1. SOUNDBITE (English) Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House:
"On September 11th our nation suffered loss we could never have imagined and witnessed heroism that we will never forget. On that day of horror, our brave first responders were there for us. We must always be there for them. The 'Never Forget Our Heroes Act' takes long-overdue action to provide financial security and support for the 9/11 heroes, survivors and families. It is critically important that we restore the compensation of those hit by drastic unfair cuts and ensure that their claims will be fully paid out in the future."
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Jon Stewart, American Comedian, Activist:
"This is the semifinals. The finals are two weeks from now in the Senate. The men and women behind me have paved the way. This is done. This program works. It has a need. It's either needed and necessary or it's not. So when people get on the floor and they hem and haw about well what's the pay for. And where do we go with this and how do we do? It's very difficult to watch a House and a Senate with a trillion-dollar deficit try and balance that budget of ten point two billion dollars over ten years on the backs of 9/11 victims and first responders."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jon Stewart, American Comedian, Activist:
"This is necessary. It is urgent and it is morally right. And not only that - you have a program that works. It is faithful to the statute. It is fair to the claimants and it is respectful of the taxpayer. You cannot ask for anything more in a program. This should be as simple as just refilling its credit card. These people deserve to have that portion of the burden removed from their lives because trust me you're not fixing their problems but you are removing this 15-year unnecessary burden placed by their own government upon them. It ends now."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and fellow lawmakers held a press event with retired first responders and advocates ahead of the House vote which 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.
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."
Following powerful testimony from first responders and comedian Jon Stewart, a staunch advocate of the bill, over the past month drew attention to the fund's impending expiration date in 2020.
The current law had been renewed in 2015 and the new bill would extend until 2090.
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Nancy Pelosi , Mitch McConnell , Jon Stewart
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