By the end of this month, the James Zagroda 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, the bill that allows funding for the health benefits of 9/11 first responders, will expire.
The provision of Zagroda’s law that funds ongoing treatment for 9/11 first responders and survivors who deal with chronic diseases as a result of their presence at Ground Zero will expire. In one year, nearly $3 billion that is meant to compensate those who suffered economic losses because of the 9/11 attacks will also disappear.
Currently, it seems as though Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress, will not vote to renew these crucial funds. The biggest cheerleaders of “Never Forget” show a desire to forget about the people who went above and beyond the call of duty.
Jon Stewart, former host of The Daily Show, was an integral part of getting Congress to pass the law initially. He will now join police officers, firefighters, and other first responders to lobby at the Capitol this week with the intent of protecting Zagroda’s Law. Stewart and the first responders will go in with the support of some Congressional members.
“It’s unacceptable that first responders, survivors and their families have to come down to Washington and lobby Congress to do the right thing,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) on the 9/11 anniversary. “These programs are literally saving lives, and should be permanently extended so we avoid these expiration crises. This is a widely bipartisan bill that should have the support of every member of Congress who has sworn to never forget 9/11.”
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