“A last-second deal in the massive government funding bill will add $1 billion to the World Trade Center health program and buy several years before it runs into a budget crunch,…
Supporters and advocates had hoped to pass a $3.6 billion measure authored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., that would have permanently plugged the hole and covered military personnel who are ill from responding to the Pentagon attack in 2001. The health program is facing a $3 billion deficit over the next decade.
The 9/11 health fund money was unexpectedly left out of the original version of the $1.7 trillion spending, prompting outrage from advocates and New York lawmakers.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell blocked that at the behest of several of his members, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told the Daily News. …
Late Wednesday, Gillibrand and Schumer took a deal to get $1 billion to at least shore up the program. The money is being added as an amendment and will have to be voted on, but is expected to pass easily with McConnell’s support.
The move sparked both relief and anger. On one hand, the $1 billion probably pushes the worst problems for the health program until 2027. On the other, a stopgap like that does not fix the underlying formula used to fund the program, which helped cause the deficit.”
– Michael McAuliff, “Congressional Negotiators Agree to Add $1 Billion for 9/11 Health Fund in End-of-Year Spending Bill,” news.yahoo.com, December 21, 2022