9/11 First Responder Thanks Fox News for Helping Pass Victim Compensation Bill
9/11 First Responder John Feal profusely thanked Fox News on America’s Newsroom for all the help of their coverage in getting the 9/11 Victims’ Compensation Fund through Congress.
The bill to permanently extend the 9/11 Victims’ Compensation Fund has passed the House and is expected to pass the Senate Tuesday. The bill would replenish funds to assist first responders and their families in paying for the illnesses they get as a result of their service after the attacks.
“Thank you for having me. Thank you to Fox, everybody at Fox News. You guys have been amazing. I can’t thank you enough. And you guys truly helped us get here today. The bill is going to get past today, and it will go to the president, who will sign it on Friday,” said Feal.
Feal said that the White House called him Tuesday morning to share the news. “For the men and women I keep bringing down here after 15 years, and I am just so ecstatic for them. We are not going to celebrate, we are not going to jump up and down, I’m sure we will hug and cry.” He said the bill would help tens of thousands of people.
“How great is the need? How many people is it? You said tens of thousands,” said anchor Bill Hemmer.
“20,000 people and change have been compensated. Another 20 are waiting. We expect another 20 to come forward with more illnesses,” Feal said, using the CDC’s predictions.
Feal said that just since fellow first responder and advocate Luis Alvarez passed away on June 29th, another 18 people have died. He said there are over 12,000 people currently with certified cancer, and it’s only going to get worse. “Getting this bill passed is not going to save anybody’s lives, but what it’s going to do is offer financial relief and comfort and take away the burden and the stress of those who lose a loved one that is destitute.”
Co-host Sandra Smith asked Feal why he had taken this battle on a personal level. Feal revealed that before anybody had been denied benefits, he lost half his foot and spent 11 weeks in the hospital with gangrene. “You know, there is always someone worse off than you. And I saw that firsthand. I’ve been to 182 funerals now. And I’m blessed. I’m lucky,” said Feal.
“Look at me. I’m loud, obnoxious, I’m in the face of elected officials. I’ve now helped pass five bills. One in Michigan, New Jersey. If I continue doing this the rest of my life, I’m going to take the worst day of my life, make it worth the rest of my life,” he continued.
Feal had once been critical of members of Congress for not moving fast enough, but Tuesday he said Sen. Mitch McConnell had been “nothing but gracious” and kept his word. “As for Rand Paul and Mike Lee, you can’t cherry-pick and choose when you want to be a fiscal conservative, you know they both signed on to the trillion-dollar tax cut,” which also added to the deficit, he said.
Watch above via Fox News.
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