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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 1, 2019 10:45 AM
From: Representative Frank A. Farry
To: All House members
Subject: Urging the United States Congress and the President to Pass “Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act”, Otherwise Known as H.R. 1327
In the near future, I intend to introduce a resolution urging the United States Congress and the President to pass the “Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act”, otherwise known as H.R. 1327.

The September 11th Victim Compensation Act was opened in 2011 to compensate for deaths and illnesses due to exposure to toxins at the sites of the September 11th attacks. In 2015, the fund was reauthorized until an expiration date in December 2020. In total, the fund was appropriated $7.3 billion since it was opened. The fund has already paid out $5 billion to 21,000 claimants, leaving approximately $2.3 billion for the remaining 19,000 unpaid claimants. The December 2020 deadline, coupled with increasing claims from family members of loved ones who recently passed away and cancer latency periods linked to the September 11th attacks, has created a surge in claims. As a result, the remaining 19,000 unpaid claimants will see a payout cut by 50% for some and 70% for others if appropriate action is not taken quickly.

With approximately 8,000 new claims every year, this problem is not going away. As of 2018, there are over 90,000 Americans struggling with 9/11 related illnesses, including approximately 1,500 residing in Pennsylvania. These numbers are expected to grow every single year, thus compounding an already urgent issue.

H.R. 1327 would remedy this issue with a few necessary changes. First, it will extend the authorization of the fund through fiscal year 2090, which will make it equal to the 2090 duration of the World Trade Center Health Program. Second, it will provide the fund with necessary funding for fiscal year 2019 and each subsequent year thereafter until fiscal year 2090. Third, it will ensure that any compensation that was reduced as a result of insufficient funding will be made whole in the first fiscal year following the enactment of the bill.

“Never Forget 9/11” means more than a day of remembrance on September 11th every year. Families across the United States continue to suffer every day from the horrific terrorist attacks on 9/11. It is our responsibility to ensure that their losses are not forgotten and that they are justly compensated for their losses on one of the most tragic days in American history.

Please join me in urging the United States Congress and the President to support H.R. 1327. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Introduced as HR343