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Emergency Reprieve for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers Stalled in Congress
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com - National Defense Authorization Bill, Tomb of the Unknowns, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Arlington National Cemetery
Contributed By: The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Department of Public Policy
Email The Author: pr@nthp.org
Website: http://www.nthp.org

A temporary reprieve for the endangered Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery may be delayed because of a disagreement between House-Senate conferees over a domestic provision contained within the National Defense Authorization Bill (HR 1585). The disagreement has been over a provision passed in the Senate version of the bill that would expand race-based, hate-crime laws to include crimes committed against people because of their gender, sexual orientation or disability. The provision would set new penalties and authorize spending to support state and local prosecutions of such crimes. However, House Republicans are opposed to the inclusion of the hate crimes language and President Bush may veto the measure unless the language is stricken from the bill.

Senators Daniel Akaka (D-HI) and Jim Webb (D-VA) championed the amendment included in the Senate version of the authorization bill that would require a much-needed study and a report to Congress before the Army can proceed with its plan to replace the historic Tomb Monument. Although the Akaka-Webb amendment was unanimously adopted by the Senate, it is unclear at this time if it will be included in the conference report or if the National Defense Authorization Bill will reach the President for signature.

In the interim, the National Trust continues to press decision-makers to save the Tomb. For more information on how you can join the campaign to Save the Tomb of the Unknowns, please visit http://www.nationaltrust.org/advocacy/arlington.html.

Reprinted by permission of the Public Policy Department of the National Trust


Keywords: National Defense Authorization Bill, Tomb of the Unknowns, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Arlington National Cemetery

Posted: November 26, 2007
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