O bids to increase aid to 9/11 heroesBy ED ROBINSON
New York Post
January 29, 2010
President Obama plans to ask Congress for $150 million for medical treatment for 9/11 first responders -- more than double last year's allocation, a congressional source told The Post.
The news comes after members of the New York congressional delegation were told that the White House didn't support the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, a bill that would make such funding permanent.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had told the legislators on Wednesday that the funds would be considered discretionary and, therefore, not allowed under the president's spending freeze.
Currently, the programs are paid for on an annual basis, and Obama's proposed payout would cover only 2011, the source said.
Last year, they received $71 million.
"The fact that the president is more than doubling the commitment to 9/11 first responders and their families, with so many programs having their funding cut or frozen, is a win that we can all be proud of," said Rep. Michael McMahon (D-SI), who is working to pass the bill.
But Rep. Peter King (R-LI) said the $150 million was "too small."