Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that it be in order at any time to take from the Speaker's table the bill H.R. 847, with the Senate amendment thereto, and to consider in the House, without intervention of any point of order except those arising under clause 10 in rule XXI, a motion offered by the chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce or his designee that the House concur in the Senate amendment; that the Senate amendment be considered as read; that the motion be debatable for 30 minutes equally divided and controlled by the Chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce; and that the previous question be considered as ordered on the motion to final adoption without intervening motion.
Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New York?
There was no objection.
Madam Speaker, pursuant to the order of the House of today, I call up the bill (H.R. 847) to amend the Public Health Service Act to extend and improve protections and services to individuals directly impacted by the terrorist attack in New York City on September 11, 2001, and for other purposes, with the Senate amendment thereto, and I have a motion at the desk.
The Clerk read the title of the bill.
The Clerk will designate the Senate amendment.
The text of the Senate amendment is as follows:
Senate amendment: Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the following:
(a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010''. (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is as follows:Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
The Public Health Service Act is amended by adding at the end the following new title:
Section 402 of the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) is amended-- (1) in paragraph (6) by inserting ``, or debris removal, including under the World Trade Center Health Program established under section 3001 of the Public Health Service Act, and payments made pursuant to the settlement of a civil action described in section 405(c)(3)(C)(iii)'' after ``September 11, 2001''; (2) by inserting after paragraph (6) the following new paragraphs and redesignating subsequent paragraphs accordingly: ``(7) Contractor and subcontractor.--The term `contractor and subcontractor' means any contractor or subcontractor (at any tier of a subcontracting relationship), including any general contractor, construction manager, prime contractor, consultant, or any parent, subsidiary, associated or allied company, affiliated company, corporation, firm, organization, or joint venture thereof that participated in debris removal at any 9/11 crash site. Such term shall not include any entity, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, with a property interest in the World Trade Center, on September 11, 2001, whether fee simple, leasehold or easement, direct or indirect. ``(8) Debris removal.--The term `debris removal' means rescue and recovery efforts, removal of debris, cleanup, remediation, and response during the immediate aftermath of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001, with respect to a 9/11 crash site.''; (3) by inserting after paragraph (10), as so redesignated, the following new paragraph and redesignating the subsequent paragraphs accordingly: ``(11) Immediate aftermath.--The term `immediate aftermath' means any period beginning with the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001, and ending on May 30, 2002.''; and (4) by adding at the end the following new paragraph: ``(14) 9/11 crash site.--The term `9/11 crash site' means-- ``(A) the World Trade Center site, Pentagon site, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania site; ``(B) the buildings or portions of buildings that were destroyed as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001; ``(C) any area contiguous to a site of such crashes that the Special Master determines was sufficiently close to the site that there was a demonstrable risk of physical harm resulting from the impact of the aircraft or any subsequent fire, explosions, or building collapses (including the immediate area in which the impact occurred, fire occurred, portions of buildings fell, or debris fell upon and injured individuals); and ``(D) any area related to, or along, routes of debris removal, such as barges and Fresh Kills.''.
(a) Information on Losses Resulting From Debris Removal Included in Contents of Claim Form.--Section 405(a)(2)(B) of the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) is amended-- (1) in clause (i), by inserting ``, or debris removal during the immediate aftermath'' after ``September 11,
Section 407 of the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) is amended-- (1) by striking ``Not later than'' and inserting ``(a) In General.--Not later than''; and (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection: ``(b) Updated Regulations.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, the Special Master shall update the regulations promulgated under subsection (a) to the extent necessary to comply with the provisions of title II of such Act.''.
Section 408(a) of the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraphs: ``(4) Liability for certain claims.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, liability for all claims and actions (including claims or actions that have been previously resolved, that are currently pending, and that may be filed) for compensatory damages, contribution or indemnity, or any other form or type of relief, arising from or related to debris removal, against the City of New York, any entity (including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey) with a property interest in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 (whether fee simple, leasehold or easement, or direct or indirect) and any contractors and subcontractors, shall not be in an amount that exceeds the sum of the following, as may be applicable: ``(A) The amount of funds of the WTC Captive Insurance Company, including the cumulative interest. ``(B) The amount of all available insurance identified in schedule 2 of the WTC Captive Insurance Company insurance policy. ``(C) As it relates to the limitation of liability of the City of New York, the amount that is the greater of the City of New York's insurance coverage or $350,000,000. In determining the amount of the City's insurance coverage for purposes of the previous sentence, any amount described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) shall not be included. ``(D) As it relates to the limitation of liability of any entity, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, with a property interest in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 (whether fee simple, leasehold or easement, or direct or indirect), the amount of all available liability insurance coverage maintained by any such entity. ``(E) As it relates to the limitation of liability of any individual contractor or subcontractor, the amount of all available liability insurance coverage maintained by such contractor or subcontractor on September 11, 2001. ``(5) Priority of claims payments.--Payments to plaintiffs who obtain a settlement or judgment with respect to a claim or action to which paragraph (4) applies, shall be paid solely from the following funds in the following order, as may be applicable: ``(A) The funds described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (4). ``(B) If there are no funds available as described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (4), the funds described in subparagraph (C) of such paragraph. ``(C) If there are no funds available as described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (4), the funds described in subparagraph (D) of such paragraph. ``(D) If there are no funds available as described in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (D) of paragraph (4), the funds described in subparagraph (E) of such paragraph. ``(6) Declaratory judgment actions and direct action.--Any claimant to a claim or action to which paragraph (4) applies may, with respect to such claim or action, either file an action for a declaratory judgment for insurance coverage or bring a direct action against the insurance company involved, except that no such action for declaratory judgment or direct action may be commenced until after the funds available in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), and (D) of paragraph (5) have been exhausted consistent with the order described in such paragraph for payment.''.
