Firefighters, lawmakers to rally for 9/11 healthcare

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Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y) and other Democratic lawmakers on Monday will join firefighters who are demanding healthcare benefits for 9/11 first responders.

{mosads}The healthcare fund for the firefighters and police officers who were diagnosed with cancer and other diseases after responding to the terrorist attacks began to expire last month.

A bipartisan effort is underway to restore the healthcare coverage for thousands of those first responders.

Maloney, who introduced the James Zadroga 9/11 Health Compensation Reauthorization Act to reinstate benefits, will be joined by several other New York and New Jersey lawmakers at the Manhattan rally. They’re furious that Congress let the healthcare fund expire.

Backed by a number of Republican supporters, Maloney’s bill has 236 co-sponsors, which is enough to pass a floor vote in the House. But advocates are livid it has yet to see committee action since it was introduced in April.

A companion bill in the Senate introduced by Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) also has enough bipartisan support to avoid a filibuster and pass a floor vote.

Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Nydia Valazquez (D-N.Y.) and Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) will join Maloney at Monday’s rally. They hope to pressure Republican leadership into moving these bills forward.

According to a firefighters union, 33,000 first responders are struggling with illnesses and injuries caused by the terrorist attacks. More than one-third of them have cancer.

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