NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Health care funding for thousands of 9/11 first responders sickened by World Trade Center dust could be facing a crucial test vote in the U.S. Senate this week.

A vote was expected Wednesday on whether to begin formal debate on the legislation.

Backers of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation said they’re optimistic they can win two Republican votes and the support of all Senate Democrats.

That would be enough votes to break any GOP blocking tactics.

Critics have questioned whether the bill is affordable.

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