Today, Larry Cosme, National President of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) – the nation’s largest non-partisan, non-for-profit professional association representing more than 31,000 federal law enforcement officers and agents across 65 federal agencies – released the following statement on the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee’s approval of H.R. 521, the “Fair RETIRE Act”::
“As the title of this bill implies, the Fair RETIRE Act brings fairness to the retirement benefits afforded to the brave men and women in federal law enforcement who are disabled in the line of duty,” FLEOA President Cosme said.
“Our members have dedicated themselves to a career spent protecting and defending this nation. They are our first line of defense against transnational criminals, drug traffickers, domestic and international terrorists. They protect our government and its leaders from a wide array of threats at home and abroad. They remain steadfast in their dedication upholding our constitutional ideals and regularly risk their lives for these ideals,” Cosme said. “All too often that dedication to duty means federal law enforcement must willingly place themselves in harm’s way and sacrifice their physical safety for the benefit of our nation. It is absolutely unconscionable that the government would also require federal law enforcement officers to sacrifice their financial security should they become permanently disabled in the line of duty. But that’s exactly what happens under the federal government’s current retirement system.”
Cosme continued, “We are grateful that Members of Congress have recognized that addressing this injustice is of the utmost importance, as exemplified by today’s unanimous vote in the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) and the bill’s unanimous approval in a 417 to 0 vote in the House of Representatives. Now that the bill is through Committee, we will work with our allies on and off Capitol Hill to bring H.R. 521 to the President’s desk to be signed into law this year.”
“We thank HSGAC Chairman Gary Peters and Ranking Member Rob Portman, and all HSGAC Members for uniformly recognizing the importance of this bill and advancing it to the full Senate for consideration. I would also like to extend our gratitude to Sen. Jon Tester and Rep. Gerry Connolly who have been our tireless congressional champions on this bill since it was first introduced. They have worked closely with FLEOA to develop and advance this critical legislation each Congress and we are grateful for their efforts and support,” Cosme concluded.