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house Bill H.R. 723

Sending Special Flags to the Families of Emergency Responders Who've Died in the Line of Duty

Argument in favor

First responders deserve our utmost respect. By offering flags from the Capitol, the families of those who gave their lives to protect others will have a memento expressing the attention and respect of one of the most powerful bodies in the country.

Jack's Opinion
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05/13/2015
If these people don,t deserve it who does!
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05/13/2015
Suprised we don't do this all ready. Though a nice gesture it is. It would be more meaningful to offer assistance to the families of the victims. A flag flown over the Capitol while Congress cuts first responders benefits and income is kind of hypocrisy. How about this. If they want a flag. Great. If not. Great.
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Myke's Opinion
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05/18/2015
I think everyone who has died protecting people deserves special recognition in any form.
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Argument opposed

First responders deserve our utmost respect. There are thousands of things we can do to show them that they have it: increasing pay, or ensuring that their families are financially secure. Sending their families a flag when they die is well-intentioned, but not helpful.

Cecilia's Opinion
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05/13/2015
This is a nice sentiment but doesn't put food on the table, clothes of the back, or educate their children. I would rather see something that is not as symbolic but actually helps these people in their time of crisis.
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Bruce's Opinion
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05/13/2015
Increase their wages and allow them to stimulate the economy by buying flags at retail. I believe that the government would buy flags at outrageous prices to send.
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Lance's Opinion
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05/13/2015
While the sentiment is nice, situations like this should be handled by the states.
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What is House Bill H.R. 723?

This bill seeks to honor first responders that die in the line of duty by giving their families American flags from the Capitol.


Specifically, this bill would give the Representative of any police officer, firefighter, ambulance crew member, or any other kind of emergency or law enforcement personnel the ability to give a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol to that person’s family if they died while on duty. It wouldn’t cost the family anything, and it would come with a certificate from the Representative and the Speaker of the House offering their sympathies.


The program would be carried out by the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Funding for it would come from the Capitol Visitors’ Center.

Impact

The families of first responders who die in the line of duty, first responders who put themselves in danger, Congressional representatives and delegates, the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 723

A CBO estimate is unavailable. However, the bill authorizes from 2015-2020 "such sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act," to be pulled from the annual funding given to the Capitol Visitor Center. That said, funding for this act could not exceed $30,000.

More Information

In Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Peter King (R-NY) has introduced this bill twice before, once in 2011 and once in 2013. It was stuck in committee limbo both times. Something this version has in common with it's predecessors — the bill has bipartisan support.


Of Note: Though Rep. King had introduced this bill previously, this time around it has taken on a deeper significance. In early May 2015, NYPD Officer, Brian Moore was shot to death while on duty in Queens. He lived with his father in North Massapequa with his father in King's home district.

The shooting came after a fraught showdown between the NYPD and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. In December of 2014, two NYPD officers, Rafael Ramos and Weijan Liu, were shot and killed in their patrol car in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant. The shootings came shortly after a grand jury decided not to indict Daniel Pantaleo, a white NYPD officer who was filmed putting Eric Garner, a black man, in a chokehold — a tactic banned by the force, which killed Garner.

At a press conference after the grand jury’s decision, de Blasio said that he had to talk to his son about being cautious around police because his son is biracial. The police didn’t take too kindly to this. At the funerals for Ramos and Liu, some police turned their backs on de Blasio as he gave eulogies.

For his part, Rep. King has slammed the media for stirring up anti-cop sentiments.


Media:


Summary by James Helmsworth
(Photo Credit: Flickr user DVIDSHUB

AKA

Fallen Heroes Flag Act of 2015

Official Title

To provide Capitol-flown flags to the immediate family of fire fighters, law enforcement officers, members of rescue squads or ambulance crews, and public safety officers who are killed in the line of duty.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Rules and Administration
  • The house Passed May 13th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Administration
    IntroducedFebruary 4th, 2015

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    If these people don,t deserve it who does!
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a nice sentiment but doesn't put food on the table, clothes of the back, or educate their children. I would rather see something that is not as symbolic but actually helps these people in their time of crisis.
    Like (22)
    Follow
    Share
    Increase their wages and allow them to stimulate the economy by buying flags at retail. I believe that the government would buy flags at outrageous prices to send.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    While the sentiment is nice, situations like this should be handled by the states.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    Suprised we don't do this all ready. Though a nice gesture it is. It would be more meaningful to offer assistance to the families of the victims. A flag flown over the Capitol while Congress cuts first responders benefits and income is kind of hypocrisy. How about this. If they want a flag. Great. If not. Great.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    I think everyone who has died protecting people deserves special recognition in any form.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    I served 20 years in the military, if I died in the course of that service I would not want the loved ones I left behind handed a "Special Flag" I would want their financial and security needs taken care of. This is a well intentioned but empty gesture at best. It's negligence and breaking faith with people who put it all on the line at worst.
    Like (4)
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    Being a veteran myself this means a lot to me. I believe all first responders put their lives on the line everyday. I believe the family receiving a simple gesture like a flag is the very least we can do to honor their service.
    Like (3)
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    There are too many other things better & more effective to honor them than sending a flag. Give a death benefit like paying for their child's college or a monthly stipend to the spouse.
    Like (3)
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    Great idea, but it's not a necessity. We have ISIS, campaign finance reform, immigration, infrastructure, tax reform issues, and we're debating flags?
    Like (2)
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    Not everyone gets a flag. This is a special honor for servicemen who have died. If you give a flag to everyone, it loses its meaning
    Like (2)
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    It is a nice sentiment, but only a sentiment. Help them in other ways while they're alive that might just keep them breathing longer.
    Like (2)
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    My grandfather's flag is one of my most precious possessions. It is only fair that every family member of emergency responders be given this honor.
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    Flags? How about caring for them rather than a cheap, empty gesture. Chinese made flags. You must be joking.
    Like (2)
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    They deserve this.
    Like (1)
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    After working with my local fire department for a year, I've grown to have the utmost respect for those who dedicate themselves to the service of the community with hard work and professionalism. When a firefighter, police officer, medic, or other first responder lays down their life to help a stranger, they have earned this gesture of respect from our nation.
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    While I totally agree that more could be done, why not vote yes on this, send the flags, and then add on from there?
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    A traditional memorial as American as marriage between a man and a woman. Amen.
    Like (1)
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    Have you ever been the recipient of such a flag?
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    well-intentioned, but I'd rather see the money go to a stipend to the survivors of the first responders
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