9/11 victims bill passes House in last pre-election vote – JP


The House passed legislation Friday that would give as much as $3 billion in payments to thousands of spouses and children of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks who were left out of previous compensation rounds.

The bill passed overwhelmingly, 400-31, in the last vote before lawmakers headed for the exits to go home and campaign before the midterm elections. It now has to win Senate approval, though that chamber has no more votes until Nov. 14.

All but one Democrat — Oregon’s Kurt Schrader, a centrist budget hawk who’s leaving the House after losing his primary in May — voted for the bill. Most Republicans backed it as well, with just 30 defections on the GOP side.

The measure’s sponsors said it would correct an injustice in the award of payments from a fund that initially had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks on New York, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund, created in 2015, was initially designed to compensate U.S. hostages held by Iran for more than a year after the 1979 revolution, and others subjected to terrorism by foreign governments. An earlier, separate fund was created specifically to compensate 9/11 victims and family members.

Las Vegas News Magazine

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