Text: H.R.705 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/14/2013)


113th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 705

To ensure that the victims and victims’ families of the November 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood, Texas, receive the same treatment and benefits as those Americans who have been killed or wounded in a combat zone overseas and their families.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 14, 2013

Mr. Carter (for himself, Mr. McCaul, Mr. Wolf, Mr. Burgess, and Mr. Flores) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services, and in addition to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To ensure that the victims and victims’ families of the November 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood, Texas, receive the same treatment and benefits as those Americans who have been killed or wounded in a combat zone overseas and their families.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Fort Hood Victims and Families Benefits Protection Act”.

SEC. 2. Findings; sense of Congress.

(a) Findings.—Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Fort Hood, Texas, has played a highly prominent role in the Global War on Terror, deploying more members of the Armed Forces into overseas theaters of combat since September 11, 2001, than any other United States military installation.

(2) The members of the Armed Forces and community of Fort Hood have answered the call to service with honor and distinction, and the post has paid a steep price, suffering more combat casualties in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom than any other United States military installation.

(3) In February 2011, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate issued a report entitled “A Ticking Time Bomb: Counterterrorism Lessons from the U.S. Government's Failure to Prevent the Fort Hood Attack”, which stated the following: “On November 5, 2009, 13 Americans—12 servicemembers and one civilian employee of DoD—were killed and 32 were wounded in an attack at the military base at Fort Hood, Texas. This tragedy was the deadliest terrorist attack within the United States since September 11, 2001.”.

(b) Sense of Congress.—It is the sense of Congress that—

(1) any member of the Armed Forces or civilian employee of the Department of Defense who was killed or wounded in the attack that occurred at Fort Hood, Texas, on November 5, 2009, and the family members of those victims, should receive the same treatment and benefits as the victims and families of victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States; and

(2) these Americans have made tremendous sacrifices, and the United States should provide them with the maximum level of benefits available, identical to the level of benefits available to those who have been killed or wounded in an overseas combat zone such as Iraq or Afghanistan.

SEC. 3. Treatment of members of the Armed Forces and civilian employees of the Department of Defense who were killed or wounded in the November 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood, Texas.

(a) Treatment.—For purposes of all applicable Federal laws, regulations, and policies, a member of the Armed Forces or civilian employee of the Department of Defense who was killed or wounded in the attack that occurred at Fort Hood, Texas, on November 5, 2009, shall be deemed as follows:

(1) In the case of a member, to have been killed or wounded in a combat zone as the result of an act of an enemy of the United States.

(2) In the case of a civilian employee of the Department of Defense—

(A) to have been killed or wounded while serving with the Armed Forces in a contingency operation; and

(B) to have been killed or wounded in a terrorist attack.

(b) Exception.—Subsection (a) shall not apply to a member of the Armed Forces whose death or wound as described in that subsection is the result of the willful misconduct of the member.