(C-SPAN video provided by Congressman Tom MacArthur's Office)

New Jersey Congressman Tom MacArthur's (NJ 3rd-District) bill to provide funding for the operation and maintenance of the 9/11 memorial in New York City has passed through the House of Representatives.

The memorial, which up until now has been funded with private donations, honors the victims of September 11th and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

This bill also designates the National September 11 Memorial located at the World Trade Center as a national memorial.

With this bill, the Department of the Interior may award a single grant per year through a competitive process to a tax-exempt, charitable nonprofit organization (eligible entity) for the operation and maintenance of any memorial located within the United States established to commemorate the events of and honor:

  • the victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11, 2001.
  • the victims of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993.

In awarding such grants, further language of the bill states that the DOI shall give greatest weight in the selection of eligible entities using the following criteria:

  • experience in managing a public memorial that will benefit the largest number of visitors each calendar year.
  • experience in managing a memorial of significant size (four acres or more).
  • successful coordination and cooperation with federal, state, and local governments in the operation and management of the memorial.
  • the ability and commitment to use grant funds to enhance security at the memorial.
  • the ability to use grant funds to increase the numbers of economically disadvantaged visitors to the memorial and surrounding areas.

The authority to award grants under this Act expires seven years after enactment of this Act.

"Yesterday marked 17 years since the September 11th terror attacks. We must never forget the 3,000 Americans we lost and the countless stories of heroism in New York City, the Pentagon, and on Flight 93," Congressman MacArthur said on the House Floor Wednesday. "The 9/11 memorial in New York serves as a reminder of the power of our free nation to overcome evil with good. Funding the operations of the 9/11 memorial gives generations of Americans and visitors from around the globe the chance to remember those we lost. It is our solemn duty to honor the fallen and protect the living, and I thank my House colleagues for joining me in this commitment to the survivors, victims, and their families."

Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) also spoke on the floor in support of Congressman MacArthur's bill.

The 9/11 Memorial Act has 44 bipartisan cosponsors and awaits Senate approval.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker introduced the companion legislation in the Senate.

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