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Congressman Engel: Congress Has a Moral Obligation to Permanently Renew the Zadroga Act

Congressman Engel: Congress Has a Moral Obligation to Permanently Renew the Zadroga Act

WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today called the latest Republican proposal to extend the Zadroga Act for five years “insufficient,” and called for a permanent reauthorization of the Act with full and comprehensive funding.  

"The time for half measures and stop gaps is long over; Congress needs to permanently reauthorize the Zadroga Act right now," Congressman Engel said. "This past September, Yonkers Police Officer Lt. Roy McLaughlin died from health complications related to his time aiding the cleanup after 9/11. We will never forget those who gave their lives saving others. And we must never forget the hundreds of thousands of first responders and volunteers who continue to suffer from 9/11 related health issues. Their debilitating conditions are not going away, and Congress has a moral obligation to help for as long as those who responded suffer from the adverse health effects. We need to finally make a total commitment to helping these incredible men and women, and the only way to do that is to make permanent and fully fund 9/11 health programs."

Following a nearly decade long fight to ensure the first responders who answered the call on September 11, 2001 were provided the health care and financial compensation they deserved, Congress passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in 2010. Now, the bill’s two most critical programs—the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund—are set to expire barring Congressional action. Congressman Engel has continually called for a permanent extension of the Zadroga Act.