House Overwhelmingly Approves 9/11 Victims Bill

July 12, 2019 by Dan McCue
Former talkshow host and advocate John Stewart, left, and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney attend the funeral of 9/11 first responder Det. Luis Alvarez in Queens, New York on July 3, 2019. (Danielle Hyams/New York Daily News/TNS)

WASHINGTON – The House overwhelmingly approved a bill Friday ensuring that a victims compensation fund for first responders to the Sept. 11 attacks never runs out of money.

Following the 402-12 vote, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said the permanent extension of the 9/11 Victims’ Compensation Fund will ensure that those who courageously worked to rescue victims and respond to the attacks of September 11, 2001, and their aftermath receive the compensation that they and their families are due. 

“I’ve met with many of the brave firefighters, police officers, EMS technicians, and civilians who are suffering from long-term health problems as a result of the September 11 attacks, and I’ve reassured them that the Democratic-led House will always have their backs,” Hoyer said. “That’s what we are doing today, and I hope the Senate will quickly pass this legislation as well.”

The vote comes a month after comedian Jon Stewart, a longtime advocate for 9/11 responders, sharply criticized Congress for failing to act.

Stewart told lawmakers they were showing “disrespect” to first responders now suffering from respiratory ailments and other illnesses as a result of their recovery work at the former World Trade Center site in New York City.

On Friday Stewart issued a statement calling the House vote “necessary, urgent and morally right.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will call the measure up in that chamber before the August recess.

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