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House passes revamped Stolen Valor Act

By Larry Shaughnessy, CNN Pentagon Producer
updated 7:57 PM EDT, Thu September 13, 2012
A new version of the Stolen Valor act was passed in the U.S. House of Representative, Thursday.
A new version of the Stolen Valor act was passed in the U.S. House of Representative, Thursday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The bill is aimed at people who lie about military honors then try to profit from the lie
  • An earlier version was struck down as a violation of the First Amendment
  • This version keys on the element of trying to make money from the deception
  • A similar bill is moving through the Senate

Washington (CNN) -- The U.S. House of Representatives Thursday overwhelmingly passed a new version of the Stolen Valor Act, a bill aimed at people who lie about receiving military medals and then attempt to profit from the deception.

The first version of the Stolen Valor Act was struck down by the Supreme Court as a violation of the First Amendment.

Justices dismiss law making lying about military honors a crime

The bill focuses not on people who lie about having medals they didn't earn, but on any profits they make from lying about the medals, which is essentially criminal fraud.

Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nevada) sponsored the new bill. His office issued a release saying the bill passed by a vote of 410-3.

Heck said in a floor speech this week that the bill would survive judicial review because it resolves the "constitutional issues by clearly defining that the objective of the law is to target and punish those who misrepresent the alleged service with the intent of profiting personally or financially."

The bill targets those who falsely claim to have earned certain major military decorations, including the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, Silver Star, Purple Heart or a medal signifying you served in combat.

A similar bill is moving through the Senate, but has not reached a floor vote yet.

The Medal of Honor: What is it?

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