tv Washington Journal Michael Mc Auliff CSPAN June 24, 2019 2:39pm-3:01pm EDT
the complete guide to congress is not available and has lots of details about the house and senate for the current session of congress. contact and bio information about every senator and representative plus information about congressional committees, state governors in the cabinet. the 2019th congressional directory is a handy, spiral-bound guide. order your copy from the c-span online store for 1895. >> tonight on "the communicators". we continue our visit to ces on the hill to hear about simpson's program solve for tomorrow which challenges kids to use them to improve communities. >> [inaudible] we created a doorlock that will be on the outside of the doors and if you put -- [inaudible] when the door
is closed and there's a shooter in the building that locke will slide in. >> tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> each week in the segment of the washington journal we take a look at how your money is at work in a different federal program this week we focus on the 911 victims compensation fund. to do that were joined by a congress reporter for the new york daily news. started off with a history of this fund. how long after 911 wasn't established in the criteria to qualify as a victim of 911? >> there was a fund initially begun right after 911 and it lasted for a couple of years and that lapsed it do not take into account things liket people getting sick in the subsequent years. numbers from new york including hillary clinton, pete king pushed for six years until he finally got another bill passed in 2010. at the end of 2010 it was
letting the past congress avenue the victims competition fun for couple of billion dollars worth and then that expired in 2015 so they had to come back and do it all over again a lot of folks with john stewart coming down in 2010 so it made a popular impression on the country but then they did ultimately pass it againim to the end of the year d it seems to linger each time it happens and they bumped it up to about $7.4 billion. the way the congressional budget office crunched the numbers they assumed that even though it was only a five year program again that if it lasted until 2025 they would have enough money in there would be something like people who got cancer et cetera and it should last but what happened is a lot more people started getting sick a lot more people started finding out about it who were affected and started applying and more
people startedme dying. in february of this year they announced they will have to cut the payouts by 50% for folks in the system but had not gotten an award. w by 70% for those who not yet started the process.t they were running out of money at about they would fall $5 billion short. >> host: you mentioned jon stewart back on capitol hill recently talking about this issue and here is a clip that many c-span viewers have already seen. >> i'm sorry if i sound angry and undiplomatic. but i am angry and you should be too. they are all angry as well.l. they have every justification to be that way. there is not a person here, not an empty chair on the state that did not tweet out never forget
the heroes of 911, never forget their bravery, never forget what they did and what they gave to this country but but here they are and where are they? it would be one thing if their callous indifference and rank hypocrisy were benign but it is not. your indifference cost these men and women their most valuable commodity, time. the one thing they are running out of. >> host: michael, talk about why he was on capitol hill and the status of the bill that he was pushing for. >> guest: he was on capitol hill because people do tend to
forget. it's a painful thing that falls out of people's minds. he's a celebrity and cares about this issue and lived through it lived right near ground zero and had a real personal impact on him. that is only him. with the fund running out of money there is a new bill that is pending in congress and it would make a permanent or permanent until 2090 because the folks who would get it will not live forever and indeed, watching that clip, it reminded me of thewh fellow sitting right next to mr. stewart, detective lou alvarez and he was supposed to go get chemotherapy after that the very next day. he left before the day was over to get home and the doctors were unable to do that because his liver is no longer functioning. he's in hospice now. he had to spend that time to pick up on jon stewart's point coming down to washington to show himself, to lawmakers, to
remind them rather than being at home and getting one more round of chemotherapy. that is where it stands now. the house would have to pass it. probably in july that is what sidney hoyer has talked about an lindsey graham on the senate judiciary committee and mitch mcconnell who obviously runs the floor in the senate. >> host: we are talking about the 911 victims compensation fund in the segment of the washington journal, your money segments. special lines in the segment 2,027,488,000 if you live in eastern or central time zones and want to call in or have a question or comment, mountain or pacific time zone (202)748-800 (202)748-8001 and then special phone line for family members of 911 victims will keep that line. [laughter] the segment (202)748-800 (202)748-8002 michael, is doing us as a reporter for the new york daily news. you been covering this issue from the beginning even from the
aftermath of the 911 attacks. can you talk about how far back you go on this topic connect. >> guest: i go back to the day it happened. i worked in new york at the time he lived in brooklyn so when the traffic reporter on the bs that a small plane had flown into the world trade center because that's apparently what would like to him from far away as a reporter i said that sounds like a story so i went down and happen to be there to talk to people who are leaving the tower while they were still standing and had the misfortune of being there when they collapsed that was a rather harrowing. >> host: how long did you stay down there covering the l aftermath and the cleanup and everything beyond that? >> i stayed there for a few more hours that day and then i was an editor at abc news on website at the national so i called myself because the trains are running so i had to walk and then i sat at my desk until they let us go to a hotel all covered in dust.
