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Federal Eye
Posted at 08:30 AM ET, 09/07/2011

Bill giving flags to families of federal workers killed in the line of duty appears poised to pass

Flag-draped caskets may soon become tradition among civilian federal workers in addition to military troops and veterans. (Jacquelyn Martin - AP)
House lawmakers get back to work today and plan to vote on a bill dealing with federal workers. Amazingly — after years of acrimonious political debate and disagreement over the fate of federal workers — the legislation appears poised to pass with bipartisan approval.

The Civilian Service Recognition Act would require federal agencies to give flags to the families of federal employees killed in the line of duty.

Though the honor is normally reserved for military service members and veterans, Hanna says his bill “would provide a modest, but significant, benefit in honor of these dedicated individuals who sacrificed on our behalf.”

Since 1992, 2,965 federal workers have been killed while on duty, including diplomats in Iraq and Afghanistan and an Internal Revenue Service killed when a small aircraft crashed into his Austin office building.

The bill, authored by Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), would authorize agencies to pay for a flag for workers killed while on the job, to send the flag to the worker’s family at their request and to let workers know that the option is available. In order to make this happen, the bill also authorizes agencies to disclose information showing that the worker died, so long as revealing the information doesn't jeopardize national security.

The bill has dozens of cosponsors of both parties and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee — a frequent critic of feds — is also pushing for the bill’s passage.

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By  |  08:30 AM ET, 09/07/2011

Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues

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