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De Blasio: Coalition of city leaders calls on House Speaker Ryan to support fully funded Zadroga Act

Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a press

Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a press conference held on Sept. 8, 2014 to call for the extension of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act for a further 25 years before it expires. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that a coalition of 27 city leaders has called on U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan to pass legislation to "fully fund" the Zadroga Act to support 9/11 survivors and first responders. 

De Blasio, who made the announcement at an event at City Hall with members of New York's congressional delegation, said the group sent a letter to Ryan "asking for action on this issue." 

"It’s not a red issue, it’s not a blue issue – this is truly a red, white, and blue issue," de Blasio said in a transcript from the announcement. "There’s no two ways about it – this is a question of patriotism. Are we going to serve those who responded after an attack on our nation? The answer must be yes and it must be permanent." 

First responders and advocates have claimed that a Republican proposal guts the Zadroga Act that provides health and mental support to firefighters, cops and others suffering after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed more than 2,700 people at the World Trade Center site. 

Congressional representatives have said the Republican proposal slashes the victims compensation fund by as much as 60% and knocks down funding by $456 million. The original Zadroga Act expired on Sept. 30.

Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck directed inquires from Newsday to Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy spokesman Matt Sparks didn't respond to a request for comment. 

-- With Newsday

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