In the six years since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, Americans have heard many horrific stories about the thousands of first responders who have become sick after breathing toxic dust when they ran unprotected to Ground Zero.  Many of these responders -- firefighters, police officers, emergency medical personnel, and others -- are permanently disabled, and some have died.

In 2006, six paramedics who responded to the 9/11 attacks and are now permanently disabled filed applications for the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Act (PSOB) Program.  More than a year later, all but one are still waiting for a response from the Department of Justice.

I, along with four other members, recently wrote to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, asking him why these first responders were being ignored.  It is time for the Bush Administration to stop ignoring the heroes of 9/11, and provide them with the benefits they deserve.