Rep. Maloney: 9/11 First Responders Deaths Climbing

The number of first responders who have died of cancer and other complications after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 will soon surpass the number of people who were killed in the attack itself, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., said Monday, speaking out in favor of a bipartisan bill that will make a compensation fund permanent.

“We have 85 members of Congress already on our bill before we’ve introduced it, the Never Forget the Heroes Act, which would restore any funding that’s been cut and make the Victims Compensation Fund permanent,” Maloney said told MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports.” “We will not stop until we pass this.”

The 9/11 compensation fund is running out of money and will cut future payments by 50 to 70 percent, officials said earlier this month.

Former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, who has been fighting to keep the fund alive, and first responder John Feal called the continued response to help victims slow.

“It’s an insult that they keep continuing to put a date, an arbitrary date, on legislation, five years here, five years there,” Feal said. “Everybody knows these cancers and these respiratory illnesses have different latency periods. I mean, come on. I mean it’s just insulting. We’re sick and dying, but we’re not stupid.”

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, said Sen. Cory Gardner, D-Colo., and a few other Republican senators are backing the bill, but now it is time to extend the compensation fund for 70 years.

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