Mike Barasch joined John Feal and two dozen first responders in Washington to lobby for a permanent extension of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. A pending bill is sponsored in the House by
Congressman Peter King and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. Prior to making their rounds, Barasch and Feal visited Mr. King’s office and expressed their appreciation to him and his staff for all their support.
Their goal was to get more support for a permanent extension of the Act. As of their most recent visit, 57 senators and 202 representatives have agreed to co-sponsor the pending legislation. “We are closing in on the number of Congressmen and Senators who we need to get this bill passed”, said Barasch. “We reminded the legislators that the terrorists attacked all Americans on 9/11, not just republicans or democrats. First responders got sick working at Ground Zero breathing toxic air that the EPA assured them was “safe.” When they sifted through the debris, in
unimaginable conditions, first responders didn’t ask victims for their political party affiliation. Ideally, we would like every member of Congress to get behind this legislation. At a time when the American people think that Congress can’t accomplish anything, this is a great opportunity for legislators to show the country that they can get tighter
to pass this non-partisan bill.”
Congress may be in recess, but Barasch, Feal and team leaders Kenny Specht, Anthony Flammia, Mike McPhillips, and Brendon Fitzpatrick, met with dozens of representatives who, thus far, have refused to get on board. They educated the legislators about concerns that while the World Trade Center Health Program may have enough money to last through next spring, human nature is such that the doctors who know 9/11 illnesses best will soon begin to look for new jobs if they know that the funding will run out next year. They discussed the recent NYPD study by Cornell and Columbia Presbyterian Hospital which has noted a 50% increase in cancers. They implored the legislators to get this bill passed before the end of the year.