04.14.15

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Joins Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers to Introduce Critical Reauthorization of James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act

Health and Compensation Programs Passed Into Law After Almost Decade Long Fight Set to Expire This Year - Participants in 9/11 Health Program Living in All 50 States and 429 of 435 Congressional Districts

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After nearly a decade long fight to stand by our first responders who answered the call of duty on September 11th, Congress finally fulfilled its moral obligation in late 2010 and provided our 9/11 heroes with the health care and financial compensation they deserved by passing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

With the Zadroga bill’s two critical programs – the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund – set to expire in October 2015 and October 2016 respectively, a bipartisan group of lawmakers from across the country today introduced the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act to permanently extend these programs. Last month, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed an amendment to the Senate budget resolution that will facilitate future legislation to renew and extend the Zadroga Act.

“I’m proud to continue the work we started years ago standing up for 9/11 first responders and survivors,” said Baldwin. “It is vitally important that we take action to permanently extend these programs so our 9/11 first responders and their families continue receiving the care they deserve.”

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act passed by Congress in 2010 helped ensure proper monitoring and treatment for thousands of men, women and children that face potential life-threatening health effects due to the toxins released at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

As a member of the House of Representatives, Baldwin was a cosponsor and strong supporter of the legislation. Baldwin voted in support of the bill in both the House Judiciary Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, as well as supporting it three times on the House floor.

Nearly 14 years after September 11th, 9/11 responders and survivors are still battling serious health crises resulting from exposure to the toxins at Ground Zero. More than 33,000 9/11 responders and survivors have an illness or injury caused by the attacks or their aftermath, and over two-thirds of those have more than one illness. Many are disabled and can no longer work. They are suffering from a host of chronic diseases: asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, cancer and many more, caused by exposure to toxins and carcinogens at Ground Zero.

Responders came from all over the country to aid in the response to the attacks. Participants enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program for treatment currently reside in all 50 states and in 429 of the 435 Congressional Districts in the country.

Led by U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act bill was introduced today in the Senate with 12 total cosponsors, including Senator Baldwin.