The Senate overwhelmingly voted on Tuesday to add billions of dollars to a fast-paced state. dwindling compensation fund for 9/11 workers who are now sick or dying – ending an emotional political debate over ongoing deaths in connection with the terrorist attacks of 2001.
The Law Challenged by Seriously Ill First Aider and Earlier "Daily Show" Comedian Jon Stewart will extend the compensation program for decades and cost an estimated $ 10.2 billion in the first decade.
It was passed at 97 to 2 and received applause and applause from first responders and their families in the Senate Gallery.  The measure has already been passed in the House of Representatives and will now be forwarded to the White House for signature by the President.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.) noted that as legislator in Washington In New York, the family of the former New York Police detective, Christopher Cranston, held a memorial service for him. Cranston, who worked at Ground Zero and the New York City Landfill, where much of the World Trade Center waste was being investigated, died of cancer on Saturday.
"The eyes of the nation are looking into this chamber today to see if we finally do it. Stand by our heroes of 9/11 for the rest of their lives," Gillibrand said. "That should never have been a fight, it should never have taken so long to pass this law and make it permanent."
The issue of extending the program became an urgent requirement earlier this year, when the Special Representative supervising the Fund warned that future payouts would be cut by up to 70 percent due to a growing number of deaths and cancer cases, as a result, the $ 7 billion earmarked for ill victims would be used up.
Last month, Ground Zero workers and their families held an emotional hearing with former New York police detective Luis Alvarez, who called on Congress not to shut the door to others who would get sick after him ,
Alvarez died weeks later, and the legislature decided to include his name in the legislation. According to Alvarez and Stewart, the house passed the measure by an overwhelming majority.
Stewart continued to attack the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), As he said it was a long record of legislation for Sept. 11 health issues. McConnell denied that he was against the bill and issued a statement Tuesday morning calling for support.
Stewart and other first responders met with lawmakers before Tuesday's vote and watched the Senate gallery vote.
] Despite McConnell's support, the bill was subject to a temporary setback last week when two Republican senators, Rand Paul (Ky) and Mike Lee (Utah), called for changes that would force the government to spend on the program to shorten elsewhere.  These changes were far and away lost on Tuesday before the vote on the overall legislation.
The first incarnation of the fund was created for those who were abducted immediately after the attacks of September 11, 2001, when commercial airliners were deployed, killed or injured and sent to the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, the Pentagon and on one Field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, crashed.
This fund closed in 2003, but over the next ten years, physicians and scientists tracking the health of Ground Zero workers have identified relationships between this exposure and a variety of diseases, including lung disease, gastrointestinal Diseases and cancer.
In 2010, Congress created a new version of the fund to provide health care and compensation to those who got sick after working at the disaster sites and to those who lived or worked near these equally exposed sites.
This legislation expired after five years and was extended for another five years. The current version of the Victims Compensation Fund is unlikely to accept any claims in 2020, but the new bill would extend the program by seven decades – presumably so long as it covers all those who have ever been exposed to toxic waste.
The fund has paid approximately $ 5 billion to approximately 21,000 sick or dying applicants. About 700 payments were made for deaths that occurred long after the attacks. Officials have warned that in the near future, the number of deaths from ground-zero-related illnesses will exceed nearly 3,000 people killed on 11 September.