Reps. Maloney, Nadler, King Announce New Bipartisan Outreach Initiative to Newer Members headed by Reps. Rose and Zeldin to Build Support for Bill to Renew the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund
Photo Credit: Leah Herman
WASHINGTON, DC -- Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Peter King (R-NY), the original cosponsors of the Zadroga Act, announced today that they have asked Congressmen Max Rose (D-NY) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) to work on a bipartisan effort to educate members elected after the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act in 2015 on the need to pass legislation to fully fund and permanently reauthorize the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) Act.
Reps. Rose and Zeldin will be talking to these members about the continued problems 9/11 responders and survivors still face today, 17 years after the attacks. The Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act would respond to any potential shortfalls in funding for the VCF and will be introduced later this month.
“When we were attacked on 9/11 thousands of firefighters, police officers, federal and local law enforcement officers, medical workers, construction workers, and other heroes selflessly rushed to Ground Zero from across the country to help, now we need to be there for them,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “It is for these heroes that we created the VCF. I look forward to working with Reps. Rose and Zeldin as we reach out to Members elected after we reauthorized the Zadroga Act to explain why this program is absolutely vital to our country and their constituents.”
“For tens of thousands of responders and survivors living with and dying from 9/11-related illnesses, and the thousands more who may not yet know they are sick, the tragedy of 9/11 continues,” said Congressman Nadler. “We designed the Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) to ensure that families battling these illnesses have the resources they need, but this money is already running out. It is imperative that we make the VCF permanent, and I am proud to work with Reps. Rose and Zeldin as we reach out to those elected after the 2015 reauthorization of the VCF and World Trade Center Health Program.”
“We have come too far to fail now,” said Congressman King. “In order to ensure the continuation of the Victims Compensation Fund we must enlist political support from all regions and parties. That is why I am proud that Reps. Zeldin and Rose will help our efforts in educating and recruiting members who weren’t here for the fight for Zadroga reauthorization to support this important effort.”
“9/11 wasn’t just an attack on New York—it was an attack on the United States of America, so we have to do more than never forget. We need to do right by the heroes who put their lives on the line and are now living with the consequences,” said Congressman Rose. “Kicking the can down the road with short-term extensions is no way to provide certainty and stability for these families. We need a permanent solution, and I’m honored to help make that happen.”
“Regardless of political party, district or state you come from, it is imperative we immediately pass legislation that fully funds the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and send it to the President’s desk to become law,” said Congressman Zeldin. “First responders who worked on the pile day and night, aiding in the search, rescue and clean up efforts were breathing in toxic debris and ash that are now known to have caused over 50 different types of cancer. This isn’t just a New York issue and this isn’t a Democratic or Republican Party platform or political football. This is a responsibility we all shoulder as Americans first and foremost - it’s the spirit of our nation, and it’s who we are as a people. These were the very men and women who in the face of evil were willing to put it all on the line to help save their fellow Americans, who ran into the towers as everyone ran out. It is unconscionable that time and again they have been forced to come crawling to Washington, D.C. to plead their case as to why they are worthy of our support.”
“After 14 years, 268 trips to DC and over 1300 meetings, we find it necessary that members who weren’t in Congress during our last advocacy push – for the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act – need to be educated on the aftermath of 9/11/01 and need to know that many of those who are affected are their constituents,” said John Feal, 9/11 Advocate. “And each member has a moral obligation to serve and protect these men and women. We look forward to meeting with these elected officials so they can be brought up to speed on a day that still has not ended for tens of thousands of Americans. We look forward to working with both Reps. Zeldin and Rose to ensure all these members are on this important piece of legislation.”
“We need to educate Members who were elected after the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act about the history of this issue, many of whom were in High School and College at the time of 9/11, now 17 years ago, about the impact of the toxins on 9/11 responders and survivors,” said Benjamin Chevat, Executive Director of Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act Inc. “Too many are still experiencing health problems and too many have died from their exposure. It is going to take a lot of work but we know that Members of Congress Rose and Zeldin know the issue and how important this is and will be able to reach out to their new colleagues in this bipartisan effort.
9/11 responders and survivors impacted by the toxins at Ground Zero, the Somerset Crash site, and the Pentagon live in every state and in 434 out of 435 Congressional Districts.
The Never Forget the Heroes Act was introduced last year as S.3591/ H.R.7062 with a strong show of bipartisan support, garnering more 100 bipartisan and bicameral cosponsors.