Pelosi vows to bring 9/11 health bill to floor for voteBy TOM BRUNE
September 25, 2010
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) on Friday announced that she would bring the 9/11 health bill back to the floor for a vote next week. The vote, the first since the bill failed to win passage in the full House vote in July, is expected to be held Wednesday, a congressional aide said.
"Next week, we will bring the James Zadroga 9-11 Health and Compensation Act to the floor for a vote," Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a joint statement. "It is our hope that we will have a strong, bipartisan vote to pass this critical legislation."
Democrats said they expected the bill to pass the House, even though only 12 Republicans voted for it in July. But even if it passes, the Senate won't consider the bill before going on recess at the end of next week, Senate aides said, and the earliest it could come up in the Senate is in November.
Kevin Fogarty, an aide for Rep. Pete King (R-Seaford), said, "After numerous meetings with Republican and Democratic leaders and Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg, Congressman King is very hopeful that the 9/11 health care bill will pass with a solid majority of votes."
John Feal, of the FealGood Foundation to assist those affected by the 9/11 attacks, said he intends to bring busloads of first responders and others to witness the House vote. Feal said he's thankful the bill is going to the floor for a vote by representatives, but he added, "They're not doing us a favor. They're doing their job."
The bill, named for the late NYPD Det. James Zadroga, would provide $7.4 billion for ailing first responders and others sickened by the World Trade Center wreckage from the 9/11 terror attacks.