U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made the following statement this week regarding growing support for the Tom Lantos Justice for Holocaust Survivors Act. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Nearly 100 members of Congress have joined together to support bipartisan legislation restoring the rights of Holocaust survivors. Holocaust survivors are barred from pursuing legal action against insurance companies that have failed to pay Holocaust-era policies.
"Depriving survivors of this constitutional right is an outrage, and members from all over the country, from Florida to Hawaii, from New Mexico to Wisconsin, and from California to South Carolina have rallied in support of legislation to right this wrong.
"Last week, the Senate held a hearing on the topics discussed in the bill. This progress is commendable, but it is not enough. Survivors have waited seven decades to see justice; most are now in their 80s and 90s, and the clock is running out. It is far past time for both the Senate and other House committees to allow the legislation to be voted on and brought to the President's desk."
NOTE: H.R. 890, the Tom Lantos Justice for Holocaust Survivors Act, was authored by Ros-Lehtinen with her Florida colleague U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), and unanimously passed the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. This bipartisan measure, which currently has 97 co-sponsors, would allow survivors to take advantage of state laws passed to allow them to have their day in court to pursue claims against insurance companies and to require European insurance companies conducting business in those states to disclose Nazi-era insurance policy information.