Editorial - 911 for the 9/11 fund: The federal victim compensation program is running out of money, putting thousands of heroes' claims at risk
Under the law setting up the federal 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya is required to carefully husband the $7.375 billion that Congress allocated for those sickened and killed by exposure to the toxic air at the World Trade Center site.
It won't be enough. Not nearly enough. The Fund has already sent out $5 billion to 21,000 individuals or their estates.
With just $2.375 billion left to spend on 20,000 pending cases and untold thousands of claims yet to be filed, compensation packages will have to be cut in half on all claims received by Feb. 1. All future claimants will be paid out at a rate of only 30 cents on the dollar.
All which means is that for a third time, Washington must step up to make good for the heroes and victims of 9/11: firefighters and police officers and construction workers who came to the aid of the country, as well as those who were just caught in the maelstrom.
Bhattacharyya estimates that she'll need another $5 billion to make good on claims that come in before the Dec. 18, 2020 closeout of the Fund.
A new bill is coming, spearheaded by Reps. Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney and Pete King. Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican, is leading the Senate charge, backed by Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. New Yorker Donald Trump will have the honor of signing it.