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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 2499 - Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2022

May 10, 2022


(House Rules)
(Rep. Carbajal, D-CA, and 203 cosponsors)

The Administration expresses its deep gratitude and admiration for America's firefighters, who brave extraordinarily challenging conditions and dangers to protect our communities, property, and natural resources from increasingly intense and frequent fires. In recognition of their courage and the strong evidence of the physical toll that their service has on their health, the Administration supports passage of H.R. 2499, the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2022.

When a federal employee sustains a work-related injury or disease, the Federal Employees' Compensation Act provides monetary support, medical benefits, and other assistance to help the employee recover and return to work. The program also provides benefits to dependents if a work-related injury or disease causes death.

H.R. 2499 would support federal firefighters by facilitating easier access to critical resources that will help them and their families recover from the trauma and physical harms brought on by their hazardous line of work. Specifically, the bill lists health conditions, such as several forms of cancer or a heart attack or stroke that occurs shortly after battling a fire, that are deemed to be caused by a firefighter's employment. The bill also includes a process for expanding the list as new diseases are identified and linked to firefighting based on scientific evidence.

The President has prioritized addressing the harmful health effects of environmental exposures, particularly among our nation's veterans. This bill is consistent with the Administration's support for expanding access to benefits and services for those harmed by hazards faced in the line of duty.

Additionally, as part of his broader health agenda, the President remains committed to ending cancer as we know it. This includes significant investments in biomedicine and reigniting the cancer moonshot initiative with a goal of reducing the cancer death rate by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years.

Record-setting temperatures, long-term drought, and volatile weather patterns, exacerbated by climate change, have increased the risks and stress for America's 15,000 federal firefighters. When federal firefighters suffer from health conditions associated with their jobs, they and their families deserve the full array of federal benefits to which they are entitled. The Administration looks forward to working with Congress to enact this bipartisan legislation and continue supporting our federal firefighters.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 2499 - Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2022 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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