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Engel: We Need to Permanently Authorize the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund

Engel: We Need to Permanently Authorize the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund

Washington D.C.—Congressman Eliot L. Engel issued the following statement:

“It seems unconscionable to me that some 17 plus years after the horrific attack on 9/11, the heroes from that fateful day and their families are still forced to endure needless uncertainty about their future care. It took us far too long to create a permanent health care program for the tens of thousands of people who became ill due to 9/11 related illness, but we did finally get it done. Now, the program that provides compensation for their families and their suffering, the ‘9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF)’ is due to expire within a year, unless Congress quickly acts to save it.

“My colleagues and I in the New York delegation, led by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, and Rep. Pete King, have introduced bipartisan legislation to permanently fund this critical program, and we have a moral obligation to see it through. The Special Master of the VCF has already indicated due to dwindling funds, the program will not have enough to cover claims during the current authorization, thus forcing them to consider reducing awards. This absolutely cannot happen. The United States government cannot turn its back on these families, who have already endured unimaginable anguish. In the past, delays in funding have been due in large part to out of state Members who complained about cost. Their heartless argument cannot be given any weight by GOP leadership this time. I am pleased to be an original cosponsor of the Never Forget the Heroes; Permanent Authorization of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund’ and I am hopeful we can get it promptly passed and signed into law.”