U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler, and Peter King, authors of H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, today released a letter signed by a bipartisan group of 29 House members urging Senate leaders to allow the Zadroga Act to proceed to a vote in the Senate without a filibuster.
"9/11 first responders didn't engage in endless debate before coming to the aid of our country. The least that 9/11 responders and survivors deserve is an up-or-down vote to aid them in their time of need," said Maloney. "I urge our friends in the Senate to allow a vote on this patriotic and long-overdue bill."
"If there were ever a moment for the U.S. Senate to prove its mettle and avoid the undemocratic insult of the filibuster, that time is now," said Nadler. "9/11 responders and survivors -- and the millions of Americans who support them -- are now looking to the Senate to step up and allow a vote on the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. This legislation must not be bogged down any further by partisanship, politics or foot-dragging."
"We've come so far in our fight to provide care for the first responders who have fallen ill from their selfless efforts to help others on 9/11," said King. "Passing the James Zadroga Act in the Senate is the final hurdle. I urge the Senate to do the right thing and pass this bill."
A full copy of the lawmakers' letter follows.
November 30, 2010
The Honorable Harry Reid The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader Minority Leader
United States Senate United States Senate
522 Hart Senate Office Bldg 361-A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20510
Dear Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell:
We write to urge you in the limited time remaining this session to bring H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, to a vote in the Senate and allow debate to proceed without a filibuster. The bill would provide the thousands of responders and survivors who are sick because of exposure to the toxins of Ground Zero with medical monitoring, treatment, and compensation. As you know, on September 29 the bill passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support by a vote of 268-160. President Obama has already said he would sign the bill if it reaches his desk. All that is left is for the Senate to pass H.R. 847 so that the bill can be signed into law.
On November 11, 2001, two months after the terrorist attacks and just a few blocks from the site of the Twin Towers, then President George W. Bush addressed the U.N. General Assembly, telling the world, "Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children." Nine years have passed since President Bush spoke these words. We ask that the responders and survivors of 9/11 who came to the aid of our country in a time of need and now are sick be remembered and be honored. They should not have to wait any longer for Congress to act.
As you conclude this session of Congress, we ask to you remember the heroes of September 11th, those responders and survivors for whom the events of that day have forever stripped them of their health and wellbeing.
CAROLYN B. MALONEY
PETER T. KING
NITA M. LOWEY
MAURICE D. HINCHEY
TIMOTHY H. BISHOP
GARY L. ACKERMAN
ELIOT L. ENGEL
JOSÉ E. SERRANO
YVETTE D. CLARKE
MICHAEL E. MCMAHON
LOUISE M. SLAUGHTER
GREGORY W. MEEKS
RAÚL M. GRIJALVA
EDWARD J. MARKEY
Members of Congress