October 9, 2013
House Appropriations Committee Member Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen gave the following statement on the House floor today in support of H.J. Res. 91, the Honoring the Families of Fallen Soldiers Act:
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.J.Res. 91, Honoring the Families of Fallen Soldiers Act.
"The government has no greater responsibility than to take care of the families of our brave men and women who have fought and died for this country.
"This bipartisan bill provides continuing appropriations to ensure that if military troops are killed while serving their country, the government will fulfill its obligation to them and their families without delay.
"It would provide for payment of death gratuities and other benefits, such as the military housing allowance, to the families of our fallen soldiers.
"It would provide for authorized funeral and burial services for military servicemembers and their families.
"It 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 death of military servicemembers.
"While this bill is written as a continuing appropriations act, I want to be clear. The intent of the bill is to fully fund the specified benefits for all authorized recipients.
"Mr. Speaker, we have a duty to take care of our troops and their families, especially when this country is at war.
"Our uniformed men and women deserve the peace of mind of knowing that during the worst of times, their families will receive the benefits they deserve immediately and without delay. This bill will do that.
"Mr. Speaker, this is a bipartisan bill with Democrat and Republican cosponsors that I believe should pass with overwhelming support from both parties.
"We must do the right thing by taking care of our troops and their families. I urge my colleagues to support this bill, and I reserve the balance of my time."