Washington, D.C. — Senators Ted Budd (R-NC) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) have introduced S. Con. Res. 4, a 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.
Other Senate Sponsors include, Sens. James Lankford (R-OK), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Rick Scott (R-FL), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY).
In the House, the bipartisan resolution is led by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), and also sponsored by Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Richard Hudson (R-NC), Dan Bishop (R-NC), David Rouzer (R-NC), Greg Murphy (R-NC), Chuck Edwards (R-NC), and Don Davis (D-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.
Sen. Budd said in a statement:
“The legacy of Rev. Billy Graham is based on his simple message of forgiveness based on John 3:16. 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.”
Sen. Tillis said in a statement:
“Reverend Billy Graham devoted his life to his faith, preaching the Gospel to millions around the world. 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.”
Rep. McHenry said:
“Reverend Billy Graham was not only one of North Carolina’s finest sons, but also one of our nation’s great spiritual leaders. 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.”
NC Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson said:
“Reverend Billy Graham will always be America’s Pastor, and his service through ministry impacted millions. A statue of him in our United States Capitol would serve as an everlasting reminder of the message he shared, and the souls he saved.”
NC Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger said:
“Rev. Billy Graham was one of the finest men to hail from North Carolina. His ministry took him around the globe where he impacted millions of lives. The installation of Rev. Graham’s statue in the Capitol is long overdue, and I commend Sen. Ted Budd and the rest of North Carolina’s Congressional delegation for efforts to get it completed.”
NC House Speaker Tim Moore said:
“Reverend Billy Graham left an indelible mark on his home state of North Carolina and the entire world. Rev. Graham was an advisor to hundreds of influential political and spiritual leaders worldwide and a beloved preacher who reached nations with the message of God’s love and forgiveness. He has left a legacy that will live on forever, and the installation of the statue of the Reverend William Franklin ‘Billy’ Graham, Jr. into the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall is long overdue.”
Rep. Foxx said:
“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. 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.”
Rep. Hudson said:
“Billy Graham came from humble beginnings in North Carolina—yet he touched millions of people around the world with his ministry. 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.”
Rep. Bishop said:
“Billy Graham is a North Carolina legend, was a pastor to Presidents, and one of the most prominent faith leaders of the 20th century. I first voted to place Reverend Graham’s statue 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.”
Rep. Rouzer said:
“Known as ‘America’s Pastor’, Reverend Billy Graham dedicated his life to preaching the Gospel throughout the world to all who would listen. 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.”
Rep. Edwards said:
“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. 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.”
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.