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Blumenthal Helps Win Omnibus Provision to Save 9/11 First Responder Health Program

Over 500 First Responders from Connecticut Benefit from the World Trade Center Program

[WASHINGTON, D.C.]- U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today announced a major victory in the 2018 omnibus budget deal for 9/11 first responders—a resounding rebuke of President Trump’s effort to dismantle the World Trade Center Health Program.

Trump had been pushing a destructive plan to restructure the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and pull expertise and leadership from its World Trade Center Health Program. The move would have disrupted treatment and monitoring for over 82,000 responders and survivors, including over 500 first responders in Connecticut. The World Trade Center Health Program treats responders and survivors for many chronic diseases and respiratory illnesses, including asthma, sinusitis, obstructive pulmonary disease, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Blumenthal helped to lead the public fight against the harmful proposal. He announced today that the omnibus budget agreement rejected Trump’s proposal and will instead maintain the current successful structure and funding for this important program.

“Congress issued a resounding rebuke of Trump’s unconscionable proposal to jeopardize health benefits for 9/11 first responders and survivors. Dismantling the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health would have wreaked havoc on the program that 82,000 responders rely on for critical treatment and monitoring. We must keep our promise to everyone who answered the call on 9/11 and still suffer health effects to this day. I will continue to fight tooth and nail against any other brazen betrayal of these heroes.”

Blumenthal was recently at the West Haven Fire Department with 9/11 first responders to decry President Trump’s plan and signed a letter to the White House Office of Management & Budget led by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

Blumenthal helped to lead bipartisan legislation passed in 2015 to permanently extend the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act. The law extended the World Trade Center Health Program and continued the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, among other measures to aid survivors and responders.