(WASHINGTON) -- The House on Wednesday passed final congressional approval of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act, which provides medical care for persons exposed to harmful toxins from the 9/11 terrorist attacks. First responders, cleanup workers and those living within the terrorist attack areas are eligible for care.
The bill passed 268 - 160. 17 Republicans supported the measure, while three Democrats voted against the bill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi was in the chair when the vote was announced.
Pelosi spoke out on the House floor in favor of the bill, saying it will help those who jeopardize their health to rescue others, secure necessary medical treatment especially for the unique exposures suffered at Ground Zero, and ensures survivors and victims’ families can attain compensation for their losses.
“They and those who rushed to the scene in real time when it happened risked their lives and their health to do so. They didn’t ask any questions. Is anybody going to take care of me? They were there to help,” Pelosi said. “Today we remember all the heroes of 9/11, we praised the strength of thousands of firefighters, rescue workers, first responders and medical personnel who turned tragedy into inspiration, and gave themselves, of themselves, to help a city and our nation rebuild.”
Pelosi said the legislation, which was introduced by New York Democrat Rep. Carolyn Maloney, is fully paid for and does not increase the deficit. An attempt last July to get the bill through the House failed because it was brought to the floor under an expedited procedure requiring a two-thirds majority for passage, which it failed to get.
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