Lawmakers call on Mulvaney to ‘leave 9/11 health care program alone’

Source: Talk Media News

By Celia Raney

WASHINGTON — Members of the House of Representatives from New York and supporters of 9/11 victims are calling on Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to “leave the 9/11 health care program alone,” demanding he remove it from the 2019 proposed budget.

“Contained in [President Donald Trump’s] proposed budget for 2019 is a horribly-thought out and dangerous proposal, and a change to the management and administration to the World Trade Center Health Program,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said at a news conference Monday.

The proposal would separate the WTCHP from the direction of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIASH).

The change, believed by lawmakers to be Mulvaney’s idea, would cause the program to lose the “expertise of NIASH management and the knowledge base the institute has gained for more than a decade of experience running the program,” Maloney said, adding there was no information on how the proposed move would take place.

The program was first enacted in 2010 and reauthorized in 2015. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) argued at the same news conference that the program has been “100 percent effective” in its five years of practice.

“Since I’ve been in Congress… there’s probably never been a federal program, a program enacted at the federal level, that has gone through with no complaints, no criticism, no allegations of mismanagement, no allegations of scandal, no allegations of being ineffective,” King said.

The proposal is said to have no input from victims of 9/11, the organizations involved or congressional representatives from New York.

Comedian and political commentator Jon Stewart, a frequent advocate for 9/11 victims, also appeared at the news conference and blasted the proposal. “It is a special kind of incompetence that takes a program that was fought for for 15 years by firefighters, police officers, first responders, veterans and survivors that has finally come to fruition and is finally working well; it’s a special kind of incompetence to want to turn that upside down,” he said.

New York representatives wrote a letter to the OMB last month and have reached out to mutual friends of Mulvaney in an effort to schedule a meeting with him but have not received a response, Maloney said.

Maloney said she hopes he will “listen and respond appropriately and put the program back where it belongs.”

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