FALLEN HEROES FLAG ACT OF 2016; Congressional Record Vol. 162, No. 60
(Senate - April 19, 2016)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.


[Pages S2201-S2202]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                     FALLEN HEROES FLAG ACT OF 2016

  Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
Committee on Senate Rules and Administration be discharged from further 
consideration of S. 2755 and the Senate proceed to its immediate 
consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report the bill by title.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 2755) to provide Capitol-flown flags to the 
     immediate family of firefighters, law enforcement officers, 
     members of rescue squads or ambulance crews, and public 
     safety officers who are killed in the line of duty.

  There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the bill.
  Mr. BLUNT. Mr. President, I ask my colleagues to support the Fallen 
Heroes Flag Act of 2016, S. 2755. This bipartisan legislation will 
create a program to provide Capitol-flown flags to the immediate family 
members of firefighters, law enforcement officers, members of rescue 
squads or ambulance crews, and public safety officers who are killed in 
the line of duty. These flags are provided at no cost to the family and 
will come with a certificate from the Senate, signed by the providing 
Member and President pro tempore, which contains our expression of 
sympathy for the grieving family. Certificates coming from the other 
body will be signed by the Speaker of the House and the providing House 
Member and express the sympathy of the House of Representatives.
  I hope all my colleagues will join me in support of this legislation. 
Our first responders make tremendous sacrifices for our communities. If 
one of them makes the ultimate sacrifice, the least we can do to 
recognize their life, show our gratitude, and express our sympathy for 
their family is present them with a flag flown over this building.
  Under existing rules, Senate offices may not use official funds to 
send flags to individuals. This legislation authorizes a new program, 
administered by the Architect of the Capitol, that will make it 
possible for families who have lost a loved one in these circumstances 
to request and receive a Capitol-flown flag at no expense. We are all 
grateful for the sacrifices these dedicated public servants make every 
day to serve and protect our communities, and this legislation will 
make it possible to present grieving families with a symbol of our 
gratitude.
  This legislation has been endorsed by the National Fraternal Order of 
Police and the Sergeants Benevolent Association. I ask unanimous 
consent that their letters of support be printed in the Record 
following my statement.
  I would like to thank all my colleagues who cosponsored this 
legislation, particularly our ranking member of the Rules Committee, 
Senator Schumer. I would also like to thank Congressman Peter King, who 
has championed this cause in the other body for many years. This 
legislation includes some revisions to the previously passed version in 
the House, but I expect they will be agreeable to the other body.
  I hope both bodies will pass this legislation quickly and send it on 
to the President for his signature.
  Thank you.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

         Sergeants Benevolent Association, Police Department, City 
           of New York,
                                      New York, NY, April 7, 2016.
     Hon. Roy Blunt,
     Chairman, Committee on Rules,
     U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
     Hon. Charles Schumer,
     Ranking Member, Committee on Rules,
     U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Chairman and Senator Schumer, I am writing on 
     behalf of the more than 13,000 active and retired members of 
     the Sergeants Benevolent Association of the New York City 
     Police Department to advise you of our strong support for the 
     ``Fallen Heroes Flag Act.'' We appreciate your leadership on 
     this legislation to honor those law enforcement officers and 
     other first responders who have lost their lives protecting 
     their fellow citizens.
       In the first four months of 2016 alone, thirty federal, 
     state, and local law enforcement officers have fallen in the 
     line of duty. According to the National Law Enforcement 
     Officers Memorial Fund, sixteen of these officers perished in 
     firearms-related incidents. Statistics such as these are a 
     sobering reminder of the sacrifices that are made daily by 
     our first responders. These men and women, as well as 
     countless others who have lost their lives in the line of 
     duty, have earned the right to be honored for their heroism.
       The legislation that you have introduced would provide this 
     opportunity by allowing the surviving family of a law 
     enforcement officer, firefighter, or EMT who dies in the line 
     of duty to request that an American flag be flown over the 
     U.S. Capitol in honor of their fallen family member. The flag 
     would be provided to the family without cost, and would 
     include a signed certificate with an expression of sympathy 
     for the family involved. It is a simple yet extremely 
     meaningful way to demonstrate to surviving families our 
     recognition of and gratitude for the tremendous sacrifice 
     their loved one made to keep our nation safe.
       On behalf of the membership of the Sergeants Benevolent 
     Association, thank you again for your leadership on this 
     important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me, or our 
     Washington Representatives Andrew Siff and Chris Granberg, if 
     we can be of any further assistance.
           Sincerely,
                                                       Ed Mullins,
                                                        President.

