House Passes 9/11 Victims Fund Bill After Jon Stewart’s Testimony
"This is not a game. These are our heroes, American heroes, who are suffering and need our help"
A day after having their accountability questioned by Jon Stewart as he testified in front of them, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties voted to replenish the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
Opened by the federal government in 2011, the compensation fund provides financial assistance to responders and victims who require medical care related to health issues they suffered in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in New York. The fund is running low on money and is scheduled to stop taking claims in December 2020 under the current law.
“This bill is about fulfilling our promise to ‘Never Forget,’” Representative Carolyn B. Maloney of New York said in a statement. “And we won’t stop fighting until we guarantee that this program will be there for anyone and everyone who needs it.”
Once the bill passes through the House which it is fully expected to do, it will still need to be approved in the Senate.
That is far from guaranteed and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not said if he will ever bring the bill to the floor once it gets through the House.
“We will reach the point soon, most likely this year, when more will have died from 9/11-related illnesses than on 9/11 itself,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday. “I say to Leader McConnell: This is not politics. This is not a game. These are our heroes, American heroes, who are suffering and need our help. . . . I am imploring, pleading, even begging to Leader McConnell to put the bill on the floor immediately after it passes the House.”
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