Most of New York’s congressional Republicans broke party ranks this week and condemned the Trump administration for stripping millions of dollars from the FDNY’s 9/11 health care program — even as GOP leaders and lawmakers from other states remained conspicuously silent.
As first reported by the Daily News last week, the Treasury Department has over the past four years siphoned about $3.7 million from the FDNY’s World Trade Center Health Program, which covers medical services for New York firefighters and other first responders suffering from 9/11-related illnesses.
Treasury officials have maintained they only took $2 million, that the department is working to get the cash back to the FDNY and that the withdrawals were caused by a bureaucratic snafu in which money was pulled from the 9/11 fund to cover some of the city’s unrelated Medicare debt.
Still, the stealthy 9/11 cash crunch prompted immediate outrage from Democrats — and this week, all but one of New York’s typically Trump-loyal House Republicans added to the backlash.
“The withholding of funding from our 9/11 health care workers and first responders is unacceptable,” said upstate New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, who served as a lawyer on President Trump’s impeachment trial defense team.
Stefanik gave credit to retiring Rep. Pete King (R-Long Island), who led the way last week by offering the first rare GOP rebuke of the administration’s FDNY cash transfers.
“I will absolutely be fighting side by side with my friend Pete King and other members of the delegation to ensure that the funding goes to 9/11 health care workers,” Stefanik said. (NY DAILY NEWS)