Marine Corps Identity Bill Gets 400 Co-sponsors in House
Washington D.C. – April 20, 2010 – The Marine Corps Identity Bill, HR 24, has received 400 co-sponsors—92 percent of the House of Representatives.
Backed by the Marine Corps League, HR 24, introduced by North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones, proposes to change the name of the Department of the Navy to the “Department of the Navy and Marine Corps.” HR 24 is just seven votes shy of a 20-year record for most amount of co-sponsors on any House bill.
For over two centuries, the Marine Corps has fought side by side with the Navy. However, the Marine Corps name is not mentioned at the department level or even in the letterhead of condolence letters sent to the parents of fallen Marines.
Driven largely by this fact, Marine Corps Identity Cause has attracted powerful supporters including actor R. Lee Ermey, Gens. Alfred Gray and Anthony Zinni and former Secretary of the Navy Lawrence Garrett.
“We’ve grown into a branch with a unique culture,” said Ermey, a Marine veteran who has been in 60-plus feature films, including Full Metal Jacket and Mississippi Burning. “Yet it does not get equal billing with the Navy, Air Force or Army—each of which has a department named after it.”
News of the 400th co-sponsor follows Sen. Johnny Isakson’s co-sponsoring of a sister bill in the Senate, S. 504. Isakson serves on the Committee on Veteran’s Affairs.
With 400 co-sponsors, HR 24 looks poised to pass the House. However, only three senators have co-sponsored S. 504.
“We encourage anyone who supports the Marine Corps to thank their representatives who’ve co-sponsored these bills and to contact their senators who haven’t,” said Mike Blum, Executive Director of the Marine Corps League. “That is one simple thing we all can do that would have such a huge impact on our Marines fighting overseas.”