WASHINGTON – Senator Scott Brown this afternoon announced that he was filing legislation to crack down on mismanagement at Arlington National Cemetery that has resulted in graves being mismarked and family members trying to determine whether their loved ones are buried in the right graves.
“Our nation is grateful for the sacrifices our veterans and their families have made to keep us safe and our citizens free,” the Massachusetts Republican said in a video press release. “The problems uncovered at Arlington National Cemetery have made national headlines and have tarnished a sacred trust with military families. This bill will ensure that Service members families will never have to endure such devastating and emotional turmoil ever again.”
Brownis planning to file the legislation today Senator Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat who chairs the subcommittee on contracting oversight. Other co-sponsors include Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, and Senator Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina.
The legislation directs the Secretary of the Army to review and report to Congress on progress being made to fix the errors and improve the operations at the cemetery. It also calls for a review of the contracts associated with burial and management at the cemetery, and for better outreach to families of those buried at the cemetery.
The hallowed cemetery has been the source of controversy following a yearlong investigation by Salon reporter Mark Benjamin. The reports detailed cases in which officials found unknown remains in graves that were supposed to be empty, for example, or buried a service member on top of another.
The Army launched an investigation and in June two top officials resigned.
Matt Viser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.