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IAVA Blasts Congress for Failing to Permanently Reauthorize Zadroga Act

NEW YORK (October 1, 2015) — In response to the failure by Congress to pass the permanent reauthorization of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act prior to the start of the 2016 Fiscal Year, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) Policy Chief Matt Miller released the following statement:

“Just a few weeks ago, as we remembered those who perished during 9/11 and paid tribute to the brave first responders who acted without regard for themselves to save innocent lives, we called on Congress to permanently reauthorize the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act before it was set to expire on September 30, 2015. It is unacceptable that American citizens who put their lives on the line for others have to worry about their medical care and compensation expiring.

Despite the efforts of Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) to co-sponsor the reauthorization, Congress has simply failed first responders, including combat veterans, who aided in rescue and recovery in the wake of the attacks at Ground Zero and the Pentagon.

The measure — signed into law in 2011 through a bi-partisan effort —  offers critical medical treatment and compensation for first responders who became ill due to their time working at Ground Zero and the Pentagon.

This issue should not be caught in the crosshairs of partisan politics and now, more than ever, our country can’t afford to turn our backs on the 9/11 families, first-responders and veterans who have answered the call of service.

IAVA stands with every first responder and their families to urge Congress to immediately pass the permanent reauthorization of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.”

Note to media: Email press@iava.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 12th year anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 7,300 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.