New York City's fire department says it reached an unwanted milestone this week with the 200th death of a firefighter from an illness linked to 9/11. Retired firefighter Richard Driscoll, 73, died Wednesday, just a day after 58-year-old Kevin Nolan, reports People. Both were 9/11 responders who later fell ill. “It is almost incomprehensible that after losing 343 members on September 11, we have now had 200 more FDNY members die due to World Trade Center illness," says FDNY chief Daniel Nigro in a Facebook post. The deaths come amid a fight on Capitol Hill over funding for the Victim Compensation Fund, which is due to expire in 2020, per CNN.
The Senate nearly fast-tracked legislation to extend the funding for decades, but Rand Paul blocked the move, saying he first wanted to see offsetting budget cuts. His move drew a public condemnation from Jon Stewart, who has been a strong advocate for the firefighters. GOP Sen. Mike Lee also objected to the legislation, saying he had concerns about oversight of the funding. (A former NYPD detective who testified with Stewart on Capitol Hill died in June.)