tv U.S. House of Representatives House Debate on 911 Victims Compensation Fund CSPAN July 13, 2019 3:18am-4:08am EDT
august recess. thebill would extend compensation fund created after the 2001 terrorist attacks through 2090, essentially making it permanent. here's the floor debate on the bill. without objection. mr. nadler: i yield myself such time as i may consume. madam speaker, today this body will, for what i hope is the final time, meet its moral obligation to provide for survivors and responders suffering from 9/11 related illnesses. this obligation is twofold. first, on september 11, 2001, it was not just the city of new york and the pentagon that were attacked, it was the entire country. a national attack is always required a national response. that is why respondants from around the country rushed to new york to aid in the rescue and recovery efforts in the immediate aftermath. today responders and survivors live in all 50 states. this is a national problem. congress must provide a
national solution. second, tens of thousands of responders and survivors are sick because the federal government in its rush to get wall street reopened ignored the evidence and the expert opinions of scientists. the then head of the environmental protection agency repeatedly assured us the air around the world trade center was "safe to breathe." and we knew it wasn't. but the federal government kept insisting it was. and compounding the federal government's culpability was its failure to conduct a comprehensive cleanup of the environmental disaster created when the world trade center towers collapsed. for example, the e.p.a. administrator told the public that asbestos could be cleaned from apartments with a damp cloth and wet mop. based on these false assurances, students were sent back to schools that had been contaminated with the toxic dust cloud without ventilation systems being cleaned first. people kept working to clear
the pile for months with no protective equipment. quite simply the federal government lied and now tens of thousands of people are sick with a 9/11 related illness. it now nalls to us -- falls to us in the words of abraham lincoln to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and orphan. three times congress has come together to provide a health program and compensation for the victims of 9/11 through a victims compensation fund or v.c.f. most recently in 2015 we made the world trade center health program effectively permanent, extended to 2090. but re-authorized the v.c.f., victims compensation fund, for only five years. as we heard in a judiciary committee hearing last month, a five-year authorization was not nearly long enough. people are still getting sick as diseases such as cancer often emerge only after long latency periods. in fact, the congressional budget office estimates that in
the coming years cancer claims will represent 63% of all claims before the v.c.f., up from 44% today. further, as the number of responders and survivors continues to rise, the limited resources congress provided to v.c.f. have proven inadequate. now thousands of families are facing up to 70% cuts in compensation. i refuse to accept that. every sick responder and survivor should be treated with the same dignity and compassion. regardless of when they became sick and no one should be forced to spend their last days walking the halls of congress begging us to re-authorize this program. that is is why we are here today to pass what i hope will be the last authorization we v.c.f.ed for the c. -- despite bipartisan legislation, we reverse all the cuts in compensation and make those families whole. will extend the
authorization through 2092, substantially the same timeline as the world trade center health program and make technical improvements to the program. we have asked so much of our responders and survivors. it is time for us to give them the peace of mind they deserve and pass this bill once and for all. finally, i want to take a moment to recognize the three men after whom we named this bill. fpeifer, and ray alvarez. a month ago detective alvarez testified before the judiciary committee just 24 hours before what was supposed to be his 69th chemotherapy treatment. a treatment he ultimately was too sick to receive. two weeks ago he passed away. like every responder and survivor of 9/11, these three men kept fighting for this program even when they knew it was too late for them. that is the spirit of 9/11. this bill is now their namesake and we vote today in their
name. i reserve the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. collins the attacks of 9/11 were acts of war against the united states. it resulted in the deaths of almost 3,000 poom and left a smoldering pile of toxic debris in new york city. courageous first responders exhumed the dead with dignity. today, the site includes the national september 11 memorial. it's fitting that congress do more than memorialize. we must also provide. 9/11 first responders, like all first responders, deserve to . ve their sacrifice recognize this bill would re-authorize the 9/11 victims compensation . nd health care has been extended to 2090.