Section 406 of the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act (49 U.S.C. 40101 note) is amended-- (1) in subsection (a), by striking ``Not later than'' and inserting ``Subject to the limitations under subsection (d), not later than''; (2) in subsection (b)-- (A) by inserting ``in the amounts provided under subsection (d)(1)'' after ``appropriations Acts''; and (B) by inserting ``subject to the limitations under subsection (d)'' before the period; and (3) by adding at the end the following new subsections: ``(d) Limitation.-- ``(1) In general.--The total amount of Federal funds paid for compensation under this title, with respect to claims filed on or after the date on which the regulations are updated under section 407(b), shall not exceed $2,775,000,000. Of such amounts, not to exceed $875,000,000 shall be available to pay such claims during the 5-year period beginning on such date. ``(2) Pro-ration and payment of remaining claims.-- ``(A) In general.--The Special Master shall ratably reduce the amount of compensation due claimants under this title in a manner to ensure, to the extent possible, that-- ``(i) all claimants who, before application of the limitation under the second sentence of paragraph (1), would have been determined to be entitled to a payment under this title during such 5-year period, receive a payment during such period; and ``(ii) the total amount of all such payments made during such 5-year period do not exceed the amount available under the second sentence of paragraph (1) to pay claims during such period. ``(B) Payment of remainder of claim amounts.--In any case in which the amount of a claim is ratably reduced pursuant to subparagraph (A), on or after the first day after the 5-year period described in paragraph (1), but in no event later than 1 year after such 5-year period, the Special Master shall pay to the claimant the amount that is equal to the difference between-- ``(i) the amount that the claimant would have been paid under this title during such period without regard to the limitation under the second sentence of paragraph (1) applicable to such period; and ``(ii) the amount the claimant was paid under this title during such period. ``(C) Termination.--Upon completion of all payments pursuant to this subsection, the Victim's Compensation Fund shall be permanently closed. ``(e) Attorney Fees.-- ``(1) In general.--Notwithstanding any contract, the representative of an individual may not charge, for services rendered in connection with the claim of an individual under this title, more than 10 percent of an award made under this title on such claim. ``(2) Limitation.-- ``(A) In general.--Except as provided in subparagraph (B), in the case of an individual who was charged a legal fee in connection with the settlement of a civil action described in section 405(c)(3)(C)(iii), the representative of the individual may not charge any amount for compensation for services rendered in connection with a claim filed under this title. ``(B) Exception.--If the legal fee charged in connection with the settlement of a civil action described in section 405(c)(3)(C)(iii) of an individual is less than 10 percent of the aggregate amount of compensation awarded to such individual through such settlement, the representative of such individual may charge an amount for compensation for services rendered to the extent that such amount charged is not more than-- ``(i) 10 percent of such aggregate amount through the settlement, minus ``(ii) the total amount of all legal fees charged for services rendered in connection with such settlement. ``(3) Discretion to lower fee.--In the event that the special master finds that the fee limit set by paragraph (1) or (2) provides excessive compensation for services rendered in connection with such claim, the Special Master may, in the discretion of the Special Master, award as reasonable compensation for services rendered an amount lesser than that permitted for in paragraph (1).''.
(a) Imposition of Tax.-- (1) In general.--Subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new chapter:
Subsections (a), (b), and (c) of section 402 of Public Law 111-230 are amended by striking ``2014'' each place that such appears and inserting ``2015''.
The budgetary effects of this Act, for the purpose of complying with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go-Act of 2010, shall be determined by reference to the latest statement titled ``Budgetary Effects of PAYGO Legislation'' for this Act, submitted for printing in the Congressional Record by the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, provided that such
The Clerk will report the motion.
The Clerk read as follows:
Mr. Pallone moves that the House concur in the Senate amendment to H.R. 847.
Pursuant to the order of the House of today, the motion shall be debatable for 30 minutes equally divided and controlled by the Chair and ranking minority Member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
The gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone) and the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Burgess) each will control 15 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey.
Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material in the Record.
Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New Jersey?
There was no objection.
Madam Speaker, I yield to myself such time as I may consume.
I rise in strong support of the Senate amendment to H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2019. Today, this body, for the third time, will vote on legislation to finally keep our promise and take care of the heroes of 9/11.
I would like to thank the bill's sponsors, Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler, as well as my colleagues from New York on the committee, Eliot Engel and Anthony Weiner, also, for their tireless work on behalf of this legislation.
Madam Speaker, this bill would establish the World Trade Center Health Program, a program to screen, monitor and treat eligible responders and survivors who are suffering from World Trade Center related diseases. It also reopens the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.
H.R. 847, as amended, costs $4.2 billion over 10 years. Of that amount, $1.5 billion will go to the health program, while $2.7 billion will go the VCF. Both programs are now limited to 5 years.
The amended bill before us today also changes how the two programs are paid for by a 2 percent fee on government procurement from foreign companies located in nongovernmental procurement, and a 1-year extension of H1-B and L-1 visa fees for outsourcing companies.
Madam Speaker, this bill has long been a huge priority for me and many of my colleagues in the House and the Senate. I urge my colleagues to pass the bill.
I reserve the balance of my time.
I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman's efforts in this regard. I would like to take a few moments and clear up some of the mischaracterizations that have occurred, unfortunately, around the debate of this bill as it has worked its way through both Houses.
There have been some who have claimed that my side, the Republicans, do not support providing treatment for 9/11 first responders, and that these first responders are currently going without treatment for the illnesses and injuries they suffered as a result of serving at the World Trade Center. Both of those claims are simply not true.
According to President Obama's administration's own Centers for Disease Control, the agency said, ``We will continue to provide monitoring and treatment services for mental and physical health conditions related to World Trade Center exposures for both responders and for eligible non-responders. The World Trade Center program is critical in meeting the ongoing and long-term specialty needs of individuals that were exposed to dust, smoke, debris, and psychological trauma from the World Trade Center attacks.''
As of September 30, 2009, the World Trade Center program had enrolled over 55,000 responders in its monitoring and treatment programs. This is in the CDC's budget justification for 2011.
At the Energy and Commerce Committee's markup of this legislation, Republicans offered an amendment that would authorize the program that is already providing treatment and monitoring benefits and authorized funding for the program at exactly the level that was requested by the President of the United States. That same amendment asked for real accountability to ensure that we knew how the tax dollars were being spent. Unfortunately, that amendment was defeated.
I am pleased that work in the Senate has yielded an amendment that will provide for increased accountability and increased transparency in how these funds are spent. H.R. 847 caps the number of people that can be enrolled in the program but it does not require those enrolled to verify their citizenship.
We offered an amendment that would require this program so that people in the country without benefit of Social Security numbers would not get benefits while Americans were being stuck on the waiting list. This amendment was defeated.
As with any government spending program, there should be limitations on who can participate. The government has limited resources, so the principal beneficiaries of the 9/11 health program should be the first responders. However, H.R. 847 provides more than just benefits to first responders; it also provides benefits to anyone who lives and works in New York City. Under this bill, even Wall Street millionaires could receive benefits with no cost to them, all done at the taxpayers' expense.
In fact, in the Committee on Energy and Commerce I offered an amendment that was rejected by the committee. I attempted to offer the amendment at Rules when this legislation was brought before the House before our adjournment in September, but I was thwarted in that. But it remains that we ought to ensure that Federal taxpayers would not have to pay for the health care of millionaires.
The bill passed by the Senate is an improvement over what passed in the House. There could have been further improvements to ensure our limited resources are being spent in the most efficient manner possible. But all in all, the improvements that have been accomplished over the last 24 hours are all to the good. This is an important piece of legislation. This is something that this Congress or some Congress should have passed in the last 8 years. And it is unconscionable that we are here today at the last hour of the 111th Congress with still this work pending. It's important to get this work done.
I reserve the balance of my time.
Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, the gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman).
I rise in strong support, Madam Speaker, of H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. I want to thank the chairman of the Health Subcommittee, Frank Pallone, as well as my colleagues from New York on the committee, Eliot Engel and Anthony Weiner, for their relentless work on behalf of this legislation, as well as Representatives Maloney and Nadler, and the whole New York City delegation, who were tireless in their support of this bill.
This is an important piece of legislation that will attempt to provide the services to first responders and community residents who developed illness as a result of their exposure to the massive toxic dust cloud that blanketed Lower Manhattan after the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. I strongly urge all Members to support this legislation.
H.R. 847, was reported by the Energy and Commerce Committee with bipartisan support on May 25 by a vote of 33-12.
The House passed H.R. 847 on September 29; the bill received bipartisan support from 268 Members.
The version of before us this afternoon is one that has been amended by the Senate in order to obtain bipartisan support in that Chamber.
