Tester, Heller hail passage of measure to protect honor of military service

(U.S. SENATE) – Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) today released the following statements after the Senate passed the Senators’ Stolen Valor Act. The Stolen Valor Act makes it a federal crime to lie about receiving a military decoration or medal, like the Medal of Honor, in order to profit or benefit financially:

“With Memorial Day approaching, I am pleased that we were able to unanimously pass a bill that ensures we honor our true American heroes,” Senator Tester said. “Courageous military heroes earn awards like the Medal of Honor with their actions on the battlefield and lying about military service is dishonorable and an insult to the brave men and women of our armed forces.”

“Our nation can never fully express our gratitude for all that our men and women in uniform have experienced on our behalf,” said Senator Dean Heller. “Their acts of valor helped ensure the safety and security of our nation, and the honor of their awards should never be compromised. I’m grateful to Senator Tester for working with me on this issue, and look forward to the bill moving to President Obama for signature.”

The American Legion praised passage of the bill.

“Within days it will be the law of the land once again. The American Legion is proud to have aided in its passage, and would like to especially thank Senators Tester and Heller for sponsoring and shepherding the bill through the Senate,” said James E. Koutz, national commander of The American Legion. “It is appropriate that Congress would work together to pass this important legislation as Americans prepare to celebrate their cherished fallen heroes on Memorial Day.”

Senator Max Baucus also cosponsored the measure.

“Thousands of Montanans and their families have stepped up to serve this country, and it’s an absolute disgrace that anyone would capitalize on their sacrifices to turn a quick buck,” Baucus said.

The U.S Supreme Court last year ruled a previous version of the bill unconstitutional due to concerns that it infringed upon free speech. Tester and Heller specifically rewrote the measure to address the court’s concerns about Constitutionality.

The legislation passed the House of Representatives and now awaits the President’s signature.