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9/11 Funding at Risk After Build Back Better Bill is “Dead”

February, 2022

American flag waving in front of a government buildingOver the past few months, the 9/11 community has been patiently waiting for the Senate to pass the Build Back Better Bill, which includes funding to replenish crucial 9/11 programs for survivors and first responders. The House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Bill on November 19, 2021, and now it is the Senate’s turn to take action. Unfortunately, to the surprise of many, the Build Back Better Bill has failed to satisfy enough Senators for passage, preventing President Biden from signing a hallmark legislative package into law. 

On February 1, 2022, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia stated the Build Back Better Bill is “dead” in its current form. Such a statement is concerning for all Americans, but especially for those who rely on 9/11 funding allocated in the bill. Survivors and first responders feel as though they have been forgotten. Little attention has been paid to the importance of continued 9/11 funding.

Funding for 9/11 Programs Is Critical For Families and Victims

Victims, survivors, and first responders who were personally affected by the 9/11 attacks, in the form of serious physical and mental injuries, were promised funding to ensure they have necessary medical treatment for years to come. Moreover, for individuals who sustained severe injuries, compensation is warranted.

Through the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 and the Reauthorization Act of 2015, the 9/11 community has received much-needed benefits and compensation. The Zadroga Act established the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) and 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) to ensure funding was available for all 9/11 survivors and first responders who need assistance.

With rising inflation, funding shortages have plagued many industries and numerous government programs. From supply chain disruptions to labor shortages, inflation has a trickle-down effect that harms the beneficiaries of much-needed government funds. The WTCHP is in dire need of funding, and inflation will continue to wreak havoc on essential programs unless Congress takes immediate action.

Time Is Running Out For Congress to Act

Now that Senator Manchin has indicated he will not support the Build Back Better Bill, making the statement that the legislation is “dead,” lawmakers must restart the process of drafting a bill that aims to help a community in desperate need of funding. Medical care is expensive, and the costs only continue to grow. Congress must pass legislation to ensure sufficient funding is available to meet the needs of individuals who are suffering day in and day out.

Some members of the 9/11 community may have separate health insurance to bear the costs of treatment, but such a scenario certainly does not apply to all individuals who have no other means of funding their medical treatment. As such, a push from members of the 9/11 community, with the assistance of 9/11 lawyers and other concerned parties, may be necessary to ensure lawmakers truly understand the devastation they have contributed to for failing to pass funding for 9/11 programs.

Contact the 9/11 Lawyers of Pitta & Baione LLP For a Free Consultation

Although the Build Back Better Bill has hit a dead-end, qualifying 9/11 survivors and first responders can continue to file claims. However, approval of claims can be challenging without sufficient documentation of physical and mental injuries. 

Therefore, if you are seeking 9/11 benefits, you should consider working with a qualified 9/11 lawyer who can assist with the entire process. At Pitta & Baione LLP, we devote our practice to helping the 9/11 community as many continue to experience serious health consequences each day. To schedule your free consultation, contact the 9/11 lawyers of Pitta & Baione LLP today by calling (844) 901-1237.