Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Penn., told Newsmax Wednesday that a new bipartisan bill he sponsored will help get resources to police and first responders and is focused on their mental health.
"What my bill does, which passed with bipartisan support I should add, is (that) it makes sure that police get the resources they need for things such as PTSD," Reschenthaler said during the "Chris Salcedo Show" Wednesday. "It really focuses on mental health."
The legislation, H.R. 6943, called the Public Safety Officer Support Act, easily passed the House on May 18 by a vote of 402-17, as well as a similar bipartisan bill now going through the Senate. It allows public safety officers to seek disability benefits for PTSD they suffered while on duty, and also allows the family of an officer that committed suicide due to job-related PTSD to receive a death benefit, according to the congress.gov website.
"I am grateful for my colleagues' strong bipartisan support in passing the Public Safety Officer Support Act," Reschenthaler said in a May 18 press release announcing the bill's passage in the House. "Police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians risk their lives every day to keep our families and communities safe, and that work does not come without sacrifice. This legislation will ensure our first responders, and their families, are covered for the mental health conditions that can arise from such strenuous service. I urge the Senate to pass this legislation to support the brave men and women who protect us."
A co-sponsor of the bill, Rep. David Trone, D-Md., said the bill will address the problem of mental illness faced by police due to the job.
The Senate version of the bill was sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., with several other bipartisan members signing onto the legislation.
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