U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) proudly voted with the House majority today in favor of the James Zadroga 9-11 Health and Compensation Act, which passed with a vote of 268 to 160. The legislation will now be sent to the Senate for its consideration.
"I am so proud to be standing here to support our heroes from 9-11," said Pascrell, an original member of the House Homeland Security Committee, on the House floor today. "Nine years ago 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. Nine years is too long to wait and watch as our first responders from that day continue to suffer physically and emotionally. But its not too late to do the right thing."
Named for James Zadroga, a 34-year-old police officer who died from respiratory diseases contracted at Ground Zero, the bill provides medical monitoring and treatment to the over 71,000 people exposed to harmful toxins and dust on the scene.
Det. Zadroga was just one of the many police officers, firefighters and emergency personnel who responded at the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001 and were exposed to a massive, highly toxic plume of dust from the collapse of the Twin Towers. In many cases, this exposure resulted in serious respiratory illnesses and related conditions.
H.R. 847 provides funding for a health program to monitor and treat responders and community residents for health conditions related to the terrorist attacks. It also reopens the September 11, 2001 Victim Compensation Fund to provide monetary compensation for those physically injured by the attacks or by response activities and debris removal.
The bill also reopens the September 11, 2011 Victim Compensation Fund to provide monetary compensation for those physically injured by the attacks or by response activities and debris removal. It is fully paid-for over the next 10 years by a provision preventing foreign multinational firms from avoiding United States taxes by routing income through other haven countries.
The bill is supported by a long list of groups, including the International Association of Firefighters, National Association of Police Organizations, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Associated General Contractors, Associated Builders and Contractors, and American Council of Engineering Companies.