New York Daily News

AWOL for 9/11 heroes and victims


Consider today’s editorial a promise and a threat to hound every member of Congress from New York, New Jersey and Connecticu­t, of both parties and both chambers, until they sponsor the 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act of 2023, introduced this month to finally fully support medical coverage to the responders and survivors of 9/11, numbering more than 120,000.

The legislatio­n will need the unanimous support from the states most affected from the destructio­n at Ground Zero, from the pro-Trump, hard-right Rep. Elise Stefanik (No. 3 in the House) to leftist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to get the whole of Congress to act.

As of last week, every member from New York (sans the dishonorab­le George Santos, who lied about his mother being a 9/11 victim), had become sponsors, although one of them needed a reminder from us before promptly signing on. But there’ll be no more reminders. On 9/11, the first responders didn’t need to be asked or invited or reminded to race to aid others, nor did the legions who followed them for the rescue, recovery and rebuilding at the WTC. And for their selflessne­ss and their sacrifice, far too many are afflicted with terrible diseases, from cancers to respirator­y ailments. Paying for their treatment is the least we owe them.

Across the Hudson, the sponsors list is missing more than half the delegation: Reps. Donald Norcross, Jeff Van Drew, Andy Kim, Chris Smith, Frank Pallone all should know better and should immediatel­y join the bill, which means today. Also missing are two freshmen, Tom Kean Jr. and Rob Menendez Jr. Their dads, ex-Gov. Tom Kean, who co-chaired the 9/11 commission, and Sen. Bob Menendez, the senior senator, would never let down the heroes and victims. Neither should their sons.

In Connecticu­t, it’s even worse. Only one congressma­n is a sponsor. Missing are Sen. Chris Murphy and Reps. Joe Courtney, Rosa DeLauro, Jim Himes and Jahana Hayes. Does 9/11 not matter? Did they forget?

After they sign on, then the hard work begins of building more support.

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