Approval expected for Larson’s bill to honor slain first responders

C-Span / File Photo

U.S. Rep. John Larson, D-1st District: “First responders are the nation’s front line of defense here at home.”

Washington – It’s National Police Week here, and Rep. John Larson is the sponsor of a bill expected to win overwhelming approval by the U.S. House that aims to honor the nation’s first responders.

Larson’s bill, the Honoring Hometown Heroes Act, changes the federal flag code to give governors and the mayor of Washington, D.C., authority to “proclaim that the U.S. flag shall be flown at half-staff in the event of the death of a first responder (public safety officer) working in such jurisdiction who dies while serving in the line of duty.”

“First responders are the nation’s front line of defense here at home,” Larson, D-1st District, said. “In the unfortunate times when the ultimate sacrifice is given, they deserve the respect of having our nation’s flag flown at half-staff. Amending the Flag Code is the least we can do.”

Larson’s bill has bipartisan sponsorship and support. It is expected to be approved Wednesday. A similar bill sponsored by Sen. John Tester, D-Mont., is pending in the Senate.

“Sacrifices often go unappreciated. When an officer dies in the line of duty, he or she is making the ultimate sacrifice for their community,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. The (Honoring Hometown Heroes Act) allows the American people to show their appreciation to these men and women who are truly the people between order and chaos.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., also praised Larson during debate on the bill on the House floor Tuesday, saying he “navigated the twists and turns of the legislative process to bring this legislation to the floor.”

Other pro-police bills to be considered by Congress this week would increase training resources, boost hiring preferences for veterans and impose harsher penalties for those accused of killing a police officer.