Emerson Lodges Support for Troops in Supplemental Appropriations Bill

Date: March 9, 2005
Location: Washington, DC

Emerson Lodges Support for Troops in Supplemental Appropriations Bill
March 9, 2005

WASHINGTON - The House Appropriations Committee last night approved an emergency supplemental spending bill to fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the support of U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson (MO-08). Emerson voted for a key amendment to raise the death benefit for families of U.S. soldiers killed in combat areas from $12, 400 to $100,000 and raise the level of subsidized life insurance for troops to $400,000.

"Our men and women in uniform take tremendous risks and make amazing sacrifices on behalf of our nation. When a life is lost in a combat area, we have an obligation to make sure the family gets a meaningful insurance benefit," Emerson said. "Can you imagine losing a young wife or a young husband in a combat scenario and not being able to cover the funeral expenses, much less the rent or mortgage payment and basic needs that person provided for your family? Yet it has been happening for some time now. Our troops deserve the peace of mind that, if something should happen to them, their families will be taken care of."

The bill includes $73.7 billion for defense needs, including money dedicated to much-needed equipment. Night vision goggles, body armor, communication equipment and up-armor kits for vehicles are chief among the equipment needs Emerson has learned about from Southern Missouri troops.

"In the field and once they return home, our troops have shared with me the acute need for this type of protective equipment. Instead of calling the Defense Department personally when these issues arise, as I have been, I am glad to see a substantial amount of funding dedicated to the supplies that keep our troops alive. Our soldiers are doing a tremendous job in the field, we must do everything possible to support their missions," Emerson said.