Like the House-passed version, the Senate version is fully paid for and will not increase the deficit. It fully complies with all pay-go rules.
The World Trade Center Health Program currently provides services to first responders and community residents who developed illnesses as a result of their exposure to the massive toxic dust cloud that blanketed lower Manhattan after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
The current program is not authorized. The House-passed bill authorized the Health Program through FY 2019 at a federal funding level of $3.2 billion. The federal government will pay 90 percent of the cost, while New York City will pay 10 percent.
The Senate amendment reduces the authorization period to FY 2015 and federal funding to $1.5 billion. New York City would still be required to pay 10 percent of the costs.
The Senate amendment makes a number of other changes in the Health Program.
It prohibits the Secretary of HHS from using NIOSH to administer payments to Centers of Excellence and other participating providers.
It clarifies that Centers of Excellence delivering services to responders and community residents will have to provide claims-level data to the Health Program Administrator.
It clarifies the Centers of Excellence should be paid for the costs of carrying out the program that are not otherwise reimbursable, such as outreach, data collection, social services, and development of treatment protocols.
It authorizes the Program Administrator to contract with the VA to provide services to responders enrolled in the national program through its facilities, but only if the VA chooses to do so.
Finally, the Senate amendment directs the GAO to conduct studies on various aspects of the Health Program and to report to the Committees of jurisdiction prior to July 1, 2011. That is the date on which Secretary of HHS and the WTC Administrator are responsible for implementing the Health Program. In the likely event that the GAO is unable to complete all of its work by that date, the Program will nonetheless begin furnishing services to responders and survivors.
The Administration supports this bill for the same reason that all of us should: it is the right thing to do.
The first responders were there for us on 9-11. We should be there for them today.
I urge my colleagues to pass this bill and send it on to the President for signature.
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Cole).
I thank the gentleman from Texas for yielding.
Madam Speaker, long before New York City's first responders rushed to save their fellow Americans in the fire and the horror of 9/11, they came to help the people of Oklahoma City deal with the death and destruction stemming from the terrorist bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995. The people of Oklahoma have never forgotten the help that they received in their most difficult days from the first responders of New York City and their fellow first responders from all across North America.
When 9/11 occurred, Oklahoma's first responders were proud to join their fellow Americans and rush to the aid of a stricken New York City. Now it's our turn in this body to help all of those who answered the call of duty on 9/11. They risked themselves to save others and to help one of America's great cities deal with and recover from the devastation of the greatest terrorist attack in our history. It's time, as our greatest President said in an earlier era and in another context, ``to bind up the Nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and for his orphan.''
Madam Speaker, I urge the passage of H.R. 847, as amended.
Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to one of the sponsors of the bill who has worked tirelessly on this, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Nadler).
Madam Speaker, let me first thank everyone who has worked on this bill and say the Senate passed this bill a little while ago unanimously. The most conservative Senators, Senators Enzi and Coburn, supported it, and I hope we can do the same.
Nine years ago, Madam Speaker, the heroes of 9/11 ran into the buildings, they rushed into the burning buildings, and they worked in a toxic environment for weeks and months. They have suffered for that. They have suffered for their service to this country by getting sick, by dying, by being sick. It is now up to us to see that the United States honors its heroes, that the United States does not turn its back on those who served us.
When we pass this bill, we will answer the question of whether the United States honors its heroes, and whether the United States honors itself. Let us pass this bill, let us redeem the honor of the United States after all these years, let us show the world that the United States looks after its own. That's what this bill is. I urge everyone to support it.
Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Brady), a member of the Ways and Means Committee.
Madam Speaker, I too support the goal of ensuring that the brave men and women that acted as first responders at the World Trade Center attack are fairly treated and compensated. But I rise today to oppose the troubling provisions the majority has attached to pay for this bill.
This measure would impose a 2 percent tax on goods and services that are produced or provided in certain foreign countries from firms that are based in foreign countries that are not parties to certain treaties or international agreements. It sounds complicated. But some analysis suggests that a significant majority of this tax, at least two-thirds, if not more, would be raised by taxing contracts that support American troops stationed in the Afghan and Iraqi theaters. Even more incredible, this tax could apply to American companies that are providing goods and services to our troops through local subsidiaries. Levying additional taxes on companies that support American troops is both illogical and dangerous.
In addition, there is no reason that other countries wouldn't copy this tax and impose it on our U.S. companies that are competing to sell goods and services overseas. This would hurt our U.S. economic recovery efforts and efforts to boost U.S. sales abroad and create American jobs here at home. Moreover, I have real concerns that this excise tax could be subject to legal challenge at the World Trade Organization and may be inconsistent with our G-20 commitments to avoid imposing new protectionist measures.
Madam Speaker, I urge a ``no'' vote because of these provisions. Strangely, the proposed procurement tax doesn't include any of the exceptions included in our standard Buy America legislation, such as non-availability, unreasonable cost and inconsistency with the public interest. As a result, the bill would mandate a tax on the procurement of goods from a foreign producer even when U.S. goods aren't available.
In addition to this new tax, the bill would extend a tax on companies that have more than half their employees on certain specialized visas to work here in the United States. This tax raises independent concerns under our international obligations.
The time of the gentleman has expired.
I yield the gentleman an additional 30 seconds.
Finally, I would like to have printed in the Record a letter from 10 key business associations, including the Emergency Committee for American Trade and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that also oppose the use of these pay-for provisions.
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leaders Reid, Boehner, and McConnell: We are writing to urge you to remove from the proposed amended version of H.R. 847 the Title III revenue raisers related to international government procurement. First, its purported revenue raising benefits are highly questionable. Second, there is a high risk that it will undermine the international competitiveness of American companies and American workers. Title III would impose an excise tax on companies that are from foreign countries which are not members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) or similar procurement arrangements ostensibly for the purpose of helping finance health benefits for the valiant 9/ 11 first responders. In reality, the U.S. federal government is already prohibited from procuring from such countries, except under very limited conditions--when the good or service is not available in the United States or would cost an unreasonable amount or if the procurement is required for the national interest. Moreover, the amount of such procurement is generally regarded as relatively small compared to U.S. sales into the procurement markets of these countries. The procurement portions of this legislation would undermine U.S. efforts to succeed in the international economy by both inviting non-GPA countries to take reciprocal action against U.S. companies seeking to participate in their procurement markets and by opening the United States to retaliation for violating its WTO obligations. While U.S. companies certainly face significant and discriminatory procurement barriers in China, India, Brazil and other countries that are not part of the WTO procurement agreement, U.S. companies are still selling more into those government procurement markets than the United States is purchasing from those countries. As a result, there would more than likely be net loss for U.S. exports, U.S. companies and U.S. jobs if this provision became a model for foreign governments. Furthermore, the imposition of this discriminatory tax on foreign companies may also violate U.S. international commitments if implemented. If found to be contrary to U.S. WTO commitments, other countries could end up being authorized to retaliate directly against U.S. exports, further undermining U.S. opportunities overseas. For all of these reasons, we strongly urge you to remove the Title III procurement provisions from this legislation. Respectfully, American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI); Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM); Business Roundtable; Emergency Committee for American Trade (ECAT); National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC); National Retail Federation (NRF); Organization for International Investment (OFII); TechAmerica; United States Council for International Business (USCIB); U.S. Chamber of Commerce; U.S.-China Business Council.
Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the Speaker of the House, who has done so much to make this bill possible.
Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding. I rise to briefly congratulate and thank the Members of the New York delegation and others who helped bring this legislation to the floor in a strong bipartisan way: Congresswoman Maloney, Congressman Nadler, Congressman King. Thank you. We thank you for giving us the opportunity to say ``thank you'' in a real way to our first responders, to our firefighters, to those who rushed in without question to rescue their fellow Americans, and people from all over the country as a matter of fact.
There is an exhilaration, Madam Speaker, that you see in the Chamber, because right now we know that any discussion we have ever had about 9/11 has been a discussion where we have entered holy and sacred ground, where people lost their lives. Fewer did because others were willing to risk theirs. For over 9 years we have been trying to redress the grievance that we have of people not having the health benefits and the recognition of their service, their sacrifice, and their courage.
Today Mr. King, Congresswoman Maloney, Congressman Nadler--I should say Congressman King, Chairman King to be--and the leadership of this House and of the United States Senate, and I thank Senator Gillibrand and Senator Schumer as well as Senator Reid and the Republican leadership in the Senate for affording us this opportunity to extend our patriotic appreciation to those whose love of our country, whose care and commitment to their fellow person, who unquestionably made sacrifices, and now, almost 9\1/2\ years later, more than 9 years later we finally are doing the right thing for them.
Every day our firefighters, our police officers, our first responders leave their homes, willing to risk their lives. Little did they know on that day many of them would not return home. How can we ever repay their sacrifice and their courage?
So, today we do so, certainly not enough, but as a token of our appreciation for what they have done to strengthen our country.
Again, I thank all of those who made this important legislation possible.
May I inquire as to how much time remains?
The gentleman from Texas has 7\1/2\ minutes remaining, and the gentleman from New Jersey has 10\1/2\ minutes remaining.
I yield myself 30 seconds.
Madam Speaker, Congressman Brady articulated very well some of the concerns he has with the pay-for that is in this bill, raising new revenues through tariffs, and the possibility of retaliatory efforts by other countries.
I would just point out, in section 4002 of the recently passed health care law last March, there is a section that calls for a Public Health and Wellness Trust Fund. The Secretary of Health and Human Services has $15 billion in a slush fund in ObamaCare. This money could have been easily used to pay for this legislation. It could have been done last April, and we wouldn't be here at the last minute trying to scrounge for capital to pay these funds.
Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Maloney), who is the prime sponsor of the legislation and has worked so hard on this bill.
(Mrs. MALONEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)
I thank all of my colleagues, especially the New York delegation and the Speaker and Leader Hoyer.
Today, Congress repays a long overdue debt and answers the emergency calls of our ailing 9/11 first responders and survivors. This bill will save lives. It has taken too long, but help finally is here for the thousands of Americans who are suffering because of 9/11.
Our bill will give support and hope to more than 36,000 Americans who are ailing because of the attacks on our Nation. It also says to future generations that if you are harmed in the service of our country, you will be taken care of.
I couldn't be more proud of everyone who fought like hell to pass this bill, our Senators Gillibrand and Schumer, my good friends and coauthors Nadler and King, the 9/11 responders and survivors who are here with us, and the thousands of their brothers and sisters who could not be. John Feal, you have been a warrior for this bill. Thank you.
Just after the attacks, this body came together. With this bill, we put in law that we will never forget and do whatever it takes.
Madam Speaker, today, I proudly rise to support the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Passing this bill and getting it to the President's desk will truly be a Christmas miracle.
When Jerry Nadler and I first introduced a 9/11 bill, we never would have thought it could take 7 years or that it could be the last legislative item out the door. It should never have taken so long.
A TV commentator recently made a good point when he said that Pearl Harbor was not just a Hawaii issue and neither should caring for the victims of 9/11 be a New York issue. The Twin Towers were attacked as a symbol of our Nation and the sick and injured are not just from New York. After the attacks, at least 10,000 brave men and women came from all 50 states and 428 of 435 Congressional districts.
I thank my colleagues from across the country for staying to complete the last remaining gap in America's response to 9/11. Our bill will give support and hope to the more than 36,000 Americans who are ailing because of the attacks on our Nation, and it also says to future generations that if you are harmed in the service of America, you will be taken care of.
I especially thank my good friends and co-authors Jerry Nadler and Peter King, the entire New York Delegation, and Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer, who all helped pass this bill in September and are working on it today. I thank Senators Gillibrand and Schumer for tireless efforts to get this bill done.
This long-overdue legislation will provide health care and financial compensation to the responders and survivors who are sick from exposure to toxins at Ground Zero. The cost of the bill has been cut almost in half to $4.3 billion from $7.4 billion. The Victim Compensation Fund will be funded for 5 years at $2.8 billion and the health programs will be fully funded for 5 years at $1.5 billion. I thank Members of the other body for coming to this bipartisan compromise.
The offset has been entirely replaced with two other offsets and in addition to fully funding this bill, the procurement payfor will put an estimated $450 million in extra revenue toward the deficit.
We are reminded this holiday season of the importance of giving. But today I ask my colleagues to remember all that the heroes of 9/11 have already given. These individuals rushed to the site of immeasurable danger and first gave their time, and later are giving up their health, and in some cases their lives.
Nine long years have passed since the attacks. It was never the intention of the bill's authors to make this a partisan issue and I regret that it has become wrapped in party politics.
I hope that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle can come together, just as we stood together on the steps of the Capitol the evening of September 11, 2001, to show our gratitude to the responders and survivors who have given so much to our country.
There could be no better gift to America this holiday season than helping save the lives of those who came to the aid of our Nation in a time of war.
I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Engel) for the purpose of a unanimous consent request.
(Mr. ENGEL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
I rise in strong support of this bill. This is a fitting way to end the 111th Congress. This is the proudest moment I have had in Congress in 22 years. I believe that our hard work paid off, all of us together on the Health Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
I urge my colleagues to support the bill.
Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health Compensation Act. As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee I was proud to help shepherd this bill through the committee process and am proud to speak in support of this legislation yet again on the House floor this year.
Two days ago, I joined New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, and other members of the New York delegation, and first responders to urge swift passage of this bill in the Senate.
Madam speaker, it is shameful that we are approaching the 10-year anniversary of 9-11 next year and this bill still has not reached the President for his signature.
Now I am here again today to urge my colleagues to vote in favor of the package that we are considering today, which rectifies some of the concerns that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have expressed.
This is not a partisan issue, and the package that we consider today reflects that.
People from all over the country joined to help after the attack without concern for their health or wellbeing. Now it is their country's time to step-up in their time of need. Victims of 9-11 continue to suffer from crippling physical ailments. They are dying and have been ignored for almost a decade. The House noticed, once already this year. I am hopeful that we can send a bill to the Senate that will pass.
I look forward to casting my vote in support of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health Compensation Act and sending it back to the Senate.
I am proud of the role that we played on the Health Subcommittee and the Energy and Commerce with our hearings and markups in moving this bill through. This is not a New York issue; this is an American Issue. First responders came from all parts of the country. The Federal Government falsely told everyone it was safe to return and it wasn't.
Today we say thank you to our first responders--it is a fitting way to end the 111th Congress.
I yield to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Crowley) for the purpose of a unanimous consent request.
