The Zadroga Act, named for Det. James Zadroga, a 9/11 first responder who died of breathing complications in 2006, expired at midnight. When the $4.3 billion bill's champions overcame Republican recalcitrance and passed it in 2010, it created an apparatus for monitoring and treating injuries and illness from toxins and debris at Ground Zero, and reopened the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, paying victims for related financial losses.
Now the deadline for congressional renewal has passed, and the New York City Firefighter Brotherhood Foundation is shaming politicians who failed to sponsor the Act's renewal but felt plenty comfortable milking the attacks to push an agenda of endless war, or at the very least, score easy political points.
Politicians like Arizona Sen. John Mccain:
Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner:
And Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby:
You get the idea. The Foundation plans to keep the shaming going for the next few days. "You will be appalled at the hypocrisy of these people to write the things they do then do nothing about the single most important 9/11 issue this country still faces," a page administrator wrote.
Two weeks ago, former Daily Show host Jon Stewart joined activists and made unusual-for-him common cause with Patrolmen's Benevolent Association Pat Lynch and Long Island Rep. Peter King to advocate for renewing the bill in Washington.
More than 33,000 first responders and survivors of the 9/11 attacks have some sort of injury or affliction, and more than 4,100 have been diagnosed with exposure-related cancers, according to the group Citizens for the Extension of the Zadroga Act.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wrote an op-ed in the Daily News this morning urging action to renew the bill, and to make its medical support programs permanent.
"We have a moral obligation to reauthorize these programs and make them permanent, so that the 9/11 community never has to lobby for these programs again," Gillibrand wrote.