Stand up for Americans who stand up for America
By Dr. Robert Owens
On July 29, 2019 President Donald J. Trump signed into law a permanent authorization of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). This fund provides financial support for families who lost their loved ones as a result of the September 11 attacks.
The VCF was initially created in 2001 and ran through 2004. It was revived in 2011 and went into law in 2015, but it only gave victims the opportunity to make claims until 2020. The new bill signed by the president allows victims to make claims until 2090.
During its first four years, the fund gave out $7 billion to the families of more than 2,880 people who died and to 2,680 people who were injured in the 9/11 attacks. When it was reactivated in 2011, it expanded eligibility and allotted $2.775 billion. The fund was set to end in 2016, but in 2015, Congress and President Obama allowed for the bill to continue another five years, until 2020, with another $4.6 billion. That left the VCF with a total of $7.375 billion. As of May 31, more than $5.174 billion has been given out to 22,500 victims of the attacks.
However, more than 40,000 people have applied to the VCF, which covers illnesses potentially related to being at the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon, or Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after the attacks. There are about 21,000 claims pending. Officials estimated it would take another $5 billion to pay pending claims and the claims that officials anticipate will be submitted before the fund's previous December 2020 deadline.
VCF’s Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya said, "The plain fact is that we are expending the available funds more quickly than assumed, and there are many more claims than anticipated." She added, “A total of 835 awards have been reduced as of May 31.” The Justice Department said in February that the fund is being depleted and that benefit payments are being cut by up to 70 percent.
Realizing that the periodic Congressional haggling over funds for VCF was causing added stress to the victims and their families President Trump’s new bill appropriates such funds as may be necessary to pay all approved claims. The new bill also allows claimants to be paid what was reduced from their initial amount and remove the cap on noneconomic damages in specific circumstances.
More than 100 Americans who were personally affected by the devastation of the September 11 attacks joined President Trump at the Rose Garden signing ceremony. These individuals included first responders, survivors, and family members of victims.
In his speech President Trumps said, “Today, we come together as one nation to support our September 11th heroes, to care for their families, and to renew our eternal vow: Never, Ever Forget. Our nation owes each of you a profound debt that no words or deeds will ever repay. But there is something we can do. We can and we will keep our nation’s promise to you.” Honoring those who honor us with their sacrifice and service President Trump continued, “To every 9/11 hero, you poured out your heart, your sweat, your soul, and everything you had for your country. You went back day after day and night after night to save lives and return the fallen to their families, to rebuild and recover, and to show the entire world that nothing will ever break America’s spirit. They fought to rescue every person trapped in the rubble, and then searched for months to find the remains of the fallen. The love and loyalty of our 9/11 responders knew no bounds."
In the years since we were attacked more than 2,000 first responders and survivors have passed away from illnesses directly related to the toxic fallout from those attacks. Even today, thousands more are battling health problems stemming from that day in American history. Thanks to the leadership of President Trump The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund will now provide them with permanent support.
In an age when people who kneel for our national anthem and burn our flag are called heroes by many including the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media, President Trump continued to stand up for Americans who stand up for America when he made the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund permanent.
May God pour out His blessings upon the surviving victims of 9/11, their families, and the families of the fallen. May God bless President Trump for leading us in honoring their sacrifices. And may God bless the United States of America.
Dr. Robert Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens