Thursday, September 27, 2012

Zadroga Bill 9/11 funds to feel slash of Obama budget cuts

Detective James Zadroga was a NY police detective who died from all the garbage he breathed on 9/11 and the aftermath.  His name became synonymous with the ongoing fight waged by our First Responders to get justice in the form of compensation for the lingering killer diseases that continue to strike down our 9/11 First Responders. I have written about these well-documented battles here, here, and here, for starters.

After years of government refusal to recognise the stunningly obvious connection to the illnesses of our 9/11 First Responders, and after years of politicians refusing to agree to some measure of monetary compensation for our dying First Responders and their families, agreements were finally reached, and mechanisms set in place. 

All good, right?  Wrong. 

Now comes word that the funds allocated within the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act could be affected by the ongoing budget shenanigans..  I found this on Peter King's site:

NY pols vow to preserve Zadroga funds from cuts

September 21, 2012

Three New York congressmen vowed Thursday to try to preserve funds for 9/11 responders from being cut if Congress doesn't enact deficit-cutting measures by Jan. 2.

About $329 million in funds allocated in the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act could be cut automatically if Congress doesn't come up with other budget-cutting measures. That money is part of the $1.2 trillion to be chopped if Congress doesn't act.

"We're going to have to fight as hard as we can to keep this money," said Republican Peter King of Seaford, who joined Manhattan Democrats Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler in a statement issued Thursday.

The $1.2 trillion cuts in defense and domestic programs, known as sequestration, would begin by the end of this year unless Congress amends the Budget Control Act of 2012.

As part of a deal that raised the country's borrowing limit, the act, passed earlier this year, called for a super committee that was supposed to find up to $1.5 trillion in savings, or sequestration would be triggered. The committee failed to find such savings.

King, who voted for the bill, called it the "least worse alternative" they had at the time.
Nadler's spokesman, Ilan Kayetsky, said the congressman, who voted against the bill, would introduce legislation Friday to cancel sequestration.

Maloney, who also opposed sequestration, called the potential Zadroga Act cuts "yet another reason why lawmakers must join in a bipartisan fashion." But sources conceded there was little anyone could do now for the 9/11 funds, short of making sure the automatic cuts don't occur. "A specific legislative fix is unlikely," a congressional source said.

The possibility of cuts is a bitter pill for first responders who lobbied for years to get the $4.3 billion law passed and signed into law in January 2011.

"We're prepared to fight," said John Feal, founder of FealGood Foundation, a responder advocacy group. "We're not going to accept these cuts."(emphasis mine)

Truthfully, I have NO words for how much this disgusts me, which is why I am emphasising the words of others.

This is wrong, on oh so many levels and the Obama administration can add this to the long list of their budgetary shortcomings that they *should* be shamed of - if they were capable of shame at all, that is.

Please:  PAY ATTENTION, America...

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