Today, U.S. Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Peter T. King (R-NY), the House sponsors of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act, issued a statement pledging to fight against a cut in federal funds for the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) that would be triggered by the automatic sequestration of federal expenditures should Congress fail to enact deficit-cutting measures by January 2, 2013.
Although many federal health programs, including many of those benefiting veterans, were exempted from the sequestration-trigger, the 9/11 health program and the VCF were not, despite the fact that a dedicated funding stream to support the health program was enacted under the terms of the Zadroga legislation. The 7.6% spending reduction will cut the World Trade Center Health Program by approximately $118 million over the course of its current projected existence, and the VCF will be subject to cuts of about $211 million should Congress fail to strike an agreement before January.
The three Members of Congress issued the following joint statement:
"Considering how long it took Congress to act, we cannot allow those receiving the care they need and deserve from the Zadroga Act to be stranded by a sequester. This is one of the many compelling and urgent reasons why we pledge to work together in a bipartisan manner to prevent deficit cuts from jeopardizing these vital programs."