The Legislative Team is back from the Thanksgiving break and back on the mission to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act to permanently extend the critical health care plan for 9/11 First Responders.
In conversations before the break with senior staff to the House bill sponsor, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), there was confidence that the health care plan would be extended before the end of the year and that the bill’s sponsors are working with the chairman of the committees of jurisdiction, which Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) recently directed to find a way to pass the measure.
There are two main vehicles where the Zadroga bill could be attached for smoother sailing towards passage. Those include a multi-year transportation reauthorization which has to be passed by Dec. 6 and the omnibus spending bill that needs to be passed by Dec. 11 to fund all the federal agencies for the rest of Fiscal Year 2016.
IAVA is pushing forward with securing support among members on the two veteran committees. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), who chair the two Veterans committees, are important in securing support from members of their respective panels. The IAVA team met with them about this recently and will be reaching back out to gain their support.
So far this week, we’ve secured four meetings for tomorrow with offices of Members on the Veterans committees and others that have not yet cosponsored the bill. We continue to fill our schedule for the rest of the week to gain support.
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.