As Americans mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the nation, Congressman Brian Higgins is fighting to make sure those who responded on that day and the days after are adequately cared for.
The World Trade Center Health Program and 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund ensure people from across the nation who responded to the World Trade Center grounds, Pentagon Building and Shanksville (Pennsylvania) crash site have access to medical services necessary to treat health consequences related to exposure to toxins. While the program was extended, Higgins’ team said the formula in the legislation doesn’t adequately meet the current funding needs.
Higgins is joining other members of the New York congressional delegation in cosponsoring the 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act and signed a letter asking House of Representatives leaders to include measures to address funding shortfalls in the reconciliation legislation currently before Congress.
The House energy and commerce committee chair confirmed $2.86 billion for the World Trade Center Program will be included in the portion of the Build Back Better Act, which the committee will consider during hearings this week.
In July of 2019, Higgins cosponsored and voted to approve legislation extending authorization of funding for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Before the vote, Higgins made remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives noting the health sacrifices made by several Western New Yorkers, saying, in part, “On Sept. 11, 2001, as millions of Americans watched in horror our country was attacked, thousands of people courageously stepped up, left their homes and families and answered the call to respond to a nation in need. Among them were dozens of Western New Yorkers. … These men, women and families were there for our country, and we must be there for them.”
Earlier this year, Higgins successfully advocated to make Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center a member of the World Trade Center Health Program national provider network, making specialized cancer care easily accessible to 9/11 responders in upstate New York and the greater Northeast region.