Dr. Boozman's Check-up

Stolen Valor

Sep 14 2012

The House of Representatives passed the continuing resolution yesterday.  This is an important step to avoiding a government shutdown which would harm Arkansans and all Americans who count on services provided by government.  The continuing resolution will allow us to carry on with our work without the interruption of vital services for Arkansans.  I predict it will sail through this chamber as well.

The continuing resolution was not the only key action taken by the House yesterday that can easily be replicated by the Senate.  House members also passed a bill that would make it a crime to profit from false claims about military service. 

Back in June, the Supreme Court struck down a 2006 law that made it a crime to lie about receiving the Medal of Honor and other prized military awards.  While the Court called the false claims "contemptible," the Justices said that it was nonetheless protected speech under the First Amendment. 

The bill passed by the House yesterday should stand the Constitutional test because it narrows the scope by focusing on the profiting of these false claims.  

There is clearly overwhelming support in both chambers for this effort to protect our decorated veterans.  I am one of 33 Senators who are cosponsoring a companion bill here in the Senate.  While the President has not publically endorsed the bill, his administration argued in favor of the broader law before the Supreme Court.  Should we pass the bill, I believe President Obama would sign this commonsense solution to the problem.    

Our veterans sacrificed dearly to earn their decorations.  We need to protect the integrity of their service by preventing others from falsely profiting off these honors by fraudulently claiming they too received them.