Thousands of first responders and others exposed to the toxins of Ground Zero are now ill as a result and need our help. These include firefighters, rescue workers, responders, police officers and EMTs, construction workers, cleanup workers, residents, area workers, and school children, among others. Their illnesses include a range of respiratory, gastrointestinal, and mental health conditions.
It is estimated that over 31,000 World Trade Center (WTC) responders have received some form of treatment since 2006. Nearly 53,000 responders are enrolled in medical monitoring. 71,000 individuals are enrolled in the WTC Health Registry, indicating that they were exposed to the toxins. In addition to those from the New York City region, at least 10,000 people came from around the country to help in the aftermath of the attacks. They hail from every single state in the Union and nearly every congressional district. About 1,200 are receiving treatment and many are very concerned about their future health. Furthermore, those who have economic losses because of their WTC-related illnesses need and deserve compensation, but currently have no alternative to the current litigation system.
On September 30th, the House passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (H.R. 847) by a vote of 268-160 to provide funding for a Health Program to monitor and treat responders and community residents for health conditions related to the terrorist attacks. It also reopens the September 11, 2011 Victim Compensation Fund to provide monetary compensation for those physically injured by the attacks or by response activities and debris removal.
The bill, which would cost $7.4 billion over the next 10 years, is fully paid for by a provision preventing foreign multinational firms that are incorporated in tax haven countries from avoiding tax on income earned in the United States.
The bill is supported by a long list of groups, including the International Association of Firefighters, National Association of Police Organizations, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Associated General Contractors, Associated Builders and Contractors, and American Council of Engineering Companies.
We must not rest until we finally provide proper care for ailing 9/11 responders and survivors, and fill the last remaining gap in America's recovery from the attacks.
World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program
Builds upon an existing, unauthorized program. The bill builds upon an existing, unauthorized federal program administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that provides monitoring and treatment services through medical Centers of Excellence to responders and community residents affected by the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
Authorizes the World Trade Center Health Program and caps the funding. This bill would: 1) authorize this program; 2) expand it to include responders to the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania sites; and 3) provide nine years of capped mandatory funding for the program (into FY 2019).
Provides for 90 percent federal funding; 10 percent NYC funding. Under the bill, the federal government would pay 90 percent of the costs of the WTC Health Program, subject to an annual cap; CBO estimates that federal spending for the Health Program will total $3.2 billion over the next 10 years. The remaining 10 percent of the costs of the program would be paid by New York City. The authorization for the Health Program would sunset on September 30, 2020.
Provides monitoring and treatment services to 9/11 responders and survivors. The Health Program would provide monitoring and specialized treatment services through Centers of Excellence for two populations: 1) responders (emergency personnel, rescue, and clean-up workers who responded to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Shanksville); and 2) survivors (residents, workers, and students who returned to the World Trade Center area shortly after the attacks.)
Is expected to serve about 90,000 individuals. About 65,000 responders and less than 25,000 survivors are expected to enroll in the Health Program.
September 11 Victim Compensation Fund
Reopens the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). The bill would reopen the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 (VCF) to provide compensation for economic damages and losses to first responders, recovery workers and others injured in the aftermath of the attacks, including persons who were exposed to World Trade Center toxins during debris removal.
Caps awards from VCF for first 10 years and second 10 years. The bill would reopen the VCF until December 22, 2031 in order to cover persons who became ill, or will become ill, after the original fund closed. The 20-year period would protect persons with latent injuries that may not become manifest for years. The total amount of compensation to be awarded would be capped at $4.2 billion over the first 10 years and an additional $4.2 billion over the second 10 years.
Provides that awards from VCF are reduced by other compensation. Awards under the VCF must be reduced by the amount of other compensation to the victim, including life insurance, health insurance, workers compensation, and any amount obtained in the settlement of a civil suit that occurred when the VCF was closed.
Requires those filing VCF claims to relinquish pending civil suits. Under the bill, persons with civil suits pending on or after the date of enactment must relinquish those suits in order to file a claim with the VCF.
Offset - Fully Paid For
Cracks down on foreign tax haven corporations that are taking advantage of the U.S. tax treaty network in order to dodge American taxes. Prevents U.S. subsidiaries of foreign-owned companies based in countries without U.S. tax treaties from avoiding U.S. taxes they would otherwise owe by sending the money to an affiliate in a country with a tax treaty. The United States has entered into bilateral tax treaties with many foreign countries -- reducing U.S. tax withholding for foreign persons from the treaty country -- to prevent double taxation of income earned by residents of the treaty countries, and funneling funds through a subsidiary in a tax treaty country can enable the corporation to avoid U.S. taxes. Estimated to raise $7.4 billion over ten years.
Is identical to a provision adopted by the House in March 2010. This offset provision is identical to a provision that passed the House on March 24, 2010, as part of H.R. 4849, Small Business and Infrastructure Jobs Act, which was passed by a vote of 246 to 178.