President Obama Signs Hanna Bill in to Law
December 20, 2011
Bill Honors Federal Employees Killed in the Line of Duty
Hanna joins President Obama in Oval Office for bill signing
WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Barack Obama this morning signed into law U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna's bill to honor federal civilian employees who are killed on the job.
Hanna joined the President this morning in the Oval Office for a signing ceremony for H.R. 2061, the Civilian Service Recognition Act of 2011. He is the fourth freshman member of Congress to have a bill signed into law this year and the first from New York state.
This law honors federal civilian employees who make the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their nation. Federal agencies are now authorized to give an American flag to families of federal civilian employees killed on the job as a result of a criminal act, terrorism, a natural disaster, or an extraordinary event as determined by the President.
The bill was introduced in May of 2011 in the House of Representatives by Hanna and 21 bipartisan co-sponsors. The House unanimously approved the bill on November 2, 2011. The Senate approved the bill on December 8, 2011.
CLICK HERE to watch the remarks Hanna delivered in November on the House floor as the author of the bill.
According to the Office of Personnel Management, approximately 100,000 federal civilian employees have served alongside the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade. Since 1992, nearly 3,000 federal civilian employees have died in service of their country, including 24 killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Recognition for these sacrifices has been uneven; some federal agencies have presented American flags to the families of those killed in the line of duty, but others have not. This legislation allows the Office of Personnel Management to standardize these practices across federal civilian agencies.
"I thank President Obama for signing this bill into law," Representative Hanna said. "This benefit may seem modest, but it's significant to our federal employees who work within this nation and in countless overseas posts. I'm proud that our nation values service and sacrifice. A life can never be repaid but it can be honored; this law ensures that."
This legislation is supported by a wide range of groups including the Coalition for Effective Change, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the Senior Executives Association, former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, and the American Legion.