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Burial at Arlington National Cemetery would be restricted to a select few, including those who die on active military duty, under legislation that passed the House yesterday (March 23, 1999).

The measure, an outgrowth of disputes several years ago over waivers granted by the administration, passed 428 to 2. The bill also won House approval in the last Congress but was not taken up by the Senate.

Under the bill, burial at Arlington would be limited to members of the Armed Forces who die on active duty, military retirees, recipients of the Medal of Honor and other top awards, former prisoners of war and the president and former presidents.

It would eliminate the need for a waiver for a spouse and immediate family to be buried together with an eligible veteran.

The bill also would end presidential waivers, but would allow Congress to grant individual waivers on a case-by-case basis.

Members of Congress, the vice president, Supreme Court justices, Cabinet secretaries and ranking diplomats would no longer be eligible simply on the basis of having served in the military.