The “remember 9/11” crowd in Congress who stalled for nearly a decade to provide compensation for individuals who suffered physical injury or death as a result of debris removal efforts in the immediate aftermath of the attacks irritate me greatly.
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was passed by Congress at the end of 2010 and signed into law by President Obama, in no small part because of the advocacy of Jon Stewart on the December 16, 2010 episode of The Daily Show.
But the provisions of the bill are due to expire, and needs to be renewed this fall:
Much has been written in recent years about the serious physical illnesses that have befallen over 33,000 rescue and recovery workers, survivors and residents who breathed in the poisonous dust that blanketed lower Manhattan after the September 11 terror attack and the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers. More than 3,900 cases of cancer have been diagnosed among the participants in the World Trade Center Health Program Nearly 200 FDNY and NYPD members have reportedly died of 9/11 related injuries and conditions, and these numbers are growing.
Less has been written about the effect that the terrible illnesses have had on the lives of these men and women. Many have become disabled from work and are unable to support their families on meager monthly disability payments. Family homes have fallen into foreclosure. The terror attacks left in their wake a trail of financial ruin affecting many brave men and women who responded to the attacks and others who had the misfortune of living or working on the tiny piece of the United States that happened to be the target of an attack on our country.
A renewal bill has been languishing in Congress. At least as of last May, The Speaker of the House seemed to be disinclined to support extending the coverage. This may be Jon Stewart’s next activity: supporting the new bill.
I’ve read the information, and am pleased to note that my member of the House of Representatives, and both of my US Senators are co-sponsoring the renewal bill. See where your representatives stand. Bug those who are not sponsors, and laud those who are.