Dear Friends, Supporters and Fellow First Responders:
As most of you are aware, the past twenty-four hours have been extremely chaotic in regards to the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. I, along with fellow FealGood Foundation board members, have worked with various union leaders to keep the pressure on our elected officials. As of approximately 5:30 today our bill was moved into the “Rules Committee” of the United States House of Representatives and prepared for full House vote. While a modest victory, this should be considered a step forward to our ultimate goal. However, to our great displeasure, a date for such a vote has not yet been announced. This is unacceptable and over the next twenty-four hours we will continue to place additional pressure on leadership to give us the date we have waited nine years for.
Make no mistake, all involved in this struggle consider it an insult of the highest degree that we are forced to continue to lobby House leaders to merely place this bill on calendar. Despite this, we have been advised that the bill will be given a date for vote tomorrow, September 22, 2010. While promises to this fragile community have been made and broken so many times that I do not expect you to believe this one, we must respect the leadership our New York Congressional Delegation has provided and rely on them to ensure that this promise is kept. Tomorrow, the 9/11 community expects to be able to celebrate its victory at the same time Democratic leaders from around the country converge on New York for political appearances and fundraising.
The fight has not ended my friends and we will not hault our efforts on behalf of each and every one of you until the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Bill is voted on by Congress in a full “rules vote.” While we place our faith in the leadership of our elected officials tomorrow, we cannot do so blindly. Over the next day we will see whose word is worth relying on and who issues empty promises.
I thank you all for your continued patience, but most of all for your continued perseverance. It is the collective “strength of character” of the 9/11 community that will get this bill passed and each of you are its backbone.
God bless you and God bless America.
“Any Nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure” – Abraham Lincoln
Peace & Love
Founder & President
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NYS Recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor for Civilians Above & Beyond