March 6, 2013
The victims and survivors of 9/11 are being forced again to sacrifice — this time by the sequestration budget cuts that are dipping into revenue set aside for ailing first responders and using it for deficit reduction.
When the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act passed Congress at the end of 2010, the bill’s authors carefully made the $4.3 billion fund one of the federal government’s “mandatory” spending programs, shielded from the annual budget-making process and the usual politics involved.
The law included two new, dedicated revenue streams dreamed up by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) that not only pay for a compensation fund and treatment program, but also spin off some surplus to cut the deficit by $433 million.
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