Syracuse Post Standard, by Mark Weiner | photo by Mike Greenlar
Within a bitterly divided Congress, Rep. Richard Hanna has tried to avoid the partisan politics that dominate debate.
So it was no surprise when the first-term Republican from Central New York seized on something he thought Congress could rally around: He proposed a bill to honor federal civilian employees killed in the line of duty by giving an American flag to their families.
But hours before Hanna’s Civilian Service Recognition Act was due for a vote, the American Legion raised concerns that the legislation could cheapen the existing flag honor reserved for families of military service members killed in combat. Immediately, a partisan battle erupted.