Source: Queens Gazette: I On Politics
By John Toscano
Congress Member Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), author of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act and its reauthorization, addressed 9/11 survivors, first responders, and victims’ families on October 16 at a 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) Workshop at the Icahn School of Medicine. The event was hosted by Mount Sinai, 9/11 Health Watch and the 9/11 World Trade Center Health Program to help survivors and families navigate the VCF claims process. Maloney is currently sponsoring the Never Forget the Heroes Act (H.R. 7062), along with Congress Members Jerry Nadler (NY-10) and Peter King (NY-2), to fully fund and permanently reauthorize the VCF. The VCF is currently scheduled to expire at the end of 2020 and is facing a likely funding shortfall. Maloney was joined by VCF Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya and VCF staff experts.
Ahead of the event, Rep. Maloney released the following statement:
“When we were attacked on 9/11, thousands of firefighters, police officers, federal and local law enforcement officers, medical workers, construction workers, and other heroes selflessly rushed to Ground Zero to help. They spent months digging through the pile, bravely searching for remains, and inhaling dangerous, toxic air the entire time they were there. Due to this exposure, thousands of people have gotten sick and many more are still being diagnosed. It is for these heroes that we created the VCF so that not a single person who so selflessly stepped up in the wake of such a horrific attack would ever be left out in the cold, unable to take care of medical bills, themselves, or their families; and for the residents and area workers who were urged to return to Lower Manhattan and told the air was safe to breathe so that they too can get the help they need.
“This program is absolutely vital, which is why I am working with Congress Members Jerry Nadler (NY-10) and Peter King (NY-2) and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to make the VCF permanent and make sure it has the funding it needs to pay out all claims. Our bill was introduced last week and it has strong bipartisan support.”