STATEN ISLAND, NY — U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Sen. Majority Leader Charles Schumer announced Friday that they have secured $1 billion in funding for the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP), which provides health benefits to first responders and survivors of September 11. .
“This $1 billion in funding will ensure that more than 120,000 first responders and 9/11 survivors can continue to receive medical treatment and monitoring,” Gillibrand said. “I am grateful to Majority Leader Schumer and all of the 9/11 first responders and advocates for their help in making this happen. There is more work to be done in the future and I look forward to working across the board and with advocates to strengthen this program.”
Without this crucial funding — provided by Gillibrand’s amendment to the end-of-year spending bill that Schumer helped negotiate — WTCHP would have to begin denying new enrollments and cutting services to patients and survivors by starting in October 2024. This funding will now enable the program to continue providing uninterrupted service until at least 2027.
“While last-minute efforts in the Senate are better than nothing, we cannot continue to make our sick first responders travel to Washington year after year to plead for the health care they deserve,” said Congresswoman Nicole Maliotakis. “Passing a $1.7 trillion package that increases spending by $119 billion and sends a ton of money overseas, but fails to fill the $3 billion gap for our 9/11 first responders, is a misplacement of priorities. As a co-sponsor of bipartisan HR 4965, I intend to continue to fight to provide the full funding that Zadroga the need for our 9/11 heroes and nothing less.”
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