HARRISBURG – Rep. Steve Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware) and the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness (VAEP) Committee unanimously supported a resolution that would urge Congress to pass the 9/11 Victims Compensation Act.
House Resolution 343
, named for the 343 firefighters who lost their lives in the attacks, would help the tens of thousands of Americans who have suffered health effects from the tragedy and while pulling bodies from the rubble.
“Because of their exposure to toxins, people have lost their lives or are being forced to live with related illnesses,” Barrar said. “There was enough tragedy that day; we certainly want to minimize the lingering effects as much as possible.”
The $7.3 billion fund has already paid out approximately $5 billion to 21,000 claimants, and still has approximately 19,000 claims. Without the act’s renewal, claimants who are unpaid will see a drastic cut in payments.
Another resolution the committee supported would urge Congress to facilitate the VA Mission Act. It would overhaul and reform the Veterans Choice Program, as well as strengthen its ability to deliver health care. Primarily, it would consolidate VA community care programs into a single program that is easier to navigate.
Finally, Senate Bill 589 would award a free college education to the spouse or a child of a Pennsylvania National Guard member who reenlists for another six years. It mirrors House Bill 1324
, which Barrar drafted.
After receiving support from the VAEP Committee, both resolutions and the bill move to the full House for consideration.
To view footage of the House Veterans’ Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee’s voting meeting, click here
Representative Stephen E. Barrar
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Alison Evans