Bill Passes House: Statement from Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act on the Passage of HR 1327 — “Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act” by an overwhelming 402 to 12 vote.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Posted: July 15, 2019

Contact:

Benjamin Chevat
Ben.Chevat@renew911health.org
(646) 787-6184

Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act want to thank Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler and Peter King and all the 402 members of the House that voted for the legislation in such an overwhelming bi partisan vote. The Senate must take this bill up before the August recess as Senate Majority Leader McConnell committed would happen, so that injured and ill 9/11 responders, survivors and their families can get the help they need.

Please call your Senators today and ask them to join in this bipartisan effort and vote yes.

You can reach them thru our website.

These are the facts today:

  • There are more than 49,000 people in the World Trade Center Health program suffering from at least one certified 9/11 condition caused by the toxins at Ground Zero, the Pentagon and Shanksville crash site; a large percentage have multiple conditions.
  • Chronic diseases like asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and cancer continue to plague those who were exposed to the many toxins and carcinogens on 9/11 and in the weeks and months after.
  • Over 12,000 of those enrolled in the Health Program have been certified with a 9/11 related cancer, with more that are being diagnosed every day. Thousands more who have been diagnosed with cancer are only now joining the health program, so these numbers will increase dramatically.
  • 9/11 responders and survivors in the Health Program are in all 50 States and in 433 out of 435 Congressional Districts.

Remember, it was the Federal Government that said the air was safe to breathe.

It was also the Federal Government that refused for years to take responsibility, to do the research and respond to the health crisis that is facing so many.

We know that the sponsors of the “Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act,” Representatives Maloney, Nadler and King and the Senate lead sponsors Senators Gillibrand, Schumer and Gardner, along with their colleagues from both sides of the aisle will be working to get this legation before the President to be signed.

Background

On February 15, 2019, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund announced that due to a funding shortfall, injured and ill 9/11 responders and survivors will receive cuts to the awards that they were expecting of 50%  for pending claims and 70% for future claims. 

In the years since 9/11/2001, thousands of 9/11 responders and survivors have become ill and many have lost their lives from exposure to a toxic cocktail of burning chemicals, pulverized drywall and powdered cement that was present at Ground Zero.  After years of urging Congress to act, in 2010 and again in 2015, legislation was passed to provide medical monitoring and treatment through the World Trade Center Health Program and compensation through the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for thousands made sick by the toxins at Ground Zero as well at the Pentagon and the Shanksville, PA crash site. Now, after waiting years for compensation that they need and deserve, thousands are facing dramatically reduced awards and unless Congress acts, the VCF will actually close next year just as thousands more 9/11 responders and survivors are expected to be diagnosed with 9/11 cancers. Over 800 injured and ill 9/11 responders and survivors have already received awards that have been cut and that number is growing every day.

This legislation is designed to ensure that the VCF is fully funded and will remain open for those that will become ill in the future.