Advocates for 9/11 first responders bill to hold rally against new proposal

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LOWER MANHATTAN – Lawmakers and supporters of the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Reconmpensation bill will be in Manhattan on Monday fighting for the health care for the first responders after Republicans proposed a temporary solution that had many advocates furious.

The rally will be held at 1 p.m. in front of the Silverstein Family Park at One World Trade.

Back in September, first responders and others who worked during the cleanup of Ground Zero traveled to Washington calling on lawmakers to make the bill permanent.

Even comedian Jon Stewart rallied with them.

But those words fell on deaf ears, and the law was allowed to lapse on October 1, meaning without renewal the program could cease operation could cease next year.

The Zadroga Act, named after first responder James Zadroga who died after working at Ground Zero, provides compensation and health-related funding to the more than 33,000 workers and their beneficiaries who toiled at the shift in the day and months after the 9/11 attacks, many suffering from cancers and other illnesses caused by working in the toxic atmosphere at the site.

Proponents seek a permanent extension of the bill in part because some illnesses may not manifest until years later.

But bitter political feuding on Capitol Hill continues to stall any moves toward renewing the bill, with many Republican lawmakers supporting renewal of the bill, but pushing to make it temporary and subject to periodic scrutiny.

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