NPR 6/11/19: Jon Stewart Shames Lawmakers in Hearing for 9/11 Fund

Jon Stewart Blasts Lawmakers In Hearing For Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund


Jon Stewart testifies during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on the reauthorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

Updated at 3:11 p.m. EST

Comedian Jon Stewart slammed representatives on Tuesday at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on funding for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, saying it was “shameful” that more of them did not attend.

“As I sit here today, I can’t help but think what an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process that getting health care and benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to,” Stewart said in his statement. “Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders; and in front of me, a nearly empty Congress.”

Rep. Steve Cohen noted that the hearing was held before the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties and not the full committee.

“All these empty chairs, that’s because it’s for the full committee. It’s not because of disrespect or lack of attention to you,” the Tennessee Democrat said.

The hearing came just hours before the full House was set to vote on a civil contempt resolution against Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn.

Stewart spoke alongside Luis Alvarez, a retired detective and 9/11 responder from the New York Police Department who has cancer linked to the 9/11 attacks and the aftermath.

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Washington Post 6/12/19: Jon Stewart Blasts Congress about 9/11 Victims’ Fund

‘You should be ashamed of yourselves’: Watch Jon Stewart tear into Congress over 9/11 victims fund

Jon Stewart admonishes Congress over 9/11 victim fund

Comedian Jon Stewart slammed Congress on June 11 for “ignoring” 9/11 first responders. (C-SPAN)

June 12

Comedian Jon Stewart took members of Congress to task on Tuesday, blasting part of the House Judiciary Committee for its low attendance at a hearing about reauthorizing funding for people with diseases linked to the 9/11 crash sites.

Congress created the Sept. 11th Victim Compensation Fund after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to help anyone injured or sickened in the attacks or in the response process.

“As I sit here today, I can’t help but think what an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process that getting health care and benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to,” Stewart told a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. “Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders, and in front of me, a nearly empty Congress.”

The House Judiciary Committee later voted unanimously to support a bill extending the Victim Compensation Fund. The full House is scheduled to vote on the bill next month. It is expected to pass in the House, but its fate in the Senate is unclear.

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CBS News 6/11/19: Jon Stewart Lashes out at 9/11 Fund Hearing

Jon Stewart lashes out at hearing on 9/11 responders bill: “You should be ashamed of yourselves”

Former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart’s demeanor on Capitol Hill Tuesday was vastly different from the one his fans were accustomed to seeing on Comedy Central. He was there to call for the reauthorization of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, which was established nine years ago to provide health care benefits to first responders and others in the community with illnesses related to the 2001 terror attacks. Now, it’s running short of money.

In his emotional testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Stewart at times broke down in tears, shouting at the lawmakers and calling them “shameful.”

“I can’t help but think what an incredible metaphor this room is … a filled room of 9/11 first responders and in front of me, a nearly empty Congress. Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one … shameful,” said Stewart at the outset of his remarks. A little over half of the 14-member subcommittee members were present, mostly Democrats.

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Daily News 6/10/19: NY Lawmakers Want Unlimited Sick Leave for City Workers Affected by 9/11

State lawmakers want unlimited sick leave for city workers with 9/11 illnesses despite de Blasio

State lawmakers want unlimited sick leave for city workers with 9/11 illnesses despite de Blasio
In this file photo, Andrew Gounardes, speaks at a rally at the Stars and Stripes Democratic Club in Brooklyn, New York on November 5, 2018. (Jesse Ward/for New York Daily News)

New York State legislators want to give unlimited sick leave to city employees with illnesses linked to Ground Zero, taking the power away from Mayor de Blasio, who is doling out the much-needed help on a piecemeal basis through the city’s unions.

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes’ (D-Brooklyn) 9/11 sick leave bill is in clear opposition to a plan created by the de Blasio administration, which is in the final stages of hammering out deals with each city union instead of providing blanket coverage to all employees.

