HUNTERDON CONGRESSMAN LANCE Renew Aid to 9/11 First Responders and Survivors

Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) led 37 of his House colleagues in writing to Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging the House of Representatives vote to reauthorize the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.  The New Jersey and New York delegations asked that the programs – which provide medical treatment and compensation to first responders, rescue workers and survivors who have been sickened or injured at Ground Zero, the Pentagon and Shanksville – be posted for a vote before the law expires on September 30, 2015.

The lawmakers wrote, “More than 70,000 first responders or survivors residing in 429 of the 435 congressional districts across the country participate in the WTC Health Program, receiving medical monitoring and treatment for those injuries…We look forward to seeing H.R. 1786 move forward to ensure first responders and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania continue to receive the monitoring and care they deserve and need.”

The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) were established by theJames Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010.  The reauthorization measure, H.R. 1786, was examined at aHouse Energy and Commerce Committee hearing this week and patients, physicians and first responders testified about the importance of renewing the program.

Letter text:

Dear Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi:

We are writing in support of the reauthorization of the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). As you may know, the programs were established by Congress with the enactment of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 to provide medical treatment and compensation to first responders, rescue workers and survivors who have been sickened or injured at Ground Zero, the Pentagon and Shanksville crash site following the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. Without Congressional action, the health program will expire on September 30, 2015.

Today more than 70,000 first responders or survivors residing in 429 of the 435 congressional districts across the country participate in the WTC Health Program, receiving medical monitoring and treatment for those injuries.  Cancers, respiratory ailments and digestive tract disorders are just a few of the complications for those who participated in 9/11 rescue and cleanup efforts.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing this week to examine the WTC Health Program and hear from patients, physicians and first responders directly about the importance of renewing the program.  We commend the Committee for taking this first step toward reauthorization and look forward to seeing H.R. 1786 move forward to ensure first responders and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania continue to receive the monitoring and care they deserve and need.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to working together and we urge you to move expeditiously to renew these important programs.