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H.R. 1327: To extend authorization for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 through fiscal year 2092, and for other purposes.

Jul 12, 2019 at 1:36 p.m. ET. On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass, as Amended in the House.

This was a vote to pass H.R. 1327 (116th) in the House. This vote was taken under a House procedure called “suspension of the rules” which is typically used to pass non-controversial bills. Votes under suspension require a 2/3rds majority. A failed vote under suspension can be taken again.

This bill might not have passed if not for comedian Jon Stewart.

For years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress had not enacted a dedicated funding program for health benefits for 9/11 first responders. The closest it had come was in late 2010, when the House passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act by 268–160 that September. Introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY12), a seeming majority of senators supported it as well.

But the initial Senate cloture vote that December was 57–42, unable to reach the 60-vote threshold necessary to overcome a filibuster. Many Senate Republicans opposed the bill by saying that the legislation would raise revenue through increasing excise taxes on certain foreign goods in a way that would violate international treaties of which the U.S. was part.

Then Jon Stewart devoted his entire December 16 episode of The Daily Show to the issue, which many including the White House press secretary credited with turning the tide of public debate. Democratic senators introduced a modified version of the legislation which solved the excise tax issue and passed the Senate by a voice vote, a procedure used for relatively noncontroversial legislation in which no record of individual votes is recorded.

The House passed it on December 22, 2010 by 206–60, with more than one-third of the House not voting. Republicans still largely opposed it by 31–59, with 89 not voting. Democrats almost entirely supported it by 175–1, with 79 not voting. Former Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS4) was the lone voting House Democrat who opposed.

A so-called “permanent” extension funding the healthcare program until 2090 passed the House in 2019 by 402–12, passed the Senate by 97–2, and President Trump signed it into law. Jon Stewart was pleased.

Totals

All Votes D R I
Yea 97%
 
 
 
402
226
 
176
 
0
 
Nay 3%
 
 
 
12
0
 
11
 
1
 
Not Voting
 
 
 
19
9
 
10
 
0
 

Passed. 2/3 Required. Source: house.gov.

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