It also notes that the cross became an "icon of hope and comfort" throughout the recovery effort, and became a "shrine and tourist attraction after it was moved from the site in October 2001.

The cross was moved back to the World Trade Center site and now sits in the National 9/11 Memorial Museum.

Designation of the cross as a national monument would make it subject to administration by the secretary of the Interior. The bill would also prohibit federal funding to be used to establish the cross as a monument.

The decision to include the cross in the 9/11 museum has come under attack by the group American Atheists, which has filed suit against the museum. Grimm and others have criticized this as an attempt to remove a "symbol of hope and freedom" from the World Trade Center site.

"I find it reprehensible that this group would disgrace the beliefs of millions of people in an effort to garner a little media attention for their cause," Grimm said last week. "By establishing the 9/11 Memorial Cross as a national monument, we ensure this symbol of freedom continues to stand for all those we lost and those whose faith remains to this day."