Weekly Update: 20 years since 9/11/2001
It's been twenty years since 9/11/2001 – a horrific day on which we lost nearly 3,000 lives – parents, siblings, children, grandparents, friends. We still feel the pain and sorrow from the lives lost that day, and in all the days that followed.
Tomorrow, as we mark 20 years since that fateful day in 2001, we must remember that 9/11 isn’t just in the past. It is something that these responders, survivors, and their families are living with each and every day as they deal with cancers, respiratory disease, and mental health concerns. As a nation, we have a moral obligation to take care of the people who took care of us and those who take care of them.
We owe these responders and survivors a debt of gratitude first and foremost for what they did on 9/11 and in the days, weeks, and months that followed. And secondly, because of the toxic lie our government told them: that it was safe to work on the pile and breathe the air when we sent kids back to school, and employees back to work. We kept our promise to Never Forget by passing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, its reauthorization, and the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act. Now, we must do so again by passing the 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act.
More on this and other updates below.
If you missed it, you can read this week’s NY-12 COVID-19 Vaccination and Recovery Update here.
9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act
Today, ahead of tomorrow’s 20thanniversary of 9/11, I joined with Congressmen Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and 9/11 responders, survivors, and community advocates to call on Congress to pass the 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act.
This legislation would address an expected funding shortfall in the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) and ensure the program’s adequate funding now and in the future so that every injured and ill 9/11 responder and survivor has access to the medical treatment they need and deserve. The WTCHP is facing a funding shortfall caused by medical inflation increasing faster than regular inflation, an increasing number of responders and survivors becoming sick, and the complexities of treating complicated health conditions such as cancer.
The bill would also make minor adjustments to the 2010 statute, which established the WTCHP, and would authorize the program to develop a research cohort to study the impact of the toxic exposures and psychological trauma on the more than 35,000 people who were children at the time of the attack and resided or attended school or daycare in the NYC disaster area in the aftermath of the attack.
Read more here.
Bipartisan Resolution Commemorating 9/11
Also on Friday, Congressman Nadler, Congressman Garbarino, and I were joined by 82 bipartisan cosponsors in introducing a resolution in the House of Representatives commemorating the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
It is hard to believe that is has been 20 years since the September 11th attack. We still remember the horror of that day, and the heroism of responders, military personnel, and everyday Americans who showed unimaginable courage.
To honor those we lost, to thank those who risked everything to save their fellow Americans, and to recognize those who are still suffering the health impacts of that day, we introduced this resolution with broad bipartisan support. We stand with our colleagues, just as we did 20 years ago, to affirm that we will never forget the events of September 11th.
Streamlining Rental Assistance Programs
At today’s Financial Services Committee virtual hearing, I discussed the need for Congress to streamline rental assistance programs to better serve renters and landlords across the country. Congress provided nearly $50 billion in the December relief package and in the American Rescue Plan to help everyone stay safely housed and to be able to afford their rent. This was necessary relief. 100% percent essential. Not just for the health and safety of these residents during a pandemic, but to prevent a mass eviction crisis that would have inflicted needless damage to our economy and to our families. We must ensure that Americans who need it can easily access this financial assistance.
Read more here.
Next Steps for Afghanistan Oversight
Today, I requested that Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko review the underlying causes that contributed to the collapse of the government of Afghanistan and the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), as well as the ramifications of the Taliban’s return to power for U.S. national security and the people of Afghanistan.
Given two decades of U.S. and Coalition investments in Afghanistan’s future, it is crucial that SIGAR continue its important work on behalf of Congress and the American people to document the relative successes and failures of our reconstruction mission in Afghanistan, particularly in light of the Afghan government’s capitulation to the Taliban in a matter of weeks, culminating with the fall of Kabul on August 15, 2021.
Read the letter I sent with Subcommittee on National Security Chairman Stephen F. Lynch, Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer, and Subcommittee on National Security Ranking Member Glenn Grothman here.
Celebrating the Return of New York Fashion Week
NYFW: The Talks - ‘Reinvigorating New York’s Fashion Economy’
Yesterday, I joined IMG Fashion Events & Properties President Leslie Russo, Afterpay Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer Nick Molnar, and other leaders in the fashion industry at Spring Studios to kick off New York Fashion Week with ‘Reinvigorating New York’s Fashion Economy,’ a panel discussion on the future of the industry in New York City. Our discussion highlighted fashion as a key economic driver, and one critical to New York City’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
New York Fashion Week has always been integral to the cultural fabric and economic livelihood of New York City. It generates more revenue than the Super Bowl and U.S. Open, so make no mistake, the future of the fashion industry is right here in New York City.
Lighting Up the Empire State Building
In honor of New York Fashion Week, I joined designer LaQuan Smith, actress Naomi Watts, and Nick Molnar to light up the Empire State Building green. This year’s Fashion Week highlights the ingenuity, creativity, and resiliency of the New York Fashion industry. I am proud to be an advocate for our city’s talented designers and manufacturers.
Vaccinating Federal Employees and Government Contractors
Yesterday’s announcement by President Biden sends a clear message that vaccination is the best way to beat COVID-19. As the nation’s largest employer, the federal government is setting the standard on implementing workplace safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. With high numbers of coronavirus cases across the country caused by the Delta variant, especially in regions with low vaccination rates, the Biden Administration is taking a crucial step to protect American lives and slow the virus’s spread. I urge all eligible Americans to get vaccinated and to encourage your friends, families, and coworkers to do the same. Let’s work together and beat this virus.
Snapshots from NYC
President Biden Visits NYC in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
I want to thank President Biden for coming to New York City this week in the aftermath of last week’s devastating storm. We continue to see the drastic impacts of climate change increase every year, and it is imperative that we continue to address and make the climate crisis a top priority in Congress.
The losses that we witnessed during this hurricane are unimaginable: dozens of lost lives; homes destroyed, including by gas leaks triggered by the flooding; and damaged infrastructure, including the rail system. The road to recovery will be a long one, but I know that ‘New York Strong’ will prevail as it always does.
For disaster relief assistance, please click here.
The annual Congressional App Challenge for NY-12 has officially begun! All middle and high school students in New York’s 12th Congressional District are eligible to apply.
The CAC accepts computer program apps written in any programming language, for any platform (desktop/PC, web, mobile, raspberry Pi, etc.).
The Challenge’s submission portal is now open. The deadline for student submissions is November 1, 2021. The competition is open to all students who meet the eligibility requirements, regardless of coding experience.
Winners will be selected by panels of judges drawn from the local community and honored by their Member of Congress. Their apps are eligible to be featured on display in the U.S. Capitol building, on house.gov, and on the Congressional App Challenge website.
As always, your concerns still and always remain my top priority. Please do not hesitate to email me through my website.