For Immediate Release: February 4, 2009
Contacts: Jon Houston (Maloney), 202-225-7944
Ilan Kayatsky (Nadler), 212-367-7350
Carol Danko (King), 202-225-7896
Lauren Amendolara (McMahon), 202-225-8420
Washington, D.C. — Today, Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Peter King (R-NY), and Michael McMahon (D-NY) reintroduced bipartisan legislation to address the health crisis caused by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. H.R. 847, the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, would provide medical monitoring and treatment for those exposed to toxins released by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. The bill would also provide compensation for economic losses due to illnesses or injuries caused by the attacks.
The previous version of the bill was set to be considered by the House last fall but because of the financial crisis and other factors, it had to be delayed. The Members of Congress are hopeful that the bill will have strong bipartisan support when it is voted on by the House in the coming months. In addition, during his presidential campaign President Barack Obama signaled his strong support for helping the heroes and heroines of 9/11.
“Thousands lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks, but in the years that followed thousands more lost their health. This bill provides proper care to those who are suffering and demonstrates that America will not abandon its first responders and all those affected,” Rep. Maloney said. “I thank Speaker Pelosi and my colleagues in the New York delegation for their dedication to fulfilling America’s moral responsibility to care for those who were harmed by the terrorist attacks on our nation.”
“Today, more than seven years after 9/11, it is more essential than ever that we take care of the first responders and area residents, workers and students who have become sick as a result of the attacks,” said Rep. Nadler. “With this new Administration and new Congress, we now have the opportunity to right some of the wrongs of the past. This bi-partisan legislation will go a tremendous distance toward showing our responders the respect and appreciation they deserve, and it will make good on our collective responsibility to care for those community members who needlessly suffered the ill effects of toxic dust.”
“The heroes of 9/11 became sick after working in the dust cloud of Ground Zero to save the lives of others,” said Rep. King. “It is our duty to develop a plan to monitor and care for these responders. I fully support the establishment of the World Trade Center Health Program and will continue to do all I can to ensure that the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act becomes law.”
“Eight and a half years ago our country witnessed the most terrible terrorist attack on American soil,” said Rep. McMahon. After those devastating events, many New Yorkers — as well as people from other states who came to New York to aid those in need — emerged as heroes. They worked tirelessly, sorting through debris, searching for survivors, comforting strangers in their darkest moments. They did not turn their backs on us in our time of need and we cannot turn our backs on them. There is really no other option but to provide proper health care for all those first responders who are ill as a result of the selfless aid they provided after the 9/11 attacks. I am proud to be a part of this bill with my colleagues from New York and urge all those in Congress to remember New York’s heroes.”
Click here for full text of HR 847.
Click here for Q & A on HR 847.
Fact Sheet on 9/11 Health Issues and H.R. 847 :
What is the problem?
Rep. Maloney has posted a very useful link at her House website: World Trade Center Health Registry--Number of Registrants by State and Congressional District based on June 2007 current addresses.
When you call your Representative to ask him/her to cosponsor H.R. 847, you might mention the number of first responders from your district, and your state, listed on the Health Registry.
All 50 states are included. Maloney states, “…at least 10,000 people came from around the country to help in the aftermath of the attacks.” Clearly, this is a national issue and we challenge ANY Representative to give a valid reason why s/he should not support a bill that provides needed care, especially for their own constituents!
~ Thousands of first responders and others exposed to the toxins of Ground Zero are now sick and need our help. These include New York firefighters, EMTs and police, construction workers, clean-up workers, residents, area workers, and school children, among others.
~ Although most of these people live in the New York/New Jersey area, at least 10,000 people came from around the country to help in the aftermath of the attacks. They hail from all 50 states and nearly every congressional district. Many are sick and others are very concerned about their health. (Please see a map of Registry enrollments nationwide and a list of enrollments in each congressional district .)
~ Their illnesses include respiratory and gastrointestinal system conditions such as asthma, interstitial lung disease, chronic cough and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
~ More than 400,000 people are believed to have been exposed to toxins from the World Trade Center site.
~ Nearly 16,000 responders and at least 2,700 community members are currently sick and receiving treatment. More than 40,000 responders are currently in medical monitoring. 71,000 individuals are enrolled in the WTC Health Registry.
