Cornyn, Blumenthal Introduce Bill to End Cable TV Termination Fees for Fallen Service Members
by John Cornyn on December 4, 2019 at 12:01 PM
U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and I yesterday introduced 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.
Families have enough on their minds after losing a loved one in the line of duty, and that shouldn’t include added stress from cell phone, cable TV, or internet fees. This legislation would ease their burden and allow them to focus on grieving instead of worrying about how they’re going to pay another bill.
“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 nickled 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.