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house Bill H.R. 1327

Should the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Be Permanently Reauthorized?

Argument in favor

The heroes of 9/11 who responded to the terror attacks and in the process were exposed to toxic substances that eventually caused them to develop cancer or other illnesses shouldn’t have to worry about paying for treatment. This bill would permanently reauthorize the Victim Compensation Fund to ensure that America’s promise to the heroes of 9/11 isn’t forgotten.

jimK's Opinion
···
last Friday
Just do it! It is inconceivable that you could do otherwise. People gave their health and their lives to protect a large number of our citizens. Such selfless behavior in support of others could not be comprehended by our bone spurs in chief nor Republican leadership, but doing what is necessary for the common good should always be honored and recognized- not punished nor ignored. Worried about funds? How about taxing PAC donations at say 50% for any cumulative annual donation of over $10,000, and escalating percentages for larger donations. If rich folk want to buy our politicians, let them at least pay taxes for the privilege. If 70 additional years is too long, make it 60 additional years- but do not renew it every few years- way to easy for politicians to forget our promise to “never forget”.
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Sandra 's Opinion
···
last Friday
The first responders and those who worked on the pile at ground zero to recover the remains of the victims of 911 are still getting sick and dying all of these years later. They and their families need financial assistance so they aren’t bankrupted by medical costs. They did their jobs, now do yours! Pass this legislation. Anyone voting against it should be voted out in their next election.
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KansasTamale's Opinion
···
last Friday
No QUESTION. THEY RISKED THEIR LIVES. They are SICK because they risked their lives. They deserve to be cared for just like all our Veterans.
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Argument opposed

While first responders and other 9/11 victims who are suffering from serious illnesses should continue to receive compensation for their healthcare as long as they need it, it should be reauthorized for a shorter duration of time to ensure that Congress revisits the program and has designated opportunities to review or reform it.

burrkitty's Opinion
···
last Friday
I don’t approve of permanent funding for any program, no matter how worthy. Spending oversight is a necessity even if it is only once a generation. No program should be authorized for more than 25 years at a time.
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Doug's Opinion
···
last Friday
Authorizing this bill has merit, but not for 89 years after the event.
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David's Opinion
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last Thursday
Where’s the money coming from???? The Gov’t is bankrupt.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed July 12th, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 402 Yea / 12 Nay
      house Committees
      Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedFebruary 25th, 2019

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What is House Bill H.R. 1327?

This bill — the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act — would permanently authorize the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) by providing funding for claims through FY2090. The VCF would be modified to allow the filing of claims until October 2089 and require VCF policies and procedures to be reassessed at least once every five years (which currently must be reassessed at least once annually). Under current law, the VCF is authorized through FY2020, but it is experiencing a shortfall and benefit cut due to an influx of claims.

The bill would require VCF claimants to be paid for the amount by which a claim was reduced on the basis of insufficient funding. Additionally, the cap on noneconomic damages would be lifted in certain circumstances, and the annual limit on economic loss compensation for inflation would be adjusted.

This bill is named after several 9/11 first responders who died of illnesses related to their work at Ground Zero in New York City.

Impact

Victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks; and the Victim Compensation Fund.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1327

$10.18 Billion
The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would cost cost $10.18 billion over the 2019-2029 period.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced this bill to ensure that 9/11 first responders and survivors who have been injured by the toxins and have certified 9/11 illnesses receive full compensation through the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund:

“We need to get to work to make sure the Victim Compensation Fund is there for all those who were sick and injured and the families of those killed because of the toxins at Ground Zero. And that starts with today’s introduction of the Never Forget the Heroes Act. We promised sick and injured 9/11 first responders and survivors that we would fully compensate them for the losses they have suffered. We need to live up to that promise. They shouldn’t have to come begging for us to do our jobs. They’ve done that too many times before. Let’s make this time different and quickly pass this bill.”

Original cosponsor Rep. Peter King (R-KY) added:

“Lou Alvarez, Ray Pfeifer and James Zadroga personified America’s spirit and courage in responding to the evil of 9/11. It is appropriate that the Victims Compensation Fund be named in their honor.”

This legislation passed the House Judiciary Committee on a and has the support of 332 bipartisan cosponsors, including 236 Democrats and 96 Republicans. Jon Stewart has advocated for the passage of this bill and criticized Congress for its slow response. In a meeting with 9/11 victims, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said his chamber will vote on this legislation before the Senate adjourns for recess in August.


Of NoteIn February 2019, the Special Master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund announced that because of a funding shortfall, injured and ill 9/11 responders will receive a benefit cut to the tune of 50% for pending claims and 70% for future claims.

The VCF was last authorized for a five year period in 2015.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: slagheap via Flickr / Creative Commons)

AKA

Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act

Official Title

To extend authorization for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 through fiscal year 2090, and for other purposes.

