NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) – Backers of a bill to provide as much as $7.4 billion in aid to people sickened by World Trade Center dust are making a last-minute push in the Senate.
First responders, survivors of the Sept. 11 attacks and lawmakers are gathering Tuesday on Capitol Hill before the lame duck session of Congress ends.
They are urging passage of the bill to provide free health care and compensation to 9/11 rescue and recovery workers who fell ill after working in the Trade Center ruins.
The bill passed the House in September but could die unless the Senate approves it before adjourning this year. Bill backers worry it could face a tougher fight in the new, more conservative Congress.
WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola reports
“It is our obligation to help these people out,” says Rep. Anthony Weiner, a Democrat who is calling for a new vote on the James Zadroga bill to help 9/11 responders.
Weiner says the bill to provide health benefits for 9/11 rescue workers faces an uncertain future if it doesn’t pass the Senate in this lame duck session.
“I am not overwhelmingly optimistic about its prospects,” Weiner told reporters including WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola. “I think, while many Democrats lost on Tuesday the 2nd, the chances for the 9/11 health bill also were dramatically reduced.”
Weiner says people volunteered to work at the World Trade Center site, out of a sense of patriotism.
(TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
IN OTHER NEWS…