A bipartisan group of New York lawmakers called on White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to scrap a proposal in President Trump’s proposed budget plan they say could threaten the health treatment of 9/11 first responders.
New York Reps. Peter King (R), Jerry Nadler (D) and Carolyn Maloney (D) said they were “shocked and disturbed” by the proposal, which would see a realignment involving the World Trade Center Health Program.
That program is currently housed in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is part of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Trump’s 2019 budget proposal for NIOSH would move that agency into the National Institute for Health (NIH).
That move could result in the shifting of employees from NIOSH to the NIH, impacting the 83,000 9/11 first responders who receive treatment and care from the WTC Health program.
“The proposal directly contradicts legislation Congress passed just three years ago to renew WTCHP for 75 years within NIOSH,” the three lawmakers wrote in their letter to Mulvaney on Friday.
King, Nadler, and Maloney were the original sponsors of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act, which works to provide health care and financial aid to 9/11’s first responders.
They said the budget proposal was made with no input from the 9/11 health-care community.
“If you had spoken to us, or anyone in the 9/11 healthcare community, you would have understood that the World Trade Center Health Program is fully integrated with NIOSH and there are many shared NIOSH staff whose expertise would be lost if the WTCHP is pulled from NIOSH,” the lawmakers said.
“We also would have explained the amount of progress NIOSH has made in service delivery, all of which would be lost if WTCHP were removed from the institute.”
The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.