WASHINGTON—President Obama signed a $1.15 trillion spending bill Friday evening that reauthorizes the Zadroga Act.
9/11 first responders breathed a collective sigh of relief after the reauthorization of the Zadroga Act passed in both houses of Congress.
It extends the healthcare program for first responders and others suffering from the 9/11 related illness and provides 5 years of funding to the Victim Compensation Fund, which provides help to responders who are too sick to work.
“Today, Congress finally committed to giving our 9/11 first responders and survivors the peace of mind they deserve, and the health care and support they need,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“This is a long-overdue victory for the 72,000 brave men and women around the country who rely on these programs. In particular, we’re grateful to Senators Gillibrand and Schumer, Reps. Maloney, Nadler, Donovan, and King, and our whole delegation for their leadership.”
“The passage of this bill is also proof that Washington can live up to its responsibility to the American people,” said Gov. Cuomo in a statement. “It shows that Congress can come together to do what is right, and bridge the gridlock and partisan divide to tackle our most pressing challenges.”
The path to reauthorization took years, first responders made several trips to Capitol Hill to plead for Congress to provide funding.