NAPO Victory! Congress Passes Permanent Reauthorization of 9/11 Victim Compensation FundJuly 24, 2019
NAPO Victory! Congress Passes Permanent Reauthorization of
9/11 Victim Compensation Fund
In a major victory for NAPO and the 9/11 first responder community, the Senate passed the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Reauthorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act (H.R. 1327) by a near unanimous vote of 97-2 on July 23. The two no votes were from Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT), who had offered up two poison pill amendments that were soundly defeated. NAPO had over 20 members in the Senate chamber to watch the vote. The House passed the bill on July 12 by a similarly overwhelming vote of 402-12. H.R. 1327 now makes it way to the President, who will sign it into law.
Pat Lynch, President of the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York (NYC PBA), and Paul Nunziato, President of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Benevolent Association, spoke on behalf of NAPO, at the press conference that followed this significant victory. They were flanked by fellow NAPO members, the bill’s champions - Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Peter King (R-NY) – and fellow 9/11 first responders, and families of those first responders who have already succumbed to their 9/11-related diseases, including James Zadroga’s father and Luis Alvarez’s son.
NAPO then attended Speaker Pelosi’s bill signing ceremony on July 24 and we were recognized for our efforts to pass this important legislation. We are hoping that the President will sign the bill as soon as Friday, July 26.
NAPO gives a special thanks to our members who spent two intense days of lobbying on July 16 and 17 from the following organizations: the NYC PBA, the NYPD Detectives Endowment Association, Lieutenants Benevolent Association, and Captains Endowment Association, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Benevolent Association, Detectives Endowment Association, Lieutenants Benevolent Association, and Sergeants Benevolent Association, the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association, the Massachusetts Coalition of Police, and the Fort Worth Police Officers Association. If it weren’t for their efforts a week ago, we may not have seen such swift and strong action on this legislation.
NAPO fought hard for the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in 2010 and its reauthorization in 2015 to ensure our nation took care of the victims and first responders who are coping with 9/11-related chronic health conditions. We are so proud to stand with our members, many 9/11 first responders themselves, to see the 9/11 VCF permanently reauthorized.
The full press conference can be viewed here
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