photo Rep. Garrett with Jon Stewart discussing the Zadroga Act
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, In response to misrepresentations of Congressman Garrett’s record, specifically on the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, Garrett for Congress released the following fact check to clarify these falsehoods. Congressman Garrett voted for the legislation that first established the program and was a cosponsor of its reauthorization. He clearly supports the program, and clearly opposes its politicization – like when the legislation has been attached to unrelated tax increases or bloated spending bills. Additionally, many leaders in the Fifth District community are standing strong with Congressman Garrett, as seen by their statements below.
Robert Knapp, former Oakland Volunteer Fire Department Chief: “The community of Oakland is only a short car ride from New York City, and our residents remember both the heroism and the losses of September 11, 2001. In the days following the 9/11 attacks, I went to Ground Zero to lend my support. I saw the devastation and destruction first hand. Our residents also remember the advocates for our community in the aftermath – one of whom is Congressman Scott Garrett. Scott has fought for our First Responders and he has opposed efforts to politicize their struggles. Just as they stand strong in the face of adversity, we know we can rely on Scott to stand strong for them in the face of political pressure.”
Assemblyman Parker Space, former Wantage Fire Department Chief: “Scott Garrett is a champion for the brave men and women in uniform that serve the Fifth District. Any suggestion otherwise is a shameful smear manufactured to score cheap political points. I’ve known Scott for years and have personally witnessed his public service and dedication to our community’s First Responders. As a third generation firefighter, I’m deeply offended by the lies cooked up by some Washington, DC political operatives in a ploy to obscure the truth here in New Jersey.”
Freeholder Carl Lazarro: “After the horrible attacks of 9/11, thousands of firefighters, police officers and others have been out of work because of the illnesses they suffer as a result of their heroic sacrifices. Congressman Scott Garrett has been a vocal supporter of the Victims Compensation Fund established by the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, and actively fought to have the program reauthorized. He has continually demonstrated his commitment to our First Responders and I am proud to stand beside him.”
Zadroga Fact Check
FACT: Rep. Carolyn Maloney introduced the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act bill in 2007 to provide compensation and treatment to workers who had been affected by the cleanup. This was a bipartisan piece of legislation, and solely addressed the needs of those affected by the 9/11 cleanup. Congressman Garrett was a cosponsor of this legislation.
FACT: Congressman Garrett again cosponsored the bill when it was reintroduced in 2009. Up through this, it was still a bipartisan effort and many were working together to find ways to pay for this program.
FACT: Democrats politicize the Zadroga Act by attaching it to a tax increase. Congressman Garrett voted against this legislation, outraged at this manipulation of the legislation.
FACT: Congressman Garrett voted for final passage of the Zadroga Act after the tax increases were removed by a Senate amendment. This legislation was then signed into law.
FACT: Reauthorization of the Zadroga Act was introduced in mid-April 2015. Congressman Garrett was again a cosponsor of this legislation.
FACT: Congressman Garrett wrote a letter to Congressional leadership asking for the Zadroga Act to be voted on by itself as stand-alone legislation, rather than being used as a political bargaining tool.
FACT: Congressional leadership attached the Zadroga Act to an unrelated year-end $1.1 trillion spending bill, using the legislation as an incentive to get votes for the passage of the underlying spending bill that was thousands of pages long and had a litany of other programs. Congressman Garrett could not support a $1.1 trillion government spending bill, despite strongly voicing his support for the permanent reauthorization of the Zadroga programs.