Clinton To Bush:Rescind 9/11 Veto Threat

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Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday called on President Bush to rescind his threat to veto the budget measure providing $109 million in critical funding to healthcare programs to treat those who are now suffering from illnesses as a result of the 9/11 attacks. In a letter to the President, Senator Clinton stated that under the restraints of the President’s budget request, the funding for these vital programs would be lost. Senator Clinton called on the President to remember the first responders he stood with in the days following the terrorist attacks, many of whom now suffer from debilitating illnesses, and urged him not to abandon them in this crucial time of need.

“In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, our first responders and countless others reacted without concern for their own lives and safety, and many now suffer from debilitating illnesses as a direct result. They did not ask whether someday they would become sick, or how they would afford the care – they simply chose to act,” said Senator Clinton. “Congress has worked hard to put forward a plan that contains the funding necessary for these critically important 9/11 health programs. I strongly urge the President to abandon his veto threat, and to work with Congress for the common good to ensure that these vital programs receive the funding they desperately need.”

Senator Clinton has long stood shoulder to-shoulder with the first responders and other victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks upon the World Trade Center, in fighting for the critical funding needed to address the short and long-term health needs of those individuals who were exposed to environmental hazards as a result of the tragic events of that day. More than six years after the attacks, persistent health effects have been documented among residents, rescue and recovery workers, such as asthma, chronic sinusitis, and gastrointestinal conditions. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other health effects have also been diagnosed among many of those who were exposed.

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