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 affecting thousands, the World Trade Center Health Program was finally created by Congress in 2010 and was reauthorized in 2015, to remain open until 2090.
The World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) currently provides medical treatment and monitoring for over 124,000 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.
However, because of increasing medical costs and increasing numbers of ill responders and survivors coming forward the funding formula for the World Trade Center Health Program will not provide enough funds to cover 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.
Unless action is taken to deal with the impending budget shortfall, the World Trade Center Health Program will be facing service cuts to 9/11 responders and survivors unless Congress acts and provides the needed funding.
While there have been efforts in Congress to resolve this issue and get the program the funding it needs. First, with an additional Billion dollars of funding that was provided in the 2022 Omnibus spending bill, through the efforts of Senators Gillibrand and Schumer.
And again, in July of 2023, when Senators Gillibrand, Schumer were joined by Senator Mike Braun of (R-IN) in an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that provided an additional 444 million dollars in funding for the program and corrected the problem that some Pentagon and Shanksville responders, including those that were active-duty Military could not join the Health Program.
While these efforts did postpone the date that service cuts would go into effect by several years, Congress will still need to provide additional funds to stop the cuts to services and ensure that the World Trade Center Health Program is fully funded and able to provide its care to injured and ill 9/11 responders and survivors.
To fix this problem Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) Cory Booker (D-NJ), Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). along with Members of Congress Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)), Anthony D ’Esposito (R-NY), Dan Goldman (D-NY) are continuing their efforts to pass the their bi partisan legislation, the 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act of 2023 HR.1294/ S.569
This legislation is needed 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. This legislation will permanently address the projected funding shortfall and ensure that the World Trade Center Health Program will be fully funded going forward.
Please join us in making sure your representative in the House or the Senate is a co-sponsor of the bill. You can check if your member of Congress is on the bill by going to our “Take Action” page, type in your address and see if your Representative is on the bill.
Cosponsors of 2023 Legislation
List of Senate Sponsors S. 569
List of House Sponsors HR. 1294
Memo in Support
Memo in Support April 14th, 2023
National Defense Authorization Amendment
Summary of Gillibrand Braun Amendment 1065 July 27th, 2023
Senate Roll Call 206 on Amendment 1065 July 27th, 2023
WTC Health Program Membership by State February 2023
WTC Health Program Membership by Congressional District February 2023
VCF Participation by State August 2022
July 27, 2023
Statement on the passage by the Senate of the Gillibrand/Braun Amendment that will ensure that all 911 responders to the Pentagon and Shanksville, including former active-duty soldiers and sailors, can enroll in the WTC Health Program and will help to close the impending funding shortfall threatening the program
Today’s amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed the Senate by an overwhelming vote of 94 to 4, was sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Senator Mike Braun (R-IN), along with Senator Charles Schumer(D-NY) and will: This amendment was fully paid for under legislative rules. Benjamin Chevat, Executive Director of Citizens […]
May 16, 2023
Former VCF Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya and FDNY Battalion Chief and UFOA Representative Sean Michael Join Board of Directors of 9/11 Responder and Advocacy Organization – Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act
With the additions of Ms. Bhattacharyya and Mr. Michael, the organization will continue its mission to make sure that the legislation creating the programs is fully funded and meets the need of all 9/11 responders, survivors, and their families.
February 28, 2023
This bipartisan legislation—introduced by Reps. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Anthony D‘Esposito (R-NY), Dan Goldman (D-NY), and nearly the entire New York Congressional delegation along with Members of Congress from other States and U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) in the Senate—would close the budget gap in the WTCHP so that it can continue serving more than 120,000 responders and survivors impacted by the toxins at Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and the Shanksville crash site.
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.
September 14, 2023 — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand — On The Heels Of 9/11, Gillibrand, Schumer, Garbarino, Braun, Nadler, D’esposito, Goldman Champion Bipartisan Push To Include Senate-Passed Amendment To Help Close World Trade Center Health Program Funding Gap In Final NDAA
Eight years since Congress reauthorized the program, it is estimated that the funding formula will not be able to keep pace with the anticipated costs of providing the program’s services for 9/11 heroes.
September 13, 2023 — Newsday — World Trade Center Health Program faces major funding shortfall, needs roughly $2 billion, politicians say
Elected officials paint a bleak picture for the program, which provides medical treatment and monitoring for 124,000 Americans still suffering from the health effects of the nation’s worst terror attack.
September 11, 2023 — The Independent — Lauren Boebert leads GOP lawmakers sharing 9/11 anniversary tributes despite voting against aid for families
Some social media users responded to her post, calling out her hypocrisy and even calling her a “traitor.”
September 11, 2023 — Newsweek — Republicans Who Voted Against 9/11 Victims Fund Post Tributes
Republican politicians who voted against legislation to establish a health care fund for victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack posted tributes to social media on the attack’s 22nd anniversary.
August 24, 2023 — LIHerald.com — It’s time to deliver on our promise to never forget
We all collectively promised to never forget, but it seems that too many have turned a blind eye to the ongoing suffering of our 9/11 heroes, survivors and their families.
August 6, 2023 — Newsday — Congress should fix the 9/11 health fund for good
The four Republicans who voted against the amendment — Sens. Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Markwayne Mullin and Tommy Tuberville — all promise year after year to “Never forget.” And yet, they shamefully did.
July 27, 2023 — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand — Gillibrand, Schumer Announce Senate Passage Of Amendment To Defense Bill To Deliver Nearly $700 Million To Close Funding Gap In World Trade Center Health Program
The amendment will help address the long-term funding shortfall by delivering $676 million for the program, and will allow excluded Pentagon and Shanksville responders to join the program.
July 27, 2023 — Senate Democrats — Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Supporting The 9/11 Amendment To Benefit First Responders And Survivors
“We cannot fail to properly care for those who answered the call of duty.”
July 27, 2023 — New York Post — US Senate approves measure that pumps $676M into financially troubled Ground Zero Health Fund
The bipartisan measure — pushed by New York Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer — is expected to clear the House of Representatives and be approved by President Biden.
July 27, 2023 — Newsday — Senate approves $676 million for World Trade Center health fund
The Senate overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act Thursday to address the World Trade Center Health Program’s funding shortfall and to expand its services.
July 27, 2023 — NY Daily News — Laura Kavanagh’s out-of-town call: On WTC Health Program and lithium-ion batteries, Washington has to deliver
Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh is on a mission today in Washington to help the injured and dying as well as to prevent more injuries and deaths. She must succeed on both.
September 11, 2023 — NY Daily News — Congress isn’t done with 9/11: The World Trade Center Health Program must be fully funded
Down the road medical care for these people will have to be rationed. Should that be our legacy in the years ahead as more and more get sicker and more die?
May 5, 2023 — NY Daily News — Congress must fully fund the health care for 9/11 heroes
It is unconscionable to have to continually seek support from lawmakers outside New York, and beg for funding for this essential, life-saving program, even while the numbers are clear.