Bill targets permanent VCF re-authorization

Source: Homeland Preparedness News

A group of lawmakers recently introduced a measure designed to permanently re-authorize funding for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).

Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), and Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Peter T. King (R-NY) said the bill would ensure that the VCF program would cover 9/11 first responders who become sick with certified 9/11 illnesses in the future.

Officials said the legislation’s formation stems from the recent announcement the VCF could run out of funding before its expiration date in 2020, in addition to cancer rates among 9/11 first responders starting to increase 17 years after the 9/11 attacks.

The terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, killed approximately 2,997 and injured thousands in New York City, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon.

Tens of thousands more men and women, including first responders, relief workers, and area residents, have lost their lives or gotten sick as a result of exposure to a toxic cocktail of burning chemicals, pulverized drywall, and powdered cement, officials said. Scientists have found numerous cancers can lie dormant for more than 20 years before turning deadly while this year alone the number of cancer certifications by the World Trade Center Health Program reached more than 10,000 cases.

“I’ll never forget the images and video of brave women and men running into danger to help save thousands of people,” Gardner said. “These heroes now live across the country, including in Colorado, and have sacrificed so much. After all they have done for us, our nation cannot and will not turn its back on them. This bipartisan group will work relentlessly to advance our legislation to provide them the care they deserve.”