President Trump said Friday he was “very happy” to sign into law two bills that would provide help to members of law enforcement and veterans.
Seated at a table in the White House’s Diplomatic Reception Room, Trump approved a measure giving priority for federal grants to those federal and state law enforcement agencies that hire and train veterans.
“We are behind you 100 percent,” he said to the public safety officers and vets at the ceremony.
The American Law Enforcement Heroes Act and the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Improvement Act is the product of a bipartisan effort by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.
The second measure – the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Improvement Act – takes steps to reduce the backlog of families awaiting approval of survivor benefits of public safety officers killed in the line of duty.
Trump said it was “unacceptable” that injured officers have suffered and that children of fallen officers have had to put off their dreams of college.
The bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., gives state and local officials determine eligibility and will allow beneficiaries to track their claims online.
The Public Safety Officers’ Benefits program was established by Congress in 1976 to financially assist survivors of officers killed in the line of duty, bit many families face long waiting periods to receive their benefits.
According to the latest data, there were 756 active claims before the PSOB Office at the end of March 2017.