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The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to approve financial support for 9/11 victims through 2090, continuing a fund that would have otherwise expired next year.
The measure was passed out of committee by a voice vote with no one opposed. It now goes to the full House of Representatives for consideration.
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which provides money to victims, first responders and families of those killed in the 9/11 attacks, is set to expire Dec. 18, 2020 if Congress does not act.
The vote came the day after comedian Jon Stewart sharply criticized lawmakers during a subcommittee hearing for failing to act quickly to ensure the fund does not run out of money.
“Your indifference cost these men and women their most valuable commodity, time,” Stewart said Tuesday, pointing to the 9/11 first responders who came to testify.
Luis Alvarez, a veteran and retired NYPD detective, was one of those who spoke at the hearing.
“You all said you would never forget. Well, I’m here to make sure that you don’t,” he told lawmakers.
The Victim Compensation Fund first operated from 2001 to 2004. In 2011, Congress approved a law that reactivated the fund for five years. It was then renewed for another five years in 2016.
Though the fund is set to expire next year, it is already running out of funds and benefits might have to be cut if Congress does not provide additional dollars soon.
Gretchen Frazee is a Senior Coordinating Broadcast Producer for the PBS NewsHour.
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