WASHINGTON (AP) - The House has overwhelmingly approved a bill ensuring that a victims compensation fund for the Sept. 11 attacks never runs out of money.
The 402-12 vote Friday sends the bill to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed to call it up before the August recess.
"The Senate has never forgotten the victim compensation fund and we aren't about to start now. Nothing about our shared goal to provide for these heroes is remotely partisan. We will consider this important legislation soon,” McConnell said in a statement.
Lawmakers from both parties hailed the House vote, which comes a month after comedian Jon Stewart sharply criticized Congress for failing to act. Stewart, a longtime advocate for 9/11 responders, told lawmakers they were showing "disrespect" to first responders now suffering from respiratory ailments and other illnesses as a result of their recovery work at the former World Trade Center site in New York City.
Stewart said Friday that replenishing the victims fund was "necessary, urgent and morally right."
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