Joined: Mar 17, 2005
Location: Staten Island
|Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 9:42 pm Post subject: Maloney Testifies on 9/11 Health Before NYC City Council
From Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:00 am to Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:59 am (included)
|For Immediate Release Contact: Joe Soldevere, (212) 860-0606
February 6, 2008
Rep. Maloney Testifies on 9/11 Health
Before New York City Council
-Council to Consider Resolution Supporting
9/11 Health & Compensation Act-
NEW YORK - Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) testified today at a joint hearing of the New York City Council Committees on Lower Manhattan Redevelopment and Civil Service regarding Council Resolution 1058, which calls upon Congress to pass H.R. 3543, the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Rep. Maloney authored H.R. 3543 with Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Vito Fossella (R-NY).
Todays hearing could not have come at a more crucial time. On 9/11 health care, Congress and the Bush Administration are moving in fundamentally different directions, Rep. Maloney said. In the weeks ahead, the New York delegation will be working to ensure that lower Manhattan residents, workers, and students get the care they need and that the 9/11 health crisis will not be yet another problem President Bush hands to his successor. I urge you to lend your votes in favor of this resolution, and to lend your voices in support of proper care for the thousands of Americans whose lives and health were shattered by the terrorist attacks on our country.
The text of Rep. Maloneys prepared remarks follows:
Good morning. First and foremost, Id like to express my gratitude to the City Council for your strong support for our bill and for the thousands of Americans who are suffering as a result of terrorist attacks on our country. I particularly appreciate the leadership of Speaker Quinn and Chairmen Gerson and Addabbo in addressing the growing health crisis caused by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. The 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which I introduced with my colleagues Jerrold Nadler and Vito Fossella, both of whom are here today, is gaining momentum in Congress and with the City Council's help, we are hopeful that it will pass this year.
Todays hearing could not have come at a more crucial time. On 9/11 health care, Congress and the Bush Administration are moving in fundamentally different directions. Just this week, the president released a budget that proposes a 77% funding cut for 9/11 health clinics, including the six Centers of Excellence here in the New York City area. Additionally, last year, Congress for the first time made lower Manhattan residents, workers and students who were exposed to Ground Zero toxins eligible for federally-funded care, but the president's budget for this year would cut them out entirely.
In the weeks ahead, the New York delegation will be working to ensure that this hardhearted and wrongheaded funding cut is dead on arrival; that lower Manhattan residents, workers, and students get the care they need; and that the 9/11 health crisis will not be yet another problem President Bush hands to his successor.
I believe that the health impact of the 9/11 attacks is one of the most important issues facing our city and our nation. The collapse of the World Trade Center towers took nearly three thousand lives in an instant and released a massive cloud of asbestos, pulverized concrete, and other poisons. These toxins have sickened thousands and have killed at least eight but likely dozens more Americans in the years since 9/11.
In all, more than 70,000 Americans reported to the World Trade Center Health Registry that they were near Ground Zero in the days following 9/11 and now have serious concerns about their health. This is a health emergency on a national scale and it requires a strong federal response. My goal, and that of my colleagues in the New York Congressional delegation, is simple: medical monitoring for everyone exposed to the toxins of Ground Zero and treatment for anyone who is sick as a result. It is truly the least our great nation can do.
That's why Congressmen Nadler and Fossella and I introduced the bipartisan James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which would ensure that everyone exposed to Ground Zero toxins has a right to be medically monitored and that anyone who is sick as a result has a right to treatment. This legislation builds on the expertise of the Centers of Excellence, which are currently providing high-quality care to thousands of responders and ensuring on-going data collection and analysis. Expanding care to the entire exposed community, the bill also guarantees care for area residents, workers, and schoolchildren as well as the thousands of people who came from across the country to assist with the recovery and clean-up efforts. Finally, the bill provides compensation for economic damages and loss by reopening the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund.
There are some in Washington who would turn a blind eye to the growing health crisis caused by the 9/11 attacks. The resolution you are considering today shows that the members of this Council and the people of this great city understand that America must repay its debt to the men and women who ran towards danger on a September morning more than six years ago. This resolution also reflects the noble belief that America must not allow the victims of a terrible tragedy to suffer without help.
Once again, I thank you for your leadership and for convening todays hearing. I urge you to lend your votes in favor of this resolution, and to lend your voices in support of proper care for the thousands of Americans whose lives and health were shattered by the terrorist attacks on our country. Thank you.