    Just do it! It is inconceivable that you could do otherwise. People gave their health and their lives to protect a large number of our citizens. Such selfless behavior in support of others could not be comprehended by our bone spurs in chief nor Republican leadership, but doing what is necessary for the common good should always be honored and recognized- not punished nor ignored. Worried about funds? How about taxing PAC donations at say 50% for any cumulative annual donation of over $10,000, and escalating percentages for larger donations. If rich folk want to buy our politicians, let them at least pay taxes for the privilege. If 70 additional years is too long, make it 60 additional years- but do not renew it every few years- way to easy for politicians to forget our promise to “never forget”.
    Like (86)
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    I don’t approve of permanent funding for any program, no matter how worthy. Spending oversight is a necessity even if it is only once a generation. No program should be authorized for more than 25 years at a time.
    Like (21)
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    The first responders and those who worked on the pile at ground zero to recover the remains of the victims of 911 are still getting sick and dying all of these years later. They and their families need financial assistance so they aren’t bankrupted by medical costs. They did their jobs, now do yours! Pass this legislation. Anyone voting against it should be voted out in their next election.
    Like (28)
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    No QUESTION. THEY RISKED THEIR LIVES. They are SICK because they risked their lives. They deserve to be cared for just like all our Veterans.
    Like (24)
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    This is where America's priorities start to haunt our conscience. Shall we continue to fund tax cuts for the wealthy and for industry to produce weapons of death for military endeavors overseas? Or shall we use our resources to care for those brave individuals and families at home who protected and saved the lives of fellow countrymen when attacked on 9/11? Americans have chosen to fund heroes of 9/11. Now you choose members of Congress. It's your turn. What are YOUR priorities?
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    Ultimately, 9/11 is no different than any other tragedy. The victims aren’t different than other victims. The heroes aren’t different than other heroes. This should be funded, but there also needs to be funding for victims and heroes of other tragedies. Singling September 11, 2001 out as a singular event for this sort of subject is an action of emotion, not logic. Not that emotion is necessarily a fraudulent reason, but we must have the same level of compassion for everyone. The same sense of responsibility. The same willingness to do whatever it takes. So, pass this bill. And, then do a whole lot more. When we know better, we should do better. We know better than to let people languish in misery, so we should do better. Fix it.
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    Our 9/11 first responders suffered greatly as a result of their bravery and Congress has shamefully been reluctant to provide full funding for them and their families as they suffer from cancer. This program needs to fully funded until every 9/11 first responder and their families have received the compensation they deserve!
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    Authorizing this bill has merit, but not for 89 years after the event.
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    Hey congress just an idea. IF YOU TOOK YOUR HEADS OUT IF YOUR ASSES DO YOU THINK YOU COULD GET THIS DONE. Then you can stick them back
    Like (13)
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    Definitely, we just can’t turn our back to any first responder. What would happen to their immediate family members? It’s our duty and responsibility to help them.
    Like (12)
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    Don’t be an asshole Republican. Vote to support the hero first responders. 🖕Susan Collins. Your just like all the bitches married to Republican men. You are incapable of having an original thought in your head. Just like the dumb bitches married to Republican men, you are subservient to what ever your dickless man tells you to be🖕
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    Absolutely need to make sure our first responders and those who risked their lives for others are cared for! No question in my mind. Anyone in OFFICE who can look into the eyes of anyone who served and sacrificed their life and health during this tragic event, for their fellow human being, and says NO to this bill should be removed from office.
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    This should be a no brained!!! These people put their lives on the line without hesitation or afterthought. It’s shameful that this should even be questioned!
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    Reading these no reasons that are ridiculous, racist, and short minded. This fund deals with the greatest terror event in our history. This fund isn’t indefinite, it’s in til the last person passes away. That has a 100 year lifespan. Most laws voted on last forever until they are overturned. As a society we take care of our own people not try to find others to take care of them. Finally people voting later in life will not have a true understanding of the scope of this event because they were not alive during it. Do the right thing and vote yes or get voted out of office.
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    Yes. I a 9/11 Responder and I support this.
    Like (9)
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    These are American heroes, who doesn’t want to do the right thing for them? Looking at Mr. Daines and Mr. McConnell.
    Like (9)
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    The first responders put their own lives in danger to rescue others, without giving it a second thought. They deserve to be protected for the rest of their lives. It is the least we can do. Congress needs to do its job.
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    You can't praise the efforts of first responders anywhere if Congress doesn't have their backs by supporting the 9/11 first responders' health needs. Why don't we take back some of that tax cut for the top 1% to fund this through 2090? As others have stated, there shouldn't be a debate about this issue!
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    Why is this even up for debate?
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    I realize this is part of their job. But 9/11 was way more than any normal job expectation. Above and beyond any normal emergency NYC ever had.
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