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South Florida Congressional Reps Want to Waive Repayments for Americans Leaving Israel

This week, two members of the Florida delegation–U.S. Reps. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., and Frederica Wilson, D-Fla.–teamed up on a proposal that “waives the current U.S. State Department’s repayment requirement for Americans evacuated from Israel” and “allows Americans who were victims of the Hamas attack and those wishing to evacuate to return home to the United States without the need for repayment to be evacuated.”

Wilson brought out the “Justifiable Use of Money for Peace (JUMP) Act” with Gimenez as the only co-sponsor.

“In times of crisis, the last thing we should burden our fellow Americans franticly trying to evacuate Israel with is bureaucratic red tape and financial strain as they flee the horrors inflicted by Hamas terrorists,” said Wilson. “The JUMP Act is a beacon of compassion, recognizing the unimaginable pain and trauma victims face. By waiving the U.S. State Department’s repayment requirement, we’re offering solace to those grieving, allowing them to begin the healing process without the added weight of repayments. This bill is a call for empathy, and I urge my colleagues to stand with us in prioritizing the well-being of Americans escaping Hamas terror.”

Wilson’s office offered some of the details on the proposal.

“The JUMP Act addresses the urgent needs of Americans who have found themselves caught in the crossfire of the recent conflict, particularly those affected by the reprehensible actions of Hamas terrorists. This legislation offers a compassionate response to the harrowing experiences faced by victims of the Hamas attack, allowing them to return home to the United States without the financial burden of repaying evacuation services,” Wilson’s office noted.

“On October 7, Hamas terrorists invaded Israel’s sovereign borders, indiscriminately killing, kidnapping, and torturing thousands of civilians while leaving countless others in desperate need of evacuation back to the United States,” said Gimenez. “As the law is written, US citizens and permanent residents that take U.S. government transport are required to repay the cost of their transportation. A victim of Hamas terrorism in the midst of an evacuation should not be burdened by cumbersome paperwork or be forced to repay their transportation. I am proud to work with my fellow South Florida colleague Rep. Frederica Wilson to introduce a bill that waives this onerous requirement and allows victims to mourn without a costly repayment looming.”

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee. So far, there is no companion measure in the U.S. Senate.

Author

  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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