Long Island Delegation Continues Push to Find Missing FDNY 9/11 Healthcare Funding
On Thursday, September 17, 2020, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) joined his New York colleagues in urging the restoration of funds withheld from the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) for health care provided to 9/11 first responders due to unpaid federal debt held by the City of New York. The withholding of payments started in 2004.
Full text of the letter is as follows:
Dear Secretary Mnuchin,
We write to you about the Treasury Department's withholding of approximately $3.7 million in reimbursements to the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) for health care provided to firefighters who are sick and injured due to the toxins they encountered at Ground Zero.
Many of our members among the New York State Congressional Delegation have worked for years to have the Federal Government address the negative health impacts of the toxins at Ground Zero, which were released as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, on thousands of survivors and First Responders. We are deeply concerned to learn that your Department, without any apparent notice to the FDNY World Trade Center Health Program, has been withholding part of the clinics' reimbursement for several years.
It is our understanding that this is the result of an unrelated dispute between the Federal Government and the City of New York. While we do not take a position on that dispute, we are unanimous in our belief that under no circumstances should funds meant for 9/11 responders be caught in the crossfire.
Because of the Treasury Department's withholding of funds through the Treasury Offset Program, the World Trade Center Health Program is short millions of dollars that it requires in order to provide the medical treatment and monitoring that our 9/11 responders need and deserve.
We urge you to immediately direct your staff to release the full amount of these payments so that the healthcare and well-being of our nation's heroes is not put at risk over an unconnected dispute.
We look forward to hearing from you that these funds will be restored as soon as possible.