A bill to allow for the burial of the remains of those who have died in the U.S. is coming under fire from lawmakers, who say it violates the wishes of the families.
The bill, which was introduced by Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.), would give the families of people who die overseas the right to receive the remains, if they choose.
But the proposal is drawing harsh criticism from families of deceased U.K. and Australian soldiers who have sought to bury the bodies for many years.
The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child said the bill violates the privacy rights of the dead, including their ability to communicate with their families.
“We are not a democracy,” Casey told The Associated Press.
“We’re not the United States of America.
We’re a country.
We do things in a certain way, and that’s all that I care about.”
Goodlatte has said the U-turn comes at the behest of President Donald Trump.
Casey said Trump has been “extremely supportive” of the bill and he hopes the president will sign it.
The new bill has drawn bipartisan criticism from both sides of the aisle.
Republicans have been calling for a bill to protect the rights of people from war, while Democrats have called for a national law that would allow for burial in the United Kingdom.
“The Trump administration has been pushing for legislation that would require that all American citizens who die in war should be buried in a U.k. national cemetery,” Goodlatty said in a statement.
“The American people are entitled to know what happened to them.
It is time for the American people to have a chance to decide who they want buried in their graves.”
The AP contacted Casey’s office for comment, but has not received a response.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Associated Press reporter Julie Bykowicz contributed to this report.