“The city said they will take care of this themselves, but they have yet to solve it,” said Gounardes, who hopes all three bills will pass by the end of the legislative session in Albany. “In the meantime more people are getting sick. The city is letting them down here.”

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Daily News 6/9/19: Officials Urge Passage of the 9/11 Compensation Fund Extension

Officials urge passage of 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund extension: ‘Time for America to respond to the call’

Officials urge passage of 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund extension: ‘Time for America to respond to the call’
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney joined other members of Congress and the United Firefighters Association to push a bipartisan effort to guarantee an extension of the Victim Compensation Fund until 2090. (Karen Xia/New York Daily News)

Their heroism on 9/11 should not be forgotten.

More than a half-dozen Capitol Hill lawmakers, including New York’s Democratic Reps. Jerry Nadler, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Carolyn Maloney, joined members of the Uniformed Firefighters Association to support a bipartisan effort to extend the Victim Compensation Fund until 2090.

Though the ultimate cost of the extension has not yet been determined, the lives at stake are invaluable, the lawmakers said.

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CBS News NY 6/9/19: Congress Says It is Working Hard to Extend the 9/11 Fund Indefinitely

Lawmakers On Both Sides Of The Aisle Say It’s Time For Those Suffering To Have The Help They Need For As Long As They Need It

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Sept. 11 first responders, emergency workers and civilians suffering from related illnesses and the families of those who have died since the attack are one step closer to knowing they will be compensated for their heroism.

On Sunday, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle announced that they’re working to ensure the Victim Compensation Fund, which is set to expire in 2020, will be extended indefinitely, CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported.

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Washington Post 6/8/19: New 9/11 Memorial in Honor of Responders

9/11 Memorial Glade: A monument to responders, survivors who paid for the attacks with their health

Army Reserve Sgt. Edwin Morales, who lost his friend and firefighter Ruben David Correa in the 9/11 attacks, pauses as he touches one of the stone monoliths following the dedication ceremony for the new 9/11 Memorial Glade on May 30, 2019. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

June 8

When the twin towers crumbled on Sept. 11, 2001, emergency personnel swarmed Ground Zero. They were followed by workers who spent nearly a year removing debris and recovering victims’ remains.

Many have since become belated victims of the attacks, facing conditions such as respiratory complaints, rare cancers and mental-health disorders. Thousands of responders died of illnesses related to their work on and after 9/11, and tens of thousands more are being treated for illnesses.

Their health struggles, and those of Lower Manhattan residents affected by the Sept. 11 attacks, are now honored at New York’s 9/11 Memorial.

The 9/11 Memorial Glade, a monument to responders and survivors who paid for the attacks with their health, recently opened in Lower Manhattan. It’s an expansion of the memorial itself, which is on eight of the 16 acres that used to make up the World Trade Center.

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Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act 6/9/19: Hearing for Never Forget the Heroes Bill

Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act

Below is the Hearing Notice for the Tuesday, June 11th, House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Reauthorizing September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

Over 300 bipartisan Members of the House of Representatives are now co-sponsors of HR. 1327 , “Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act.”

You can go to the Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act website here and see if your Member of Congress is a sponsor.

If they are, please thank them.  If not, ask them to join their colleagues in sponsoring the legislation that would fully fund and extend the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

The full hearing will be live streamed.

June 11: House Judiciary Committee to Hold Hearing on Reauthorizing 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund


Washington, D.C. – On June 11, 2019 at 10:00 a.m., the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). 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. The hearing will focus on the need to reverse those cuts and to permanently reauthorize the VCF to ensure that 9/11 first responders and survivors who become sick with certified 9/11 illnesses in the future would be covered by the program.


Rupa Bhattacharyya, Special Master, September 11th Victim Compensation Fund

Lila Nordstrom, 9/11 Survivor

Thomas J. Mohnal, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation (Ret.) and 9/11 Responder

Michael O’Connell, Lieutenant, Fire Department of New York (Ret.) and 9/11 Responder

Jacqueline Moline, M.D., Chair, Occupational Medicine, Epidemiology and Prevention, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell

Anesta Maria St. Rose Henry, Widow of Candidus Henry, Construction Worker and 9/11 Responder

Luis Alvarez, Detective, New York Police Department (Ret.) and 9/11Responder                 

Jon Stewart, Advocate for 9/11 Responders and Survivors

Date: June 11, 2019

Time:  10:00 a.m.

