Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2022

Floor Speech

Date: May 11, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CARSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 2499, the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2022, and the Joyce/Carson amendment. Our bipartisan amendment adds the language of our bill, the Kenneth Meisel Public Servants' Claimant Fairness Act. This important change will increase the time, from 30 days to 60 days, that federal employees have to provide supporting documentation to the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs to support their occupational illness, traumatic injury, or death claim.

This is very important because firefighters have a much higher rate of cancer than the general public, and this amendment to the Federal Employees Compensation Act will reduce an unnecessary burden on public servants, like our brave men and women who fight fires to keep us safe every day.

I, like my colleagues, have a solemn responsibility to take care of our public servants when they are hurt or injured in the course of carrying out their duties. Firefighters from my district in Indianapolis have shared heart-breaking stories that make it very clear that this amendment can help ensure they're compensated after injuries on the job. We must not let a month's worth of time be the cause of not being able to put food on the table, not being able to pay medical bills, or worrying about how to make ends meet. We're talking about not just our public servants, but also ensuring their families are taken care of when they can't work. This is a problem in all our districts, and it is a problem whose solution is simple and long overdue.

Firefighters know the risk involved in their line of work, but they bravely put lives of others first while they work. We must now put these brave men and women first and pass this bipartisan amendment. I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this amendment, and the underlying bill.