Only Republicans opposed helping those on the front lines of the 9/11 attack.
Legislation to reauthorize the 9/11 victims compensation fund overwhelming passed the House of Representatives on Friday, but 11 Republicans, along with a conservative independent, prevented the measure from being unanimous.
The measure passed the House 402-12.
Voting against the bill were Reps. Jodey Arrington (TX), Andy Biggs (AZ), Mo Brooks (AL), Ken Buck (CO), Michael Cloud (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), Andy Harris (MD), Jody Hice (GA), Thomas Massie (KY), Ralph Norman (SC) and John Rose (TN).
No Democrats voted against the bill.
"Today, we are honored to take this action to ensure that all people suffering from illnesses related to 9/11 or by the debris removal and cleanup efforts in the aftermath, and their families get the full rewards they have been promised," said Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a floor speech supporting the bill.
The fund, which pays for health care costs for 9/11 first responders, is set to expire in 2020. Despite a public outcry to help those who were on the front lines of the worst terrorist attack in American history, Republicans have been slow to help.
Even as the first responders lobbied on Capitol Hill for the bill to pass, McConnell told reporters in June he "hadn't looked at that lately."
After the House passed the bill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pushed for McConnell to act on the bill.
"This was an overwhelming expression of bipartisan support for our brave first responders and their families. Sen. McConnell should put the House-passed bill on the Senate floor for a vote ASAP and not let other Republicans push them to the back burner like the last time," Schumer said in a statement.
Republicans were the only ones to oppose the bill. Republicans are the ones standing in the way of relief for 9/11 heroes. The shame sits firmly on their shoulders.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.