Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act Statement on the Release of an Agreed Omnibus Spending Bill that Does Not Contain Funding for the World Trade Center Health Program
Today’s announcement of an agreement on the Omnibus spending agreement that does not contain funding needed to fill the impending deficit in the World Trade Center Health Program, along with the other provisions of the bipartisan “9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act” (HR.4965/S. 2683) is a serious setback for the 9/11 community who depend on this program for their care.
This provision had the support of the all the Members of the New York Delegation, including every Republican Member of the delegation.
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.
Without the provisions dealing with the impending funding deficit, the program will have to start refusing new members in October of 2024 and start making a cascade of cuts in services after that which they plan to announce in October of 2023. In addition, the Program will continue to be completely in the dark about the health impacts of 9/11 toxins on lower Manhattan residents who were children at the time, who were most vulnerable to harm but whose health has not been tracked. Finally, the current law will continue to deny admission to Pentagon and Shanksville responders who were from the Department of Defense – both active-duty military and civilian, as well as other federal employees’ who were exposed at these sites but have been deprived of care.
With the new Congress, Citizens for the Extension will be working with Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rep. Garbarino (R NY) to get the funding passed by the Congress before any cuts in services are announced by the program.