Deutch Votes in Committee to Permanently Authorize the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund
This morning, Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, participated in a committee markup of bills including H.R. 1327, the “Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act.”
In committee remarks in support of this legislation to permanently authorize the 9/11 victims compensation fund, Congressman Deutch spoke about Freddie Noboa, a South Florida resident who previously lived in Queens, NY and worked as a paramedic supervisor with the New York City Fire Department, and was a first responder helping to save lives at ground zero.
A transcript of Congressman Deutch's committee remarks can be found below. Click the second image below to watch the remarks.
Congressman Deutch's committee remarks:
Chairman Nadler, thank you for moving this bill forward. I know it is so important to your constituents, to New Yorkers, to all the many people from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut who now live in South Florida, but also to our nation. I would also like to thank Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Rep. Peter King for their leadership and strong commitment to bipartisan support for 9/11 victims.
I don’t know that I will ever see a more selfless act of patriotism in my lifetime than the bravery of the first responders on that day in September and the days and weeks that followed.
The police, the firefighters, the paramedics, the doctors, and others who rushed into danger as so many tried to rush out.
They knew that they might not come home that day. And we will forever be grateful for those who lives were lost.
But the ones who did come home. For those who showered off the dust and then went back to claw through debris and came back home only to do it again, day after day, until the job was done—
They are also paying a life-long price.
Nearly ten years ago, I was a freshman member of Congress. I had the pleasure of meeting a constituent, Freddie Noboa, who moved to South Florida from his native Queens.
Freddie worked as a paramedic supervisor.
And on September 11, 2001–shortly after the North Tower was hit, Freddie was dispatched to the South Tower to help run triage out of the lobby.
And then, suddenly the ground beneath him began to shake and the windows burst.
The second tower was hit. Freddie was able to run for cover beneath an ambulance that was completely engulfed in smoke and debris.
Over the course of the recovery effort, Freddie spent 18 days digging through the rubble at ground zero.
Today, Freddie takes 14 different medications for severe asthma, obstructive lung disease, sleep apnea, liver disease, and diabetes.
His asthma is so bad that he doesn’t drive anymore.
He can’t catch his breath on the walk from his house to a car.
Before the Victims Fund, there were some months that Freddie was forced to make the difficult choice of food or medicine.
He will live with the cost and pain his entire life.
We must do everything that we can to ease the burden that he—and every first responder—took in those days after 9/11.
And to Freddie, and to the first responders who joined us here yesterday as witnesses and observers, and to all of the first responders in New York, New Jersey, and across the country—we remember the spirit of unity that you embodied in those days at ground zero. We remember your sacrifice. We are grateful for the sacrifices that you make every day, and we thank you.
Thank you again to my colleagues who strongly support this bill, I look forward to working with all of you to make sure that it becomes law.