Text: H.R.1849 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)
Referred in Senate (11/06/2009)
[Congressional Bills 111th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 1849 Referred in Senate (RFS)]
H. R. 1849
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
November 6, 2009
Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and
To designate the Liberty Memorial at the National World War I Museum in
Kansas City, Missouri, as the National World War I Memorial, to
establish the World War I centennial commission to ensure a suitable
observance of the centennial of World War I, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``World War I Memorial and Centennial
Act of 2009''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:
(1) More than 4,000,000 men and women from the United
States served in uniform in the defense of liberty during World
War I, among them two future presidents, Harry S. Truman and
Dwight D. Eisenhower.
(2) 2,000,000 individuals from the United States served
overseas during World War I, including 200,000 naval personnel
who served on the seas.
(3) The United States suffered 375,000 casualties during
World War I.
(4) The events of 1914 through 1918 shaped the world, our
country, and the lives of millions of people in countless ways.
(5) The centennial of World War I offers an opportunity for
people in the United States to learn about the sacrifices of
(6) Commemorative efforts allow people in the United States
to gain a historical understanding of the type of conflicts
that cause countries to go to war and how those conflicts are
(7) Kansas City is home to the Liberty Memorial and
America's National World War I Museum (as so recognized in the
Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal
Year 2005 (Public Law 108-375)).
(8) America's National World War I Museum seeks--
(A) to preserve the history of World War I; and
(B) to educate and enlighten people about this
significant event, the consequences of which are still
(9) Kansas City is home to the national headquarters for
the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
(10) Missouri is the home State of General John Joseph
Pershing, who commanded the American Expeditionary Forces in
Europe during World War I.
(11) The Kansas City area is the home of the Harry S.
Truman Presidential Library and Museum.
(12) The Dwight David Eisenhower Presidential Library and
Museum is located close to Kansas City in the neighboring State
(13) There is no nationally recognized memorial honoring
the service of Americans who served in World War I.
(14) In 1919, the people of Kansas City, Missouri,
expressed an outpouring of support and raised more than
$2,000,000 in two weeks for a memorial to the service of
Americans in World War I. That fundraising was an
accomplishment unparalleled by any other city in the United
States irrespective of population and reflected the passion of
public opinion about World War I, which had so recently ended.
(15) Following the drive, a national architectural
competition was held by the American Institute of Architects
for designs for a memorial to the service of Americans in World
War I, and the competition yielded a design by architect H. Van
(16) On November 1, 1921, more than 100,000 people
witnessed the dedication of the site for the Liberty Memorial
in Kansas City, Missouri. That dedication marked the only time
in history that the five allied military leaders; Lieutenant
General Baron Jacques of Belgium, General Armando Diaz of
Italy, Marshal Ferdinand Foch of France, General John J.
Pershing of the United States, and Admiral Lord Earl Beatty of
Great Britain, were together at one place.
(17) General Pershing noted at the November 1, 1921,
dedication that ``[t]he people of Kansas City, Missouri, are
deeply proud of the beautiful memorial, erected in tribute to
the patriotism, the gallant achievements, and the heroic
sacrifices of their sons and daughters who served in our
country's armed forces during the World War. It symbolized
their grateful appreciation of duty well done, an appreciation
which I share, because I know so well how richly it is
(18) During an Armistice Day ceremony in 1924, President
Calvin Coolidge marked the beginning of a three-year
construction project for the Liberty Memorial by the laying of
the cornerstone of the memorial.
(19) The 217-foot Liberty Memorial Tower has an inscription
that reads ``In Honor of Those Who Served in the World War in
Defense of Liberty and Our Country'' as well as four stone
``Guardian Spirits'' representing courage, honor, patriotism,
and sacrifice, which rise above the observation deck, making
the Liberty Memorial a noble tribute to all who served in World
(20) During a rededication for the Liberty Memorial in
1961, World War I veterans and former Presidents Harry S.
Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower recognized the memorial as a
constant reminder of the sacrifices during World War I and the
progress that followed.
(21) The 106th Congress recognized the Liberty Memorial as
a national symbol of World War I.
(22) The National World War I Museum is the only public
museum in the United States specifically dedicated to the
history of World War I.
(23) The National World War I Museum is known throughout
the world as a major center of World War I remembrance.
SEC. 3. DESIGNATION OF THE LIBERTY MEMORIAL AT THE NATIONAL WORLD WAR I
MUSEUM IN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, AS THE NATIONAL WORLD
WAR I MEMORIAL.
The Liberty Memorial at the National World War I Museum in Kansas
City, Missouri, is hereby designated as the ``National World War I
Memorial''. No Federal funds may be used for the annual operation or
maintenance of such Memorial.
SEC. 4. COMMISSION ON THE COMMEMORATION OF THE CENTENNIAL OF WORLD WAR
(a) Establishment.--There is established a commission to be known
as the World War I Centennial Commission (in this Act referred to as
(b) Purpose.--The purpose of the Commission is to ensure a suitable
observance of the centennial of World War I that promotes the values of
honor, courage, patriotism, and sacrifice, in keeping with the
representation of these values through the four Guardian Spirits
sculpted on the Liberty Memorial Monument at America's National World
War I Museum.
(c) Duties.--The Commission shall have the following duties:
(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 related 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.
(1) Number and appointment.--The Commission shall be
composed of 24 members as follows:
(A) Four members appointed by the Speaker of the
House of Representatives.
(B) Three members appointed by the minority leader
of the House of Representatives.
