Momentum Grows For 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Reauthorization
Source: Queens Gazette
On October 29, Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), and Peter King (R-NY-2), Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) released the following joint statement announcing that the House (H.R.7062) and Senate (S.3591) bills called the Never Forget the Heroes Act have garnered 100 bipartisan co-sponsors since being introduced earlier this month:
“Reaching this 100 co-sponsor level shows just how widespread the support for the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) is. We have nearly one-fifth of Congress in a few short weeks on this bill, with broad bipartisan support – from Texas and Colorado, to North Carolina and Rhode Island – members representing constituents in every corner of the country are coming together to support this program because we all recognize the grave importance the work the VCF does. There are tens of thousands of responders and survivors nationwide living with, and some tragically dying from 9/11-related illnesses, and more are being diagnosed each day. It is up to us to make sure that these American heroes get the help they need.
“We need to permanently authorize and fully fund this program immediately. With each passing day, without permanent reauthorization and full funding, anxiety and suffering grow – and that is unacceptable. Just as our 9/11 heroes answered the call when we were attacked, Congress must now answer the call to stand up for them.”
The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 killed and injured thousands in New York City, Shanksville, PA and the Pentagon. In the years since, thousands more men and women, including first responders, relief workers, and local residents have gotten sick after they were exposed to a toxic cocktail of burning chemicals, pulverized drywall and powdered cement, and some have died from their exposure. According to scientists, many cancers can have a latency period of years before turning deadly. This year, the number of cancer certifications by the World Trade Center Health Program is reaching more than 10,000 cases. As we reach the 20-year milestone after the attacks and these latent diseases continue to manifest, new claims will continue to rise as the expiration of the current Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) approaches in 2020. Already, the VCF has approved over 19,204 claims. There are 9/11 first responders and survivors in every state and in 434 out of 435 Congressional districts.
For the full list of current co-sponsors of the bill, visit QGazette.com