the legislation before us today would extend a separate program to 2090. namely, the program designed to compensate the same victims for lost earnings as a result of the 9/11 attack. the compensation will, of course, cost money. recognizing that it is not mean-spirited in any way, where limited federal dollars and specific sums must be allocated for specific dollar amounts divided up by a program. sadly, this bill comes to the floor without any provision to pay for the program. in fact, no provision at all. this bill, according to the congressional budget office, will cost $10.2 billion and that's the first decade of the seven decades it spends. this bill is in honor of those who served us. the chairman saying this will be the last time is not true because inherently the bill is being passed today. we have not sat down and got this done. the senate will have to do that as we go forward. the process is unfulfilling
although we need to continue to move forward. as we look forward to this, it's unfortunate we have chosen today to put risk on this compensation. given the fact the senate has got to now be a part of the solution. while the fiscal impact of this legislation will have to be addressed before it's signed into law, what's clear is our collective duty to see our first responders are treateded fairly and in accordance with what they have given to themselves to a grateful legislation. i am a co-sponsor of this legislation. i urge my colleagues to do so as well. but it's sad to know we will have to touch this again and time will pass because the senate will have to take this up and do what we should have done here, it's find that pay for in a bipartisan, bicameral way so we don't have touch this again and those that are suffering knows this body is committed to them. i commend this chairman and glad we are on this bill together. i wish we wouldn't have to touch it again. we will have to. that will not stand in the way
that onoring the people sacrificed us. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: madam speaker, i now yield three minutes to the gentlewoman from new york, mrs. maloney, one of the chief sponsors of the bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york is recognized for three minutes. mrs. maloney: i thank the gentleman. madam speaker, i rise to urge my colleagues to vote yes on 1327, the never forget the heroes act, and to thank the 332 colleagues of mine who have co-sponsored this historic bipartisan legislation. when the planes hit on 9/11, our first responders did not hesitate. firefighters, police officers, medical and construction workers and volunteers from all around the country rushed to ground zero, the pentagon, and
the shanksville crash site. it was a national response to a national terrorist attack. we lost nearly 3,000 lives on that day, and in the nearly 18 years since the attack, the death toll continues to climb. we as a nation have a moral obligation, a double moral obligation to take care of the people who took care of us and those who take care of them now because they cannot work. first and foremost, for their service, that day and in the days and weeks and months to follow and, secondly, because of the toxic lie our government told them, that it was safe to work on the site when it clearly was not and because of their exposure to toxins, many of them have cancers and are sick and dying. in 2015, congress passed the
james zadroga 9/11 health and compensation act. making the world trade center health program permanent. it extended the victims compensation fund only to 2020. not only is the fund about to expire, but making matters worse, it is also running out of money. in february, the special master announced due to more and more claims, the fund does not have enough money to make it to 2020. they have had to reduce payouts by 50% to 70% and this is devastating for those who depend on this fund. that is why we need to pass the never forget the heroes act today to fully and permanently fund the victims compensation fund. these heroes and their families cannot wait any longer, and i hope they will never have to come back to this congress again to again and again for help and support for their health care and their families.
we need to make this fund permanent. if you remember 9/11, you remember that we as a nation vowed that we would never forget. we will not rest, none of us in this coalition will rest until we have turned that promise into a law to help the heroes that were there to help us. i join my colleagues, jerry nadler and peter king, the lead sponsors of this bill. i thank them for their dedication and work. i thank the staff. i thank the heroes that are named in our bill, luis alvarez, ray pfeifer, and james zadroga, for their inspiration. thank you. i urge my colleagues to stand with the heroes and vote for this bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia.