>> host: being covered in dust you wrote a story for the huffington post about concerns about whether you have been exposed to some of these chemicals and things and particles in the air they killed so many people can talk about that experience and what you found out from that experience and how you did that? >> guest: tenth anniversary was coming up was working at half post it was again in a situation where a lot of folks were not remembering exactly what happened and what the impacts were so i took some of the dust that had collected in my pockets and there was it was so dense it filled at my pockets and i took some of that dust and send it to a lab to have analyzed and what they found is it had just what they expected which was silica, pulverized concrete and all sorts of other trace elements that can have eventually and impact on the people who briefed it. i have covered environmental hazards before so when those
buildings came down i had the presence of mind to at least breathe through my shirt until the people around me to breathe to their shirt. i seem to have been spared ill impacts from that but the point was the folks who are down there for longer and those who are inhaling us oftenen do not have agreement and do not think about stay there after day and you don't know what those affects would be and there's a slow process and are emerging out. >> host: 911 victim compensation fund how many people have been who have been, they did over the years and what is that consist of? >> guest: in the current fund it's about 2200, almost 225 who have been compensated so far and that may include some amended claims and there's another 21000 or so pending so that is why we are in this tough situation.
i don't remember where the specific payouts are for most of them but the one that sticks in my mind is that if you have stage iv cancer according to their formulas it's worth $2500, $250,000. but if it were an old-fashioned wrongful death suit you would imagine you get a lot more than that. >> host: who gets to decide what gdifference is easily are wors? >> guest: it's a long process that goes back to the original program and it's an existing standards and you should find ken feinberg if you remember him, he's the guy that ran the original victims compensation fund and it's not an easy thing to come up with these numbers. they've ground through them and it's a public program and meant to -- is not meant to be like a windfall but meant just to replace losses and if you have a
life insurance policy that would be subtracted from any award you get so it's meant to replace what people lost because of the attacks. >> host: talking about the 911 victims compensation fund. russian income is on phone lines but up by those in eastern or central times or mountain and pacific time zones in a special line for families of 911 victims moved to 748, (202)748-800 (202)748-8002 first up is from ogden, kansas. >> caller: good morning. my name is norma and i am 75. i remember 911 and they were heroes. for the first time in years i saw our country come together and everybody was nice to everybody and everyone volunteered and people went to church and prayed and these people, the 911 firefighters and
stuff like that we can repartition for the slave there and the slaves have been dead 150 years or more and our firefighters and the rest of the people that saved our country and people by going into buildings that were not safe they deserve compensation. >> host: michael, can you talk tiabout the obstacles that this latest bill faces and is it likely to pass and if so, when? >> guest: sidney hoyer has said he plans to bring us to the floor and respect that would happen in july before the august recess and then it's up to regular order of the senate than lindsey graham and judiciary committee would mark it up and mitch mcconnell would have to put it on the floor. it does havenn a majority of support in the senate so i don't see any problem in it actually
passing but it comes down to the leadership and deciding that we need to move this and move it fairly quickly. the way it worked in the past and much to the dismay of 911 responders it has been attached to other measures and had to go through a legislative sausage making process is rather unpleasant if you're the person affected. so, they would like to see it on the floor even on september 11 of this year to pass on its own whether or not that will happen, i don't know. >> host: you mentioned mitch mcconnell after the jonon stewat clip went viral mitch mcconnell was asked about john stuart testimony and here's what he had to say. >> we never failed to address this issue. we will address it again. i don't know why he's all bent out of shape. we willl b b take care of that 1 victims competition from. >> i think he was shocked that when he appeared before that committee i believe it was in the house that so few members showed up that day.
