Washington - U.S.
Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer (both D-Calif.) today urged Senate passage of legislation that could help protect the
by transferring ownership of the land from the City of
to the Federal government.
Cross has been a great source of hope and inspiration for decades, and it has important historical significance to veterans and San Diegans alike. I do not believe it should be torn down,” Senator Feinstein said. “If the Senate approves the House bill on an expedited basis, the legislation can be sent rapidly to the President for his signature.”
“I believe this monument to be a memorial to our veterans, and therefore should be allowed to stay. The Hunter bill was drafted in a way that is consistent with the latest court action and therefore we believe it is the best bill to move forward," Senator Boxer said.
The legislation was originally sponsored by Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA). It was approved by the House of Representatives on July 19, 2006. The Senators are seeking to move the bill by unanimous consent through the Senate. They are joined in this effort by Senators Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) who have introduced legislation on the issue as well. If the House bill is approved by the Senate, it would go directly to the President to be signed into law.
Under the legislation, the Department of Defense would manage the Monument and maintenance would be conducted by the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association.
The City of
had been under court order to take down the cross by early August or face a $5,000-a-day fine. But Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a stay to put off fines against the city until the issue has moved through the judicial system. The transfer of ownership to the Federal Government would remove State legal obstacles to keeping the monument.