Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Actby Representative Glenn Thompson
Posted on 2013-12-11
THOMPSON of Pennsylvania asked and was given permission to
address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. THOMPSON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to support
volunteer fire and emergency services organizations by cosponsoring a
bill introduced today by Pennsylvania Congressman Lou Barletta, H.R.
3685, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders
This bill ensures that emergency services volunteers are not counted as full-time employees under the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act. Because of the nominal fees that at times are given to volunteers and the rate at which the new definition of ``full-time'' is calculated, many volunteer companies are concerned about having to provide health coverage for firefighters or face a penalty. The IRS has been asked to rule on this determination, yet Congress has not received a response.
Having served as a firefighter and EMS volunteer since 1983, I know as well as anyone just how crushing this impact would be for these volunteer organizations. Fire department and municipality support for fire and EMS volunteers is important; however, incentives given to these community volunteers do not change the fact that these are volunteers serving their neighbors.
I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join in support of the commonsense effort by cosponsoring H.R. 3685.