Congressman Crowley on the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act

Jul 29, 2010 Issues:

Washington, D.C.Today, Congressman Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), one of nine chief deputy whips, urged the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, a bill that will help the thousands of people who are now suffering from health issues as a result of their heroic actions on September 11th and the days following. Congressman Crowley is the only member of Congress who lost a family member on September 11th, Battalion Chief John Moran.

 Below are Congressman Crowley’s remarks from the House floor as submitted:

“Today, I rise not as a member of Congress. Not as a native New Yorker. Not as the son of a New York City cop. Today, I rise as the cousin of Battalion Chief John Moran and in strong support of the James Zadroga 9-11 Health and Compensation Act.

“My cousin, along with almost 3,000 others, died on September 11, 2001. His last known words were to the driver of the New York City Fire Department vehicle who – at John’s request – dropped him off at World Trade Center Tower 2. He said, ‘Let me off here. I am going to try to make a difference.’

“I rarely talk about the death of my cousin. The loss of him and other close friends who were killed that day is a personal matter – one I never want to exploit. But, today, I need to share John’s story because he, and the thousands of others who perished that day, would want to know that the survivors of 9/11 will also never be forgotten.  

“I have joined in the efforts to pay tribute to all those who died for our nation, and all those who served our nation after the attacks. Thousands of eloquent speeches have been delivered. Medals of valor have been issued. But, the ultimate tribute has yet to be provided to the survivors who served our nation on that fateful day and the weeks, months and years following.

“Almost nine years after the September 11 terror attacks, those who dug through rubble, plastic, toxins, and human remains continue to await access to much-needed health services. And, those who were told, ‘go home, return to life as usual’ are still awaiting much-needed care.

“These are the very people who the federal government urged to return to Ground Zero, Battery Park and the Financial District because, ‘the air is safe.’ And, they did return to keep digging, keep searching and keep working. But, the government was wrong – the air wasn’t safe and now thousands are sick, many are dying.

“Today, we have the chance to finally fulfill our commitment to the 9/11 heroes. In the words of my cousin – my colleagues, today, we have the chance ‘to make a difference.’ Vote for the James Zadroga 9-11 Health and Compensation Act. The choice is simple: either vote to protect foreign corporations who are avoiding U.S. taxes; or vote to protect those who stood in protection of us on September 11th.”

Congressman Crowley is the six-term representative from the 7th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and the Committee on Foreign Affairs.