When Republicans took control of the House in January, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and his conference passed a set of rules that prohibited the use of floor time for the passage of symbolic resolutions.
"We're pretty well committed to the House doing substantive work on the floor of the House," Boehner said earlier this month during the debate over whether to pass a resolution honoring the military and intelligence operatives that planned and executed the raid that killed Usama bin Laden. "[A]ll of the commemorative resolutions that used to be brought to the floor of the House, some of them I thought were quite meaningless."
But where there's a will there's a way, and Monday night, as part of a bill known as the "Honoring American Veterans Act of 2011," the House approved what amounts to a resolution praising the service of Jewish war chaplains. The bill honors rabbis who died during active duty in the armed services with a monument on Chaplains Hill in Arlington National Cemetery. "We are hopeful that through this new legislation and the placement of the Jewish War Chaplains monument at Arlington National Cemetery, all Americans will know the inspiration these men provided to thousands of our soldiers," Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said in a statement. He added that the underlying legislation would allow Congress to honor additional war fighters through monuments at the cemetery in the future.
In addition to the memorial, the bill also praises American troops who have participated in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Considered during a series of votes on veterans' affairs bills, the commemorative legislation passed H.R. 1627, 380 to 0.