Schumer Floor Remarks Urging Sen. McConnell To Bring The House-Passed 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Legislation To The Senate Floor ASAP

July 15, 2019

Schumer Floor Remarks Urging Sen. McConnell To Bring The House-Passed 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Legislation To The Senate Floor ASAP   

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today spoke on the Senate floor urging Sen. McConnell to hold a vote in the Senate on the House-passed 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund legislation. Below are his remarks, which can also be found here.

On another matter, last Friday, in an overwhelming bipartisan vote, I’m happy to say the House reauthorized the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and made it virtually permanent.

I want to thank all my colleagues in the House and above all, I want to commend the first responders for their advocacy in support of this legislation. The first responders are the heroes of this story. They are the Washingtons, the Madisons and the Monroes of the twenty-first century. Great Americans, each in their own modest way. Not only did they rush to the towers on that fateful day, risking their lives to save others, but then, when the illnesses started coming upon them, even though many of them sick, they came to Washington and fought tirelessly for their brothers and sisters who might get sick in the future. Zadroga, and Feal, Pfiefer and Alvarez: these are the names of American heroes. They represent the greatness of America.

We should honor them now by passing the House bill to reauthorize the Victim Compensation Fund as soon as possible. No more delays. No strings attached. No waiting for some other must-pass vehicle to attach it to. The bill passed the House with such overwhelming bipartisan support that it deserves a clean vote here in the Senate. I would say to my friend Republican Leader McConnell, if it’s good enough for Leader McCarthy and Whip Scalise, who voted for it, surely it’s good enough for the Republican Leader in the Senate. Only twelve voted against it. So, many very conservative Republicans, many Tea Party Republicans, voted for the bill in the House.

That bill is the bill that should be brought to the floor—brought here quickly. It will pass overwhelmingly, and could be on the president’s desk certainly in the next week. If Leader McConnell would put this bill on the floor this week, it would pass this week, it would go to the president’s desk this week, be signed into law this week, and we would put this issue to rest this week—once and for all. We can’t put the illnesses to rest. Those first responders, many of whom have gotten ill, too many of whom have passed away, and many more of whom have these illnesses in their bodies, but they don’t even know it yet. They could then do their job of helping heal their fellow first responders—and, helping heal themselves and looking after their families. They wouldn’t have to keep coming down here.

So: we need to move this bill quickly. Once again, I urge Leader McConnell: put the bill on the floor. Honor those brave first responders who are no different than our soldiers and our armed forces, who rush to danger and risk their lives for us and our freedom.

Put it on the floor. We can get this done. We can get it done this week.