Report on 9/11 VCF bill estimates it will cost more than $10B

The federal government will have to spend more than an estimated $10 billion by 2029 in its efforts to compensate first responders and survivors


By Paul Liotta
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The Congressional Budget Office released its report on a bill meant to help the victims of 9/11 through 2090.

According to the report, the federal government will have to spend more than an estimated $10 billion by 2029 in its efforts to compensate first responders and survivors of the terrorist attacks through the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund is meant for individuals and family members of individuals who suffered physical harm, illness or died as a result of the terrorist attacks. (Photo/Wikimedia Commons)
The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund is meant for individuals and family members of individuals who suffered physical harm, illness or died as a result of the terrorist attacks. (Photo/Wikimedia Commons)

The Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act is expected to receive a vote Friday in the House of Representatives, where it has 332 co-sponsors.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has committed to bringing his chamber’s version of the bill, which has 71 co-sponsors, to a vote, but none has been scheduled yet.

According to the CBO, $4.17 billion will fund claims already made and up to the day the bill is enacted, and another $5.78 billion in claims after its enactment.

The VCF is meant for individuals and family members of individuals who suffered physical harm, illness or died as a result of the terrorist attacks.

If the bill securing the extension isn’t passed, victims will have until Dec. 18, 2020 to file their claims.

An initial version of the VCF existed from 2001-04, but as 9/11-related illnesses became an issue, a new version of the fund was put in place by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in 2011.

That act was named for a police officer who died at the age of 34 as a result of a respiratory disease after spending time at Ground Zero during the cleanup efforts.

FDNY Firefighter Pfeifer, and NYPD Det. Alvarez both had their names added to the new bill last week after their deaths from 9/11-related illnesses. Alvarez passed away in June, and Pfeifer died in 2017.

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©2019 Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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