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Public Statements

Stolen Valor Act of 2012

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GRIFFIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 1775, the Stolen Valor Act of 2011, and urge its passage.

I would like to thank Congressman Joe Heck for his leadership on this issue as well as Judiciary Committee Chairman Smith, also Ranking Member Conyers, for their bipartisan cooperation passing this bill out of committee.

As a proud cosponsor of the Stolen Valor Act, I offered a substitute amendment during committee consideration in response to the recent Supreme Court decision in U.S. v Alvarez. The court instructed that, however despicable, a false claim about receiving a military award is protected by the First Amendment. The substitute amendment, which was adopted unanimously by the Judiciary Committee on August 1, 2012, incorporates the Supreme Court's opinion and recommendations in Alvarez.

The bill we consider today ensures that the Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, and other military awards will be protected from fraud and that those who make false claims of military service or awards will face criminal penalties. I believe that protecting the integrity and valor of American servicemembers who have distinguished themselves in defense of this Nation is critically important. We must ensure that the Medal of Honor and other military awards are protected from fraud, and the Stolen Valor Act helps in that effort.

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