FLEOA Supports 9/11 VCF Legislation

Dear Colleagues, 
The terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 killed 2,997 and injured thousands in New York City, Shanksville, PA and the Pentagon. In the years since, tens of thousands more men and women, including first responders, relief workers, and local residents, have lost their lives or gotten sick  after they were exposed to a toxic cocktail of burning chemicals, pulverized drywall and powdered cement. 
After the attack, thousands of first responders rushed to the scenes and spent months combing through the wreckage looking for remains. In New York, the residents and workers were urged by the government to return to their homes and business, and to reopen the Financial District. The federal government assured them all that the air they were all breathing was safe, when in fact it was filled with toxic pollutants that continue kill and disable 9/11 responders and survivors to this day.  
Congress has already provided a permanent healthcare program for these responders and survivors, but the program to provide compensation for their families and their suffering will expire in 2020.   Therefore, we are asking you to consider joining us in introducing legislation to permanently fund the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). 
From Texas[1] to North Carolina[2], responders to 9/11 at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the Shanksville crash site are all facing the continued health impact of that day and its aftermath as are their families. The death toll from 9/11 continues to grow as responders and survivors die in in increasing numbers from 9/11 conditions.  Soon the deaths of responders and survivors caused by the toxins at Ground Zero will exceed those killed on that day.  Deaths from 9/11 diseases will soon outnumber those lost on that fateful day [3]
The Special Master of the VCF, Rupa Bhattacharyya, a career Justice Department Attorney with over 20 years of service, has just announced that because of increases in claims, including many cancer cases, the VCF will not have enough funds to cover claims during the current authorization and she will have to consider reducing awards. This cannot be allowed to happen.
 Brave men and women across our country answered the call to assist our country in a time of vulnerability, and we need to ensure that they receive not only the medical care that they desperately need and deserve, but the financial help they and their families need.  They came from all corners of the country bearing various racial, religious, and political stripes; united for a common cause to serve their country. These men and women deserve the support of every one of us honored to represent them.  
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney
Congressman Jerrold Nadler
Congressman Peter King
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Senator Charles E. Schumer