Jon Stewart Blasts Lawmakers In Hearing For Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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.
Executive Director Citizens for Extension of the James Zadroga Act, Inc.
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.
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.”