Congressman Mark S. Critz (PA-12) announced today that the House of Representatives has passed (410-3) the Stolen Valor Act of 2011, which makes it a crime to knowingly benefit from lying about military service or awards.
"Like many in western Pennsylvania, I believe that we must defend the honor and sacrifices of those who have served our great country," said Congressman Critz, a Member of the House Armed Services Committee. "That is why, as a proud co-sponsor of the Stolen Valor Act of 2011, I am pleased today that the House of Representatives has passed this important piece of legislation."
The bipartisan Stolen Valor Act of 2011 makes a key change to the Stolen Valor Act of 2005, which was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 28, 2012. Based on the Supreme Court's ruling, the Stolen Valor Act of 2011 would be constitutional because it focuses on those who seek to benefit from misrepresentations of military service and awards.
"In light of the Supreme Court's decision earlier this summer, it is important to clarify current law to continue our long-standing commitment to protect the prestige of military service and decorations awarded to our military heroes," Congressman Critz added. "Moving forward, this bill ensures that the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, and other military awards will be shielded from fraud and abuse."
The Stolen Valor Act of 2011 amends the federal criminal code to subject an individual, who with intent to obtain anything of value, knowingly makes a misrepresentation regarding his or her military service to a fine, imprisonment, or both.