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House approves monument to President John Adams

President John Adams may yet get his due. Congress is taking two steps this week to set up a monument in Washington, DC in his honor. On Tuesday, July 23, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation renewing authority of the Adams Memorial Foundation to raise funds for constructing a memorial to the nation's second president (H.R. 3802). President George W. Bush signed legislation authorizing the project in 2001, but authorization expired on Dec. 2, 2013 and the foundation failed to come up with the cash.

The new legislation would give the foundation until Dec. 2, 2020. No federal funds may be used to build the monument to John Adams, which would also honor other distinguished members of his family, including his wife, first lady Abigail Adams, and their son, President John Quincy Adams. The legislation says that if any funds are leftover after building it, the money goes into a fund operated by the National Park Foundation to maintain the structure.

The structure would go in the District of Columbia but no site has been chosen. Adams descendants serve on the foundation board. The House passed the bill by voice vote. The Adams family came from Massachusetts and the Massachusetts delegation pushed the legislation. The House Committee on Natural Resources approved it in April.

Meanwhile, over on the Senate side, the Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks is conducting a hearing on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 that will include testimony on an identical measure (S 1866), among many other national park-related bills. The witnesses include Christina Goldfuss, deputy director of congressional & external affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The Congressional Budget Office has determined that the bill would not affect the federal budget as no government money is involved and under the Commemorative Works Act, at least 10 percent of funds raised go into an account to maintain the memorial.

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