Arrington: 70-year extension to 9/11 victims fund 'financially i

Arrington: 70-year extension to 9/11 victims fund 'financially irresponsible'

LUBBOCK, Texas -

Lubbock Congressman Jodey Arrington says House Democrats are being financially irresponsible with the 9/11 victims fund. 

Arrington voted "no" on guaranteeing first responders and their families money for more than 70 years. The 9/11 fund has traditionally been re-approved in five-year increments. It's set to run out of money at the end of next year. 

Victims and their advocates have been pushing for lawmakers to keep the fund viable. The 70-year extension passed the Democrat-controlled House, but Congressman Arrington was one of 12 to vote it down. 

He said 9/11 first responders and victims shouldn't suffer financial hardships due to medical care but Congress can't abandon its oversight. Here is his statement:

“The horror of September 11, 2001 continues to this day for those whose lives were forever impacted by this unspeakable act of evil. I agree that first responders and victims should not suffer financial hardships due to ongoing medical and other costs related to the attack. However, we should not abandon our stewardship responsibilities and the past practice of ensuring appropriate oversight and accountability by extending the Victim Compensation Fund for seventy years to 2090.

"I fully support reauthorizing this fund, which is essential to supporting the 9/11 first responders and victims. However, it would be a disservice to both taxpayers and first responders if victims were not effectively compensated and fraudulent claims not prevented as a result of improper oversight and management of the fund.

"Since its inception, the Victim Compensation Fund has been repeatedly reauthorized for no more than five-year increments, allowing for regular Congressional oversight to ensure the program is working well and appropriately funded. I urge the Senate to apply these standards and reauthorize this important fund in a manner that honors both the victims of 9/11 and the taxpayers.”

Arrington urges the Senate to strike down the House version and reinstate the five-year standard. He said that will honor both the victims and taxpayers. 

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