~ Those who suffered economic losses as a result of their WTC-related illnesses need and deserve compensation, but have no alternative to the current litigation system.
~ The WTC contractors and the City of New York are being sued by over 10,000 people who are sick because of Ground Zero toxins. They face great financial loss because they were asked to help at Ground Zero in the country’s time of need.
H.R. 847 would address the 9/11 health crisis by:
~ Providing medical monitoring and treatment to WTC responders and community members (area workers, residents, students and others) who were exposed to toxins released at Ground Zero.
~ Building on the existing monitoring and treatment program by delivering expert medical treatment for these unique exposures at Centers of Excellence.
~ Providing for research into WTC-related health conditions.
~ Reopening the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund to provide compensation for economic losses and harm as an alternative to the current litigation system.
~ Providing liability protections for the WTC contractors and the City of New York.
H.R.847 (from http://Thomas.gov )
Title: To amend the Public Health Service Act to extend and improve protections and services to individuals directly impacted by the terrorist attack in New York City on September 11, 2001, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-14] (introduced 2/4/2009) Cosponsors (35)
Latest Major Action : 2/4/2009 Referred to House committee.
Status: Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
35 Cosponsors, as of 2/11/2009: (Have you called your Rep today?)
Rep Ackerman, Gary L. [NY-5] – 2/4/2009
Rep Arcuri, Michael A. [NY-24] – 2/4/2009
Rep Berkley, Shelley [NV-1] – 2/10/2009
Rep Bishop, Timothy H. [NY-1] – 2/4/2009
Rep Burgess, Michael C. [TX-26] – 2/4/2009
Rep Clarke, Yvette D. [NY-11] – 2/4/2009
Rep Crowley, Joseph [NY-7] – 2/4/2009
Rep Engel, Eliot L. [NY-17] – 2/4/2009
Rep Green, Gene [TX-29] – 2/10/2009
Rep Hall, John J. [NY-19] – 2/4/2009
Rep Higgins, Brian [NY-27] – 2/4/2009
Rep Himes, James A. [CT-4] – 2/4/2009
Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22] – 2/4/2009
Rep Israel, Steve [NY-2] – 2/4/2009
Rep King, Peter T. [NY-3] – 2/4/2009
Rep Lee, Christopher J. [NY-26] – 2/4/2009
Rep Lowey, Nita M. [NY-18] – 2/4/2009
Rep Maffei, Daniel B. [NY-25] – 2/4/2009
Rep Massa, Eric J. J. [NY-29] – 2/4/2009
Rep McCarthy, Carolyn [NY-4] – 2/4/2009
Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3] – 2/4/2009
Rep McHugh, John M. [NY-23] – 2/4/2009
Rep McMahon, Michael E. [NY-13] – 2/4/2009
Rep Meeks, Gregory W. [NY-6] – 2/4/2009
Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] – 2/4/2009
Rep Pascrell, Bill, Jr. [NJ-8] – 2/4/2009
Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-15] – 2/4/2009
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] – 2/10/2009
Rep Serrano, Jose E. [NY-16] – 2/4/2009
Rep Smith, Christopher H. [NJ-4] – 2/10/2009
Rep Sutton, Betty [OH-13] – 2/4/2009
Rep Tonko, Paul D. [NY-21] – 2/4/2009
Rep Towns, Edolphus [NY-10] – 2/4/2009
Rep Weiner, Anthony D. [NY-9] – 2/4/2009
Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] – 2/4/2009
Also from FealGood Foundation:
911 Family members and responders are calling SAVE THE BRAVE , “POWERFUL & REVEALING.”
Make sure you see the HONEST TRUTH about 9/11’s sick & dying heroes. Order Your DVD copy of SAVE THE BRAVE:
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Go to our Ways To Give page to purchase your DVD copy today.
SAVE THE BRAVE is dedicated to 1st Responders throughout America; Fire fighters, law enforcement, military, utility and construction workers, all volunteers who breathed toxic air on 9.11.01 and beyond to help somebody. Many have died and others will but their service, courage and sacrifice will never be forgotten. It is in their memory that WE commit ourselves to SAVE THE BRAVE. – John Feal