Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik joined the entire New York Republican Congressional delegation in calling on House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) to bring the bipartisan 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act (H.R. 4965) to a vote in committee.
H.R. 4965 would address a funding shortfall in the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) and ensure its adequate funding now and in the future. The bill was referred to the committee in August, but the Chairman has not yet brought the bill up for consideration.
“I’m calling on House Democrats to end any delay on moving forward legislation that will ensure 9/11 first responders do not lose health coverage,” Stefanik said. “These heroic men and women put their lives on the line during the September 11th terrorist attacks and live with the health consequences to this day, and we must ensure they have the protection they deserve. I have worked across the aisle to present a bipartisan solution to the impending health funding shortfall, but now Democrats are dragging their feet at moving this critical legislation forward. America must never forget the tragedy of 9/11, and Congress must never forget its debt of gratitude to these brave first responders.”
Currently, the WTCHP provides medical treatment and monitoring for over 100,000 responders and survivors from the World Trade Center and lower Manhattan, the Pentagon, and the Shanksville, PA crash site, who live in every state and in 434 out of 435 Congressional Districts.
The lawmakers wrote in part, "While Congress extended the [World Trade Center Health Program] to 2090, the precipitous rise in medical costs and in cancer rates over the last three years has led the program to project a deficit in funding as soon as 2025. Furthermore, it is now being reported that, should Congress fail to act, the program will have to ratchet down spending and bar any new sick responders or survivors by October 2024. Let us be clear, if Congress does not quickly address this impending crisis, then the men and women who put their lives on the line and who survived the 9/11 terrorist attacks will lose health coverage to treat the physical and mental illnesses that they sustained from responding to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Thankfully, Congress has a solution to this problem in the 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act."
Stefanik joined Representatives Andrew Garbarino (NY-02), Lee Zeldin (NY-01), and Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), who led the letter, as well as Representatives John Katko (NY-24), Chris Jacobs (NY-27), Claudia Tenney (NY-22), Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Dan Meuser (R-PA), Dave Joyce (R-OH), and Rodney Davis (R-IL).
Read the full letter here.