By now it is not news that Congress is broken. But even by their low standards this is a disgrace.
Yesterday, Congress allowed the Zadroga Act to expire. This actprovides health care for the tens of thousands of 9/11 first responders and area residents suffering from severe illnessesstemming from the 9/11 attacks. Thanks to Republican opposition in 2010, the law contained a 5-year “sunset”. Yesterday, Congress failed to renew the bill.
In the past, Congress used the sacrifices of these 9/11 first responders as pretext to send more Americans to fight ill-conceived wars. But when these same people get sick, these Congressmembers are willing to let them fend for themselves. Shame on them.
Fortunately, our local Congressmembers Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Nydia Velazquez and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand have been leading the fight. They’ve even been joined by a few Republicans, notably Rep. Peter King on Long Island.
But they’ve not yet been able to break through. Please join us in DEMANDING that Congress extend and make permanent the Zadroga Act immediately. Please call outgoing House Speaker John Boehner at (202) 225-0600, his likely successor Kevin McCarthy at (202) 225-2915, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at (202) 224-2541 to demand action today.
It is already a disgrace that Congress is forcing American heroes to crawl to them every 5 years for renewal of their life-saving care. Let’s not let them deny that basic request.
P.S. If you need any more convincing of why this is important, see this clip from our Downtown Manhattan neighbor Jon Stewart (perhaps the most important segment of his career).