(Mr. CROWLEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Madam Speaker, on September 11, my cousin, John Moran, was at Tower Two of the World Trade Center. He said, ``Let me off here. I want to try and make a difference.''
We have made a difference today in the lives of the people we're saving.
Today, I rise as the cousin of Battalion Chief John Moran.
My cousin, along with almost 3,000 others, died on September 11,
His last known words were to the driver of the New York City Fire Department vehicle. As he was dropped off at World Trade Center Tower 2, John said, `Let me off here. I am going to try to make a difference.'
Nothing can replace the loss of my cousin or the thousands of others who were killed that day. Nothing can replace the loss of those who have perished since.
But, today we can make proud his memory and the memory of all those who served on September 11th and the days following.
Enactment of the James Zadroga 9-11 Health and Compensation Act fulfills a commitment to those who served our Nation honorably, tirelessly and without pause.
Today, I am proud to stand before my colleagues as the cousin of Battalion Chief John Moran, and I am proud, in the words of John, to `make a difference' for the many heroes who have suffered long enough because of their service to our great country.
A Member asking to insert remarks may include a simple declaration of sentiment toward the question under debate but should not embellish the request with extended oratory.
I yield to the gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Slaughter) for the purpose of a unanimous consent request.
(Ms. SLAUGHTER asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)
Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of this bill. A lot of us are going to sleep a lot better now knowing that this bill has been passed.
Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Rangel) for the purpose of a unanimous consent request.
(Mr. RANGEL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
All of us from the City of New York and around the Nation are so proud to be a Member of this body.
The Chair will repeat that a Member asking to insert remarks may include a simple declaration of sentiment toward the question under debate but should not embellish the request with extended oratory.
I yield to the gentleman from New York (Mr. McMahon) for the purpose of a unanimous consent request.
(Mr. McMAHON asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Madam Speaker, I rise in support of this bill on behalf of the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn, New York, all of them, and in particular Trish and Marty Fullam.
The gentleman from New Jersey will be charged with the time consumed.
I yield to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Ackerman) for the purpose of a unanimous consent request.
(Mr. ACKERMAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Eshoo) for the purpose of a unanimous consent request.
(Ms. ESHOO asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)
Madam Speaker, I urge all of my colleagues to vote for this. How proud I am to have voted as a Californian for the Americans that went and took care and did their job.
The gentleman will be charged with the time.
I yield to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Scott) for the purpose of a unanimous consent request.
(Mr. SCOTT of Georgia asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Madam Speaker, I rise in support of this bill as a big thank you from a very, very grateful Nation.
The gentleman from New Jersey will be charged.
I yield to the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee) for the purpose of a unanimous consent request.
(Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)
I thank the distinguished gentleman, and I rise to support the Senate amendment to H.R. 847, to be able to thank Carolyn Maloney for the enormous work and to also cite those who I saw dying that they might live.
Madam Speaker I rise today in strong support of H.R. 847, the ``James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.'' This bill has been a long time coming, and I am glad that it is finally here for us to provide medical monitoring and treatment benefits to eligible emergency responders and recovery and cleanup workers who responded to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. This legislation also allows for initial health evaluation, monitoring, and treatment benefits to residents and other building occupants and area workers in New York City who were directly impacted and adversely affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
I have met firsthand many of these first responders and workers, and I know the patriotic sacrifices they have made for their fellow Americans. These brave, selfless individuals who put aside their own needs and fears to come to the aid of their fellow Americans put their lives at risk. They ventured into the wreckage and dust of the World Trade Center, not worrying about their own well being, but rather, hoping that they could save the lives of strangers. As a result of their fearless acts, many of these emergency workers and first responders were exposed to airborne toxins and other hazards. Providing medical services, including clinical examinations, long-term health monitoring, mental health care and necessary prescription drug coverage, is the least we can do to repay them for their efforts.
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act will provide both initial and follow-up medical services for World Trade Center responders and workers whose physical and mental health were impacted by the 9/11 attacks. H.R. 847 will also establish an outreach program to potentially eligible individuals.
September 11, 2001, is a day that is indelibly etched in the psyche of every American and most of the world. Much like the unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, September 11 is a day that will live in infamy. And as much as Pearl Harbor changed the course of world history by precipitating the global struggle between totalitarian fascism and representative democracy, the transformative impact of September 11 in the course of American and human history is indelible. September 11 was not only the beginning of the Global War on Terror, but moreover, it was the day of innocence lost for a new generation of Americans.
Just like my fellow Americans, I remember September 11 as vividly as if it was yesterday. In my mind's eye, I can still remember being mesmerized by the television as the two airliners crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, and I remember the sense of terror we experienced when we realized that this was no accident, that we had been attacked, and that the world as we know it had changed forever. The moment in which the Twin Towers collapsed and the nearly 3,000 innocent Americans died haunts me until this day.
At this moment, I decided that the protection of our homeland would be at the forefront of my legislative agenda. I knew that all of our collective efforts as Americans would all be in vain if we did not achieve our most important priority: the security of our nation. Accordingly, I became then and continue to this day to be an active and engaged Member of the Committee on Homeland Security who considers our national security paramount.
Our nation's collective response to the tragedy of September 11 exemplified what has been true of the American people since the inception of our Republic--in times of crisis, we come together and always persevere. Despite the depths of our anguish on the preceding day, on September 12, the American people demonstrated their compassion and solidarity for one another as we began the process of response, recovery, and rebuilding. We transcended our differences and came together to honor the sacrifices and losses sustained by the countless victims of September 11. Let us honor those who served and sacrificed by passing H.R. 847.
Madam Speaker, as I stand here today, my heart still grieves for those who perished on flights United Airlines 93, American Airlines 77, American Airlines 11, and United Airlines 175. When the sun rose on the morning of September 11, none of us knew that it would end in an inferno in the magnificent World Trade Center Towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and in the grassy fields of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. How I wish we could have hugged and kissed and held each of the victims one last time.
I stand here remembering those who still suffer, whose hearts still ache over the loss of so many innocent and interrupted lives. My prayer is that for those who lost a father, a mother, a husband, a wife, a child, or a friend will in the days and years ahead take comfort in the certain knowledge that they have gone on to claim the greatest prize, a place in the Lord's loving arms. And down here on the ground, their memory will never die so long as any of the many of us who loved them lives.
Again, I would like to reiterate my strong support for H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, for it is important that we take care of those who take care of us in our time of need.
The gentleman from New Jersey will be charged.
Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from New York (Mr. King).
I thank the gentleman for yielding. I will keep my remarks very brief.
I thank the Congress of the United States for what it is going to do today. Especially I want to thank Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler for the tremendous work they have done on this bill over the years from the very start. I want to thank Congressman Vito Fossella, who was also an original cosponsor of this. I want to thank the Speaker of the House, Ms. Pelosi, for doing so much to bring this bill forward, and also the Republican leader, who this summer managed to have this bill come up in a way that was not going to be disruptive at all.
I want to thank all the members of the New York delegation. Most importantly, I want to thank the firefighters, the police officers, the construction workers, and all of those who came forward to answer the Nation's call on September 11. This is a great victory for the American people. It's a great victory for the Congress of the United States. And it sends a signal that we stand by those who come to our Nation's defense in time of trouble and, indeed, in time of war, because this was the first battle of the great war of the 21st century.
