[House Report 110-428]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    110-428

======================================================================
 
                 PURPLE HEART FAMILY EQUITY ACT OF 2007

                                _______
                                

November 6, 2007.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Conyers, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1119]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 1119) to amend title 36, United States Code, to revise 
the congressional charter of the Military Order of the Purple 
Heart of the United States of America, Incorporated, to 
authorize associate membership in the corporation for the 
spouse of a recipient of the Purple Heart medal, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with amendments 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
The Amendment....................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     3
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     3
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     3
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     4
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     4
Advisory on Earmarks.............................................     4
Section-by-Section Analysis......................................     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     5

                             The Amendment

  The amendments are as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Purple Heart Family Equity Act of 
2007''.

SEC. 2. ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP IN THE MILITARY ORDER OF THE PURPLE HEART 
                    OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, INCORPORATED.

  Section 140503(b) of title 36, United States Code, is amended by 
striking ``parents and lineal descendants'' and inserting ``the 
parents, spouse, siblings, and lineal descendants''.

  Amend the title so as to read:

      A bill to amend title 36, United States Code, to revise 
the congressional charter of the Military Order of the Purple 
Heart of the United States of America, Incorporated, to 
authorize associate membership in the corporation for the 
spouse and siblings of a recipient of the Purple Heart medal.

                          Purpose and Summary

    Under the existing Federal charter of the Military Order of 
the Purple Heart (MOPH), members of the MOPH are only allowed 
to invite parents and lineal descendants to join the MOPH as 
associate members. H.R. 1119 amends the MOPH's Federal charter 
to allow members to invite their spouses and siblings to join 
as associate members both for male and female recipients of the 
Purple Heart medal.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the United States 
Armed Forces--male and female--who are wounded in battle and to 
the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action 
or die of wounds received in action. It is specifically a 
combat decoration.
    The organization now known as the ``Military Order of the 
Purple Heart'' (MOPH) was formed in 1932 for the protection and 
mutual interest of all who have received the decoration. Wives, 
mothers, daughters, step-daughters and adopted daughters of 
Purple Heart recipients are eligible to belong to the Ladies' 
Auxiliary of MOPH, which also does important work nationally 
and locally in veterans hospitals.
    When MOPH was federally chartered in 1958, very few women 
had received the Purple Heart. Women recipients of the Purple 
Heart currently do not have the same benefits as their male 
counterparts. Under the current law, male members can invite 
their wives to join the Ladies Auxiliary of the Purple Heart--
but there is no place in the organization for husbands of 
Purple Heart recipients. To date, the MOPH has identified at 
least 97 female Purple Heart recipients who have joined and who 
are not enjoying the full benefits of membership that they 
deserve.
    H.R. 1119, the ``Purple Heart Family Equity Act of 2007,'' 
seeks to fully honor the women of the Armed Forces who have won 
the Purple Heart defending our nation. Specifically, H.R. 1119 
adjusts MOPH's Federal charter to allow members to invite their 
spouses to join as associate members both for male and female 
recipients of the Purple Heart. With this minor update to the 
Federal charter, the husbands of female members may join the 
organization. H.R. 1119 is endorsed and fully supported by the 
Military Order of the Purple Heart.
    H.R. 1119 also allows members to invite their siblings to 
join as associate members so that they too can take part in the 
full honor of their brothers and sisters who fought so bravely 
for our country and received a Purple Heart.

                                Hearings

    The Committee on the Judiciary held no hearings on H.R. 
1119.

                        Committee Consideration

    On July 27, 2007, the Subcommittee on Immigration, 
Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law 
met in open session and ordered the bill, H.R. 1119, favorably 
reported, with an amendment, by a voice vote, a quorum being 
present. On August 2, 2007, the Committee met in open session 
and ordered the bill, H.R. 1119, favorably reported without 
amendment, by a voice vote, a quorum being present.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that there 
were no recorded votes during the Committee's consideration of 
H.R. 1119.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives is inapplicable because this legislation does 
not provide new budgetary authority or increased tax 
expenditures.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets forth, with 
respect to the bill, H.R. 1119, the following estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                   Washington, DC, August 16, 2007.
Hon. John Conyers, Jr.,
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1119, the Purple 
Heart Family Equity Act of 2007.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Schmit.
            Sincerely,
                                           Peter R. Orszag,
                                                          Director.

    Enclosure.

H.R. 1119--Purple Heart Family Equity Act of 2007
    H.R. 1119 would authorize the Congressionally chartered 
Military Order of the Purple Heart of the United States of 
America, Incorporated, to grant associate membership status in 
that organization to the spouses and siblings of purple heart 
recipients. Because Congressionally chartered organizations 
listed in title 36 of the U.S. Code are not agencies of the 
U.S. Government, CBO estimates this bill would have no impact 
on the federal budget.
    H.R. 1119 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on State, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew Schmit. 
This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
goal of H.R. 1119 is to provide equity for female Purple Heart 
recipients so that their spouses can also participate in the 
Military Order of the Purple Heart. H.R. 1119 does so by 
amending the Order's Federal charter to allow for associate 
membership of spouses and siblings in addition to parents and 
lineal descendants already covered under current law.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds the authority for 
this legislation in article I, section 8, clause 18 of the 
Constitution.

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In accordance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.R. 1119 does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    The following discussion describes the bill as reported by 
the Committee.
    Sec. 1. Short title. Section 1 sets forth the short title 
of the bill as the Purple Heart Family Equity Act of 2007.
    Sec. 2. Associate Membership in the Military Order of the 
Purple Heart of the United States of America, Incorporated. 
Section 2 amends the charter of the Military Order of the 
Purple Heart to allow for spouses and siblings to join the 
Military Order of the Purple Heart as associate members.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

             SECTION 140503 OF TITLE 36, UNITED STATES CODE

Sec. 140503. Membership

  (a) * * *
  (b) Associate Members.--The corporation may extend 
eligibility for membership as associate members to [parents and 
lineal descendants] the parents, spouse, siblings, and lineal 
descendants of an individual described in subsection (a) of 
this section on terms provided in its constitution and bylaws.

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