With an impending budget shortfall facing the World Trade Center Health Program starting in 2025, U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), and U.S. Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), and Andrew Garbarino (R-NY-2) introduced in August 2021, the bipartisan legislation, “9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act” (HR.4965/S. 2683).
Its purpose was to ensure the adequate funding for the World Trade Center Health Program so it could continue to provide medical treatment and monitoring to injured and ill 9/11 responders and survivors.
Unless Congress acted, the WTC Health Program was facing cuts to services starting in October of 2024, with the program reporting that unless additional funds were provided, sick 9/11 responders or survivors who wanted to join the program would not be able to enroll after October 2024.
The WTCHP was created by Congress in 2010 and was reauthorized in 2015 to remain open until 2090 after years of efforts by 9/11 responders and survivors to get Washington to recognize the health impacts of the toxins at Ground Zero that were impacting thousands. However, in coming years, the World Trade Center Health Program will not have enough funds to provide all the care that is needed for those still suffering the physical and mental impact of 9/11. This includes the responders and survivors who will be newly diagnosed with 9/11-associated cancers caused by their toxic exposures in the coming years.
The World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) currently provides medical treatment and monitoring for over 122,000 9/11 responders and survivors from the World Trade Center and lower Manhattan, the Pentagon, and the Shanksville crash site, who live in every State and 434 out of 435 Congressional Districts.
The legislation to fully fund the Health Program was introduced in August of 2021 with an initial strong show of bipartisan support with 6 sponsors in the Senate and 40 in the House with members of Congress from across the country including, Connecticut, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia that continues to grow.
This was similar to the 2019 effort to pass the “The Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act” dealt with the need to fully fund the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund and authorize it until 2090. That successful effort would need to be replicated again to make sure the World Trade Center Health Program is also fully funded for the life of those still suffering the impact of 911.
As the Nation observed the 20th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, this impending budget shortfall needed to be fixed to ensure that the slogan that we will never forget 9/11 is a reality and that 9/11 responders and survivors will continue to the get care that they need and deserve.
In the Fall of 2021, Representatives Maloney and Nadler were joined by Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee Frank Pallone (D-NJ), that has jurisdiction over the Health Program, In a successful effort to include in President Bidens Build Back Better Bill, the additional 2.86 Billion dollars in funding needed by the World Trade Center Health Program for the next ten years. The funding was contained in the Build Back Better Bill, HR 5376 Section 31067, that passed the House but did not pass the Senate.
The failure of the Build Back Better Bill which had the programs funding in it meant that the original legislation, HR 4965/S2683 the 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act would need to be passed to prevent cuts to medical treatment and services at the World Trade Center Health Program.
Senator Gillibrand, as a member of the Armed Services Committee, would attempt an amendment on the National Defense Authorization (NDA) that would provide funding for the Health Program and also deal with a new issue, some responders to the Pentagon and Shanksville crash site not being able to enroll in the Health program.
In the end, while the full funding was not able to be obtained in the 117th Congress, Senators Gillibrand and Schumer did manage to obtain in the end of the year spending bill, the “Omnibus” a billion dollars of funding, which succeeded in pushing back the cuts the program was facing from 2024 to 2027. They also managed to get authorized part of the original legislation an authorization for a new research cohort to gather information on the health impacts of the toxins on the survivor population, specifically those who were school at the time of the attacks.
Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act want to thank the lead sponsors, Senators Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), Charles Schumer(D-NY) , and Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) , Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) along with all their cosponsors for their efforts on behalf of injured and ill 9/11 responders and survivors to fully fund the World Trade Center health Program. We look forward to working with them along with other advocates in the coming years to continue to support the goals of the legislation so that remembering 9/11 should be more than a bumper sticker.
List of House Co-sponsors (HR. 4965)
List of Senate Co-sponsors (S.2683)
Bill Text: 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act (HR 4965 / S 2683)
Maloney, Nadler Garbarino Dear Colleague July 26, 2021
WTC Health Program Membership by State July 2021
VCF Participation by State December 2018
December 22, 2022
With this legislative amendment, the impact of the funding deficit will be delayed, which will allow the program to continue to welcome and serve injured responders and survivors—rather than beginning to turn them away in October 2024.
December 20, 2022
What the Senate is saying is that they will not do the right thing unless injured and ill 9/11 responders and survivors travel to Washington again and again, to walk their hallways to demand action.
