BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Brindisi was in Greater Binghamton today, calling on Congressional leaders to pass legislation making permanent the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund or VCF. The Congressman held a news conference at the Endwell Fire Station today, joined by local fire officials.
The fund compensates first responders who either entered the World Trade Center towers right after the terrorist attacks or participated in the cleanup at Ground Zero in the months that followed.
The VCF covers medical expenses for workers who got sick from cleaning up the site and offers death benefits to their survivors. It is currently scheduled to end in December 2020, however, earlier this year, the fund started running low on money and began cutting back compensation by 50 percent for pending claims and 70 percent for new ones. Brindisi says the country owes it to the brave men and women who answered the call.
“I think we have to get this bill passed immediately. We don’t want to come to a point when we’re in September, we’re approaching the anniversary of 9/11, and we don’t have this bill adopted. We have to give certainty to these families that we’re there for them and make sure that we say thank you for the service they gave to our country
Brindisi says many first responders from Upstate New York traveled to Ground Zero to assist with the cleanup in the months following September 11th. He says the bipartisan bill has over 330 sponsors in the House of Representatives, far more than needed for passage, and is awaiting a vote in the Senate.