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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 1:39 pm    Post subject: CLINTON PRESS RELEASE
From Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:00 am to Wed Dec 21, 2005 2:59 am (included)
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December 19, 2005


Israel Klein (Schumer), 202-224-7433

Clinton Press Office, 202-224-2243


Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles E. Schumer today announced that the joint House and Senate Conference Committee has restored $125 million for injured 9/11 workers in the FY06 Defense Department Appropriations bill. The $125 million had been appropriated as part of the emergency 9/11 recovery aid, but President Bush proposed to take it back in his FY06 budget.

“This was money promised to New York by President Bush and never should have been taken away,” said Senator Schumer. “It is good that it is being restored - it was the only right thing to do.”

“Today we realize a great victory in our fight to secure $125 million previously appropriated to New York as a result of the September 11th attacks. I am proud to have worked with my colleagues in the New York delegation to get this accomplished, and I commend everyone from New York who came to Washington, D.C. to fight for this critical funding. Thankfully, through our joint efforts, the Appropriations Committee restored the money so that it can be made available for worker’s compensation claims and to address the ongoing medical and mental health needs of our firefighters, police officers, first responders, workers, and others who volunteered at Ground Zero and Fresh Kills. I am glad that we won this struggle to help New York’s heroes who put their health and lives on the line in the days, weeks and months after September 11th,” said Senator Clinton.

Senators Clinton and Schumer have worked on all fronts to restore this critical funding, along with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Congressman Vito Fossella and others in the New York delegation. Throughout this fight, Senators Clinton and Schumer have noted the need to restore the funding for three key reasons. First, there has never been a study of how much aid will be needed to pay current recipients of 9/11 workers compensation. Second, there has been no analysis of what resources will be needed for future payments to hundreds of 9/11 claims that are still pending. Medical research shows that respiratory illness from 9/11 can be long-term and debilitating over time. If even a fraction of pending claims are approved in the months ahead, annual 9/11 workers compensation payments could reach multiple millions of dollars.

Third, it is important that the broader purpose of supporting the health and recovery of 9/11 responders continues to be a priority. More than half of some 12,000 responders screened through a national medical monitoring program coordinated by the Mount Sinai Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine are estimated to still experience 9/11 related illnesses. That is why $75 million of the aid will be used to support medical and mental health monitoring and treatment for 9/11 responders who do not have health insurance or adequate coverage for 9/11 injuries. These funds could be used to extend the national World Trade Center medical monitoring and health effects treatment programs past the current five years of funding to track and adequately diagnose long-term illness from the disaster.

The bill has been approved by the House. The bill must also be approved by the Senate before being sent to the President and signed into law.
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