Oct 11, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Biden urges Congress to bring help to firefighters

President Joe Biden speaks before signing.

President Joe Biden speaks before signing a bill. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden called on Congress Tuesday to pass the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act, which aims to provide more help and resources for sick federal firefighters.

Driving the news: Biden, who spoke virtually at the Summit on Fire Prevention and Control, said the act could provide compensation and benefits for federal firefighters who become sick from firefighting.

What he said: Biden said the act "is going to help federal firefighters and their families access critical worker compensation resources."

  • He said he hoped the act would cover "several forms of cancer" that are presumed to be connected to their jobs.

State of play: Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tom Carper (D-Delaware) announced the bill in early 2022, saying that it will help firefighters receive financial support for illnesses and diseases from their performances.

  • “Federal firefighters put themselves in harm’s way to save lives and protect our nation’s public lands. In this dangerous line of work, these heroic men and women are at higher risk of developing certain diseases—like respiratory illnesses and a variety of cancers," Carper said in a statement.
  • "We owe it to them to ensure they get the benefits and support they deserve for putting their own personal safety at risk."

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