Congressional Voting Record on Effort to Pass Original Law, Reauthorizations and Funding Shortfall
ORIGINAL LAW 2010
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was originally passed by Congress in 2010.
In the House of Representatives there were three floor votes at that time. The first attempt at House Passage (Roll #491) on July 29, 2010, was an attempt to achieve passage using an expedited procedure called “Suspension of the Rules” that requires an affirmative two-thirds vote for passage and is used by the House to bring up for a vote non-controversial legislation.
While the vote was 255-159 in favor, the bill failed to get the required two-thirds affirmative vote of those present and was not passed.
The second attempt at House Passage was successful, using regular House procedures, the same bill that failed to pass in July was brought before the House on September 29, 2010 and passed and sent to the Senate with an overwhelming majority 268-160 (Roll #550).
In the U.S. Senate there was only one vote on the legislation that year and that was on December 9, 2010. The vote was on procedural motion to break a filibuster against the bill and to invoke “cloture” to allow the bill to be brought up for debate. The vote was 57-42. (Roll #269) and it failed to obtain the required 60 votes to break the filibuster and allow the legislation to be brought up for debate on the Senate Floor.
The final vote in the House of Representatives was on December 22, 2010, and it was final passage of the legislation, agreeing to changes in the legislation by the U.S. Senate. It was in fact the last bill to pass the Congress that year, passing the House 206-60 (Roll #664), which sent it to President Barack Obama for his signature.
In 2015, the Congress passed, and President Obama signed the reauthorization of the James Zadroga Act. It expended the World Trade Center Health Program for 75 years, essentially making it permanent and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for another five years until 2020 and provided an additional 4.6 billion dollars in funding for its mission.
The Congress did not reauthorize the programs in a separate bill but as part of the large “Omnibus” passed at the end of the year that funded much of the Government. There was NO separate vote by members of Congress either in the Committee or the floor of either house. The only measure to gauge of individual member support is whether they were one of the 272 Members of the House or 69 members of the Senate who co-sponsored the legislation.
SPONSORS OF 2015 REAUTHORIZATION EFFORT
In 2019, after an extensive lobbying campaign by unions and 9/11 advocates the Congress passed and President Trump signed into law H.R. 1327/S.546 “the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act”, which fully funded and extended the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund thru 2090.
House Vote 401 -10 on HR. 1327 Roll Call 474
Senate Vote 97 -2 on HR. 1327 Vote 224
2021-2022 EFFORT TO DEAL WITH WTC HEALTH PROGRAM IMPENDING BUDGET SHORTFALL
In 2021with the World Trade Center Health Program facing an impending budget shortfall starting in 2025, U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), and U.S. Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), and Andrew Garbarino (R-NY-2) introduced in August 2021, the bipartisan legislation, “9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act” (HR.4965/S. 2683).
While it did not move in either House of Congress a provision to provide partial funding was incorporated in the end of the year Omnibus thru an amendment that was voted on by the Senate on December 22nd 2022. Vote number 419, 90 to 6.
2023 Amendment to National Defense Act (NDAA)
Gillibrand Braun Amendment to National Defense Authorization Act
On July 27th, 2023 Senator Kirsten Gillibrand ( D-NY), along with Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) sponsored an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act ( NDAA) , amendment #1065 that was successfully adopted by an overwhelming bi partisan vote of 94 to 4. Regretfully 4 Senators, Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT),Tommy Tuberville, (R-AL), Markwayne Mullins (R-OK) out of hundred voted no.
The Amendment would:
- Ensure that all 9/11 responders to the Pentagon and Shanksville who were active-duty DOD military or civilians, along with other Federal employees, will be able to join the program. Currently some responders to the Pentagon and Shanksville sites are prevented from joining.
- Help to close the impending funding shortfall facing the World Trade Center Health Program by providing an additional $444 million dollars to the program over the next ten years.
- This amendment was fully paid for under legislative rules.