by the House and Senate – although the two versions must be reconciled before final passage. We were encouraged that a bipartisan group of 28 House Members recently sent a letter to the House and Senate energy committees in support of the bill’s inclusion in any final energy bill.
IAVA recently met with the office of the bill sponsor, Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) and were encouraged by his commitment and efforts to get the bill signed into law. We will continue to ask Senate ENR Committee members to clear the bill and allow swift Senate approval as soon as they return from their summer break the week of September 5. That week is critical so that we can show our commitment to remembering those that lost their lives on that tragic day, as well as those in the military that never returned from the fight to respond to the attacks.
Stay tuned to IAVA’s DC Team on Twitter at @IAVA and let’s get this done!