Local congressional lawmakers are continuing to push legislation to support the victims of the Fort Hood shooting.
In both houses of Congress, Central Texas’ representatives filed bills to provide Purple Hearts, and the civilian equivalent, to those killed or wounded during the shooting Nov. 5, 2009, at Fort Hood’s Soldier Readiness Processing Center. The bill also would designate the shooting as “terrorism” instead of workplace violence.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Wednesday he intends to include the bill in the National Defense Authorization Act, which should be passed by the Senate before Thanksgiving.
“We’ve waited too long to give the people who were targeted by (Nidal) Hasan the honor and benefits they so richly deserve,” he said.
In the past, Cornyn offered similar amendments to the authorization act with no success.
In the House, Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, has a version of the bill with 202 bipartisan co-sponsors.
The House included benefits for Fort Hood shooting victims in its defense act, which passed over the summer. Although Carter said stand-alone legislation would be more comprehensive at this point, he is hopeful the companion bills will be passed, with all benefits and honors included.
“Ongoing effort will continue until the victims and the families of this horrific event are recognized for their sacrifices,” Carter said. “I have been receiving support from House leadership and the House Armed Service Committee with the overall goal of referring the bill to the House floor for a vote.”