I have no further speakers, and I reserve the balance of my time.
Madam Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
This is an important bill. It's something that should have been done a long time ago. I credit a former New York fireman, Richard Lasky, who is now my fire chief in Lewisville, Texas, for helping me understand the importance of this bill as it has gone forward. It has been difficult. In my opinion, there were better ways to do this bill, but it's before us today.
Madam Speaker, we need to ensure that the first responders and individuals who were in the vicinity of the World Trade Center have access to the specialized medical treatment they need and that means ensuring these programs are properly funded.
H.R. 847 accomplishes that goal and I am proud to be a cosponser of this bill.
I find it appalling that a bill of this magnitude was amended in the Senate just hours before the House was asked to vote on it, with no Member having had the chance to review and deliberate on what we were voting on and enacting into law. When earlier versions of this bill were brought to the floor I had some major reservations and with no way to know if all of these were addressed I would not feel comfortable voting yes or no on this bill.
Madam Speaker, I rise in support of the Senate amendment to the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. As a cosponsor of the House bill, I urge passage of this important bill.
Today, we have the opportunity to honor the rescue and recovery workers who served our nation after the devastating attacks at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and, more important than empty honor, to provide for their care. My district suffered casualities that day and nine years later, the memory of that terrible day is still fresh in our minds.
Along with the victims of 9/11, there were thousands of rescue and recovery workers who came to the aid of our nation that day. These brave women and men rushed to Ground Zero to help the fallen and to participate in the clean-up effort without thinking about their health or safety. These workers were exposed to environmental hazards and have developed significant respiratory illnesses, chronic infections, and other medical conditions. Further, many first responders are only now being diagnosed with illnesses that are related to their exposure at Ground Zero.
This bill would create the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) that would provide medical monitoring and treatment benefits to first responders and workers who were directly affected by the attacks. Additionally, the program would establish education and outreach programs and conduct research on physical and mental health conditions related to the 9/11 attacks. The WTCHP program would serve more than 75,000 survivors, recovery workers, and members of the affected communities.
Additionally, this bill provides long-term health care and compensation for thousands of responders and survivors. By passing this bill, we will be paying tribute to the sacrifice and courage of these women and men and we will be paying a debt. This bill will be paid for with a partnership with New York City and by reducing government procurement payments and the extension of fees for outsourcing companies.
Unfortunately, this bill is a weaker version of the bill that I cosponsored and that the House passed in September. The bill caps federal funding for health programs over five years and allows first responders only five years to file claims. Unfortunately, some put politics over these brave first responders. Although this bill is a reduced version of the original bill, we must honor the rescue and recovery workers by providing them with the much needed health care. We cannot let our first responders down.
Madam Speaker, I was absent for legislative business and missed rollcall vote 663 on December 21, 2010, and rollcall vote 664 on December 22, 2010. Had I been present, I would have voted ``yes'' on H.R. 6547, the Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act, and ``no'' on rollcall vote 664 (H.R. 847).
The vote I wish to discuss is the bill H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Without a doubt, Republicans and Democrats can agree that both the victims of the attacks on September 11, 2001, and the first responders who bravely served following the attacks deserve to be fairly treated and compensated. However, this bill would create a new health care entitlement, the World Trade Center Health Program, while also extending eligibility for compensation under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001. As a result, had I been present, I would have voted against passage of the bill.
Since the terrorist attacks occurred nearly nine years ago, I have supported legislation to ensure that these individuals are cared for and receive access to the services they deserve. However, rather than working with Republicans to craft a bill which truly addressed the shortcomings in care provided to those directly impacted by the September 11th terrorist attacks, the Majority instead rushed this bill to the floor in the waning hours of the 111th Congress, refusing to allow an open debate or consider amendments.
The result is a deeply flawed bill. H.R. 847 creates yet another mandatory spending program--increasing spending by $4.2 billion dollars over 10 years--and paying for it by an excise tax on foreign manufacturers, an extension of Travel Promotion Act fees, and the extension of HI-B visa fees.
There is no doubt that we owe a debt of gratitude to those who came to the rescue of countless individuals following the attacks on September 11, 2001, but these provisions distort that noble goal. At a time when our budget deficit is $1.3 trillion and our national debt stands at $13.8 trillion, we must accurately account for those programs that take priority. I remain hopeful that as the 112th Congress convenes, my colleagues and I can work together to reform some of my concerns with this proposal and truly provide the services these first responders deserve.
Madam Speaker, with the ninth anniversary of September 11th having passed, it is important to remember not only those who were lost that tragic day, but also the sense of purpose and togetherness that shined in the aftermath of, no doubt, one of the most difficult days in our nation's history. Heroic first responders deserve utmost recognition for selflessly digging through the ruins of Lower Manhattan in hope of finding survivors. The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, a bill that I am proud to be an original cosponsor of, provides just that by extending and improving protections and services to individuals directly impacted by the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Since our inception, we, as a nation, have grown stronger by protecting and honoring the sacrifices of our citizenry. This legislation is the embodiment of that mantra. As a New Yorker, not a day passes without thought of the horrific attacks of September 11th, this legislation will no doubt go a long way to provide first-responders with peace of mind.
During House floor consideration and passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act on Wednesday, I was unavoidably absent from Washington due to a family health emergency. I have had the privilege of working closely with my New York colleagues in both the House and Senate on this legislation, and I am extraordinarily happy that the Congress was able to pass this bill before the adjournment of the 111th Congress.
Madam Speaker, I rise in support of legislation that would help thousands of first responders who were exposed to hazardous health conditions in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks.
Many first responders bravely answered the call of duty and rushed to the scene of the attacks. While they were helping out the victims, the responders unknowingly were exposed to long-term physical and mental health problems due to the residual dust, toxins, and chemicals from the attacks. Congress and the federal government have an obligation and a responsibility to care and help those who responded to the September 11th attacks.
Madam Speaker, let us not forget the sacrifice and service of those brave individuals who responded to one of the worst attacks in American history. I am pleased that my colleagues in the Senate were able to come to a bipartisan agreement on this bill. I urge my House colleagues to support this legislation so that the thousands of 9/11 responders can get the help they need.
Madam Speaker, I rise today, nine years after the tragic events of September 11, to recognize the passage of a bill that will allow the first responders who rushed to the scene that day to now be able to get the health care resources they need.
Today, both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate approved an amended version, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act that would provide medical treatment for the ailing first responders and recovery workers who were exposed to toxic dust following the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001.
This victory is for what is right; a long overdue thank you to those who rushed in to help after what was one of our nation's biggest tragedies. After nine long years, these unsung heroes and their families no longer have to worry about how they are going to get the care and resources they so desperately need.
The Zadraga bill originally passed the House in September, but had been held up in the Senate due to various partisan concerns. It now goes to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign the bill into law before the end of the holiday season.
This should have never been about the money, but about what we should do to honor those who thought of their country first and not themselves. They answered the call when their country needed them and we are all a better nation for it.
Thanks to the hard work of so many people--from legislators, like our Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the New York Congressional Delegation and House Leadership, to the NYS AFL-CIO President Dennis Hughes, the 32nd Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano and the countless union officials and 911 families that traveled to Washington to lobby on the bill's behalf--these patriotic Americans can spend the holiday seasons with some peace of mind.
