Comprehensive 9/11 Health Bill Fails to Move in Congress
September 30, 2008
A new version of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (HR 7174) was introduced at the end of the congressional session, but House Leaders did not bring the bill to the floor of the U.S. House of the Representatives for a vote. This latest version of the bill faced many hurdles to passage, including the fact that Members of Congress were focused on the President's financial bailout package as well as other critical end-of-session legislation, and that New York City officials objected to new provisions in the bill that could have shifted nearly $500 million to City taxpayers and would not give the city oversight of how the money would be spent.
"The 9/11 terrorist attacks were attacks on our nation, and it is a national obligation to care for those who were harmed," the Mayor said recently. "The bill that was introduced really did have some good elements in it but it put too much of a burden on the City's taxpayers, and did not give the city the protection that we really needed."
Negotiations with members of Congress over provisions in the bill are likely to begin again next year, and the City and members of the New York Congressional delegation will continue to advocate for legislation that provides an ongoing, stable federal funding stream for 9/11-related monitoring and treatment.
In the meantime, however, the WTC Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program at FDNY and at the Mount Sinai Consortium will continue to provide services for rescue, recovery and clean-up workers with federal funding that already has been appropriated. And New York City will continue to support treatment services available through the WTC Environmental Health Center at the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.