Rep. Jodey Arrington Explains Vote Against Reauthorizing the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund
This past Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to reauthorize the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund by a vote of 402-12. The bill will now move to the Senate for a vote.
The bill reauthorizes the VCF through the year 2090. The Congressional Budget Office said in a report that the bill will cost $10.2 billion over the next 10 years. The current fund of $7.4 billion is reportedly being depleted, and cuts up to 70 percent have already been made.
Congressman Jodey Arrington voted against reauthorizing the VCF on Friday, but not because he doesn't support helping the victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
For Rep. Arrington, his vote against the bill was due to lack of oversight.
In a statement released to KFYO first on Monday, Rep. Arrington explained his vote from Friday:
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.” – Congressman Jodey Arrington
Some lawmakers have expressed concern about how to pay for the program. Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, said Friday he supported the bill but lamented how the bill doesn’t specify how it would be funded.
“Sadly, this bill comes to the floor without any provision to pay for the program,” Collins said. “No provision at all. This bill, according to the Congressional Budget Office, will cost $10.2 billion, and that’s just during the first decade of the seven decades this bill extends the program.”
Congressman Jodey Arrington is scheduled to appear on The Chad Hasty Show Thursday, July 18th at 10:05 a.m.