House to fix Vietnam memorial delays with vote next week

Under current law, only private donations can be used to fund the center, but the VVMF cannot acknowledge these private contributions at the new site. That's making it difficult for the VVMF to collect the funds needed to build the center.

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According to VVMF spokesman Lee Allen, about $96 million is needed to build the new center, and a little over one-quarter of that has been collected since the project was authorized 10 years ago.

"As the law currently stands, it is ... nearly impossible for us to secure private donations for the Center," VVMF President Jan Scruggs said in February when Young introduced the bill. "This is handicapping our efforts to raise the money to build the Center and have it completed in time to welcome home soldiers from Afghanistan."

Young's office predicts that when the law is changed, the VVMF should be able to complete funding and have the center built by 2015. Among other things, the center will contain pictures of the soldiers killed in Vietnam, as well as some of the thousands of mementos that families have left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

House Republicans will bring up the bill under a suspension of House rules, which will require a two-thirds majority vote for passage; the bill is expected to pass easily.