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Compensation for 9/11 First Responders to Be Revisited in Congress

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Andrea Hayley
Epoch Times
Sept 11, 2010

NEW YORK—With the nine-year commemoration of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center approaching on Saturday, thousands of victims, many of whom risked their lives to save others, are speaking out and saying that the government has abandoned them in their time of need.

Over 100 politicians and labor leaders gathered Wednesday in support of H.R. 847—the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, named for the NYPD detective and first responder on the scene who subsequently died from repertory ailments.

The Zadroga Act, is up for a vote when Congress reconvenes Sept. 14. The legislation will provide health care to 9/11 victims in need, facilitate health status monitoring of those affected by the disaster, and most importantly for claimants, reopen the Victims Compensation Fund (VCF), which closed in 2003.

“For nine long years this government has failed to pay the debt that is owed to these people,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said.

Many people blame the government for failing to warn the first responders of dangers associated with working at ground zero.

Over 10,000 victims with health-related complaints have been litigating against the government for over seven years.

Just seven days after the disaster, Christine Todd Whitman of the Environmental Protection Agency, held a press conference assuring workers that health precautions were not needed.

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“Given the scope of the tragedy from last week, I am glad to reassure the people of New York … that their air is safe to breathe and the water is safe to drink,” she had said in a press release dated Sept. 18, 2001.

New York’s entire Congressional delegation has come out in support of the Zadroga Act.

Congressman Peter King says that he cannot go anywhere, not even to a little league game, without encountering somebody with the 9/11 cough.

“There are too many firefighters, police officers, construction workers, residents … who are walking around with pulverized glass in their lungs, who have lost their ability to breath, who are coming down with the most brutal blood disorders, cancers,” King said.

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This article was posted: Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 5:40 am

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