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Mr. PASCRELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
My friends from both sides of the aisle, many people responded on 9/11, a lot of folks from New Jersey. They were put into a situation which they did not ask for, did not pray for. These brave people deserve to be responded to. If you forget them, if you put them aside, we will have done a bad, bad thing here in the Congress of the United States.
I ask you, I plead with you, please recognize--two studies from two major hospitals in New Jersey indicate how severe that situation is. These people need your help, whether they were contractors, workers, firemen, or policemen. I ask you to respond.
Mr. Speaker, I am so proud to be standing here to support our heroes from 9/11.
While the entire nation watched with sorrow for those we lost and tried to heal emotionally after that day--there were only a few brave souls who went back to that rubble day-after-day and endured the physical and mental strain of clearing the remains of the towers in lower Manhattan.
On that day, we gave those brave souls the ``all clear'' sign, but we now know that we were exposing those men and women to a poisonous dust that would stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Today--more than four and a half years after the death of NYPD Det. James Zadroga--I am here to say that we need to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act right away because we are losing these brave souls as we speak.
We need this bill because it will finally provide comprehensive health care and compensation for thousands of our ailing 9/11 heroes--and it does so while being fully paid for by closing foreign tax shelters.
This isn't just a bill for New York and New Jersey--This is a bill for all Americans.
We know that people from all 50 States were in lower Manhattan on or after 9/11 and now are facing serious health concerns--there are 435 congressional districts and 431 of them are represented by the names of constituents on the World Trade Center Health Registry.
After 9/11, we all said we would be there for these brave first responders--but today if we vote against this bill we are asking those same brave individuals to come to Washington, year after year to fight for their health benefits--do we expect them to come here ten years from now?
By then, it may be too late for many of these men and women who responded to their Nation's call of duty.
I urge all my colleagues to support the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
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