An abashed House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill that will renew a fund for 9/11 survivors, which was set to expire in 2020.
The vote came just hours after comedian Jon Stewart publicly reamed members for not showing up to a hearing where ailing first responders and survivors who make use of the fund were set to give testimony. The New York Post noted that one survivor who came to speak at the mostly-empty hearing was Luis Alvarez, a former NYPD detective living with liver cancer, who will soon begin his 69th round of chemotherapy.
“Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one,” Stewart spat at Congress members on Tuesday, as, behind him, survivors nodded. Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler was present, as were only four other members of the 15-person committee. Survivors spoke on behalf of the over 90,000 victims and first-responders who are still being treated or monitored in connection to 9/11. The already inadequate funding is set to run out in 2020.
The bi-partisan bill for the funding to be replenished through 2090 with no caps passed unanimously in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. It is expected to pass easily in the House of Representatives.
Jenny Singer is the deputy life/features editor for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny