U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler, and Peter King, authors of H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, released the following joint statement on the agreement reached today on the lawsuits filed by more than 10,500 workers who participated in rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero:
"The agreement reached today on the 9/11 settlement is a positive step for many ailing first responders -- but the problem isn't over. Nearly everyone agrees that the settlement does not provide adequate funding to fully compensate those who are injured among the more than 10,500 plaintiffs in this case, nor does it cover the tens of thousands of 9/11 responders and survivors who are injured but have not filed lawsuits."
"Through the efforts of Senators Gillibrand and Schumer, we are close to passing the Zadroga Act in the Senate and sending it to the President for his signature -- but we need the support of Senate Republicans. We thank Mayor Bloomberg for his efforts to lobby Senate Republicans last week, and we hope those efforts will bear fruit. We know that our Senators are working hard alongside the Mayor to pass this bill -- and we must get it done in the lame-duck session if the Zadroga Act is to have any realistic chance of becoming law."
The Zadroga Act would provide guaranteed health care and medical monitoring for those exposed to toxins released by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. The bill would also reopen the federal Victim Compensation Fund to provide economic relief to those harmed by the attacks. Those participating in the settlement are eligible for both health care and compensation under the Zadroga Act.
In late September, the U.S. House passed the Zadroga Act with a strong bipartisan majority. The Senate companion measure, S. 1334, was introduced by Senators Gillibrand, Schumer, Menendez, and Lautenberg in June 2009.