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Key Test Vote On 9/11 Health Bill Likely Wednesday

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill to aid people who fell ill after working in the World Trade Center ruins is expected to face a key test vote in the Senate on Wednesday.

New York senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer said Saturday that a vote is likely on whether to begin formal debate on the bill.

Backers of the bill say they are optimistic they can win two Republican votes along with the support of all Senate Democrats. That would be enough votes to break any GOP blocking tactics.

Schumer said supporters were still scouring the Senate for one more Republican vote.

The bill would provide up to $7.4 billion in health care and compensation.

Critics have questioned whether the bill is affordable, and does enough to ensure that only people with illnesses related to trade center dust get paid.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)