[[Page S2202]]

     
                                  ____
                           National Fraternal Order of Police,

                                     Washington, DC, 7 April 2016.
     Hon. Roy D. Blunt,
     Chairman, Committee on Rules and Administration, U.S. Senate, 
         Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Chairman, I am writing on behalf of the members of 
     the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support 
     for S. 2755, the ``Fallen Heroes Flag Act of 2016.''
       This legislation will provide a flag flown over the U.S. 
     Capitol and a certificate containing an expression of 
     sympathy to the immediate family member of a firefighter, law 
     enforcement officer, member of a rescue squad or ambulance 
     crew, or public safety officer who died in the line of duty.
       Every day thousands of men and women put their lives on the 
     line to help others and keep their communities safe. It takes 
     a special person who is willing to sacrifice his/her life to 
     run towards danger, while everyone else is running away from 
     it. Mr. Chairman, as co-chair of the Law Enforcement Caucus, 
     you know how important it is to honor the commitment and 
     sacrifice of the men and women who died protecting their 
     communities and that of their families.
       Nothing can take away the pain or replace a loved one whose 
     life has been unjustly taken. What we can offer is our 
     deepest condolences and a symbol of our infinite gratitude. 
     This legislation ensures that the heroes and their families 
     who gave the ultimate sacrifice are honored and recognized.
       On behalf of more than 330,000 members of the Fraternal 
     Order of Police, I want to thank you for introducing this 
     legislation and amendment. If I can be of any further help, 
     please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director 
     Jim Pasco in my Washington Office.
           Sincerely,
                                                 Chuck Canterbury,
                                               National President.

  Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. President, I further ask unanimous consent that the 
bill be read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider be 
considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or 
debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The bill (S. 2755) was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading, 
was read the third time, and passed, as follows:

                                S. 2755

       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 ``Fallen Heroes Flag Act of 
     2016''.

     SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

       In this Act--
       (1) the term ``Capitol-flown flag'' means a flag of the 
     United States flown over the Capitol in honor of the deceased 
     individual for whom the flag is requested;
       (2) the terms ``chaplain'', ``firefighter'', ``law 
     enforcement officer'', ``member of a rescue squad or 
     ambulance crew'', and ``public agency'' have the meanings 
     given such terms in section 1204 of the Omnibus Crime Control 
     and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796b);
       (3) the term ``immediate family member'', with respect to 
     an individual, means--
       (A) the spouse, parent, brother, sister, or child of the 
     individual or a person to whom the individual stands in loco 
     parentis; or
       (B) any other person related to the individual by blood or 
     marriage;
       (4) the term ``public safety officer'' means an individual 
     serving a public agency in an official capacity, with or 
     without compensation, as a law enforcement officer, as a 
     firefighter, or as a chaplain; and
       (5) the term ``Representative'' includes a Delegate or 
     Resident Commissioner to the Congress.

     SEC. 3. PROVIDING CAPITOL-FLOWN FLAGS FOR FAMILIES OF FALLEN 
                   HEROES.

       (a) In General.--At the request of an immediate family 
     member of a firefighter, law enforcement officer, member of a 
     rescue squad or ambulance crew, or public safety officer who 
     died in the line of duty, the Representative or Senator of 
     the family may provide to the family a Capitol-flown flag, 
     together with the certificate described in subsection (c).
       (b) No Cost to Family.--A Capitol-flown flag provided under 
     this section shall be provided at no cost to the family.
       (c) Certificate.--The certificate described in this 
     subsection is a certificate which is signed by the Speaker of 
     the House of Representatives and the Representative, or the 
     President pro tempore of the Senate and the Senator, 
     providing the Capitol-flown flag, as applicable, and which 
     contains an expression of sympathy for the family involved 
     from the House of Representatives or the Senate, as 
     applicable.

     SEC. 4. REGULATIONS AND PROCEDURES.

       (a) In General.--Not later than 30 days after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Architect of the Capitol shall 
     issue regulations for carrying out this Act, including 
     regulations to establish procedures (including any 
     appropriate forms, guidelines, and accompanying certificates) 
     for requesting a Capitol-flown flag.
       (b) Review.--The regulations issued under subsection (a) 
     shall take effect upon approval by the Committee on House 
     Administration of the House of Representatives and the 
     Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate.

     SEC. 5. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

       There are authorized to be appropriated for each of fiscal 
     years 2017 through 2022 such sums as may be necessary to 
     carry out this Act, to be derived from amounts appropriated 
     in each such fiscal year for the operation of the Architect 
     of the Capitol, except that the aggregate amount appropriated 
     to carry out this Act for all such fiscal years may not 
     exceed $40,000.

     SEC. 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.

       This Act shall take effect on the date of enactment of this 
     Act, except that a Capitol-flown flag may not be provided 
     under section 3 until the regulations issued under section 
     4(a) take effect in accordance with section 4(b).

                          ____________________