>> that frequently happens because members have a lot of things going on at the same time andd it sounds to me like he's looking for some weight to take offense and there is no way we won't address this problem appropriately. we have in the past and will again. >> it will be fully funded. >> yes. >> host: that was the senate majority leader on fox news. hire taking calls and questions this morning on the 911 victims competition funded michael mcauliff is our guest. reporter for the daily news. stamford, connecticut, good morning. >> caller: good morning. i remember 911 and i dragged my daughter from high school down to the site and i said i want you to know not [inaudible] she's older now but my question is -- why do they have to do this process when a president
can fly tomorrow log out and spend millions on golf? we have money for golf but not money for people? >> host: michael mcauliff. >> guest: well, i think that is where we are at. the senate is probably going to pass this but it's just a question of when and whether or not they w do it in the fashion that makes the 911 community feel whole. i'm pretty sure the country will indeed come up with the money for this program. >> host: when it comes to a set amount of money for this program some folks on twitter are asking why is there a limit to the fund? jody says the people who ran to the twin towers after the should have all their health needs given to them for free for the rest of the lies no if's, and or butts. heroes deserve it. why is this not happened in 18 years?
>> guest: it goes back to that original gap i talked about. after that unity everyone saw and celebrates rate after 911 it faded and in some ways it's understandable because people don't want to keep something painful like that in the forefront. when the alleged nation started advancing especially the first time there was very regional and it was even a bit partisan where people were seen as a new york issue. it would not pass it off, [inaudible] in the u.s. senate and mike [inaudible] were objecting at the price tag at the time. christian children save the bill and get them to agree to move it but had to cut it in half and put in all sorts of restrictions to make sure there was not fraud or abuse. if that legacyhe of both partisanship and regionalism in fiscal prudence that started the cap. it has gone on in five year increments and sent. >> host: to know if there's been fraud and abuse?
>> guest: there has not been. it's been a remarkable successful fund in terms of that. all the audits have come back one 100% clean and perhaps that's because they put. so many restrictions on it. there are two programs that you have to keep in mind. how program in order to get into the health program you got to prove you were there we were there for a certain amount of time and then that puts you in line for that compensation program but then you still have whole anothera approval and verification process before you can be admitted into the compensation program so there's a whole lot of checking that goes on. >> host: are the firefighters and police officers bumped toan the head of the line past just the regular folks and citizens who were there that day? >> guest: no, not bumped to thet front of the line but by the fact of the job they did they have documentation in their people who can testify they were there and they also have medical
systems in place so it's a lot easier for them to get through the process and one of the reasons the fund is running out of money iss the survivors and people in the neighborhoods are beginning to realize this is there for them as well so there's a lot more of them coming forward now. >> host: chapel hill, tennessee, good morning. >> caller: good morning. good to talk to you. i have a real trouble. usually, i have a real album that is another government program and i'm a veteran and they can not take care of the veterans right now and now they're falling back on their promise for the 911 victims and this is an ongoing situation. we have such incompetency in our congress and senate that it's ridiculous. i do want to ask one question about this. one more thing i need to state. i love the people from kentucky and go there all the time and i
live in chapel hill, tennessee just south of it. these people are wonderful wife are they keep electing mcconnell i don't know. that's why our government is at a stand still. my question about this 911 situation -- you know, they say i haven't agent orange problem and has not been organized yet and that was an infantry on the ground and i was virtually sprayed but i have no real effects except ulcers, prostate cancer and breathing problems. my question is the people that lived around this did they get away from the 911 site enough to not be affected by that? or do they still live in that area around their?ve >> host: tony, thank you for the question. >> guest: first of all, sorry not been able to get your problems dealt with but if you
remember back to rudy giuliani that at the time little people the air was fine. lot of folks who might have stayed away especially folks who had the means to went back and went back to work went back to the places where they lived. there are probably many more who suffered longer exposure than might have otherwise that is another part of why there are more people coming forward now at this late date. >> host: michael out of brooklyn, good morning. >> caller: good morning. you for taking my call -- >> we leave the segment of the washington journal here at the u.s. senate which is about to dabble in. associated press and other news outlets reporting the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has agreed to meet with 9111th responders so they continue to put pressure on congress to personally fund the government 911 victim compensation fund. continue to watch this and will bring you updates as needed. senate about to gavel in to start work on 2020 defense
programs and policy. both for the legislation coming up at 5:30 p.m. eastern. live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. . the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal god, who rules the raging of the sea, we thank you for these moments when we are more aware of your presence. we're grateful that we can seize