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Democratic Leader Pelosi Calls for Renewing Law to Help 9/11 First Responders
Updated On: Sep 16, 2018
Family members wait for the start of the ceremony at the National September 11th Memorial to mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center New York, NY 9/11/11. Photo by: John Munson/The Star-Ledger
NJ.com - WASHINGTON - U.S. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi asked the rest of the party's House members to extend the federal program funding health treatment for first responders injured in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act, named for a New York City police officer who died of a respiratory disease after responding to the World Trade Center attacks, provides treatment and economic compensation for first responders. The program will end this year unless it is renewed.
"Heroic men and women stepped forward to help save lives, to search for survivors, to sift through the rubble — even at the cost of their health and their very lives," Pelosi (D-Calif.) wrote to the rest of the House Democratic caucus on the 14th anniversary of the attacks. "Congress has a moral duty to reauthorize the vital initiative that supports their families and their care."
More than 4,800 people in New Jersey are getting treatment under the act, according to one of the bill's sponsors, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-6th Dist.). Pallone is the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is considering the legislation. The other 11 New Jersey House members also are co-sponsors, as are both of the state's U.S. senators.
Many of the first responders were injured as they breathed dust at the attack sites. Thousands have developed cancer.
"As expiration of the program draws closer every day, Congress must redouble its efforts and renew its commitment to our 9/11 heroes," Pallone said earlier this month when he joined other House members at Ground Zero in New York City to push for the legislation.