Skip To Content

May 18, 2022

Trone, Reschenthaler Bipartisan Public Safety Officer Support Act Passes House

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 18, 2022

Contact: Sasha Galbreath, Sasha.Galbreath@mail.house.gov 

Trone, Reschenthaler Bipartisan Public Safety Officer Support Act Passes House

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tonight, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Public Safety Officer Support Act of 2022 introduced by U.S. Representatives David Trone (D-MD) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA). This bipartisan legislation would expand the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program (PSOB) to include coverage for first responders who die as a result of suicide or are permanently disabled as a result of traumatic service-related experiences. The PSOB Program currently only covers physical injuries, excluding any coverage for mental health issues. The legislation passed with strong bipartisan support (402-17).

“With the House’s passage of this bill, we are one step closer to ensuring benefits for those suffering from mental injuries and their families. First responders often experience more trauma in one day than many of us will experience in our lifetimes. This takes a significant toll on the officers and sometimes leads to disability or even suicide,” said Rep. Trone. “We need to make sure the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program is there not only for those suffering from physical injuries, but also from mental injuries. Let’s work together to get the job done and pass this legislation into law.”

“I am grateful for my colleagues’ strong bipartisan support in passing the Public Safety Officer Support Act,” said Rep. Reschenthaler. “Police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians risk their lives every day to keep our families and communities safe, and that work does not come without sacrifice. This legislation will ensure our first responders, and their families, are covered for the mental health conditions that can arise from such strenuous service. I urge the Senate to pass this legislation to support the brave men and women who protect us.”

If passed into law, the Public Safety Officer Support Act would:

  • Allow public safety officers to seek disability benefits for PTSD linked to severe trauma by directing the PSOB to designate work-related PTSD and acute stress disorders as a line of duty injury for eligible officers as well as those who are permanently disabled as a result of attempted suicide; and
  • Allow families of public safety officers who die by trauma-linked suicide to apply for death benefits by directing the PSOB to presume that suicides are a result of job duties in certain traumatic circumstances where there is evidence that PTSD or acute stress disorder would be the cause of the injury.

The Public Safety Officer Support Act (H.R. 6943) is cosponsored by Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Richard Hudson (NC-08), Angie Craig (MN-02), Don Beyer (VA-08), Andrew Garbarino (NY-02), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Karen Bass (CA-37), Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (Puerto Rico), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Dan Crenshaw (TX-02), Brad Schneider (IL-10), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Yvette Herrell (NM-02), Lucy McBath (GA-06), Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), David Cicilline (RI-01), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12)

U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced companion legislation with Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Cory Booker (D-NJ).

The following organizations support the Public Safety Officer Support Act: Fraternal Order of Police, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, National Association of Police Organizations, Sergeants Benevolent Association, National Sheriffs Association, Blue H.E.L.P., the National Border Patrol Council, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the International Society for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses, the Clinical Social Work Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the Psychotherapy Action Network, the American Counseling Association, and the Schizophrenia and Psychosis Action Alliance. 

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Appropriations, Veterans’ Affairs, and Joint Economic Committees. In Congress, Trone is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the mental health and addiction crises, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.

Follow Congressman Trone at @RepDavidTrone for updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

###