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Flags for Civil Servants Killed in the Line of Duty – Update on Congressional Legislation

Editor’s Note: ASPA’s National Council recently voted to send a
letter supporting the Flags for the Fallen initiative to Congressman
Richard Hanna (R-NY 24), the main sponsor of the bill. The Society will
also be emailing members tomorrow (Oct. 11th) to encourage individual support. Please watch your inbox
for this very important email and consider responding to the call for

Terry Newell, Robert Gest, III

now exist in the House (H.R. 2061) and Senate (S.1444) that would
authorize a U.S. burial flag for any federal civil servant killed in the
line of duty. The House bill, introduced by Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY)
seemed poised for passage on September 7th when the American Legion came
out in opposition to the bill. Their chief objection is a concern that
the bill could lead to military-style funerals for civil servants. The
House bill was pulled from the floor, and negotiations between House
sponsors and the American Legion have been underway.

A new version of
the bill is expected at any time with the goal of addressing the
Legion’s concerns while preserving the original intent of the bill. At
the same time, a group of 15 organizations representing civil
servants has sent letters to both the House and Senate leadership
supporting the bill. These include, for example, the Senior Executives
Association, Federal Managers Association, Professional Managers
Association, American Federation of Government Employees, American
Foreign Service Association, National Treasury Employees Union,
Partnership for Public Service, and the Coalition for Effective Change.

you support the goal of ensuring that the next of kin of federal civil
servants killed in the line of duty receive a burial flag from the
government, it is very important to contact your member of Congress to
express your support for H.R. 2061 in the House and S.1444 in the
Senate. If you are a member of the military or a veteran, indicating
that in your message to your Representative or Senator will be
especially helpful given the concerns noted above. Generally, sending an
email message is much faster since regular mail must go through a
careful screening process before it is delivered.

To read Newell and Gest’s original
PA TIMES Online article calling for support of the bill, please click
the link in the Related Articles box below.

Terry Newell was the dean of
faculty at the Federal Executive Institute from 1994 to 2004. He is now retired
from the federal government and is a private consultant. Email: [email protected]

Robert Gest III was a senior faculty member at the Federal
Executive Institute from 1993 to 1999 and its deputy director from 1999
to 2002. He is now retired from the federal government and is a
private consultant. Email: [email protected]

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