Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Peter King (R-NY), and Michael McMahon (D-NY) have reintroduced legislation to address what Maloney’s office called in a press release “the health crisis” caused by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. H.R. 847, the “9/11 Health and Compensation Act,” would provide medical monitoring and treatment for those exposed to toxins released by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. The bill would also provide compensation for economic losses due to illnesses or injuries caused by the attacks.
The previous version of the bill was set to be considered by the House last fall but because of the financial crisis and other factors, it had to be delayed, according to Maloney’s office. Maloney believes she will have strong bipartisan support when the bill is voted on by the House in the coming months. “In addition, during his presidential campaign President Barack Obama signaled his strong support for helping the heroes and heroines of 9/11,” she said.
“Thousands lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks, but in the years that followed thousands more lost their health. This bill provides proper care to those who are suffering and demonstrates that America will not abandon its first responders and all those affected,” Rep. Maloney said. “I thank Speaker Pelosi and my colleagues in the New York delegation for their dedication to fulfilling America’s moral responsibility to care for those who were harmed by the terrorist attacks on our nation.”
“Today, more than seven years after 9/11, it is more essential than ever that we take care of the first responders and area residents, workers and students who have become sick as a result of the attacks,” said Rep. Nadler. “With this new administration and new Congress, we now have the opportunity to right some of the wrongs of the past. This bi-partisan legislation will go a tremendous distance toward showing our responders the respect and appreciation they deserve, and it will make good on our collective responsibility to care for those community members who needlessly suffered the ill effects of toxic dust.”
“The heroes of 9/11 became sick after working in the dust cloud of Ground Zero to save the lives of others,” said Rep. King. “It is our duty to develop a plan to monitor and care for these responders. I fully support the establishment of the World Trade Center Health Program and will continue to do all I can to ensure that the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act becomes law.”
“There is really no other option but to provide proper health care for all those first responders who are ill as a result of the selfless aid they provided after the 9/11 attacks,” said Rep. McMahon. “I am proud to be a part of this bill with my colleagues from New York and urge all those in Congress to remember New York’s heroes.”