mr. collins: thank you. thank you, madam speaker. at this time it's my privilege to give five minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. king. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. king: madam speaker, i thank the ranking member for recognizing me. let me also thank him for the support that he's given to this bill. it was a major turning point. thank you for that very much. it also shows this is not a partisan or regional issue. it affects in all parties, all districts in the united states, all states throughout the country. this was a major effort which the country came together on after 9/11 and as a result of that, there have been casualties and deaths from all over the country. now, in my own district, i had about 150 people killed. there will be more than that by the time these illnesses run their course. there are so many people in the prime of life who have been cut down from these 9/11 cancers, blood disorders, various intestinal tract illnesses. it's just been a horrible
experience to go through for all of these people and their families. today is a major milestone on the road to full justice for all those who risked their lives, both on the day of 9/11 and the days, weeks, months after 9/11. those who worked on the -- down it the pile at ground zero, those who risked their lives then and are now suffering the consequences for that and those who suffer the consequences in the years ahead. these are lead developing cancers and that's why it's so important this bill be passed. let me stress, again, how bipartisan this bill is and mmend jerry nadler and carolyn maloney. this has gone on more than 15 years, this fight has gone on, in one dimension or another. hopefully this will be the final struggle. the details will be worked out. today is finally doing what has to be done for those men and women from 9/11. let me also thank the speaker, nancy pelosi. she was instrumental getting
this passed in 2010. i want to thank her for keeping her commitment to make sure we got it done this year on a bipartisan basis. also, we have people here today like those from the uniform fire officers. patrick from the u.f.a. we have, again, people on both sides. i want to thank my colleague, lee zeldin, congressman fitzpatrick from pennsylvania for their efforts. i want to make sure the message goes out to the american people. this is not a regional bill. this is something that involves the entire nation. this involves the commitment of the united states to always stand with and be with those who put their lives on the line for the rest of us. again, i can't emphasize enough the importance of this. the men and women out there, those people in our districts that we see, those people we see day in and day out, week in and week out, those suffering, those who had their benefits cut because of the shortage in the fund, that can never be allowed to happen. we have to go forward. again, i want to emphasize this
is bipartisan. this involves the entire nation and it's important we target those who are the enemies here. these are the terrorists who atact on 9/11, brought this about, -- attacked on 9/11, brought this about, this bill is about the people that responded, who went to the pile day after day, month after day, doing what they could in the rescue and showed the courage. we should do what has to be done, to make sure they and their families receive the compensation they need and they are entitled to. this is part of the lasting debt america has to the men and women of 9/11 and those who work in the days, weeks, months afterwards. with that, i urge full support of this legislation. hopefully when it goes to the senate it will be acted on quickly. the victims of 9/11 have waited too long for this. we can't allow a day to go by. i ask my colleagues to urge adoption of the bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia
reserves. the chair will remind all persons in the gallery that they are here as guests of the house and any manifestation of approval or disapproval of the proceedings is in violation of the rules of the house. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: madam speaker, it gives me great pleasure to yield one minute to a person who has done more for this -- as much as anyone else, without strong support this bill would never passed in 2010, the distinguished speaker of the house. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. the speaker: thank you, madam speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding and for his kind remarks and for his tremendous leadership. from the first minutes of the assault on our country, mr. nadler -- mr. chairman nadler was there, was there to meet the needs of our country as we protected but also to meet the needs of those who rushed in to save lives. i want to also salute congresswoman carolyn maloney, who wore a firefighter's jacket
through the heat of the summer now but all spring until this bill was brought up on the floor. i thank her for her, not only wearing the jacket, but for her relentless, persistent advocacy on behalf of our 9/11 heroes. i'm so proud is time this bill is bipartisan and i thank the distinguished gentleman, mr. king from new york, for his leadership, for his recognition of the bipartisan nature what we're doing, what we did then and what we're doing now and thank you for your leadership, mr. king, as well. it is the never forget the heroes, james zadroga, ray pfeifer, and luis alvarez, permanent authorization of the 9/11 victim compensation fund act. a big name, a tall order, long overdue. when we talk about 9/11, we thread on sacred ground. our nation suffered a loss we could not ever imagined and we witnessed here rowism that we
will never forget. because of our heroes, 9/11 is etched in our nation's history, not only as a day of profound loss and tragedy, but also a day of powerful unity and resilience. on september 11 and its aftermath, our brave first responders were there for us. we must always be there for them. the never forget the heroes act takes long overdue action to provide financial security and support that 9/11 heroes, survivors, and families deserve. today, we are honored to take this action to ensure that all people suffering from illnesses related to 9/11, debris removal and cleanup efforts in the aftermath and their families get the full rewards they have been promised. it's critically important we restore the compensation to those hit by the drastic, unfair cuts and ensure their claims will be fully paid in the future on the reasons we have to have this additional
