Rubio’s right call on supporting the Zadroga bill for ailing WTC responders

Nov 19, 2015
In The News

Republican presidential contender Marco Rubio has passed one test of fitness to lead America.

The Florida senator has joined 65 bipartisan Senate colleagues in sponsoring legislation to renew the federal funding that provides medical care and compensation to sickened 9/11 rescue and recovery workers.

Not for just five years, but for good. For good.

Rubio thus joins a groundswell of support for passing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, a measure that has been invaluable to the thousands who served amid the toxic plume that hung over Ground Zero.

Many are afflicted with lung damage. Many suffer with cancers. Many have died. Regardless, Congress allowed the law to lapse after five years.

Despite majority backing in the Senate and House, reauthorization has been bottled up by Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who has insisted on limiting an extension to five years.

Thanks to work by Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney of Manhattan and freshman Republican Rep. Dan Donovan of Staten Island, another key House panel, the Energy and Commerce Committee, appears headed toward backing permanent funding.

That must be the case. Goodlatte must be overridden in service to national duty. House Speaker Paul Ryan must clear the way.