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America's First Responders Act

December 12, 2019

The Honorable Bill Pascrell
U.S. House of Representatives
2409 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Pascrell,

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (www.fleoa.org) is the nation’s largest non-partisan professional association representing federal law enforcement officers. With over 27,000 Members from across all 65 federal law enforcement agencies, FLEOA’s members are on the front lines of protecting and defending America.

We are writing today to express our support for your introduction of H.R. 5342, the "Supporting America’s First Responders Act,” which would create an above-the-line federal tax deduction for certain expenses of first responders. Specifically, your bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow police, fire, and EMTs to deduct up to $500 per year for out-of-pocket expenses related to: (1) tuition or fees for the participation of the first responder in professional training related to their service as a first responders; and (2) for uniforms used in service as a first responder. The amount of the deduction would be adjusted up from the $500 amount each year to account for inflation. The bill addresses an issue created by the enactment of the 2017 tax reform law.

As our nation’s largest professional federal law enforcement association, we always advocate for our members to remain current with training. In order to remain up to date, our members often make purchases or pay for external training to support their professional development. In some cases, this training compensates for training that is lacking in many agencies due to training budget cuts. As the Congress pushes for law enforcement to remain the premier professionals that they are, this type of benefit would alleviate cost concerns for law enforcement officers and enable them to take advantage of training opportunities.

Your support for this legislation is a commitment to the broader law enforcement community and we look forward to its passage. FLEOA is always available to provide our subject matter expertise with this or any other federal law enforcement issues and can be contacted at fleoa@fleoa.org.

Sincerely,
Larry Cosme
National President
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association