The United States Senate has unanimously passed legislation authored by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) to improve access to assistance for first responders permanently disabled in the line of duty.
Grassley and Gillibrand issued a joint press release announcing the passage of the Protecting America’s First Responders Act which establishes guidelines for determining eligibility for federal benefit under the Public Safety Officers Benefits (PSOB) program and provides the Justice Department with new tools to more uniformly and efficiently adjudicate benefit claims.
"This week is National Police Week, a time to honor America's law enforcement officers for their sacrifices serving our communities. So it’s only fitting that the Senate unanimously passed our bipartisan bill to help those who have given so much to help us. This bill helps ensure public safety officers whose lives have been permanently altered by a catastrophic injury in the line of duty get the support they deserve. The House of Representatives should swiftly pass this bill and send it to President Trump,” Grassley said in a statement.
"Our first responders have a dangerous job and they take extraordinary risks to keep the rest of us safe. This bill would make sure that public safety officers who are injured or killed in the line of duty—including our sick 9/11 first responders— and the families of our fallen heroes are receiving the correct amount compensation from the PSOB program. I was proud to fight with Senator Grassley to pass this bill in the Senate, and I will continue to work to ensure that it can get signed into law," Gillibrand said.
Along with Grassley and Gillibrand, the Protecting America’s First Responders Act is cosponsored by senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Thom Tillis (R-N.C), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).
It’s also supported by:
- Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
- Fraternal Order of Police
- National Association of Police Organizations
- Peace Officers Research Association of California
- Sergeants Benevolent Association of NYPD
- Wounded Blue.
- Billings, Mont., Police Department
- National Volunteer Fire Council
- National Association of School Resource Officers
- Violently Injured Police Officers Organization
- California Coalition of Law Enforcement Associations