Buffalo Soldiers Battle Monument, New Orleans, Louisiana
Buffalo Soldiers Battle Monument

1st Session

S. 499

To authorize the American Battle Monuments Commission to establish in the State of Louisiana a memorial to honor the Buffalo Soldiers.


Ms. LANDRIEU (for herself and Mr. BREAUX) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


To authorize the American Battle Monuments Commission to establish in the State of Louisiana a memorial to honor the Buffalo Soldiers.
    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

    This Act may be cited as the `Buffalo Soldier Commemoration Act of 2003'.

    Congress finds that--
      (1) the 9th and 10th Cavalry regiments and the 24th and 25th Infantry regiments, comprised of African-American soldiers referred to as `Buffalo Soldiers', performed outstanding service to the United States during--
        (A) the Indian Wars;
        (B) the Spanish-American War;
        (C) the Philippine Insurrection; and
        (D) the raids against Poncho Villa;
      (2) in recognition of the contributions of the Buffalo Soldiers to the defense of the United States, soldiers in the 9th and 10th Cavalry regiments were awarded 20 individual Congressional Medals of Honor;
      (3) the Buffalo Soldiers established a rich tradition of professional African-American soldiers in the United States Army by granting a commission--
        (A) in the 10th Cavalry regiment, to the first African-American professional officer; and
        (B) in the 9th Cavalry regiment, to the first African-American graduates of West Point;
      (4) while the Buffalo Soldiers served the United States with bravery and fortitude in the harshest environments and under the most difficult conditions, the service of the Buffalo Soldiers has not been sufficiently memorialized;
      (5) the Buffalo Soldiers remain emblems of the work of free men in defense of the United States and should be recognized for their contributions; and
      (6) because 2 of the 4 African-American regiments were organized in the State of Louisiana and were initially comprised of recruits from the city of New Orleans, the State of Louisiana is an appropriate place to establish a memorial to recognize the contributions of the Buffalo Soldiers.
    In this Act:
      (1) BUFFALO SOLDIER- The term `Buffalo Soldier' means an African-American soldier that served in--
        (A) the 9th Cavalry regiment;
        (B) the 10th Cavalry regiment;
        (C) the 24th infantry regiment; or
        (D) the 25th infantry regiment.
      (2) CITY- The term `city' means the city of New Orleans, Louisiana.
      (3) COMMISSION- The term `Commission' means the American Battle Monuments Commission.
      (4) FUND- The term `Fund' means the Buffalo Soldier Memorial Fund established by section 5(a).
      (5) MEMORIAL- The term `memorial' means the memorial established under section 4(a).
      (6) MUSEUM- The term `museum' means the Louisiana State Museum in the State.
      (7) STATE- The term `State' means the State of Louisiana.

    (a) IN GENERAL- The Commission may establish a memorial to honor the Buffalo Soldiers--
      (1) on Federal land in the city or its environs; or
      (2) on land donated by the city or the State.
    (b) CONTRIBUTIONS- The Commission shall solicit and accept contributions sufficient for the construction and maintenance of the memorial.
    (c) MAIL- The Commission shall be considered to qualify for the rates of postage currently in effect under former section 4452 of title 39, United States Code, for third-class mail matter mailed by a qualified nonprofit organization with respect to official mail sent in carrying out this section.
      (1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding section 1342 of title 31, United States Code, the Commission may accept from any person voluntary services provided in furtherance of fundraising activities of the Commission relating to the memorial.
        (A) IN GENERAL- Subject to subparagraph (B), a person that provides voluntary services under this subsection--
          (i) shall be considered to be a Federal employee for the purposes of chapter 81 of title 5 and chapter 171 of title 28, United States Code; but
          (ii) shall not be considered to be a Federal employee for any other purpose by reason of the provision of the voluntary service.
        (B) CERTAIN RESPONSIBILITIES- A person described in subparagraph (A) that is assigned responsibility for the handling of funds or the carrying out of a Federal function shall be subject to--
          (i) section 208 of title 18, United States Code; and
          (ii) part 2635 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor regulation).
      (3) REIMBURSEMENT- The Commission may--
        (A) identify types of incidental expenses incurred by a person providing voluntary services under this subsection for which the person may be reimbursed; and
        (B) provide for reimbursement of those expenses.
      (4) NO EFFECT ON FEDERAL EMPLOYEES- Nothing in this subsection--
        (A) requires any Federal employee to work without compensation; or
        (B) permits the use of volunteer services to displace or replace any services provided by a Federal employee.
    (e) TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CONTRACTS- A contract entered into by the Commission for the design or construction of the memorial shall not be considered to be a funding agreement for the purpose of chapter 18 of title 35, United States Code.

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Attorney General shall provide the Commission such legal representation as the Commission requires to carry out subsection (e).
      (2) PATENT AND TRADEMARK REPRESENTATION- The Secretary of Defense shall provide representation for the Commission in any administrative proceeding before the Patent and Trademark Office and Copyright Office.
    (g) IRREVOCABILITY OF TRANSFERS OF COPYRIGHTS TO COMMISSION- Section 203 of title 17, United States Code, shall not apply to any copyright transferred to the Commission.
    (h) PARTICIPATION IN COMBINED FEDERAL CAMPAIGN- The Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall include the Commission on the list of agencies eligible for participation in each Combined Federal Campaign carried out by the Executive Branch under Executive Order No. 10927 (March 18, 1961), until such time as the Commission certifies to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management that fundraising for the memorial is concluded.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established in the Treasury a fund to be used by the Commission to pay the expenses incurred in establishing the memorial, to be known as the `Buffalo Soldier Memorial Fund'.
    (b) DEPOSITS IN THE FUND- The Commission shall deposit in the Fund--
      (1) amounts accepted by the Commission under section 4(b); and
      (2) interest and proceeds credited to the Fund under subsection (d).
    (c) INVESTMENT OF AMOUNTS- The Secretary of the Treasury shall invest such portion of the Fund that is not, in the judgment of the Chairman of the Commission, required to meet current withdrawals. Investments may be made only in--
      (1) an interest-bearing obligation of the United States; or
      (2) an obligation guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States that the Chairman of the Commission determines has a maturity suitable for the Fund.
    (d) CREDITS TO FUND- The interest on, and proceeds from sale or redemption of, obligations held in the Fund shall be credited to the Fund.
    (e) USE OF FUND- Amounts in the Fund shall be available--
      (1) to the Commission--
        (A) to pay expenses incurred in establishing the memorial; and
        (B) to secure, obtain, register, enforce, protect, and license any mark, copyright, or patent that is owned by, assigned to, licensed to the Commission to aid or facilitate the construction of the memorial; and
      (2) to the Commission, or to another agency or entity to which the amounts are transferred under subsection (f)--
        (A) for the maintenance and upkeep of the memorial; and
        (B) after establishment of the memorial, for such other expenses relating to the memorial as the Commission, agency, or entity considers to be necessary.
    (f) TRANSFER OF AMOUNTS IN FUND- Amounts in the Fund may be transferred by the Commission to an agency or entity to which title to the memorial is transferred under section 6.

    On or after the date that is 1 year after the date of establishment of the memorial, the Commission may transfer any amounts remaining in the Fund, and title to and responsibility for future operation and maintenance of the memorial, to, at the option of the Commission--
      (1) the National Park Service; or
      (2) another appropriate governmental agency or other entity (such as a State or local government agency, or a nonprofit corporation that applies to the Commission to take title to the memorial) that is an organization described in section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
    There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this Act.