Since 2004, the U.S. Department of the Treasury reportedly has withheld about $3.92M from the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) 9/11 health fund.
According to thehill.com, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin discussed the issue in an October 8 letter to New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio.
CNN.com reported that the move comes in response to unspecified debts owed by New York City.
Last week, the New York Daily News reported that, in the letter, Mnuchin wrote that the city ought to make up the shortfall. Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), among other politicians from the New York area, have been asking about the missing funding for months, the report said.
“The missing funding is directly hindering the program’s ability to hire doctors as the number of FDNY members treated by the program increases, more staffing is needed now,” said Andrew Ansbro, the president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association. “This is simply unacceptable, the siphoning of funds is morally and medically wrong. I’m not here to point fingers, I’m here to say fix it.”
The FDNY World Trade Center Health Program provides free physical and mental health services to active and retired FDNY members who served in the aftermath of the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.