On Friday, Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10) introduced H.Con.Res. 18, a bipartisan resolution to expedite the installation of a statue of the Reverend William Franklin ‘‘Billy’’ Graham, Jr. into the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall Collection.
Congressman McHenry was joined by Congressman Don Davis (NC-01), Congressman Greg Murphy (NC-03), Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (NC-05), Congressman David Rouzer (NC-07), Congressman Dan Bishop (NC-08), Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-09), and Congressman Chuck Edwards (NC-11) as original cosponsors. Senator Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced the companion bill in the Senate and was joined as an original cosponsor by Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC).
Three steps remain in the process of placing the statue in the Capitol, and this resolution would force the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress (JCL) to complete those steps without further delay.
The bill would mandate that the JCL:
- Approve or deny the full-sized clay model and pedestal design of a statue within 30 days.
- Approve or deny the completed statue within 30 days.
- Determine a permanent display location within 30 days of approving the completed statue.
Click here to read the full text of the resolution.
“Reverend Billy Graham was not only one of North Carolina’s finest sons, but also one of our nation’s great spiritual leaders," said Congressman McHenry. "Having counseled countless American leaders including thirteen Presidents, he will forever be remembered as America’s Pastor. I can think of no more fitting honor than for Dr. Graham to take his place in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall Collection alongside many of the other historic men and women who helped shape and grow our nation.”
“The legacy of Rev. Billy Graham is based on his simple message of forgiveness based on John 3:16," said Senator Budd. "His lifelong commitment to preaching the Gospel, his fight for civil rights, his opposition to communism, and his spiritual guidance provided hope to hundreds of millions. He was the first private citizen from North Carolina to lie in honor in the United States Capitol and his likeness should stand in the U.S. Capitol forever. After years of bureaucratic delay, it’s time to get this done.”
“Reverend Billy Graham devoted his life to his faith, preaching the Gospel to millions around the world," said Senator Tillis. "He was a proud North Carolinian whose service bettered our country and the world. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan resolution so the statue of Reverend Billy Graham can finally stand in Statuary Hall and represent our North Carolina values.”
“Reverend Billy Graham left an indelible mark upon the lives of millions across the world, and it’s only fitting that we enshrine his legacy within the halls of Congress – where millions more to come will learn of his monumental deeds," said Congresswoman Foxx. "For years, I have been banging the drum on this issue, and it is high time that we see this endeavor through and honor such a remarkable North Carolinian in the right way.”
"Billy Graham is a North Carolina legend, was a pastor to Presidents, and one of the most prominent faith leaders of the 20th century," said Congressman Bishop. "I first voted to place Reverend Graham's statute in the US Capitol as a state legislator in 2015, and I’m happy to see that process now come full circle. This resolution will ensure that Congress swiftly completes the remaining steps to honor Reverend Graham, and I look forward to seeing his statue in Statuary Hall.”
“Known as “America’s Pastor”, Reverend Billy Graham dedicated his life to preaching the Gospel throughout the world to all who would listen," said Congressman Rouzer. "I have no doubt he saved the souls of millions. I’m proud to co-sponsor this resolution to ensure a more timely placement of his statue in the U.S. Capitol where countless visitors and lawmakers will be able to view it and honor his legacy for generations to come.”
“Billy Graham came from humble beginnings in North Carolina—yet he touched millions of people around the world with his ministry," said Congressman Hudson. "I am honored to cosponsor this legislation to have this inspirational and charismatic North Carolinian represent our state in the US Capitol. I support the decision by the NC legislature to create this permanent reminder of Billy Graham’s legacy.”
"I am honored to join my colleagues in the North Carolina congressional delegation to help honor one of Western North Carolina’s most beloved residents, Billy Graham," said Congressman Edwards. "The legacy of Rev. Graham is one that all North Carolinians, and Americans, can take pride in. He counseled presidents, world leaders and everyday citizens alike. His ministries helped bridge the gap between Protestants and Catholics. His words of wisdom brought hope to those living under the horrors of the Iron Curtain. His teachings led millions across the world closer to Christ, and his global charitable foundation continues to bring light into the darkest places. Rev. Graham, a proud North Carolinian, was one of the most influential Christian leaders of the 20th century. He deserves an honored place among the giants here in the U.S. Capitol.”
Background: Each state is authorized to designate “two statues of notable citizens for display in the United States Capitol.”
A state is allowed to replace a statue by requesting the approval of the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress (JCL).
On October 2, 2015, the North Carolina General Assembly approved a request to the JCL to approve the replacement of the statue of Charles Brantley Aycock with the Reverend William Franklin “Billy” Graham, Jr. A statue of Rev. Graham became eligible for placement after his death in 2018.
The North Carolina General Assembly sent to JCL the proposed statue design in August 2020, but the committee took over a year to approve this simple step. This resolution ensures such lengthy delays will not reoccur.
Read the full text of the resolution by clicking here.