LUBBOCK, Texas — On Friday, the House of Representatives voted 402-12 to approve a bill extending funding for a 9/11 victims compensation fund until 2092. Representative Jodey Arrington was among the 12 who voted against the bill.
The fund was created in 2001 and provides financial compensation to those who suffered physical injury or illness from both the attacks, and the resulting debris clean-up. According to the Associated press, administrators recently cut benefit payments up to 70% in response to the $7.4 billion fund being rapidly depleted.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill would result in approximately $10.2 billion in additional compensation payments over 10 years, including the more than $4 billion for claims that have already been filed.
The following is a statement from the office of Jodey Arrington regarding his vote:
“The horror of September 11, 2001 continues to this day for those whose lives were forever impacted by this unspeakable act of evil. I agree that first responders and victims should not suffer financial hardships due to ongoing medical and other costs related to the attack. However, we should not abandon our stewardship responsibilities and the past practice of ensuring appropriate oversight and accountability by extending the Victim Compensation Fund for seventy years to 2090.
I fully support reauthorizing this fund, which is essential to supporting the 9/11 first responders and victims. However, it would be a disservice to both taxpayers and first responders if victims were not effectively compensated and fraudulent claims not prevented as a result of improper oversight and management of the fund.
Since its inception, the Victim Compensation Fund has been repeatedly reauthorized for no more than five-year increments, allowing for regular Congressional oversight to ensure the program is working well and appropriately funded. I urge the Senate to apply these standards and reauthorize this important fund in a manner that honors both the victims of 9/11 and the taxpayers.”
(The Associated Press contributed to this article)