A group of “9/11 kids” whose parents were killed in the WTC attacks will travel to D.C. Tuesday to lobby Congress to back legislation that would fund payments to 9/11 victims, spouses and dependents. Steve Langford reports for Newsday TV. Credit: Morgan Campbell, Newsday file photos

WASHINGTON — A group of children and spouses of the victims killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks 21 years ago said they will go to Washington Tuesday as the House returns to urge lawmakers to approve billions of dollars in compensation for their losses.

The visit to Washington by the group, with members from Long Island and across the nation, comes shortly after the annual commemoration of the worst attack on the United States conducted by al-Qaida terrorists that killed 2,977 people, including 2,753 at the World Trade Center and in lower Manhattan.

“We are coming there to mark the anniversary,” said Angela Mistrulli, 37, who grew up in Wantagh and lives in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Her father Joseph Mistrulli, a union carpenter, died while working at the Windows on the World restaurant in the north tower on Sept. 11, 2001. 

Efforts in Congress to provide the funding have been caught in “a game of chess” between Republicans and Democrats, Angela Mistrulli said, squeezed out by a lack of Republican support of the National Defense Authorization Act and the year-end omnibus spending bill.

“Nine-eleven didn't discriminate between Republicans or Democrats, you know. Those were innocent Americans murdered,” she told Newsday. “We're asking them to come together and stand with the families that they left behind and do what's right now.”

The group of 18 family members — known as "9/11 kids" because of their ages at the time of the terrorist attacks — will meet with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other lawmakers, as well as officials at the White House and the Department of Homeland Security, according to Mistrulli.

The group will urge lawmakers and policy officials to back a House bill that authorizes and provides funding for payments from the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund to 9/11 victims, spouses and dependents.

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island) introduced the bill. Long Island Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) and Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) co-sponsor it. Schumer, who supports the push, has arranged a meeting with the group that will include representatives from other Senate offices, an aide said.

Possible use of the Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund, which uses money seized from terrorist states, has created an agonizing struggle among U.S. victims of terrorism across the world and from the 9/11 attack sites as they argue over who should be compensated and by how much.

And after Congress created that fund in 2015, a ruling by its special master resulted in family divisions by allowing payments to 9/11 victims’ parents and siblings — but not for 9/11 children and spouses because the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 had compensated them. 

The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund final report said the median award stood at $1.7 million. Mistrulli said after deductions of pensions, insurance and Social Security death benefits, the fund paid on average only about $100,000 to each child of a 9/11 victim.

The Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund did make partial payments, some in the millions of dollars, for claims by parents and siblings of those killed in the 9/11 attack.

“I'm not saying the other families didn't have a loss. They absolutely did. I love my in-laws. They're magnificent, but they weren't financially dependent on my husband. My children are, I was,” said Janlyn Scauso, of Melville, whose husband, FDNY firefighter Dennis Scauso, died in the 9/11 attacks when their children were aged 13, 11, 6 and 4.

“Children of 9/11 struggle," said Scauso, who said she will be on the trip to Washington Tuesday. "You know, this doesn't go away, the loss. Every year, you see the planes hitting the towers. Every year you have another milestone without your father,”

In 2019, Congress passed an act that overrode the special master’s ruling and allowed payments to spouses and dependents, and ordered the U.S. General Accountability Office to estimate the fund’s payouts to victims and the cost of compensating 9/11 spouses and children.

In February, President Joe Biden issued an executive order that evenly splits the $7 billion in Afghan funds seized by the United States between funding for humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan and paying claims of family members of 9/11 victims.

The fund already had paid about $3.3 billion to victims of international terrorism, such as those harmed by the Khobar Towers attack in Saudi Arabia in 1996 as well as siblings and parents of Americans killed on Sept. 11, 2001, the GAO said in an August 2021 report.

The agency also estimated it would cost about $2.7 billion to pay 5,364 spouses and children of 9/11 victims in lump sum amounts to catch them up with the payments in past rounds to the parents and siblings of those killed in the attacks. 

The would mean the fund would pay about 5.9% of the claimed damages.

But 9/11 spouses and children said that amount still would shortchange them compared with the percentage paid to 9/11 parents and siblings.

Juliette Scauso, who was 4 years old when her father died and now attends medical school in Dublin, said her mother really did not have a choice but to agree to take compensation from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund with all its deductions.

“She was a single parent and a mother of four children. She needed the little amount of compensation that there was,” Juliette Scauso said.

“You know, people hear 9/11 and they think 9/11 families have been compensated millions and millions of dollars, and that's just so not the reality,” she said.

“I'm up to my neck in student loans," she said. "My sister's a single parent — she lives with my mom still, and she's got an 11-year-old son. And my other sister's a teacher, and she's also paying off student loans.” 

