WASHINGTON — The bill that permanently authorizes the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund passed out of the House Judiciary Committee unanimously on Wednesday.
The move comes a day after former “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart shamed members of a Judiciary subcommittee, as only Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and four subcommittee members were present for testimony from 9/11 first responders.
The New York Post Reports:
They included Luis Alvarez, a retired NYPD detective who was about to begin his 69th round of chemotherapy for liver cancer. There are 14 members of the subcommittee.
“It’s an embarrassment to the country and a stain on the institution and you should be ashamed of yourselves, for those who aren’t here, but you won’t be because accountability doesn’t appear to be something that occurs in this chamber,” Stewart said Tuesday.
At the full committee markup Wednesday, a handful of lawmakers were absent, but Nadler dismissed calls to make the committee vote a roll call vote.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), will need to be scored by the Congressional Budget Office before it can get a full vote in the House, but is expected to pass, as the legislation has 313 bipartisan co-sponsors.
The Senate version, sponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, also has bipartisan support, but it’s still short of a veto-proof majority.
The White House has yet to respond to requests for comment on whether President Trump supports the legislation.
The bill keeps the current fund going until Oct. 1, 2090. Previous bills only allowed victims of the terror attacks — including the first responders — to file claims in five-year periods. The new bill also doesn’t cap the funds allocated to assist the victims.
“That five-year reauthorization was not nearly enough. People are still getting sick as diseases like cancer emerge after long latency periods. Those already sick are getting sicker, and tragically, many are dying and have died,” Nadler said in his opening statement Wednesday.
Many 9/11 responders and people who worked or resided near Ground Zero became ill after breathing toxic fumes spewing from the site.
From The New York Post