Emotions and frustrations boiled over at a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing Tuesday.
It was packed to capacity with first responders, victims, and other lives touched by the attacks of September 11th.
These men and women are here yet again to remind lawmakers of the pledges they make each year – some of them critically ill – like former NYPD Detective Luis Alvarez who is preparing to start his 69th round of chemo.
The goal here was to make the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund permanent.
The fund – overseen by the Department of Justice – is running out of money fast because there are more people discovering illnesses and filing claims than there is money to go around.
Claim amounts have been reduced by as much as 70 percent in some cases so everyone can at least get something. This bill would fully fund the VCF for all approved claims until almost the end of the century.
“They were there for us, we need to be there for them,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York).
The bill has enough support in the House, it’s the next step that’s raising a lot of eyebrows, when this bill gets to the Senate, depending on who you ask, there’s skepticism or cautious optimism.
“I’ve seen many of my own team get sick and not be able to return back to the battlefield with us so we’re not going to wait for a reaction from the Senate, we’re going to force them to react to us,” said John Feal of the FealGood Foundation.
Another battle fought – again - with fewer members in the ranks – and a reminder to members of Congress – to never forget.
”They responded in five seconds,” said activist and former Daily Show host Jon Stewart. “They did their jobs with courage grace tenacity, humility, 18 years later, do yours!”