What the law would do: Under an agreement worked out by New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act would: provide a total of $4.3 billion in funding for the health and compensation titles of the bill; cap federal funding for the health program over five years at $1.5 billion (New York City will contribute 10% of the cost). Any funds not spent in the first five years may be carried over and expended in the sixth year of the program; reopen the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) for five years to file claims, with payments to be made over six years. Fund the VCF at $2.8 billion for six years, with $.8 billion available for payments in the first five years and $2.0 billion available for payment in year six. Claims will be paid in 2 installments--one payment in the first five years, and a second payment in the sixth year of the program; the pay for the House-passed version of the bill has been replaced by a 2 percent fee on government procurement from foreign companies located in non-GPA countries and a one-year extension of H-B 1 and L-1 Visa fees for outsourcing companies. These are estimated by CBO to collect $4.59 billion over the 10-year scoring period for the bill.
Others changes made in the bill to address Republican concerns: requiring that the Centers of Excellence report claims data to HHS so that costs and utilization of services can be fully monitored; specifying the non-treatment services furnished by Centers of Excellence to be funded under the health program (e.g., outreach, social services, data collection, and development of treatment protocols); authorizing the World Trade Center Program Administrator to designate the Veteran's Administration as a provider for WTC health services; directing the Special Master to develop rules to implement the VCF within 180 days of passage of the legislation.
Madam Speaker, I rise yet again in the strongest possible support of the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, H.R. 847.
Today, we must show the American people that their representatives can put away their differences and work together to pass this bill. Over the past few weeks, this clearly was not the case. Some Members of Congress have played political games with this legislation, delaying its passage for dubious reasons and causing the measure to be watered down. The sick and injured don't care about offsets and they don't care whether this is a $6 billion bill or a $7 billion bill. They just care about getting the medical care they need, the medical care they rightly deserve.
So Madam Speaker, we are here for the third and I hope final time on the floor of the House to consider doing the decent thing: helping the living victims of 9/11 who continue to suffer the terrible effects of that day. The Federal Government has not stepped up enough to help the responders, volunteers, workers and residents that went to Ground Zero during and after the horrific 9/11 attack. This Congress has not acted to help these victims on a permanent basis--we have the opportunity to do that today. Tragically, some of the very people that we want to help with this legislation have already died. Thousands of Americans who responded need medical treatment now. Thousands more will need treatment in the future.
So, Madam Speaker, I urge all my colleagues to support the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act so that all the victims of 9/11 will receive the medical care and help they need and deserve. Let's pass this bill.
Madam Speaker, I rise today in full support of H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. This bill will provide the needed assistance to the brave men and women who have become ill due to the dangerous toxins they inhaled while risking their lives to help out the city of New York during that tragic time in September of 2001. This is a bipartisan bill and should be supported by all Members of Congress.
These heroes risked their lives to assist their fellow Americans and their efforts will never go unnoticed. This bill will allow health benefits to a wide range of first responders such as firefighters, construction workers, residents, area workers and even school children--all of whom have been affected by the toxins that filled the air after the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001.
We all witnessed the terrible attacks on America, September 11, 2001 and we also witnessed the acts of bravery by our first responders. I support the passage of the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Every American remembers the day the Twin Towers fell and the unparalleled heroism of the first responders who saved countless lives without any regard for their own. They showed courage in the face of terror and strength in a path of destruction. Too many of these brave men and women didn't make it out of the wreckage in time. Those who did returned every day for months, sifting through rubble, recovering victims and restoring order to Ground Zero with little consideration for their own welfare or safety.
Tragically, many of these selfless workers are now suffering chronic, disabling health conditions as a direct result of injuries or toxic exposure sustained at the site. The bill before us creates a program to provide medical services and health monitoring for first responders and others who have medical conditions related to the September 11 terrorist attacks. Madam Speaker, I strongly urge my colleagues to support this measure and finally show these heroes the same honor and respect they showed us, our families, our friends and our country.
Madam Speaker, I am proud to say that we are finally doing the right thing to support our heroes from 9/11. The agreement we have here today is much less than we originally hoped for--but more than four and a half years after the death of NYPD Det. James Zadroga--I am here to say that we need to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act right now because we are losing these brave souls as we speak.
I'm sad to say its now been nine years since 9/11 and it has taken this long to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act--nine years is too long to wait and watch as our first responders from that day continue to suffer physically and emotionally--nine years is late, BUT its not too late to do the right thing. We need to pass this bill and we need to pass it now. Nine years ago we gave those brave souls the `all clear' sign, but we now know that we were exposing those men and women to a poisonous dust that would stay with them for the rest of their lives.
I am proud to say that we found a way to pay for this bill so that we can do the right thing for our 9/11 workers AND for our children who will bear the debt of the decisions we make today.
Let me be clear, this isn't just a bill for New York and New Jersey--this is a bill for all Americans. We know that people from all 50 states were in lower Manhattan on or after 9/11 and now are facing serious health concerns--there are 435 Congressional Districts and 431 of them are represented by the names of constituents on the World Trade Center Health Registry.
After 9/11 we all said we would be there for these brave first responders--but today if we vote against this bill we are asking those same brave individuals to come to Washington, year after year to fight for their health benefits--do we expect them to come here ten years from now? By then it may be too late for many of these men and women who responded to their nation's call of duty.
I urge all my colleagues to support the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act--once and for all let us stand up for these brave Americans.
Madam Speaker, today the House will consider the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
More than 70,000 Americans from every state descended upon ground zero to help recover and rebuild after 9/11. Some have died from illnesses as a result and more than 17,000 who are ill lack the care they need.
Just as we provide medical care for our troops, we must care for those who heroically responded.
Passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act is a milestone for our nation, as we finally fulfill our obligation to those who sacrificed so much for us. Our nation owes a debt of gratitude that can never be fully repaid to the September 11 responders who died or were sickened as a result of their brave and selfless actions.
Nearly all of us represent a responder, and almost nine years later, have a duty to do what is right--vote for this bill today.
I yield back the balance of my time and urge support of the bill.
Madam Speaker, I would urge passage of this bill and send it to the President.
I yield back the balance of my time.
All time for debate has expired.
Pursuant to the order of the House of today, the previous question is ordered.
The question is on the motion by the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone).
The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that the ayes appeared to have it.
