Pols, 9/11 survivors make eleventh-hour pitch to win GOP support for Zadroga health billBY Kenneth R. Bazinet
November 29, 2010
WASHINGTON - New York lawmakers and 9/11 survivors and families make an emotional appeal Monday for the 9/11 health bill, unveiling an exhibition of 29 badges from cops who died of related illnesses.
The poignant display in a Senate office building rotunda will also include drawings from New York City courtroom artist Aggie Kenny depicting first responders who worked around the clock at Ground Zero for weeks after the attacks.
It's an eleventh-hour attempt to win GOP support during the short lame-duck congressional session for the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation bill.
The long-shot legislation, which will likely be brought up for Senate debate next month, seeks to compensate workers who acquired deadly respiratory and skin diseases while working at Ground Zero.
New Yorkers including U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer; Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler and Pete King, and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly plan to attend the Capitol Hill event.
"The badges are not just a symbol," Gillibrand said. "They were not Democrats, Republicans or independents - they were Americans. Now we have a duty to provide them the health care and compensation they and their family need."
The bill has already passed the House but needs one more Republican vote to block a GOP filibuster that would doom the bill until the next Congress, where prospects are less likely because Republicans will control the House.