NY Post - July 10, 2019
WASHINGTON – The 9/11 first responders health bill will get a full House vote Friday – and is expected to pass overwhelmingly.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced the scheduled vote Tuesday via tweet.
“The heroes who ran into harm’s way that day deserve swift action,” he said, thanking former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, as well as New York Reps. Carolyn Maloney, its chief sponsor, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, for their advocacy.
Maloney corralled 332 House members to sign on as co-sponsors to the House bill. Nadler ushered it through the judiciary committee he chairs unanimously last month.
Already this week the bill has gotten a name change. On Monday, two additional heroes – Luis Alvarez and Ray Pfeifer – have been included in the official name for the act.
Alvarez’s June 11 testimony in front of a half-vacant committee room inspired Stewart’s fiery takedown of Congress – a viral pop culture moment that pushed lawmakers to move on the bill.
Pfiefer, an FDNY firefighter who spent months on the pile, was one of the primary lobbyists for the Sept. 11 Victims Compensation Fund when it first passed in 2010 and again in 2015.
He passed away of a 9/11-related cancer in 2017.
Alvarez, a retired detective, died at age 53 on June 29 and was heralded by New Yorkers last week.
Once the House passes the bill, it will move on to the Senate.
Four days before Alvarez’s death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was presented with his badge and told a group of first responders from the FealGood Foundation that a Senate vote would happen in August.
The bill permanently reauthorizes the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, which pays out money to first responders and neighborhood victims who were sickened from the downed Twin Towers and other 9/11-related sites.
A Congressional Budget Office cost assessment is expected to be released before Friday’s House vote.