Washington, DC- U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12), chairman of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, announced he will co-sponsor the bipartisan Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act (H.R. 1327). The legislation would ensure that all 9/11 first responders and survivors who have been injured by the toxins at Ground Zero and have certified 9/11 illnesses would receive their full compensation through the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). The bill would also close the funding gap recently announced by the VCF Special Master.
“As a former first responder, I know response time is vitally important during emergency situations,” said Bost. “The last thing on your mind is your own long-term health consequences for trying to save lives. There isn’t time to calculate. You just do your job. The first responders on 9/11 were certainly no different. They put their lives on the line at Ground Zero trying to save lives. We have a duty to provide resources to those exposed to toxins as they continue to fight serious illnesses.”
In the years since September 11, 2001, thousands of 9/11 responders and survivors have become ill and many have lost their lives from exposure to a toxic cocktail of burning chemicals, pulverized drywall and powdered cement that was present at Ground Zero. On February 15, 2019, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund announced that due to a funding shortfall, injured and ill 9/11 responders and survivors will receive cuts to the awards that they were expecting of 50% for pending claims and 70% for future claims.