legislation is because there are so many more diagnosis of cancer and the rest that's followed. this bill honors the heroes after which it is named. james zadroga, ray pfeifer, and luis alvarez. those heroes showed courage beyond measure, not only by running toward danger that day, but by giving their last days to fight for all harmed on 9/11. . we are blessed with the presence of members of their families and other advocates including first responders surg from 9/11 related illnesses here in the capitol today. they have done the outside organizing as we did the inside maneuvering. they have made the complete difference. i thank john stewart for raising the profile of this issue so when we pass the bill here today it will be received positively by the united states senate. two weeks ago as we all knew -- know, america lost louis detective and
advocate who died from 9/11 related cancer. it was a holy moment for us when he testified before congress last month before he was scheduled to receive his 60th round of chemo. he said then, congress said you would never forget. i'm here to make sure that you don't. with this bill we honor the sacrifice of him and many other heroes and say we will never forget. i urge a strong overwhelming bipartisan vote for this bill for our responders, survivors, and their families. and do so with eternal gratitude to them for what they have done. with that, madam speaker, i urge a yes vote and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. collins: thank you, madam speaker. i yield four minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. zeldin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for four minutes. mr. zeldin: thank you, madam speaker. thank you to the ranking member
for his co-sponsorship, his leadership with this issue. i rise today on behalf of our 9/11 victims, first responders, and their families. urging my colleagues to vote yes on the never forget our heroes permanent authorization of the september 11 victim compensation act. first responders who worked on the pile day and night aiding in the search, rescue, and cleanup efforts were breathing in toxic debris and ash that are now known to have caused over 50 different types of cancer. was 11, as the zadroga act signed into law to help them, five years later it was permanently re-authorized and included $4.6 billion for the 9/11 compensation fund, the very fund we are here debating today. but in february, the special master of the fund reported that current funding may be insufficient to compensate all claims. reporting they would have to cut claims by up to 70%. as was noted in the aftermath
of 9/11, the e.p.a. told new yorkers and first responders that the air at ground zero and surrounding area was safe to breathe. the federal government was wrong. my colleagues, this was not a hurricane or a flood or a tornado. this was the largest terrorist attack ever on american soil. as jon stewart testified before the house judiciary committee, these terrorists weren't saying death to tribeca. this was the attack on all of us as americans and we all should be voting yes today it as americans. but yet we are forcing sick first responders to come to washington, d.c., to beg for benefits that they earned and were promised. last month luis alvarez was one of those first responders who after his appearance in d.c. rushed home for his 69th round of chemo. unfortunately, he immediately
ended up in hospice and passed away. he shouldn't have had to come down here to fight on behalf of all these other victims and first responders in the first place. month after month, year after year, going back to the first time the act was passed, how many first responders have made zens of trips educating, advocating, passionately asking members of congress for their support? like so many 9/11 first responders, this was not lou's first time coming to d.c. not his second, third time, but unfortunately it was his last. he was an extraordinary man, but what is truly extraordinary is that his spirit and grit represents that of each and every one of our 9/11 first responders. think of all those firefighters and others who rushed up to the towers when everyone else was
running away. for those who ignored orders telling them to vacate the tower because they would not leave behind their captain. and the experience for us in the new york area when we meet someone when we are back home in our districts day after day after day, people who looked larger than life, healthy, fit on 9/11 but no, after going through multiple rounds of chemo, they are losing their battle, their bodies riddled with all forms of cancer because they exposed themselves to that harm. when the federal government told them it was safe. i'd like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to get this bill passed. including my colleagues, carolyn maloney, jerry nadler, pete king, and others. i'd also like to thank the recognize the feel good foundation, jon stewart, shepherd smith for his reporting, and so many others who have been fighting tooth and nail to make the passage of this bill a reality. i urge every single one of my
colleagues in the house to vote yes. i urge the senate to take up this bill immediately. i yield back. mr. collins: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: i now yield one minute to the distinguished chairman of the foreign affairs committee, the gentleman from new york, mr. engel. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for one minute. mr. engel: i thank my friend for yielding to me. madam speaker, we all remember where we were on that fateful day of tuesday, seven, 2001. -- september 11, 2001. today we finally make permanent our nation's commitment to take tear of the heroes of 9/11 and their families. we know in the first few seconds of this horrific attack our brave first responder rushed toward the wreckage to help their fellow americans and has been said before many of the 9/11 first responders and survivors are living with serious illnesses due to toxic