WASHINGTON — A group of children and spouses of the victims killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks 21 years ago said they will go to Washington Tuesday as the House returns to urge lawmakers to approve billions of dollars in compensation for their losses.

The visit to Washington by the group, with members from Long Island and across the nation, comes shortly after the annual commemoration of the worst attack on the United States conducted by al-Qaida terrorists that killed 2,977 people, including 2,753 at the World Trade Center and in lower Manhattan.

“We are coming there to mark the anniversary,” said Angela Mistrulli, 37, who grew up in Wantagh and lives in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Her father Joseph Mistrulli, a union carpenter, died while working at the Windows on the World restaurant in the north tower on Sept. 11, 2001. 

Efforts in Congress to provide the funding have been caught in “a game of chess” between Republicans and Democrats, Angela Mistrulli said, squeezed out by a lack of Republican support of the National Defense Authorization Act and the year-end omnibus spending bill.

“Nine-eleven didn't discriminate between Republicans or Democrats, you know. Those were innocent Americans murdered,” she told Newsday. “We're asking them to come together and stand with the families that they left behind and do what's right now.”

The group of 18 family members — known as "9/11 kids" because of their ages at the time of the terrorist attacks — will meet with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other lawmakers, as well as officials at the White House and the Department of Homeland Security, according to Mistrulli.

The group will urge lawmakers and policy officials to back a House bill that authorizes and provides funding for payments from the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund to 9/11 victims, spouses and dependents.

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island) introduced the bill. Long Island Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) and Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) co-sponsor it. Schumer, who supports the push, has arranged a meeting with the group that will include representatives from other Senate offices, an aide said.

Possible use of the Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund, which uses money seized from terrorist states, has created an agonizing struggle among U.S. victims of terrorism across the world and from the 9/11 attack sites as they argue over who should be compensated and by how much.

And after Congress created that fund in 2015, a ruling by its special master resulted in family divisions by allowing payments to 9/11 victims’ parents and siblings — but not for 9/11 children and spouses because the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 had compensated them. 

The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund final report said the median award stood at $1.7 million. Mistrulli said after deductions of pensions, insurance and Social Security death benefits, the fund paid on average only about $100,000 to each child of a 9/11 victim.

The Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund did make partial payments, some in the millions of dollars, for claims by parents and siblings of those killed in the 9/11 attack.

“I'm not saying the other families didn't have a loss. They absolutely did. I love my in-laws. They're magnificent, but they weren't financially dependent on my husband. My children are, I was,” said Janlyn Scauso, of Melville, whose husband, FDNY firefighter Dennis Scauso, died in the 9/11 attacks when their children were aged 13, 11, 6 and 4.

“Children of 9/11 struggle," said Scauso, who said she will be on the trip to Washington Tuesday. "You know, this doesn't go away, the loss. Every year, you see the planes hitting the towers. Every year you have another milestone without your father,”

In 2019, Congress passed an act that overrode the special master’s ruling and allowed payments to spouses and dependents, and ordered the U.S. General Accountability Office to estimate the fund’s payouts to victims and the cost of compensating 9/11 spouses and children.

In February, President Joe Biden issued an executive order that evenly splits the $7 billion in Afghan funds seized by the United States between funding for humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan and paying claims of family members of 9/11 victims.

The fund already had paid about $3.3 billion to victims of international terrorism, such as those harmed by the Khobar Towers attack in Saudi Arabia in 1996 as well as siblings and parents of Americans killed on Sept. 11, 2001, the GAO said in an August 2021 report.

The agency also estimated it would cost about $2.7 billion to pay 5,364 spouses and children of 9/11 victims in lump sum amounts to catch them up with the payments in past rounds to the parents and siblings of those killed in the attacks. 

The would mean the fund would pay about 5.9% of the claimed damages.

But 9/11 spouses and children said that amount still would shortchange them compared with the percentage paid to 9/11 parents and siblings.

Juliette Scauso, who was 4 years old when her father died and now attends medical school in Dublin, said her mother really did not have a choice but to agree to take compensation from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund with all its deductions.

“She was a single parent and a mother of four children. She needed the little amount of compensation that there was,” Juliette Scauso said.

“You know, people hear 9/11 and they think 9/11 families have been compensated millions and millions of dollars, and that's just so not the reality,” she said.

“I'm up to my neck in student loans," she said. "My sister's a single parent — she lives with my mom still, and she's got an 11-year-old son. And my other sister's a teacher, and she's also paying off student loans.” 

Trump trial begins ... Recycling facility fire ... Jakes 58 groundbreaking  Credit: Newsday

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Trump trial begins ... Recycling facility fire ... Jakes 58 groundbreaking  Credit: Newsday

Updated 49 minutes ago Santos wants docs unsealed ... Trump trial begins ... Grumman plume on the move ... Gooden honored

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