November 19, 2021
Maloney, Nadler, Pallone, Schumer, Gillibrand fight to ensure health care for thousands of injured and 9/11 responders and survivors WASHINGTON, DC – Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act applauded the inclusion of funding needed to ensure health care for thousands of 9/11 responders and survivors in President Biden’s “Build Back Better” Bill that […]
November 1, 2021
Maloney, Nadler, Pallone, Schumer, Gillibrand ensure health care for thousands of injured and 9/11 responders and survivors WASHINGTON, DC – Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act applauded the inclusion of the funding needed to ensure health care for thousands of 9/11 responders and survivors in the Build Back Better Bill (HR 5376) […]
August 9, 2021
Maloney, Nadler, Garbarino, and Gillibrand, Schumer Introduce Legislation to Deal with the Impending Funding Shortfall Facing the World Trade Center Health Program. WASHINGTON, DC – Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act Inc. applauded the introduction of the “9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act,” which addresses the impending funding shortfall facing […]
December 29, 2022 — Newsday — The sadly endless fight for 9/11 funding
Every request meets with pushback, from those who don’t want to help New York, who don’t want to spend the money, who promise to “never forget” even as they do.
December 26, 2022 — NY Daily News — Heartless towards the heroes: World Trade Center Health Program is left short by Senate shenanigans
No one knows who knocked out the WTC package from the big spending bill, pushed relentlessly by Kirsten Gillibrand and backed fully by her colleague, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Who did it?
December 21, 2022 — Newsday — Deal adds $1 billion for World Trade Center Health Program to omnibus spending bill
New York’s Democratic senators struck a deal with Mitch McConnell Wednesday on an amendment to add $1 billion to the omnibus spending bill to cover a WTC Health Program funding shortfall.
December 21, 2022 — NY Daily News — Congressional negotiators agree to add $1B for 9/11 health fund in end-of-year spending bill
A last-second deal in the massive government funding bill will buy several more years for the World Trade Center health program before it runs into a budget crunch.
December 20, 2022 — NY Daily News — 9/11 health fund spending for ill responders left out of Congress budget deal
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promised but couldn’t deliver $3 billion needed to plug a looming deficit in the health program that treats ill 9/11 responders and survivors.
December 20, 2022 — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand — Gillibrand Statement on 9/11 Health Funding Fix Being Left Out of Funding Package
“We have never failed our 9/11 heroes and we don’t intend to start now.”
December 18, 2022 — Newsday — Fate of WTC Health Program funding tied to omnibus spending bill
A $3.6 billion measure to fully fund the WTC Health Program over the next decade hangs in the balance as lawmakers negotiate on an omnibus bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year.
December 13, 2022 — NY Daily News — Sen. Schumer pushes weeklong extension to reach spending deal and avoid government shutdown
He warned lawmakers to be prepared to compromise on the bigger spending plan and also to be ready to act quickly to achieve the goal of passing a stopgap measure.
November 30, 2022 — WSHU — Gillibrand pushes for an additional $3.6 billion for 9/11 health program
Gillibrand touted the 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act, which would close the funding gap by delivering $3.6 billion of supplemental funds.
November 30, 2022 — NY Daily News — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand calls for action to plug $3B hole in 9/11 health fund
There are about 120,000 9/11 responders and survivors in the World Trade Center Health Program. When Congress voted in 2015 to fund it through the year 2090, it underestimated how much it would cost.
Feb. 2, 2022 — The Chief-Leader — As Build Back Better Bill Flounders, 9/11 Health Advocates Eye Plan B
President Biden’s $1.8 trillion Build Back Better agenda included almost $3 billion to fund the 9/11 WTC Health Program, which was scheduled to run out of funds by 2025.
Dec. 20, 2021 — NY Daily News — Failure to pass Build Back Better plan threatens 9/11 health care funding
The death sentence Joe Manchin declared for President Biden’s massive domestic policy bill is also threatening a key priority of New York lawmakers — plugging a nearly $3 billion gap in the 9/11 health program.
Aug. 6, 2021 — U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney — Maloney, Nadler, Garbarino, and Gillibrand Introduce the Bipartisan 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act
This legislation would address a funding shortfall in the WTCHP and ensure its adequate funding now and in the future.
Aug. 6, 2021 — New York Daily News — Ahead of Sept. 11 anniversary, Congress scrambles to fully fund World Trade Center Health Program
The needs of responders have proven to be even greater than anyone feared, and health care costs have also risen faster than predicted.
August 9, 2021 — New York Daily News — Helping survivors survive: Congress owes more to those stricken by 9/11-related health problems
The people who rushed to help downtown on that terrible September Tuesday and in the days, weeks and months to follow didn’t do so as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans.