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2005-01-29—Lieberman—combat death payments

Harrison Weblog

2005 blog


Keeping up with Jewish officeholders

Lieberman backs bill increasing

      payments for combat deaths
,  Jan. 29, 2005

Strong bipartisan support is developing for legislation to increase the payment from $12,000 to $100,000 to the families of American service personnel killed in action.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) announced on Wednesday, Jan. 26, that he and a colleague on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), were introducing legislation mandating that increase.  The measure also authorizes an increase in the  maximum life insurance coverage from $250,000 to $400,000 per service person regardless of rank.

The day before Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn) announced another bill that also would increase the death payment to $100,000.  (see previous story).

Lieberman and Sessions named their bill the “HEROES” Act—HEROES being an acronym for “Honoring Every Requirement Of Exemplary Service.”  Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) previously had said such a proposal would be a legislative priority.

Another of the measure's provisions would make the increased death payment  retroactive for the families of all service personnel whose lives were lost in Operations Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In announcing the measure, Lieberman quoted President Theodore Roosevelt as having once said that a “man who is good enough to shed blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards.”

Lieberman added: “I would add that those who risk the ultimate sacrifice should know that their families will be taken care of as well – that paying the price of freedom does not also mean the impoverishment of their loved ones.”                 —Donald H. Harrison