*** UPDATE: Since the date of this blog post, the deadline for filing a claim with the Victim Compensation Fund has been extended until December 18, 2020. ***
-Senators, Members of Congress from Both Sides of the Aisle Unite to Continue Health Care & Compensation for 9/11 Heroes & Heroines-
-Michael Barasch attends press conference in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. – Advocates for sick and dying 9/11 first responders and survivors praised a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators and Representatives who introduced legislation today to renew the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The Zadroga Act provides health care for more than 33,000 Americans who are suffering from 9/11-related illnesses and injuries. The Act also provides economic compensation to those who were made ill and cannot work due to ailments caused by the attacks at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, as well as to the families of those who have died from their illnesses since 9/11.
These programs will expire unless Congress takes action to renew the Zadroga Act. Responders and Survivors from all 50 states and 429 of the 435 Congressional districts in the country are enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program.
Statement from Michael Barasch, the attorney for deceased NYPD Detective James Zadroga, for whom the Act is named, as well as thousands of others who became sick as a result of their exposure to the WTC toxic dust:
“The Victim Compensation Fund and the WTC Health Program are supposed to close on October 3, 2016. But, sick first responders and local residents are no doubt going to continue to need medical treatment and compensation for their lost income. Those who risked their lives in the rescue and recovery operations in 2001 will certainly continue to be diagnosed with WTC-related illnesses and cancers after the deadline. Washington needs to fulfill its promise to protect those people. The heroes and heroines of 9/11 deserve the thanks of a grateful nation – but more importantly, they deserve our help.”
“America owes a moral and financial debt to those who came from across the country to help after 9/11, and as a result of that service to our nation, lost their health, their jobs, or their lives. After the attacks, Washington promised to ‘never forget’ these heroes, heroines and survivors but now as tens of thousands of Americans still suffer every day from health problems caused by 9/11, it’s time for our leaders to fulfill that solemn vow with swift and decisive action.”
“We thank Senators Gillibrand, Schumer, Kirk, and Murkowski, as well as Representatives Maloney, Nadler, King, and Zeldin, for their leadership. Working together, they will show the rest of Congress that ‘Remember 9/11’ is more than just a bumper sticker – it’s an obligation upon which the honor of the nation depends.”
Here is a list of the original co-sponsors of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act of 2015, who are showing with their support, that they have not forgotten:
U.S. Senators: Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), Senators Warren (D-MA), Blumenthal (D-CT), Sanders (D-VT), Menedez (D-NJ), Murphy (D-CT), Booker (D-NJ), Baldwin (D-WI), Shaheen (D-NH), and Casey (D-PA).
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives: Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Peter King (R-NY), Lee M. Zeldin (R-NY), Steve J. Israel (D-NY), Kathleen M. Rice (D-NY), Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), Grace Meng (D-NY), Nydia M. Velazquez (D-NY), Hakeem S. Jeffries (D-NY), Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Jose E. Serrano (D-NY), Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), Sean P. Maloney (D-NY), Chris P. Gibson (R-NY), Paul D. Tonko (D-NY), Elise M. Stefanik (R-NY), Richard L. Hanna (R-NY), Tom W. Reed II (R-NY), John M. Katko (R-NY), Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), Brian M. Higgins (D-NY), Chris C. Collins (R-NY), Frank A. LoBiondo (R-NJ), Thomas MacArthur (R-NJ), Chris H. Smith (R-NJ), Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), Leonard Lance (R-NJ), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Bill J. Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Juan C. Vargas (D-CA), John B. Larson (D-CT), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT), Jim A. Himes (D-CT), Elizabeth H. Esty (D-CT), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Jan D. Schakowsky (D-IL), Jim P. McGovern (D-MA), Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), Patrick Murphy (D-FL), Donald Payne Jr (D-NJ), Lois Capps (D-CA).
How you can help ailing 9/11 responders and survivors:
Support the work of “Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act”. It is a coalition of advocates who are working to make sure that Washington does the right thing and renews and extends the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. More than 30,000 sick and injured 9/11 responders and survivors depend on the medical treatment and the compensation programs provided by this law.
• WATCH THEIR NEW VIDEO featuring 9/11 responders and survivors who are struggling to survive. Here:
• SIGN UP to take action at http://www.renew911health.org
• TELL YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES to renew the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act by texting “911” to 877877 or by calling 888-701-7499 toll free to be connected to your representatives.