pollutants that filled the air at ground zero and many of them are no longer with us. congress create add victim compensation fund in 2001 which committed to those americans and their families that we will take care of those who rush to the scene. i was proud to be an original co-sponsor of the initial bill and its subsequent re-authorizations in 2010 and 2015. today h.r. 1327 keeps congress' promise to our 9/11 responders and survivors. i have never seen the new york delegation work as hard and together as we did for this bill. i want to thank the hard work of mr. nadler -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. engel: we hope it gets passed soon. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. collins: thank you, madam speaker. at this time i yield two minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. fitzpatrick. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes. mr. fitzpatrick: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, i stand here today as a former f.b.i. agent who worked in new york city side by side with these very
people we are seeking to protect today. we are here united with our colleagues from both sides of the aisle to renew the 9/11 victims compensation fund. madam speaker, as was said repeatedly on this floor, this matter is urgent and cannot wait any longer. on that fateful day nearly 18 years ago, american heroes rushed to save their fellow citizens without regard for their own safety and paid a heavy price. with many today suffering from respiratory illnesses, breathing in toxic dust at ground zero. dust that contained lead, asbestos, mercury, and other contaminants. last month our nation mourned the loss of detective alvarez who inspired us all with his viss to the capitol hill this year. his bravery and bravery of all the people who sacrificed must be honored appropriately. in his memory and honor all the brave men and women who saved lives that day we must get this done. madam speaker, as the vice chair of the bipartisan problem solvers caungs, 24 democrats,
24 republicans, we have endorsed this bill. we worked very hard to get over the 290 co-sponsor threshold to get this on the consensus calendar. currently stands at 332 co-sponsors. i want to thank jon stewart for elevating the profile of this bill. it was incredibly important for its success. and i urge all my colleagues, democrat and republican alike, come together and support our nation's heroes, never forget must mean never forget. these are people that did the opposite of what we are all born with as far as our instincts go. every single one of us base the on our again nellic d.n.a. is to run away from danger. these are men and women who do the opposite. they run towards the danger. great psychological and emotional sacrifice all in the name of serving a cause bigger than themselves. i urge my colleagues to support this and make it unanimous. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: madam speaker, i now yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from new york, the chairman of the democratic caucus, mr.
jeffries. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for a minute. mr. jeffries: i thank the chair for yielding and his tremendous leadership. since the tragedy on september 11, approximately 10,000 people have been diagnosed with cancer related to toxic smoke and dust. approximately 15,000 people are suffering with asthma or other respiratory illnesses. approximately 10,000 people struggle with ptsd. almost 5,000 individuals struggling with anxiety and depression. over 2,000 people have died since september 11. the overwhelming majority of these individuals who are sick and afflicted are 9/11 first responders. the victims compensation fund is expected to run out of money in order to take care of these
brave heroes and individuals, we vowed as a nation to never forget. that means looking after those brave men and women who sacrificed so much in the days, weeks, months, and years after september 11. support this legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. collins: at this time i yield two minutes to the gentleman from virginia, mr. kline -- cline. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. mr. cline: thank you, madam chair. i thank the ranking member and chairman of the full committee for his work on this issue. to all those who worked on what has been a bipartisan effort exactly the type of substantive issue that we should be focused on in the judiciary committee. on september 11, 2001, terrorists attacked america and our way of life. nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks in new york, northern virginia, and pennsylvania. when the shocking images of the world trade center and pentagon first appeared on television, first responders were already
on the scene. in the weeks and months that followed, these first responders and construction workers worked hard to find victims and clear debris. at the time they were told the air was safe to breathe. they and the american people found out later that wasn't true. the health impacts for those who worked and lived in lower manhattan in the months after the attacks are real and have in many cases been crippling and even deadly. that's why congress passed legislation in 2010 to open the fund to first responders, construction workers, and others which covers the cost of treating illnesses associated to exposure to toxins following the attacks. during the house judiciary committee subcommittee on the constitution, last month, we heard from those suffering from illnesses tied to their service after the 9/11 attacks. those who testified moved me and the nation as they discussed the illnesses which have beset them nearly two decades after the attacks. i'm pleased to be a co-sponsor of the legislation to renew the 9/11 victims compensation fund permanently. it's an honor to the sacrifices
pfeifer, droga, ray and luis alvarez. and for thousands of others like them who have succumbed to their illnesses. now is the time to move this bill. i urge the senate to pass it after the house. and this president to sign it. i thank the speaker. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: madam speaker, how much time do we have left? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york has 9 1/2 minutes. the gentleman from georgia has 5 1/2 minutes. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: thank you, madam speaker. i now yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from california, mr. swalwell. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. mr. swalwell: thank you, madam speaker. thank you to our chair. i was a congressional intern on capitol hill when september 11 happened and i saw my colleagues go to the capitol steps and sing in a bipartisan