Madam Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 206, nays 60, not voting 168, as follows:
[Roll No. 664] YEAS--206 Ackerman Aderholt Adler (NJ) Altmire Andrews Arcuri Austria Baldwin Barrow Bean Berkley Bilbray Bishop (GA) Bishop (NY) Blunt Boren Boswell Boucher Brown, Corrine Burgess Butterfield Capito Capps Capuano Cardoza Carnahan Carney Carson (IN) Castle Castor (FL) Chaffetz Chandler Clarke Cleaver Clyburn Cole Connolly (VA) Conyers Costa Courtney Critz Crowley Cummings Dahlkemper Davis (CA) DeGette DeLauro Dent Dicks Dingell Donnelly (IN) Doyle Dreier Driehaus Edwards (MD) Edwards (TX) Ellison Emerson Engel Eshoo Etheridge Farr Fattah Fortenberry Foster Frank (MA) Frelinghuysen Garrett (NJ) Gerlach Gonzalez Gordon (TN) Grayson Green, Al Grijalva Hall (NY) Halvorson Hare Hastings (FL) Heinrich Higgins Himes Hinchey Hirono Holden Holt Hoyer Inslee Israel Jackson (IL) Jackson Lee (TX) Johnson (GA) Kanjorski Kaptur Kildee Kind King (NY) Kissell Klein (FL) Kosmas Kratovil Kucinich Lance Langevin Larsen (WA) Larson (CT) Lee (NY) Levin Lewis (GA) LoBiondo Loebsack Lowey Lujan Lungren, Daniel E. Lynch Maffei Maloney Markey (MA) Marshall Matheson Matsui McCollum McDermott McGovern McMahon McNerney Meek (FL) Meeks (NY) Michaud Miller (NC) Miller, George Mollohan Moore (WI) Moran (VA) Murphy (CT) Murphy (NY) Murphy, Patrick Murphy, Tim Nadler (NY) Napolitano Nye Obey Olver Owens Pallone Pascrell Payne Pelosi Perriello Peters Pingree (ME) Platts Polis (CO) Price (NC) Quigley Rahall Rangel Reed Reichert Richardson Rogers (AL) Rooney Ross Rothman (NJ) Roybal-Allard Ruppersberger Ryan (OH) Sarbanes Schakowsky Schauer Schiff Schwartz Scott (GA) Scott (VA) Serrano Sestak Shea-Porter Sherman Sires Skelton Slaughter Smith (NJ) Snyder Sutton Teague Thompson (CA) Thompson (MS) Thompson (PA) Tierney Titus Tonko Towns Tsongas Turner Van Hollen Velazquez Visclosky Walz Wasserman Schultz Watson Watt Waxman Weiner Wilson (OH) Wolf Woolsey Yarmuth NAYS--60 Akin Alexander Bachmann Bachus Bartlett Bilirakis Bishop (UT) Boozman Brady (TX) Cantor Cassidy Coffman (CO) Conaway Diaz-Balart, M. Ehlers Fleming Foxx Franks (AZ) Goodlatte Graves (GA) Guthrie Hall (TX) Hensarling Herger Hoekstra Inglis Jenkins Jordan (OH) King (IA) Kingston LaTourette Latta Lewis (CA) Lummis Manzullo McClintock McCotter Mica Miller (FL) Myrick Olson Paulsen Posey Rehberg Rogers (KY) Royce Scalise Schmidt Sessions Shuster Smith (NE) Stutzman Taylor Terry Tiahrt Upton Walden Whitfield Wilson (SC) Wittman NOT VOTING--168 Baca Baird Barrett (SC) Barton (TX) Becerra Berman Berry Biggert Blackburn Blumenauer Boccieri Boehner Bonner Bono Mack Boustany Boyd Brady (PA) Braley (IA) Bright Broun (GA) Brown (SC) Brown-Waite, Ginny Buchanan Burton (IN) Buyer Calvert Camp Campbell Cao Carter Childers Chu Clay Coble Cohen Cooper Costello Crenshaw Cuellar Culberson Davis (AL) Davis (IL) Davis (KY) Davis (TN) DeFazio Delahunt Deutch Diaz-Balart, L. Djou Doggett Duncan Ellsworth Fallin Filner Flake Forbes Fudge Gallegly Garamendi Giffords Gingrey (GA) Gohmert Granger Graves (MO) Green, Gene Griffith Gutierrez Harman Harper Hastings (WA) Heller Herseth Sandlin Hill Hinojosa Hodes Honda Hunter Issa Johnson (IL) Johnson, E. B. Johnson, Sam Jones Kagen Kennedy Kilpatrick (MI) Kilroy Kirkpatrick (AZ) Kline (MN) Lamborn Latham Lee (CA) Linder Lipinski Lofgren, Zoe Lucas Luetkemeyer Mack Marchant Markey (CO) McCarthy (CA) McCarthy (NY) McCaul McHenry McIntyre McKeon McMorris Rodgers Melancon Miller (MI) Miller, Gary Minnick Mitchell Moore (KS) Moran (KS) Neal (MA) Neugebauer Nunes Oberstar Ortiz Pastor (AZ) Paul Pence Perlmutter Peterson Petri Pitts Poe (TX) Pomeroy Price (GA) Putnam Radanovich Reyes Rodriguez Roe (TN) Rogers (MI) Rohrabacher Ros-Lehtinen Roskam Rush Ryan (WI) Salazar Sanchez, Linda T. Sanchez, Loretta Schock Schrader Sensenbrenner Shadegg Shimkus Shuler Simpson Smith (TX) Smith (WA) Space Speier Spratt Stark Stearns Stupak Sullivan Tanner Thornberry Tiberi Wamp Waters Welch Westmoreland Wu Young (AK) Young (FL) Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore
The Chair will remind all persons in the gallery that they are here as guests of the House and that any manifestation of approval or disapproval of proceedings is in violation of the rules of the House.
Mr. TERRY and BACHUS changed their vote from ``yea'' to ``nay.''
So the motion was agreed to.
The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
Madam Speaker, I was absent on Wednesday, December 22, 2010. I had legislative business in the district. Had I been present, I would have voted in support of the Motion to Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 847--James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
Madam Speaker, I was absent on December 22, 2010. Had I been present, I would have voted ``yes'' on H.R. 847--James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
Madam Speaker, I regret missing floor votes on today, December 22, 2010 due to travel. If I was present, I would have voted: ``yea'' on rollcall 664, motion to concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 847--James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
Madam Speaker, today I missed rollcall vote 664 on H.R. 847. Had I been present I would have voted ``aye.''
Madam Speaker, I regret that I was unable to participate in one vote on the floor of the House of Representatives today.
The vote was the Motion to Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 847--James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Had I been present, I would have voted ``yea'' on that question.
Madam Speaker, I was unavoidably absent for votes in the House Chamber today. I would like the record to show that, had I been present, I would have voted ``yea'' on rollcall vote 664.
SANCHEZ of California. Madam Speaker, unfortunately, I was unable to be present in the Capitol for votes on today, December 22, 2010. However, had I been present, I would have voted as follows: ``yea'' on H.R. 847--the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
Madam Speaker, on rollcall 664, I was away from the Capitol. Had I been present, I would have voted ``yea.''
Madam Speaker, on rollcall No. 664, had I been present, I would have voted ``yes.''
Madam Speaker, on Wednesday, December 22, 2010, I missed rollcall No. 664. If present, I would have voted ``yea.''
Madam Speaker, on Wednesday, December 22, 2010, I requested and received a leave of absence for the rest of the week.
Below is how I would have voted on the following vote I missed during this time period.
On rollcall 664, H.R. 847, to amend the Public Health Service Act to extend and improve protections and services to individuals directly impacted by the terrorist attack in New York City on September 11, 2001, I would have voted ``yes.''
Madam Speaker, I would have voted ``aye'' on the Senate amendment to H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
Madam Speaker, on rollcall No. 664 I was absent. Had I been present, I would have voted ``no.''
Madam Speaker, on Wednesday, December 22, 2010, I was absent for one vote. Had I been present I would have voted on rollcall No. 664--``no''--Motion to concur in the Senate amendment to H.R. 847, James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
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