Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the 9/11 amendment which will fund the World Trade Health Center Program until 2029. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:
I want to thank my dear friend Senator Gillibrand for her work on this amendment, and for being such a fierce advocate for 9/11 responders and survivors.
I’d like to thank the many Republican cosponsors, including Senators Braun and Lummis for their support, Senator Wicker as well. I thank him, as well as thanking Leader McConnell.
This amendment is a huge step forward towards making sure the first responders and those injured on 9/11 are never left behind.
Before the smoke even cleared on 9/11 – before the rubble even quit burning – our first responders, firefighters, our police officers, EMTs, FBI agents, construction workers, were just running to danger, trying to do their job and save lives.
For their sacrifice, many first responders developed severe health complications from working in the aftermath of the attack, lifelong injuries, serious cancers. Many of them are no longer with us, some of them were friends of mine.
And 22 years later, people are still getting sick from the dust, the air, the poisons.
We created the World Trade Center Health Program so that 9/11 responders could afford necessary health care, but we can’t let funding for the program dry up. We cannot fail to properly care for those who answered the call of duty.
Our work is not done. Just as the first responders have been there for us and for America, we will continue fighting for them.
This will have funded $450 million to the World Trade Center Health Program, and another over $200 million for the military employees who rushed to danger at the Pentagon and in Shanksville. And it will be fully paid for.
It will also, for the first time, help those at the Pentagon and DOD. I hope all my colleagues can have unanimous and broad support for this amendment.