New Push for Bill to Aid Sick 9/11 Responders

By Andrew Miga | September 15, 2010 | 1:39 PM EDT

Washington (AP) - Backers of a bill to provide up to $7.4 billion in aid to people sickened by World Trade Center dust are renewing their push for the measure as a second House vote nears.

First responders, survivors of the Sept. 11 attacks and New York lawmakers gathered Wednesday on Capitol Hill to press their case. They are urging passage of the bill to provide free health care and compensation to 9/11 rescue and recovery workers who fell ill after working in the trade center ruins. A vote is expected next week.

In July, the bill failed to win the two-thirds majority needed under the procedure that Democratic leaders used to bring up the bill to block potential amendments. The bill fell short by a vote of 255-159.

New York lawmakers say they're more optimistic this time because the bill will need only a simple majority.