fashion, "god bless america." i saw a generation of people go into service because of what they saw our first responders do in new york, in pennsylvania, and washington, d.c. that day. i'm heartened to see today on this floor that we are uniting again to stand up for every victim of what happened that day. i hope we can get that passed in the senate. want to honor and thank james zadroga. ray pfeifer, and luis alvarez and jon stewart thank him for bringing attention to this. and our colleague carolyn maloney. i want to thank our chairman, chairman nadler. this was your district and this has been a continuing casework that you have had to work on. it's affected you and your staff and your constituents. i think it's fitting you are the chairman presiding over this today. thank you to put the emotional effort and just the force of your office into making sure this happens. it means a lot to your constituents and us as
colleagues. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. many collins: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: madam speaker, i now yield one minute to the distinguished gentlelady from florida, mrs. demings. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman florida is recognized for one minute. . >> i'm still amazed and grateful for the men and women who rushed to danger. first responders already do so much, but when there is a true emergency, a crisis, there is no one else who can do the job. when america was attacked on september 11, law enforcement and medical providers showed up and joined their brothers on the burning steps. it is who they are.
they have earned our support. we cannot ask our first responders to do this job while failing to cope with the consequences. i urge my colleagues to support this critical legislation. let us never forget our heroes. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: i now yield one minute to the distinguished gentlelady from pennsylvania, ms. dean. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. dean: in the aftermath of september 11, we saw heroism and selfless necessary and the first responders who rescued survivors and spent months cleaning up the wreckage. it was on display last month when they re-authorized the 9/11 victim compensation fund. this congress and i were touched
by detective luis, alvarez who traveled to washington. he said and i quote, i'm doing ok but there are others who aren't doing ok. detective alvarez embodied the selflessness. on june 29, he passed away but will be remembered and before he died, he said, the government has to act like first responders, you know, put politics aside and get this bill done. he is right. and today we vote to permanently re-authorize. first responders and families must not face uncertainty whether we will be there for them. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia continues to reserve. the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: i yield one minute to the distinguished the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pascrell. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one
minute. mr. pascrell: thank you, madam speaker. want to thank our chairman, carolyn maloney, and peter king. from the beginning, they have been steadfast and i say to you, the angels are singing now. we all know it took some kicking and screaming to get this fund established in the first place. but we got it through because a lot of people were here before that period of time and gave us that support. firefighters are always there. but the work isn't over. they need our help. and last year the fund announced that due to a funding shortfall, injured and ill 9/11 responders and survivors were receive cuts to the awards they were
expecting, big cuts, 50%, 70% for future claims. this is unacceptable. so the all clear sign after 9/11 from the federal government was premature. 30 more seconds. mr. nadler: i now yield 30 additional seconds to the gentleman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 30 seconds. mr. pascrell: we are here today to state it will never be clear until we help every first and der who has suffered running to the tragedy. we need to act nowment. originally this program was named after my constituent new york police department detective james adroga. his service was exemplary. our friends keep dying. mr. alvarez.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. pascrell: we show that citizens care, we represent the citizens. thank this body for bringing this here today. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia continues to reserve. the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: i now yield one minute to the distinguished gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: i thank the chairman and thank him for his leadership along with our dear friend carolyn maloney who wore the fire man jacket and peter king, i was banging my fist and saying it must be done. i thank those who signed the authorization, president obama twice. and i say today this should not be one single person who does
not vote on this yes. we have a beautiful rendition of the world trade and rebuilt it. we must rebuild these libes. 'm reminded by an article by detective alvarez as he was talking to family said i'm on the pile. he is walking and walking on the pile at ground zero. and along with him, there were individual family members who came before our committee. those who were in need and to hear the special master say i may have to cut their benefits and o 70% and a student, he widow of -- 20 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. mr. nadler: i yield an additional 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the entlewoman from texas is
recognized for 20 seconds. ms. jackson lee: lila said just go back to school. and another misses her husband along with her children. they are not just statistics but broken libes and families. and 3,000 more will die as we go further into this time as 3,000 that died on that day and those of us in this congress who were here on 9/11, we will never forget and be reminded of the heroes, police officers, firefighters and volunteers. let us never forget. heroes. member those let us never forget and let us vote. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: i yield one minute to the distinguished the gentleman from new jersey, mr.
