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Senate passes health package for 9/11 responders

The Senate has passed a package of health care and economic aid for people sickened by dust from the ruins of September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

world Updated: Dec 23, 2010 01:55 IST

The Senate has passed a package of health care and economic aid for people sickened by dust from the ruins of September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

The measure was passed on a voice vote with no one objecting after Democrats and Republican critics reached a compromise reducing the bill's cost from $6.2 billion to $4.2 billion.

The bill provides free health care and compensation for lost wages and other economic losses to first-responders for the September 11 terrorist attack and survivors who fell ill after being exposed to toxins from the trade center ruins.

New York and New Jersey lawmakers have waged a long, bitter fight for the measure. The House was expected to vote on it later Wednesday before Congress adjourns for the year.