June 11, 2015 – Dozens of IAFF members from the Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) Local 94 and Uniformed Fire Officers Association (UFOA) Local 854 stormed Capitol Hill today to urge Congress to reauthorize the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The fire fighters and fire officers arrived by bus to attend a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Health specifically on H.R. 1786, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act. Following the hearing, Local 94 and Local 854 members met with New York and New Jersey members of Congress.
H.R. 1786 was introduced by Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Peter King (R-NY) and Jerry Nadler (D-NY) earlier this year. The bill has quickly gained the support of 82 bipartisan cosponsors, and the bill’s broad support was evident at today’s hearing. Members from both sides of the aisle were quick to offer their support for the bill, as well as and praise the first responders in attendance.
The bill would reauthorize the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11 Victims Compensation Fund, which provide health monitoring, treatment and compensation for 9/11 responders and survivors in all 50 states. Unless the programs are reauthorized by Congress, they will begin to expire in October 2015.
General President Harold Schaitberger submitted a statement to the Subcommittee urging them to advance the Zadroga Reauthorization Act.
“The survivors of 9/11 should not have to worry every few years that their health care might vanish,” said Schaitberger. “They should not have to worry about how they would support their families were they to become ill. They should not have to worry about partisan politics in Washington, DC when their lives and livelihoods are on the line.”
The hearing ended on a hopeful note; Subcommittee Chair Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA) predicted that the Zadroga Reauthorization Act would soon pass the Subcommittee and Committee on its way to consideration by the full U.S. House of Representatives.
Read President Schaitberger’s Zadroga_Testimony to the Subcommittee on Health in its entirety.