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Update: Congress Passes 9/11 Responders Bill

Dec 22, 2010

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Update at 5:40 p.m. ET: The House has now passed the bill by a vote of 206-60, sending it to the president.

Update at 5:25 p.m. ET: The House is now voting on the 9/11 first responders bill and at this moment it's close to passing — 204 "aye" votes have been cast, there have been 60 "no" votes, and 170 members have yet to declare themselves.

Update at 2:32 p.m. ET: By a voice vote, the Senate just approved a measure to help 9/11 first responders pay health care costs related to diseases they developed from exposure to harmful elements at ground zero.

Our original post:

"Senators have struck a deal to approve the James Zadroga 9/11 health bill, New York's Daily News says it "has learned."

CNN and the Associated Press are also saying it has heard that a deal's been struck.

We reported yesterday that Sen. Tom Coburn, R-0K, was planning to block a vote on the measure because he wanted to see its paid for by spending cuts from other parts of the federal budget.

According to the Daily News: "The initial Zadroga bill called for a 10-year, $7.4 billion treatment and compensation package. To win GOP support, the proposal was trimmed down to 5 years at $4.3 billion."

Named for a New York City police detective who went to ground zero after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and died five years later of respiratory disease, the measure aims to help first responders and their survivors cope with the costs of medical bills related to illnesses suffered because of their exposure to the toxins at the scene.

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