In 2015, a Republican House and a Republican Senate, working with a Democratic president, provided medical coverage and financial support to the heroes and victims of 9/11 who were sickened by poisons released into the downtown air when the World Trade Center, hit by terrorist-hijacked jets, collapsed into that ominous gray plume.
Thankfully, the health treatment was fully underwritten for the lifetimes of the thousands of people suffering ailments, including several kinds of cancers — maladies sure to claim many lives.
But the compensation fund for the ill and for the estates of the dead is running out of money, slashing the Department of Justice-approved payments for deserving people who have lost so much.
This time it must be a Democratic House and a Republican Senate, working with a Republican president, who make the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund permanent.
The bipartisan bill in the House now has a majority of members as sponsors, above the magic 218 number and climbing. Although the terror attack and subsequent health disaster were in New York, WTC victims live in every state, and there are sponsors from every part of the country, very far from New York.
There are Democrats from Hawaii and Republicans from Alaska, like Rep. Don Young, the dean of the House, the senior member of the chamber. There are liberals like Rep. Jerry Nadler, who represents Ground Zero, and conservatives like Wyoming’s Rep. Liz Cheney, No. 3 in the GOP leadership.
The bill is also advancing in the Senate, gaining bipartisan momentum. Republican Sens. Marco Rubio, Pat Toomey and Rob Portman all were important to getting it done last time. Their support is needed again. But in fact, every member, House and Senate, should join and send a bill with unanimous support to the White House.
This is about duty, honor and patriotism. The terrorists didn’t attack Manhattan. They attacked America.
FROM AN EDITORIAL IN THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS