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Mr. Connolly Goes to Washington

Amy Gardner

U.S. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) is pretty happy this week about his first major legislative victory in the House of Representatives: a bill that affords financial protections to deployed service personnel.

Connolly, who today was anointed president of the House's freshman class, pushed the bill (which, to the chagrin of his staff, he named the HADD Act, for Helping Active Duty Deployed) through in a speedy 10 days, he said.

The law makes it illegal for cell phone companies and landlords to charge early termination fees against service members who have to back out of contracts because they are deployed.

Connolly introduced the measure on behalf of a group of veterans of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan who visited him on Capitol Hill.

"One guy told a horror story," he said. "It took him seven months of personally going to the office to get out of his telephone contract. Seven months," Connolly said. "And here's a man who has been called up by his country to serve."

The bill was made into an amendment to the defense authorization bill, which passed the House on Thursday and awaits consideration in the Senate.


By Amy Gardner  |  July 1, 2009; 7:48 PM ET
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Gerald E. Connolly  
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