WASHINGTON - (AP) - The Senate is set for a key test vote on abill to aid people who became sick after being exposed to toxins atthe World Trade Center ruins following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. New York Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrandsaid they were confident they had the 60 votes needed to prevail onthe vote expected Wednesday after the Senate completes its work onan arms control treaty with Russia. But they worry that Republicans who oppose the measure could tryto stall a final vote as Congress nears the holidays and the end ofits lame duck session. Some GOP lawmakers have complained thatDemocrats are rushing the bill through. They also have raisedconcerns about the bill's cost and how to pay for it. "With the holidays fast approaching, we urge the Republicans tonot drag this debate out needlessly," Schumer said in a statement."For our 9/11 first responders, the finish line is finally inview." The bill also would have to be approved by the House. New Yorklawmakers are pressing the House to remain in session for the vote. The measure would provide up to $6.2 billion in medical andeconomic benefits for tens of thousands of responders around thecountry who are sick from the toxins they inhaled while rescuingsurvivors and recovering remains at the Trade Center site. New York and New Jersey lawmakers have been pressing for severalyears on the issue, saying it is morally wrong not to help thosesickened in the Trade Center ruins.
Officials hopeful trimmed 9/11 health bill will pass
9/11 health bill falls short in Senate test vote
U.S. Senate delays test vote on 9/11 health bill