Heck's Stolen Valor Act Clears Senate

May 22, 2013 Issues: Defense and National Security, Veterans

WASHINGTON - Congressman Joe Heck (NV-03) tonight released the following statement after the Senate approved the Stolen Valor Act of 2013 (H.R. 258) by unanimous consent.

"Tonight marks the end of what has been a very long, challenging, and rewarding process. From first learning of the issue at a veterans advisory group meeting in early 2011 to tonight's unanimous approval in the Senate, the Stolen Valor Act is finally back on the books to protect the integrity and sanctity of military awards. I thank Senator Heller for introducing the companion bill and moving it through the process in the Senate, and also Senator Reid for his support. I also want to thank House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Ranking Member John Conyers for moving the bill through their committee. It is a fitting tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country that both chambers have passed this bill before Memorial Day and I am hopeful that the President will sign it into law as quickly as possible."

Background:

The Stolen Valor Act of 2005 made it a crime to lie about military service and awards, but was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 28, 2012.

Based on the Supreme Court’s ruling, Rep. Heck's legislation would be constitutional because it focuses on those who seek to benefit from misrepresentations of military service and awards.

Rep. Heck's more narrowly-focused bill states, "whoever, with intent to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefit, fraudulently holds oneself out to be a recipient of a decoration or medal shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than one year, or both." The bill covers issues ranging from lying to receive veteran or health care benefits to obtaining a government contract or getting a job reserved for a veteran.

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