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Department of Defense Survivor Benefits Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume, and I rise in support of House Joint Resolution 91, the Honoring the Families of Fallen Soldiers Act.

Our government has no greater responsibility, Mr. Speaker, than to take care of the families of our brave men and women who have fought and died for our country. This bipartisan legislation provides continuing appropriations to ensure that, if troops are killed serving our country, our government will honor its obligations to them and their families without delay.

Specifically, the bill would provide for the payment of death gratuities and other benefits, such as military housing allowances, to the families of our fallen soldiers. It would provide for authorized funeral and burial services for servicemembers and their families.

This measure would also pay for families to travel to meet the remains of their loved ones returning home. This bill provides appropriations to pay benefits upon the deaths of military servicemembers.

My colleagues, while this bill is written as a ``continuing appropriations act,'' I want to be very clear. The intent of this legislation is to fully fund the specific benefits for all authorized recipients.

Mr. Speaker, we have a solemn duty to take care of our troops and their families, especially as we remain a Nation at war.

Our men and women serving in uniform, serving in dangerous places all over the globe, deserve the peace of mind of knowing that during the worst of times their families will receive the benefits they deserve immediately. This bill removes any ambiguity on this point.

This is a bipartisan bill with Democratic and Republican cosponsors that, I believe, should pass with overwhelming support.

Mr. Speaker, we are all looking for legislation upon which we can reach consensus. I am hopeful this bill will bring us together, and I urge support for it.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I yield myself the balance of my time.

Mr. Speaker, our government has no greater responsibility than to take care of the families of our brave men and women who have fought and died for our country. This legislation will ensure, as we've said earlier in this discussion, without question and any ambiguity, that the Department of Defense should provide payment of death gratuities and other benefits to families of our fallen men and women in uniform.

I urge support for this bipartisan legislation, and I thank Chairman Young and Ranking Member Visclosky for their leadership in making sure this bill gets to the President as quickly as possible.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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