WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) released the following statements after the Protecting Families of Fallen Servicemembers Act, which would allow spouses and dependents of service members who die or have a catastrophic injury or illness on active duty to terminate a phone, TV, or internet contract without penalty, passed the Senate:
“After the loss of a service member in the line of duty, grieving families shouldn’t have to deal with cancellation fees for phone, cable, or internet service,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This legislation will eliminate these extra charges, and I’m glad we could pass this and send it to the President’s desk before the holidays.”
“When a servicemember is killed or catastrophically injured, the last thing his or her family needs is to worry about their phone, TV, or cable contracts. And when someone serving in the National Guard and Reserves moves or is deployed, they shouldn’t be nickeled and dimed either. This bipartisan legislation will make things just a little bit easier for the men and women who serve our country and their families,” said Sen. Blumenthal.
Under current law, service members can cancel long-term agreements for mobile phone, cable, satellite TV, and internet services without penalty if they receive deployment or relocation orders. This does not cover surviving family members or National Guard and Reserve members called up to active duty.
This legislation would allow spouses and dependents of service members who die or have a catastrophic injury or illness on active duty to cancel their commercial mobile, telephone exchange, Internet access, or multichannel video programming service contract without penalty. It would also allow cancellations by members of the National Guard and Reserve called to active duty, as well as their spouses and dependents in cases of catastrophic injury or illness, defined in law as a permanent condition that causes the affected person to require assistance to get out of bed or constant supervision to avoid physical harm.