9/11 First Responders Aren't Terrorists, FBI Confirms
They're now eligible for health care
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2011 8:39 AM CDT
Cliff Stearns, seen in this file photo, was the one who pushed to have 9/11 First Responders checked against the terror watch list before giving them health care.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
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(Newser) – The FBI has finished screening the 60,000 September 11 first responders against the terrorist watch list to determine if they’re eligible for health care benefits and—surprise!—all of them passed, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. New York lawmakers decried the screenings, which were thrown into a law providing special care for Ground Zero workers at the insistence of Florida Rep. Cliff Stearns.

“It was shameful, and it put a cloud over extraordinarily good people for no reason,” said fellow Republican Peter King. Manhattan lawmaker Jerrold Nadler agreed, asking, “Did anyone really think the heroes of 9/11 were terrorists? It's absurd.” The FBI finished its initial screenings in June, but will continue to screen new applicants as they become eligible.