DENVER, Dec. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- After calls by advocacy groups to designate Oct. 28 as National First Responders Day, the U.S. House of Representatives recently advanced House Concurrent Resolution 37, by passing it out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee with strong support and a proliferation of new co-sponsors. Advocates now call on lawmakers to pass HR37 fully through the House following December's recess.
This bi-partisan resolution, backed by 27 co-sponsors (14 Democrats, 13 Republicans) and introduced by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), supports the national designation of honoring first responders. Dating back to 9/11, many states have designated a First Responders Day, but attempts by several different individuals and organizations to establish a national day celebrating all first responders have not materialized.
In the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, momentum renewed. This was when MIT police officer Sean Collier was shot and killed while protecting and serving the campus. His brother, Andrew Collier, led his family's effort to ensure his brother would be remembered and has since relentlessly advocated for a day of honor for first responders.
More recently, All Clear Foundation, a nonpartisan, nonprofit supporting first responders, launched a petition calling for similar action. This effort and others have led over 65,000 Americans to pledge their support to designate Oct. 28 as First Responder Day.
Collier and All Clear Foundation are now encouraging lawmakers to make this latest resolution the one that gets a House floor vote; the final step needed to make National First Responders Day a reality as the Senate has already cleared an identical measure.
"I am overjoyed to see the House of Representatives advance this long overdue measure. First responders make many sacrifices, sometimes even the sacrifice of life, like my brother," said Andrew Collier.
"We are encouraged by the recent progress and thank all co-sponsors. Our request to policymakers is to bring HR37 to a House floor vote following December's recess," said Janell Farr, president of All Clear Foundation.
The following members of Congress signed onto HR37:
Rep. Cummings, Elijah E. [D-MD-7] (original sponsor)
Rep. DeLauro, Rosa L. [D-CT-3] (original sponsor)
Rep. Courtney, Joe [D-CT-2]
Rep. Norton, Eleanor Holmes [D-DC-At Large]
Rep. Allen, Rick W. [R-GA-12]
Rep. Weber, Randy K., Sr. [R-TX-14]
Rep. Balderson, Troy [R-OH-12]
Rep. King, Peter T. [R-NY-2]
Rep. Fitzpatrick, Brian K. [R-PA-1]
Rep. Graves, Garret [R-LA-6]
Rep. Budd, Ted [R-NC-13]
Rep. Williams, Roger [R-TX-25]
Rep. Axne, Cynthia [D-IA-3]
Rep. Espaillat, Adriano [D-NY-13]
Rep. Carbajal, Salud O. [D-CA-24]
Rep. Cisneros, Gilbert Ray, Jr. [D-CA-39]
Rep. Marshall, Roger W. [R-KS-1]
Rep. Napolitano, Grace F. [D-CA-32]
Rep. Carson, Andre [D-IN-7]
Rep. Hice, Jody B. [R-GA-10]
Rep. Wright, Ron [R-TX-6]
Rep. Mooney, Alexander X. [R-WV-2]
Rep. Blunt Rochester, Lisa [D-DE-At Large]
Rep. Rutherford, John H. [R-FL-4]
Rep. Houlahan, Chrissy [D-PA-6]
Rep. Smith, Adam [D-WA-9]
Rep. Slotkin, Elissa [D-MI-8]
The Senate version, S.Con.Res.15, also enjoys bipartisan support, led by Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tom Cotton.
All Clear Foundation All Clear Foundation is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)3 supporting First Responders by creating, convening, amplifying and funding innovative programs to improve their life expectancy and wellbeing – as well as the wellbeing of their families. The foundation has built a growing list of more than 700 resources and recently launched ResponderRel8, a peer-to-peer chat app that enables First Responders to connect, celebrate and commiserate with peers anonymously.