News 'No games' on 9/11 victims fund bill, NY officials warn Senate The Senate is considering legislation to extend for 70 years the life of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. New York lawmakers, first responders and 9/11 victim advocates gathered Monday at Ground Zero in Manhattan to urge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to immediately pass legislation to fully fund the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund. (Credit: Newsday / Shelby Knowles) By Scott Eidler firstname.lastname@example.org @ScottyEidz Updated July 15, 2019 3:43 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email New York lawmakers, first responders and 9/11 victim advocates gathered at Ground Zero in Manhattan Monday to urge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to immediately pass legislation to fully fund the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. The House of Representatives on Friday voted 402-12 to extend for 70 years the life of the fund, which was running out of money. The fund expires Oct. 1, 2020, and earlier this year the federal government announced it was slashing awards to victims. The bill would extend the fund until 2090 and provide payouts to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including first responders and those injured after the attacks, plus downtown residents, workers and volunteers. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said during the news conference that "we should not forget the sacrifice of the people who rushed to the towers to keep America free." Schumer urged McConnell to pass a "clean" bill independent of legislation involving other issues such as the debt ceiling. "No games. Do not attach this bill to something else, where it might get messed up like it has gotten messed up in the past," Schumer warned. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan), wearing a black and yellow firefighter jacket, said "we as a nation have a moral obligation to take care of the people who took care of us, and those who take care of them." In February, the fund's special master, Rupa Bhattacharyya, said claims filed on or before Feb. 1, 2019 would be cut by 50 percent, while those filed afterward would be reduced by 70 percent. The legislation would fully compensate those whose awards were slashed and end a cap on non-monetary damages in certain cases. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan) said victims "shouldn't have to come and beg in Congress what a grateful nation morally owes them." John Feal, founder of FealGood Foundation, a group that advocates for the first responders, said, "we're not here to spike a football today. In fact, when we get the bill passed, we won't spike a football. When we get a bill passed, people are still going to die." McConnell said in a statement last Friday, “The first responders who rushed into danger on September 11th, 2001 are the very definition of American heroes and patriots. The Senate has never forgotten the Victim Compensation Fund and we aren’t about to start now. Nothing about our shared goal to provide for these heroes is remotely partisan. We will consider this important legislation soon." By Scott Eidler email@example.com @ScottyEidz Scott Eidler covers Nassau County government and politics for Newsday. Scott has worked at Newsday since 2012 and previously covered municipal government and education. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter More on this topic House panel votes to fully fund 9/11 victims programSen. Schumer called for a Senate vote on the matter once the full House approves it this summer. Jon Stewart lashes out at Congress over 9/11 victims fundThe former talk show host was angered that only six lawmakers were at a subcommittee hearing to hear first responders' appeals. Firefighters, pols push for more funding of 9/11 medical claimsFirefighters and congressional representatives rallied at Ground Zero on Sunday in support of legislation to fully fund health claims. Pols demand Congress stem 'escalating crisis' of 9/11 fundWithout permanent funding, more than 90,000 9/11 first responders and survivors across the country will be left without financial assistance, according to officials. Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.