Rodham Clinton Calls for More Funds for Sept. 11 First Responders
Ground Zero responders and area residents with medical needs related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks will be unable to receive needed care as early as this summer unless the Bush administration increases funding, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) said during a press conference on Monday, the New York Daily News reports.
The federal government has released $40 million of the $75 million promised to New York state for monitoring and treatment of Sept. 11 responders.
Rodham Clinton -- along with Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D), Vito Fossella (R) and Jerrold Nadler (D) -- said Sept. 11 treatment programs, such as those operated by the Mount Sinai Medical Center, will have to limit their services early next year if funding is not increased.
The lawmakers are calling for an additional $1.9 billion in funding through 2011. Rodham Clinton made the request after meeting with President Bush's federal 9/11 health czars John Agwunobi of HHS and John Howard of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Clinton said she planned to call for hearings next year to address health issues in New York City. Clinton said, "We are worried that the medical treatment that has begun, finally, after years of effort, will run out of money this summer. Then these people will once again be left out in the cold."
White House spokesperson Blair Jones said, "To date, a total of $165 million has been appropriated for the health monitoring and treatment of these brave workers." Jones added that the administration will work with state and local officials to determine adequate funding levels (Bode, New York Daily News, 12/19).