Location: 2141 Rayburn House Office Building Washington D.C.

Livestream: The hearing will stream live here.

Benjamin Chevat


Power of Ten Report 5/28/19: Comments on New ER School Board Member Ashley Leveille & Busing

Power of Ten Update
In This Issue:
1. Ashley Leveille Elected!
2. The Budget Passes!
3. Transportation Discrimination
4. Upcoming Community Events

1) Ashley Leveille Elected!

Thanks to all of those who came out and voted, we now have a new school board member!

Ashley has a child who is a student in the district, she is a professional educator, and she has goals and expectations for our district.

Let’s all join in congratulating her!

2) The Budget Passes!

East Ramapo has had more failed budgets than any other district in NY State, including just last year. This is a direct result of having a large voting bloc that doesn’t use public schools.

Public school parents and supporters in East Ramapo have much higher turnout and support for budgets than most other districts, but that is not usually enough to pass the budget in a district where the bloc votes 93% NO.

This year, the bloc vote stayed home for the school budget vote. This is because a deal was made to include $900,000 increase in payments to non-public transportation. A large part of this money is in direct payments to yeshivas that provide their own busing.

3) Transportation Discrimination

It appears that the district is going to go through with the changes to the school schedules. The new schedule will mean more crowded buses and longer transit times. Some students may need to be at the bus stop by 6:15 AM.

While the justification given for this inconvenience is financial, the bottom line has not been made public.

The district says there will be a savings of $4.6 million. However, this is an expense that is reimbursed by the state at about 75%. Therefore, the associated state aid would be reduced by about $3.45 million, leaving only $1.15 million savings to the district. The state says the additional costs for staff will be $732,000 in 2019-20, this is scheduled to increase the next year by 25-33%. The proposed savings is thus barely more than the expected cost of extra staff in the second year.

At the same time the district is inflicting this inconvenience on public school students, it is increasing its payments to non-public schools that provide courtesy busing for their students. The $900,000 included in this year’s budget is not eligible for state reimbursement, it comes entirely at the expense of public school programming.

The school board continues to falsely claim it cannot address the skyrocketing costs of gender-segregated and courtesy busing for non-public schools.

As reported in Power of Ten on May 5, the school district can align busing schedules for non-public schools to save costs.

Why has the school district chosen to create serious problems for public school children and families, and ignore skyrocketing costs associated with paying non-public schools to run their bus system?

The Greenberg report said: “Most disturbing, Board appears to favor the interests of private schools over public schools.” He said there had been “No meaningful effort made to distribute pain of deep budget cuts fairly among private and public schools.”

Daily News 5/23/19: Texas Republican Holdout Crenshaw Signs on to 9/11 Bill

Holdout Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw — who once snubbed 9/11 survivor — signs on to Victim Compensation Fund renewal

Holdout Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw — who once snubbed 9/11 survivor — signs on to Victim Compensation Fund renewal
U.S. Representative Dan Crenshaw (SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The Texas Congressman who sparred with 9/11 responders over his lack of support for a bill to help survivors and victims of the 2001 attacks is signing on to the legislation.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R), the eye-patch-wearing former Navy SEAL, wound up in a spat with responders after he criticized Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Min.) for comments about 9/11 that were taken out of context and blasted around social media.

Using 9/11 to bash Omar when Crenshaw wasn’t backing the 9/11 bill — while she was — rubbed some responders the wrong way. They called him out on Twitter, including one who had gotten the brush off from the Texan in the hallways of Capitol Hill.

Some Democrats including New York Reps. Max Rose and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez picked up the tweets and amplified them. Crenshaw accused Democrats of orchestrating an attack.

Read more…