(C) Four members appointed by the Senate majority
(D) Three members appointed by the Senate minority
(E) Seven members who are broadly representative of
the people of the United States (including members of
the armed services and veterans), appointed by the
(F) The executive director of the Veterans of
Foreign Wars of the United States (or the director's
(G) The executive director of the American Legion
(or the director's delegate).
(H) The president of the Liberty Memorial
Association, the nonprofit entity responsible for the
management of America's National World War I Museum (or
the president's delegate).
(2) Ex officio members.--The Archivist of the United States
and the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution shall serve in
an ex officio capacity on the Commission to provide advice and
information to the Commission.
(3) Continuation of membership.--If a member of the
Commission under subparagraph (F), (G), or (H) of paragraph (1)
ceases to hold a position named in such subparagraph, that
member must resign from the Commission as of the date that the
member ceases to hold that position.
(4) Terms.--Each member shall be appointed for the life of
(5) Deadline for appointment.--All members of the
Commission shall be appointed not later than 90 days after the
date of the enactment of this Act.
(6) Vacancies.--A vacancy on the Commission shall--
(A) not affect the powers of the Commission; and
(B) be filled in the manner in which the original
appointment was made.
(7) Pay.--Members shall not receive compensation for the
performance of their duties on behalf of the Commission.
(8) Travel expenses.--Each member shall receive travel
expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in
accordance with the applicable provisions under subchapter I of
chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code.
(9) Quorum.--A majority of members of the Commission plus
one shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number may hold
(10) Chairperson; vice chairperson.--The Commission shall
elect the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Commission by
a majority vote of the members of the Commission.
(A) In general.--The Commission shall meet at the
call of the Chairperson, except that the first meeting
shall be held before the end of the 120-day period
beginning on the effective date of this Act.
(B) Location.--The Commission shall hold the first
meeting at America's National World War I Museum in
Kansas City, Missouri, and thereafter shall hold at
least one meeting per year at such location.
(e) Director and Additional Personnel of the Commission; Experts
(1) Director and staff.--
(A) Appointment.--The Chairperson of the Commission
shall, in consultation with the members of the
Commission, appoint an executive director and such
other additional personnel as may be necessary to
enable the Commission to perform its duties.
(B) Pay.--The executive 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 such title relating to
classification and General Schedule pay rates, except
that the rate of pay for the executive director and
other staff may not exceed the rate payable for level V
of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of such
(C) Work location.--If the city government for
Kansas City, Missouri, and the nonprofit organization
which administers America's National World War I Museum
make space available, the executive director and any
additional personnel appointed under subparagraph (A)
shall work in the building that houses that museum.
(2) Experts and consultants.--The Commission may procure
temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of
title 5, United States Code.
(3) Staff of federal agencies.--Upon request of the
Commission, the head of any Federal department or agency may
detail, on a reimbursable basis, any personnel of that
department or agency to the Commission to assist it in carrying
out its duties under this Act.
(f) Powers of the Commission.--
(1) Hearings and sessions.--For the purpose of carrying out
this Act, the Commission may hold hearings, sit and act at
times and places, take testimony, and receive evidence as the
Commission considers appropriate.
(2) Powers of members and agents.--If authorized by the
Commission, any member or agent of the Commission may take any
action which the Commission is authorized to take by this
(3) Obtaining official data.--The Commission shall secure
directly from any department or agency of the United States
information necessary to enable it to carry out this Act. Upon
the request of the Chairperson of the Commission, the head of
that department or agency shall furnish that information to the
(4) Gifts, bequests, and devises.--
(A) Acceptance by commission.--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
(B) Deposit and availability.--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.
(5) 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.
(6) 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.
(7) Contract authority.--The Commission is authorized to
procure supplies, services, and property and to make or enter
in contracts, leases, or other legal agreements; except that
any contract, lease, or other legal agreement made or entered
into by the Commission may not extend beyond the date of
termination of the Commission.
(1) Periodic report.--Beginning not later than the last day
of the 3-month period beginning on the effective date of this
Act, and the last day of each 3-month period thereafter, the
Commission shall submit to Congress and the President a report
on the activities and plans of the Commission.
(2) Annual reports.--The Commission shall submit to the
President and Congress annual reports on the revenue and
expenditures of the Commission, including a list of each gift,
bequest, or devise to the Commission with a value of more than
$250, together with the identity of the donor of each gift,
bequest, or devise.
(3) Recommendations.--Not later than 2 years after the
effective date of this Act, the 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.
(h) Federal Advisory Committee Act Waiver.--Section 14 of the
Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), relating to the
termination of advisory committees, shall not apply to the Commission.
(i) Authorization of Funds.--
(1) In general.--There is authorized to be appropriated to
the Commission to carry out this Act $500,000 for each of
fiscal years 2010 through 2019.
(2) Availability.--Amounts made available under this
subsection shall remain available until the termination of the
Commission as described in subsection (k).
(j) Annual Audit.--For any fiscal year for which the Commission
receives an appropriation of funds, the Inspector General of the
Department of the Interior shall perform an audit of the Commission,
shall make the results of any audit performed available to the public,
and shall transmit such results to the Committee on Oversight and
Government Reform of the House of Representatives and the Committee on
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate.
(k) Termination.--The Commission shall terminate on the earlier of
the date that is 30 days after the activities honoring the centennial
observation of World War I are carried out, or July 28, 2019.
(l) Effective Date.--This section shall take effect on January 1,
Passed the House of Representatives November 5, 2009.
LORRAINE C. MILLER,