Press Releases

Press Releases

Issa Introduces Bill To Help First Responders Aiding International Disasters

Press Release
Apr 26, 2017

Today, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) reintroduced the First Responders Passport Act which would allow the Secretary of State to waive passport fees for certain American first responders making trips abroad in a natural disaster response effort. 
The bill was introduced with the support of Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), Congressman Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), House Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.), and 14 additional co-sponsors. 
Congressman Darrell Issa: “American generosity is made evident through the good hearts of compassionate Americans who answer the call to respond to natural disasters around the world. Our first responders often travel thousands of miles to assist foreign communities in the aftermath of hurricanes, earthquakes, and other catastrophes. This legislation makes these selfless journeys a little easier by waiving passport fees for those headed to provide aid and by ensuring they are always ready to render life-saving help to those in need.”
Chairman Ed Royce: “Every year, brave Americans, including from Los Angeles county, volunteer to respond to disasters around the world. These heroes should not be deterred by fees and red tape.  This bill, which passed the House overwhelmingly last Congress, will provide a small but important benefit for those first responders, and I hope to see it become law.”  
Congressman Brendan Boyle: “First responders continuously put their lives on the line at home and abroad. Every year, Americans bravely go abroad to help victims of natural disasters in foreign countries. This is an example of true American leadership. Their bravery and efforts do not go unnoticed. We should do all we can to make their endeavors easier. This is why I am proud to join Congressman Issa in introducing the First Responders Passport Act.”

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock: “Fairfax County is home to the elite Virginia Task Force 1 which has been deployed overseas over thirty times traveling thousands of miles to help those who are in need after disaster has struck.  This smart legislation will help ease the burden of these dedicated first responders so they do not have to pay passport fees as they are deployed overseas.  I was honored to welcome home Virginia’s Task Force 1 on their last international deployment when a devastating earthquake hit Nepal.  Members of Virginia Task Force 1 are wonderful ambassadors for the Commonwealth and our country who have saved many lives around the world.”

Full text of the legislation can be read here.

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