Vietnam ping pong: House sends memorial bill to the Senate… again

That limitation has made it difficult for the VVMF to collect the funds needed to start construction.

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Last month, the House tried to fix the problem by passing H.R. 588, the Vietnam Veterans Donor Acknowledgement Act. That bill, which passed 398-2, allowed private donors to be recognized.

But when the Senate received the bill, it added language from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) that would allow all private donors to be recognized in any public memorial built in the future on the National Mall. The House on Monday balked at that language.

"Instead of only allowing donor recognition at a soon-to-be built Vietnam Veterans Education Center, the Senate changed the bill to allow donor recognition across the entire mall, on all future commemorative works," said Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), the sponsor of the original House bill.

"While I'm not fundamentally opposed to this idea, neither the House nor the Senate has done any hearings to consider the implication of this issue," he said. "This is just a poor legislative process, and the American people deserve better."

Because of opposition to this Senate addition, the House approved a resolution by voice vote that removes this language. However, members noted that they were keeping one element of the Senate change — language that extends the authority to build the Education Center through 2018.

In addition, members noted that a separate House bill would be introduced today that allows all private donors to be acknowledged in any future projects on the National Mall.

"We will have a public hearing, we will go through the process to be held very soon on this particular bill," Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) said.

House passage of the resolution sends it back once again for Senate approval.

The House also approved two other non-controversial bills by voice vote late Monday. They are:

— H.R. 674, the Rota Cultural and Natural Resources Study Act, requiring a study on the addition of land in the Northern Mariana Islands to the National Park System, and

— H.R. 520, the Buffalo Soldiers in the National Parks Study Act, requiring a study on how to commemorate the Buffalo Soldiers.