September 11, 2001 : Attack on America
Congressional Record Senate - Providing for the Expedited Payment of Certain Benefits; September 13, 2001


[Page: S9409]


Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the consideration of H.R. 2882, just received from the House.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the bill by title.

The legislative clerk read as follows:

A bill (H.R. 2882) to provide for the expedited payment of certain benefits for a public safety officer who was killed or suffered a catastrophic injury as a direct and proximate result of a personal injury sustained in the line of duty in connection with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the bill.

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I commend the Senators from New York for their leadership on this legislation to streamline the Public Safety Officers' Benefits application process so that the family members of fire fighters, emergency medical technicians and rescue workers who perished or suffered great injury in the aftermath of the tragic terrorist events of this week. I am proud to be an original cosponsor of S.1422. I applaud Congressman NADLER and Congressman SENSENBRENNER for their work on H.R. 2882, which we are passing today.

Earlier today, I received a call from Congressman SENSENBRENNER, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who asked me if the Senate would consider and pass H.R. 2882 without delay. I thank our leaders, Senator Daschle and Senator Lott, for bringing this legislation before the Senate so quickly, and urge the Senate to support it.

We have before us a unique opportunity to provide much-needed relief for the families of the brave men and women who sacrificed their own lives for their fellow Americans. Senator Clinton and a number of other members of the Senate and House have proposed this bill to amend the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Act of 1976 for the purpose of speeding the process by which the Office of Justice Programs at the Department of Justice processes applications for death benefits for families of public safety officers killed in the line of duty in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Western Pennsylvania, on September 11.

The Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program provides $150,000 in benefits for each of the families of law enforcement officers, firemen, emergency response squad members, ambulance crew members who are killed in the line of duty. Current regulations, however, require the families of public safety officers who have fallen in the line of duty to go through a cumbersome and time-consuming application process. In the face of this national tragedy, it is important that we begin to process quickly this measure of relief for the families of these brave Americans who selflessly gave their lives so that others might live through the attacks of September 11.

Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the bill be read three times, passed, the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table, and that any statements relating thereto be printed in the RECORD, with no intervening action or debate.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

The bill (H.R. 2882) was read the third time and passed.


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