U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Peter King (R-NY), authors of H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, hailed the commitment from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) will be ready to consider claims on October 1, 2011. Attorney General Holder made the commitment at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today.
The Zadroga law provides health care for those injured or exposed to toxins released by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, and reopens the VCF to provide economic relief to those harmed by the attacks (the original VCF was created in the weeks following 9/11 and closed in December 2003). Under the Zadroga law, by July 8, 2011, the Justice Department must appoint a special master to administer the VCF and release for public comment regulations on how the fund will work and on how the injured may apply for compensation.
"Attorney General Holder and his team at the Justice Department are working hard to have the VCF up and running by October 1st -- and that's great news. In the weeks to come, the Justice Department will also be appointing a special master and putting forth regulations for the VCF that explain in detail how people will be compensated. I'm hopeful that these rules will be finalized by the tenth anniversary of 9/11, so people will have a clearer idea of where they stand," said Maloney. "I look forward to working with the Attorney General, the special master, and my good friends Congressmen Nadler and King to deliver the strongest, most efficient, and most accountable program possible."
"Just yesterday at a Judiciary hearing, Attorney General Holder assured me that he would take our requests to expedite the implementation of the Victim Compensation Fund seriously. I'm very pleased that the Attorney General has once again affirmed his commitment to rapid implementation of the newly passed law," said Nadler. "After years of work, along with Representatives Maloney and King, it is critical that those affected by 9/11 are compensated appropriately and in a timely manner. I will continue to work to ensure that our bill, the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, is implemented as efficiently and quickly as possible."
"As we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the need for just compensation for these brave men and women is more pressing than ever. I am grateful to the Department of Justice for its hard work to get this program up and running in a timely manner. I look forward to continuing to work with the Department and my colleagues to ensure that this program meets the needs of the 9/11 community," said King.
In January, Maloney, Nadler, and King released documents from the Congressional Research Service to help answer questions that members of the media and the public may have about the new law
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