2007_03_bloombergskyler.jpgMayor Bloomberg headed to Washington D.C. to ask for more federal aid related to September 11 illnesses. The NY Times noted that Bloomberg was "surrounded at the hearing mostly by Democratic lawmakers from New York who have sought more aid for 9/11-related health problems" and "The two Republican senators present asked gentle questions."

Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican and a physician, said he did not doubt that there were “a lot of pulmonary problems associated with large particulate intake” at ground zero, but he asked the mayor, “Is there a point at which this stops in terms of a federal obligation?”

Mr. Coburn then quickly added, “Rather than have a yearly appropriation for this, why don’t we set up an endowed trust?” The mayor later told reporters that he was open to the idea, but said, “The real issue is: Can we get money every year?”

He mentioned three things: Another $150 million to maintain 9/11 health monitoring programs that the FDNY, Mount Sinai, and Bellevue run; that the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund be re-opened; and that liability be removed from the city and companies working at Ground Zero, which would enable $1 billion to be moved from an insurance fund for other use.

Bloomberg also said he supported the $1.9 billion 9/11 Heroes Health Improvement Act (sponsored by Senator Clinton, with co-sponsors Senator Edward Kennedy, Senators Lautenberg and Menendez of NJ, and Senator Schumer) and recommended it be passed soon.

You can read the Mayor's statement here.