Senate Will Vote on 9/11 VCF Bill Tuesday July 23

July 20, 2019
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HomeBlogSenate Will Vote on 9/11 VCF Bill Tuesday July 23

On Tuesday, July 23, 2019, at 2:30 PM, the Senate will vote on the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Act.

75 Senators co-sponsor the Never Forget the Heroes Act. If it passes Tuesday then it will be sent immediately to the White House for signing.

However, thanks to Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY), the same two who blocked a request by Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) for unanimous consent to approve the bill on Wednesday, the Senate will first consider and vote on two proposed amendments to the bill. Because the bill has already been passed by the House of Representatives, any amendments would require reconsideration by the House of Representatives. The bill must be passed by both chambers in identical form before being sent to the President for approval.

Senators will vote on the following:

  1. The “Lee Amendment” which would cap the amount of spending under the reauthorization. TELL YOUR SENATOR- VOTE NO
  2. The “Paul Amendment,” which would require a cut in spending across the entire government by $2 billion per year for 5 years. TELL YOUR SENATOR- VOTE NO
  3. Final Passage – Permanent authorization and full funding of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. TELL YOUR SENATOR- VOTE YES

Below are talking points on the two amendments that you can reference in your calls, but ultimately the message is simple- do the right thing, take care of those who took care of us when we needed them most.

You can use this tool to contact your Senators.

Talking Points on Proposed Lee Amendment Senator Lee is proposing an amendment to cap the funding of the program, rather than fund it as needed until every 9/11 responder and victim is taken care of.

  • We have capped this program twice before (in 2010 and 2015).
  • The 2010 bill had a cap and the payments were curtailed from the beginning in order to make sure everyone got something, but no one got what they were owed. As a result, these heroes had to come back to Congress hat in hand and sick to ask for more money.
  • The 2015 bill had a cap and it ran out of money three years later. Again, no one got what they were owed and these heroes – now sick and dying – had to come back to ask for more money.
  • Establishing yet another cap in 2019 will lead to the same result. No one will get what they are owed and these heroes – the ones who are still with us – will have to come back to ask for more money.
  • Our bipartisan bill – supported by 75 cosponsors – doesn’t have a cap and was extended through the lifetime of the survivors until 2090 to avoid this very thing.
  • Please don’t drag these heroes and their families back to beg for more funding in a few years.
  • Let’s do the right thing and provide them what they need in their hour of needed.
  • On 9/11 and in the days and months that followed, none of these responders put a cap on their efforts, we should not have the US Senate put a cap on our efforts to help them.

Talking Points on Proposed Paul Amendment Senator Paul is proposing an amendment which would require a $2 billion across-the-budget cut to all federal programs for five years.

  • You voted for a $1.5 Trillion tax cut without questioning how to make up for it. Why are sick 9/11 heroes held to a higher standard of scrutiny?
  • This bill was first introduced in October 2018. The Fund has been open since 2011. Why now, at the eleventh hour, when sick 9/11 heroes are dying and getting one last final kick of injustice from the government before they die, have you decided to frustrate the cause of this bill?