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Connolly, Fitzpatrick Introduce Honoring Civil Servants Killed in the Line of Duty Act

Today, Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the Honoring Civil Servants Killed in the Line of Duty Act, bipartisan legislation to provide death benefits to the families of civil servants who are killed while on official duty.  Senator Kyrsten Sinema introduced companion legislation in the Senate. 

“For too long, families of civil servants who give their lives in service to our nation have been denied proper benefits upon the deaths of their loved ones,” said Congressman Connolly. “That must change. I am proud to join my friend Brian Fitzpatrick and our colleagues in the Senate to introduce this important legislation today.”

“Civil servants who lose their lives while protecting our nation and freedoms and their loved ones deserve our debt of gratitude for their sacrifice,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “I’m proud to partner with Congressman Connolly and Senator Sinema on this bipartisan, bicameral legislation to ensure these brave Americans receive the benefits they have earned.”

Unlike their counterparts in the U.S. Military and the Foreign Service, the families of employees in the civil service who die in the line of duty are not provided adequate benefits when their loved ones make the ultimate sacrifice.

The Honoring Civil Servants in the Line of Duty Act raises the one-time benefit to the survivors of a civil servant killed while serving the nation from the current $10,000 (set in 1997) to $100,000, bringing the amount more in line with what is paid to the survivors of military and Foreign Service employees killed in the line of duty. The bill also increases the amount provided for funeral expenses from $800 (an amount unchanged since Lyndon B. Johnson was in office) to $8,000.

In addition, the legislation would:

  • Provide automatic cost-of-living adjustments to the death and funeral benefits provided to survivors of the deceased;
  • Expand the scope of who qualifies as a beneficiary;
  • Clarify who qualifies as a federal civil servant for the purposes of the benefit;
  • Ensure that agencies treat the benefit as mandatory and not discretionary; 
  • Make administrative, conforming changes to the Foreign Service and military death benefits; and
  • Authorize funding in certain cases where a major event may cause a large number of federal civilian deaths.

Text of the legislation is available

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