With the announcement by the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund in September of 2018, that because of the lack of resources, the Fund would have to cut pending claims of injured and ill 9/11 responders and survivors by 50% and future claims by 70%, U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Cory Gardner (R-CO), U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), and U.S. Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), and Peter T. King (R-NY-2) in 2019 introduced the bipartisan legislation “Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act” , HR.1327/S.546. Its purpose was to fully fund the VCF, reverse any cuts would keep the VCF open past December 2020 when it is scheduled to be shut down.
The legislation was introduced with a strong show of initial support with 22 bipartisan sponsors in the Senate and 93 in the House with members of Congress from across the country including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania. Rhode Island Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
With the work of a coalition of 9/11 advocates, unions and Members of Congress, support for the legislation grew to an overwhelming bi partisan 333 sponsors in the House of Representatives and 76 sponsors in the Senate.
The legislation, which was renamed “the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act”, to honor the heroic efforts by FDNY Firefighter Ray Pfeifer and NYPD Detective Luis Alvarez in working to pass the legislation and make sure all injured 9/11 responders and survivors got the help they need. The legislation as provided for:
- Extended and funded the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) until 2090 the same as the World Trade Center Health Program.
- Mandated that the VCF Special Master make whole any determinations that were reduced due to lack of enough funding.
- Allowed the Special Master, if special circumstances warrant, discretion to provide increased cancer and non-cancer, non-economic awards.
- Allowed the Special Master to adjust awards based on inflation every 5 years.
On July 12, 2019 the legislation was passed by the House or Representatives by a vote of 403 to 12 and on July 23, 2019 it passed the Senate by a vote of 97 to 2 and was signed into law by President Trump.
Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act want to thank the lead sponsors, Senators Gillibrand, Schumer, Gardner, and Representatives Maloney, Nadler and King along with all their cosponsors for their efforts on behalf of injured and ill 9/11 responders and survivors to fully fund the VCF and to permanently authorize it. We look forward to working with them along with other advocates in the coming years to continue to support the goals of the legislation so that remembering 9/11 should be more than a bumper sticker.
Senate Roll Call 224 (97-2) July 23, 2019
House of Representatives Roll Call 474 (403-12) July 12, 2019
CRS Summary of Legislation March 6, 2019
CRS Summary of VCF Program November 28, 2018
The CRS Summary of VCF Program July 10, 2019
Gillibrand, Gardner Senate Dear Colleague January 7, 2019
Maloney Nadler King House Dear Colleague on HR. 1327 March 4, 2019
Maloney Nadler King Dear Colleague on HR 1327 April 18, 2019
Participation by State in WTC Health Program and VCF June 1, 2019
VCF Participation by State December 2018
July 24, 2019
Today’s passage of the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act in the US Senate is 18 years of hard work, determination and courage in the making by responders, survivors and their supporters who walked the halls of Congress to get […]
July 18, 2019
Today, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) with the support of Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), attempted to bring to the Senate floor the permanent extension of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Two Senators blocked the bill even though the legislation had the overwhelming bipartisan support of 73 Senators and passed the House […]
July 15, 2019
Bill Passes House: Statement from Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act on the Passage of HR 1327 — “Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act” by an overwhelming 402 to 12 vote.
Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act want to thank Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler and Peter King and all the 402 members of the House that voted for the legislation in such an overwhelming bi partisan vote. The Senate must take this bill up before the August recess as Senate Majority Leader […]
July 11, 2019
Statement from Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act on the Scheduling of a Vote on HR 1327 — “Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act”
Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act want to thank Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler and Peter King and the other over 300 sponsors of the legislation in the House for working to bring the bill to the floor for a vote this Friday July 12th. This is another step on the path […]
Below are the Organizations that have joined to support and fight for sick and dying 9/11 Responders and Survivors. Your organization can join the coalition here.
August 9, 2021 — NY Daily News — Helping survivors survive: Congress owes more to those stricken by 9/11-related health problems
The people who rushed to help downtown on that terrible September Tuesday and in the days, weeks and months to follow didn’t do so as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans.
September 23, 2019 — NY Daily News — One last rescue: The House of Representatives does the right thing for 9/11 responders, and the Senate must follow suit
The House of Representatives has acted with bipartisan compassion in allowing all sick first responders whose bodies were damaged by their selfless service at the World Trade Center to get promised aid from the federally funded World Trade Center Health Program.
September 11, 2019 — Daily Press — Lawmakers must protect Sept. 11 first responders
Before the sun set on Sept. 11, 2001, this nation vowed to never allow the memories of that day’s terrorist attacks to dissipate from our collective conscious.
September 8, 2019 — NY Daily News — Another 9/11 rescue: Congress’ job is not done yet
In July, the Republican Senate, the Democratic House and President Trump nobly stood up for the financial needs of ailing heroes and victims of the World Trade Center attack.
July 30, 2019 — am NY — National compassion for 9/11 first responders
Each claim represents a story, a family and a reverberation from the attacks.
July 29, 2019 — NY Daily News — Help for the heroes: President Trump finishes the job for 9/11 heroes and victims
It is done: At 10:25 Monday morning in the Rose Garden, President Trump signed the bill, then handed the thick felt pen to tireless 9/11 advocate John Feal.
Letters in Support
7/23/2019 Sergeants Benevolent Association
7/23/2019 National Association of Police Officers
7/23/2019 Major County Sheriffs Association
Documents and Material on Bill to Permanently Reauthorize & Fund VCF