WATCH: N.J.'s Menendez urges Congress to renew program for 9/11 first responders

WATCH: N.J.'s Menendez urges Congress to renew program for 9/11 first responders


By:  Jonathan D. Salant
NJ Advance Media


U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez urged lawmakers Tuesday to renew a federal program that provides treatment and economic compensation to police officers, firefighters and others who responded to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act expires Wednesday unless Congress acts. It offers health benefits and compensation to first responders who suffered health problems, including respiratory diseases and cancer, after working at the World Trade Center and the other sites hit by terrorists.

"Let's send a clear message to our first responders," Menendez (D-N.J.) said, "that we will never forget what we did for your fellow citizens."

Named for a New York City police officer from North Arlington who died of a respiratory disease attributed to him breathing in dust at the World Trade Center site after the attacks, the legislation and the benefits it provides expire Wednesday. All 14 New Jersey senators and representatives are among the co-sponsors of legislation to make the program permanent.

"No American would believe that we're about to let this lapse," Menendez said in a speech on the Senate floor. "That's where we are. And it must change."

...Continue reading article here.