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Sunday
Dec192010

'Christmas Miracle' for 9/11 Responders?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The first responders still suffering health effects more than nine years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks could get a "Christmas miracle" this year, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Saturday.

Senate Republicans last week derailed a bill that would provide $7.4 billion in health care and compensation to 9/11 responders and survivors, but Gillibrand this weekend voiced confidence that the Senate will pass the bill in the next week, now that lawmakers have agreed on how to pay for the measure.

"We have the votes we need," Gillibrand said Saturday at a press conference on Capitol Hill. "We've had indications from several Republicans that they very much want to vote for this bill.

"They would like to vote for a stand-alone bill," she said. "There is general agreement on a new pay-for that we're going to offer, so the hope is to get to the bill as soon as the START bill is completed."

The bill was put to a test vote on Dec. 9, but supporters found themselves three votes short of the 60 needed to proceed to debate and a final vote. The measure failed 57-42.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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