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Gillibrand calls for 9/11 health program renewal in Staten Island

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is interviewed by student

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is interviewed by student Nia Stevens, 17, during a visit to Westbury High School in Westbury on March 20, 2010. Credit: Ed Betz

WASHINGTON - Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) Tuesday called again for Congress to extend the 9/11 health and compensation programs in a news conference at the Mount Sinai World Trade Center Health Program Staten Island Clinical Center.

The World Trade Center Health Program, which is monitoring more than 70,000 first responders and survivors, for ill effects from Sept. 11, is set to expire at the end of next month, Gillibrand said.

The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, provides compensation for economic losses to 9/11 responders and survivors and their families for physical injuries as a result of involvement in Ground Zero, is scheduled to expire in October 2016.

"Our first responders answered the call of duty when our nation was under attack, and deserve to be treated by Congress as the veterans they really are," Gillibrand said. "We cannot abandon the men and women who now suffer as a result of their sacrifice, and must pass a permanent extension of the programs they rely upon."

Joining the news conference were Staten Island Borough President James Oddo; Rep. Dan Donovan (R-Staten Island); Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association of the City of New York; James Slevin, vice president, United Firefighters Association IAFF Local 94, and John Feal, of the FealGood Foundation.

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act would permanently continue the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

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