gottheimer. hot hot we are here today to -- mr. gottheimer: we are here today to remember the heroes who ran into the burning buildings on 9/11. they are heroes and need our help. new jersey law enforcement, firefighters and others rushed toward the pile as others ran out. if you asked how they are able to summon the courage, they will tell you they were doing their job that day and congress has the opportunity to do ours. too many first responders are suffering from 9/11 exposure to toxin, smoke and debris and people who are still suffering in my district. congress set up the victim compensation fund to cover medical expenses. those are developing symptoms now. 47,000 claims have been filed and more are expected by 2020
when the fund is expected to expire. we must act today and support in this fund. never forget the heroes. i thank chairman nadler, and the problem solvers caucus for supporting it. we have the obligation to stabbed by our first responders. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: i'll inquire from the chair does he have any more speakers? mr. nadler: i have one more speaker. and then the gentleman -- mr. collins: if you actually need -- i will be happy to give you some time. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: i recognize the gentleman from new york.
mr. suozzi: this is what the american people are hungering for. democrats and republicans working together to solve real problems in real people's lives. this victims' compensation fund is so important to so many people. real suffering that is going on n real families and they are now paying the consequences for us. i want to thank my colleagues and i want to thank chairman nadler, congressman king and congresswoman maloney and all the democrats and republicans who co-sponsored this bill. i have so many personal friends that volunteered days, months at the pile that are now suffering the consequences of having done that volunteer work on the pile. this is an important day for those families. i thank the advocates who helped focus our attention and thank everyone who worked together to
solve a real problem in real people's lives. this is what the united states congress needs to be doing and i'm happy to be part of it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: so we are ready to close? i won't take long. the names that have been tossed appeared his bill before the committee. this is definitely a bill that we talked about many times in terms of numbers and bills and line numbers, but this is the thing that has struck me and i'm glad there is such bipartisan support. these folks should never be forgotten. we remember going in. i actually watch and see the towers fall and knowing that lives were perished. and that's what we are here for. i will say, though, i'm wanting
and i want this to be said and want the senate to hear it loud and clear. we are not finished with this bill but imploring senator mcconnell to find the pay-for and get it done and stamp it and send it to the president. this needs to be done and i would encourage every member of this body to vote for this bill and send a strong message to the senate, fix it, do your job over there and put the money attached to this. we didn't have a pay-for but they will. to everybody who are waiting on us, this is not waiting on us. we are doing our job and make sure the victims are compensated. i support this. i hope everyone on our side and the democratic side support this. this has been an important part of us moving forward to remembering the lives, the sacrifice for us. i appreciate everyone who has come down here to speak on that.
enjourge an aye vote and ask the senate to move quickly and get this back to us so we can finish this process. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. e the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: i yield myself the remaining time. nine years ago, i stood here and called up for consideration the toginal 9/11 bill and i want thank speaker pelosi and jority leader hoyer and whip clyburn and moving this bill as quickly as possible. new k my colleagues from york, mrs. maloney and mr. king standing with me in this if fight and thank the advocates who have given so much and worked so hard to pass this
bill. finally, i want to thank, my long time legislative director and director of policy who is leaving my team at the end of this month after nearly 20 years. he started work for me on september 11, 2001 and she tried to get a detox fix after the cleanup in new york and hold the e.p.a. accountable for its failures. without her her dedication there would be more victims today and we would not be here considering this bill today. she will be greatly missed by this institution, by my staff and by me. madam speaker, i urge my colleagues to support this bill. mr. collins: you just brought up something, she is not only someone who has given you
service but service to this house and to me and my staff personally. she will be missed on both sides of this aisle because she understands completely what this house should be about and that is service and that is getting legislation done. mr. nadler: she will be greatly missed host: joining us as matthew daly, associated press reporter. the house is set to find attorney general william barr in contempt of court. why are they taking this action? matthew: president trump says he will not ask the citizenship question on the census, but there is still concern about how the process came about and secretary ross, why he decided to ask about citizenship. and they really come