Following a Dec. 10 meeting of House Republicans, a spokeswoman for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said that “Speaker Ryan has committed to reauthorize the [Zadroga Act] and he will keep his word. We expect it will be included in one of the year-end legislative items.” This followed multiple sources reporting that Ryan said the same to Zadroga backers inside the meeting.
The year-end legislation referred to is expected to be the FY2016 omnibus bill to fund the federal government. The funding was set to expire today, but Congress passed a 5-day extension while the two sides complete negotiations on some remaining policy riders to be included in the bill.
Also this week, IAVA’s DC Team continued the push, holding discussions with multiple Congressional offices to seek support for the bill, including with senior staff to Speaker Ryan and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the key provisions in the Zadroga Act.
Nine additional Republican cosponsors were added to the House bill this week, which is significant given the previously lopsided support by Democrats. Every Congressional office has been contacted by IAVA at least by email, and more than 4,000 letters have been sent by IAVA members to Congress.
Today, IAVA sent out another blast email to all Capitol Hill offices seeking support, reading in part, “When we ‘remember 9/11’ each year – or all year as we do here at IAVA – it’s meaningless unless we step up and support those first boots on ground after the 9/11 attacks. Please remember that these are the heroes that ran into the destruction and pulled victims from the rubble, and we owe them a debt we can never truly repay.”
How you can help: IAVA has set up a “Take Action” web page, to be updated daily, for our veterans and supporters to ask their Members of Congress to support the bill. The page, iava.org/zadroga, lists all current cosponsors of the measure. If your representatives in DC aren’t yet on the bill, click here to email your members of Congress.