House, Senate expected to vote on Zadroga Act renewal

Wednesday, December 16, 2015
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Dave Evans reports dozens of first responders testified about their illnesses stemming from their time at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Renewal of the Zadroga Act, legislation that provides health benefits for first responders who grew ill after the Sept. 11 attacks, has been included in the year-end tax and spending bill Congress is to consider later this week.

An $8.1 billion measure to renew the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act will be included in a $1.1 trillion year-end tax and spending bill Congress is expected to consider as early as Thursday.

Under the agreement, the Victim Compensation Fund will be fully funded through 2021, and the World Trade Center Health program will be renewed until 2090.

Ina statement, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio

Here's how members of New York's legislative delegation reacted to the possibility of a permanent, 75-year renewal of the World Trade Center Health Program and a five-year, fully-funded renewal of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund:

- "Our 9/11 first responders never should have been forced to travel to Washington and walk the halls of Congress - legislation this important shouldn't have needed so much convincing - but after dozens of trips, they finally got the job done." Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

- "This is the Christmas the 9/11 responders deserved: some peace of mind for each and every hero. Their selfless actions in response to that tragic day deserve a lifetime's worth of care and respect." Sen. Charles Schumer.

- "We will never fully repay the sacrifices our first responders made following September 11th. All they ask of us is that we never forget - and Congress is now sending a clear message back: we haven't." Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney.

- "We could not have reached this day without all your incredible hard work and tireless advocacy on behalf of our 9/11 heroes and survivors, and I am proud to stand with you today as my colleagues." Rep. Jerrold Nadler.

- "Passing the Zadroga bill was a long hard fight for the brave cops, firefighters and construction workers who put their lives and health on the line at Ground Zero. They deserve the very best medical care and treatment." Rep. Pete King.

- "This is right, this is good, and I'm incredibly proud to be a part of it." Rep. Dan Donovan.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.