House to vote Monday on bill criminalizing lies about military honors

The House will vote Monday on legislation to make it a crime to lie about military honors. 

The “Stolen Valor” bill sponsored by Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) would make profiting from lies about military honors a crime that carries up to a one-year sentence.

The Supreme Court last year struck down the “Stolen Valor” law passed by Congress in 2006. That law made it a crime to lie about receiving military awards. The court ruled that law violated the First Amendment’s right to free expression.

Since the ruling, there have been several attempts since to rewrite the legislation to address the Supreme Court’s First Amendment concerns by including provisions that require profiting from the false claims.

ADVERTISEMENT
Heck's measure says that it's a crime to lie about military honors with the "intent to obtain money, property or other tangible benefit."

His bill passed the House 410-3 last September, but that version was never adopted by the Senate and expired at the end of the 112th Congress.

This year, Heck may be more optimistic the legislation can pass in the upper chamber.

There were two competing versions of the legislation in the Senate last Congress. Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) had introduced the same bill alongside Heck, while former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) had his own proposal that accomplished the same goal.

Heck’s proposal was added to the House’s Defense authorization bill, and Webb’s was included in the Senate’s Defense authorization legislation. But in conference committee, both were dropped from the final bill.

Now Heck’s Nevada colleague, Sen. Dean Heller (R), is sponsoring the measure in the Senate. Heller’s bill currently has 21 Senate co-sponsors.

More in Policy & Strategy

GOP lawmaker offers bill to improve hostage recovery

Read more »