Fund the 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act of 2023
The following letter was sent to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries on September 11, 2023.
Dear Leader Schumer, Speaker McCarthy and Minority Leaders McConnell and Jeffries:
As you work to finalize the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024, the undersigned groups urge you to include Sec. 1087 from the Senate bill, which is a bipartisan provision on the 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act of 2023 that was approved by the Senate in their deliberations on the NDAA by an overwhelming vote of 94 to 4.
This scaled down provision provides $444 million to partially address the funding shortfall set for FY 2029 for the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP). It also provides $232 million to expand eligibility to the program to cover 9/11 responders at the Pentagon and Shanksville crash sites who were active-duty Department of Defense military or civilians, or other federal employees currently excluded from the program. This additional funding totaling $676 million is fully paid for through a reduction in administrative costs to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Tens of thousands of emergency workers, construction workers and brave public service workers of all kinds rushed to the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville crash site to search for survivors, recover the dead and begin the long process of cleanup and rebuilding in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks. Those months of dedicated work at Ground Zero going through the wreckage, often without proper protective equipment, exposed these workers as well as survivors from the community and lower Manhattan to a dangerous mix of toxic dust, debris and caustic fumes. As a result, many of these individuals have suffered from cancers, respiratory diseases and other health problems.
The WTCHP provides medical treatment and monitoring for approximately 124,000 9/11 responders and survivors who live in every state and 434 out of 435 congressional districts. The additional funding is needed because the WTCHP has seen a significant increase in enrollment of late, in part because cancers take time to develop and be diagnosed.
As a nation we have pledged to never forget those who died on that tragic day. We ask you to stand with those who showed selfless heroism in the rescue and recovery efforts by ensuring the WTCHP has the funds it needs. We urge you to include Sec. 1087 from the Senate-passed NDAA bill into the final NDAA bill.
American Federation of Government Employees
American Federation of Teachers
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA)
Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen
Communications Workers of America (CWA)
International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE)
International Chemical Workers Union Council (ICWUC)
International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE)
International Union of Operating Engineers
International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW)
Laborers’ International Union of North America
LIUNA’s Health and Safety Fund
New York State Public Employees Federation
Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS)
Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU-UFCW)
SMART – Transportation Division
Steamfitters Local 638
Transport Workers Union of America
United Steelworkers (USW)
United Steelworkers, District 4
Utility Workers Union of America