A proposed law aimed at boosting the spirits of troops deployed downrange or laid up in hospitals has passed the U.S. House of Representatives, but it still has some hurdles to clear before it becomes law.

The Home Front to Heroes Postal Benefits Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., was passed Thursday by a voice vote in the House. Castor’s district includes MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., headquarters of U.S. Central Command and Special Operations Command.

The proposed law allows troops deployed downrange or being treated in a hospital because of injuries or illnesses suffered during overseas operations to designate a loved one, friend or charitable organization to receive a monthly voucher.

The voucher allows the holder to mail without charge a package of up to 15 pounds a month to the servicemember.

The bill had 238 co-sponsors in the House, a release from Castor’s office said.

“That is unusual to have that many co-sponsors, so we are feeling pretty good about this,” said Ellen Gedalius, a spokeswoman for Castor’s office.

The bill would be incorporated into the Defense Authorization Act, which remains in limbo as some members of Congress are seeking more funding for the F-22 Raptor fighter jet, which President Barack Obama and senior Pentagon officials, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates oppose.

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