Senator Chuck Schumer said Sunday that he would urge Congress to inject a $3 billion federal budget to bail out the struggling 9/11 Health Fund.
The New York Democrat and Senate Majority Leader said he will seek to secure funds in the federal budget to cover the expected shortfall in the World Trade Center’s health care program, which provides medical care and services for first responders and others affected by 9/11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“We have seen the toll a funding crisis is taking on our heroes of 9/11 and those sickened by the despicable attack on New York 21 years ago,” said Schumer, surrounded by survivors and supporters of the terrorist attack.
“So here I am, supported by so many friends and selfless supporters, to say that we need to address the issue of funding for the World Trade Center health program as soon as possible.”
He vowed to “make a push” to approve the funding this year.
John Feal, a longtime and vocal supporter of 9/11 first responders, said he was determined to get the measure approved — despite any political opposition that might arise.
“I have zero tolerance for elected officials who stand in our way,” Feal said. “I’ve left a trail of corpses of elected officials standing in our way.
“We cannot help those who died on 9/11, but we can help those who are sick,” he added. “We can help them by recovering the $3 billion from the World Trade Center health program.”
Schumer said he will request that the full amount be included in the budget.
“Yes,” he said. “[The] a whopping $3 billion.”
The announcement comes on the 21st anniversary of the attacks that brought down the Twin Towers and damaged the Pentagon, killing several thousand Americans.
Congress has been working to raise the funds to save the program.
The WTC health program, administered under the supervision of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, provides free medical treatment and surveillance for health-related problems related to the September 11 attacks.
On the 20th anniversary of last year’s attacks, the Justice Department acknowledged that more people — both first responders and those who live and work in lower Manhattan — died at ground zero from health-related illnesses than from the actual terrorist attack.
The attack killed 2,996 people, while more than 3,300 also died from health problems.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/11/schumer-vows-to-seek-3b-for-troubled-ground-zero-health-fund/ Schumer vows to demand $3 billion for ailing Ground Zero health fund