9/11 health bill one vote short before Wed. vote

December 7, 2010 7:54:02 AM PST
Supporters of a bill to aid people who fell ill after working among the World Trade Center ruins are rallying on Capitol Hill on the eve of an expected key vote in the U.S. Senate.

Backers of the bill on Tuesday recalled how Congress took steps to help civilian victims of the Pearl Harbor attack and urged similar help for 9/11 victims. Tuesday is Pearl Harbor Day.

The measure would provide up to $7.4 billion in health care and compensation.

Supporters of the Zadroga 9/11 health bill are still one vote short, but say they are optimistic they can win two Republican votes along with the support of all Democrats to counter any GOP resistance. Critics have questioned whether the bill is affordable and does enough to ensure that only people with illnesses related to trade-center dust get paid.