Senate Republicans Block 9/11 Health Bill
Democrats hope to insert it into tax-cut deal
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2010 3:53 PM CST
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., second from right, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

(Newser) – GOP senators stopped a $7.4 billion bill to help rescuers who suffered injuries in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the New York Times reports. The Senate voted mostly on party lines to extend debate on the 9/11 health bill, effectively sending it to be considered by the next Senate, where passage will be even more difficult. In one last-ditch effort this year, backers will try to insert provisions into the tax-cut deal brokered between the president and congressional Republicans.

Their best hope is that Charles Schumer will convince Harry Reid to play along. The tax-cut extension, a sponsor of the bill explained, "is the one measure the Senate Republicans won’t leave this town without passing." The bill sets aside $3.2 billion over the next 8 years for treating ailments inflicted on the day of the attacks. New York City would cover 10% of those costs. It also would set up a $4.2 billion compensation fund. Republicans want more specifics on where the money will come from.