Senator Gillibrand Introduces 9/11 Health Legislation
June 24, 2009
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a press conference in the nation's capital alongside Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Senators Charles Schumer, Frank Lautenberg, and Robert Menendez to introduce the Senate version (S 1334) of the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Similar to the House bill (HR 847), this legislation would provide permanent long-term federal funding to monitor and treat those affected by the World Trade Center disaster including rescue and recovery workers and residents of Lower Manhattan. In addition, the bill also would re-open the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler, Peter King, and Michael McMahon, who sponsored the House legislation, also appeared at the announcement.
“I commend my predecessor, Secretary Clinton, as well as my colleagues in both the Senate and the House, who invested tremendous effort over several years to get us to this point,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Today we are taking a major step toward fulfilling our obligation, but we have a lot of work left to do.”
“Passing this bill will, at long last, fully engage the Federal government in resolving the health challenges created by the terrorist attack against our entire nation that awful morning. Make no mistake: The destruction of the World Trade Center was an act of war against the United States,” Mayor Bloomberg remarked at the press conference. “Let me thank Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the rest of New York State’s congressional delegation, and our neighbors in New Jersey for crafting this critical piece of legislation.”
The Senate bill limits the cost share of the entire WTC health program for New York City to $250 million over any 10 year period. The bill currently in the House of Representatives, now with 64 co-sponsors from 17 states, could cost the City up to $500 million during the next 10 years. In addition, the Senate bill also provides the City with more oversight of any federally-funded treatment program for the Lower Manhattan community.