9/11 Responder Promises To Keep Holding McConnell’s Feet To The Fire

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 16: John Feal, a demolition supervisor, attends a rally on the East Front of the Capitol with members of the FDNY to urge Congress to extend healthcare benefits for first responders who suffer from cancer and other ailments as a result of their work at ground zero after the 9/11 attacks, September 16, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group

John Feal, an outspoken advocate for fellow 9/11 first responders, said on Wednesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) committed to holding a vote on funding the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, but that the responders are still “going to hold his feet to the fire.”

Feal told CNN hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman that although he’d met with McConnell several times before, this time he saw a “different side” of the GOP leader when they met on Tuesday.

“This one was different because Mitch McConnell showed his humanity yesterday in that meeting,” the first responder said. “I saw a different side of Mitch McConnell that I hadn’t seen in previous meetings.”

Feal said he’s “confident” that McConnell will stick to his promise to hold a vote on funding the VCF, but he also noted that the battle was far from over.

“We’re going to hold his feet to the fire still,” Feal said. “We’re not over, we’re not done. Nobody’s celebrating, we didn’t pop the champagne.”

“We still got a lot of work to do, but we’re in a different place from yesterday,” he continued.

After a heated testimony and another impassioned plea from comedian Jon Stewart, McConnell was pushed to take action on the nearly expired VCF that helps the victims of the September 11 attacks and the first responders who were at the scene, who still suffer health issues from inhaling the smoke and dust.

Watch Feal speak below:



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