House OKs plan to fund 9/11 victim compensation fund, heads to Senate
Lawmakers in the House voted Friday to approve more aid to the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.
The bill, which passed in the House by a vote of 402-12, would ensure the fund pays benefits for 9/11 victims' families and others who were sickened at ground zero for the next 70 years.
The new bill comes as the current $7 billion victims compensation fund is being depleted and has cut benefit payments by up to 70 percent.
The current law doesn't have enough money to pay out all the current and projected claims for the men and women who got sick from the toxic dust at ground zero.
"We are seeing a higher rate and cancer more and more people are getting cancers and we haven't even seen all the cancers from asbestos it's going to get much worse, but we calculated for all of that," said John Feal.
The bill received nationwide attention after impassioned pleas from comedian Jon Stewart and surviving 9/11 first responders. Among them was retired NYPD Detective Luis Alvarez, of Oceanside, who was dying of 9/11-related cancer when he testified before Congress last month. Alvarez died days later on June 29.
The measure will now head to the Senate, where Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised to put the bill up for a vote in August.