Yesterday, the New York Daily News reported that the Trump administration has been secretly withholding money from the FDNY World Trade Center Health Program:

The Trump administration has secretly siphoned nearly $4 million away from a program that tracks and treats FDNY firefighters and medics suffering from 9/11 related illnesses, the Daily News has learned.

The Treasury Department mysteriously started withholding parts of payments — nearly four years ago — meant to cover medical services for firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics treated by the FDNY World Trade Center Health Program, documents obtained by The News reveal.

The payments were authorized and made by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which oversees the program. But instead of sending the funds to the city, the Treasury started keeping some of the money.

Trump administration secretly withheld millions from FDNY 9/11 health program - New York Daily News, Sep 10, 2020

Has President Trump or any Administration officials discussed or explained why the money was withheld and where it has gone?

The article mentions as a possible explanation a feud between the City and the Feds, but with no other details it doesn't make any sense. I'm hoping there's more explaination out there.

After years of complaining, [Dr. David] Prezant [the FDNY’s Chief Medical Officer] did get a partial answer when Long Island Republican Rep. Pete King put his political weight behind the inquiry. That answer was that some other agency in the city has been in an unrelated feud with the feds over Medicare bills.

For some reason, Treasury decided to stiff the FDNY. Neither the Treasury Department nor the White House answered requests for comment.

  • 6
    From your linked article: "Prezant said he was docked about half a million dollars each year in 2016..." Given that Trump didn't become President until January 2017, blaming this entirely on Donald Trump seems disingenuous.
    – Just Me
    Sep 12, 2020 at 13:21

1 Answer 1


A 9/14/20 Snopes article attributes the withheld funds to a bureaucratic error:

It’s true that the Trump administration has been withholding money from the program, the result of what appears to be a bureaucratic blunder — namely, the way the Department of Treasury tracks and collects on debts owed to the federal government...

...The Department of Treasury’s letter to King stated that the department’s Bureau of Fiscal Service is required to “offset federal payments for the collection of delinquent debts owed to the United States.” The Treasury Department’s program to offset such debts uses a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to link payees and debtors.

“Some payees — such as New York City — use a single TIN for many of their subdivisions, which can result in a payment for one component of the payee being subject to offset for a debt by another component of the payee,” the letter stated. “That is what happened in this case.” ...

It's not clear from Snopes when this TIN-based error will be corrected.

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