Our View

Jon Stewart’s impassioned plea this past week to the House Judiciary Committee calling for permanent legislation to fund the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund surely touched hearts across America.

But there’s some question as to whether it will be enough to melt the ice that seems to have formed within the U.S. Senate? While the House is expected to pass the bill, there is concern that it won’t make it to the Senate floor for a vote.

While we thank Stewart for his role in keeping this funding alive, we should be able to count on our elected officials to do this job.

The full name of the fund is the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. It provides health monitoring and financial aid to the first responders, volunteers and survivors of the Sept. 11 attacks. It is named after James Zadroga, a New York Police Department officer whose death was linked to exposures from the World Trade Center disaster. The law funds and establishes a health program to provide medical treatment for responders and survivors who experienced or may experience health complications related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

It will expire in 2020, however there is not enough money to keep it going until then. Thus the push for the law for permanent funding. The next day after Stewart’s testimony, the House panel unanimously voted to pass the bill. The full House is expected to vote this law in, but there’s still question as to whether it will even make it to the Senate floor for a vote.

There have been 2,077 certified cancer conditions among the firefighters alone who were there on 9/11. In total, there have been 9,300 registered cancer conditions related to the aftermath.

More people have now died because of toxins breathed in at ground zero sites than did during the Sept. 11 attacks. The Victim Compensation Fund was passed by Congress to compensate those affected by toxins from the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, attacks.

It’s hard to forget Stewart’s words, nor should we: “There is not a person here, there is not an empty chair on that stage, that didn’t tweet out, ‘Never forget the heroes of 9/11,’” Stewart said. “Well, here they are! And where are you? Your indifference cost these men and women their most valuable commodity — time!”

Think back to that awful day and the heroics that brought us back, then write to U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley and urge them to back the permanent funding for those who continue to pay the price that Sept. 11, 2001, exacted from them.

Don’t make them go it alone.