9/11 Health Bill Backers Rally on Capitol Hill on Eve of Key Vote

Measure would provide up to $7.4 billion in health care and compensation

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    West Babylon Fire Department firefighter Hassan Hamza bows his head after 9/11 commemorations outside the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2010 in New York City. Hamza was a first responder on 9/11 and lost three friends, two firefighters and one police officer, on that day. Today marks the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

    Supporters of a bill to aid people who fell ill after working among the World Trade Center ruins are rallying on Capitol Hill on the eve of an expected key vote in the U.S. Senate.

    Backers of the bill on Tuesday recalled how Congress took steps to help civilian victims of the Pearl Harbor attack and urged similar help for 9/11 victims. Tuesday is Pearl Harbor Day.

    The measure would provide up to $7.4 billion in health care and compensation.

    Supporters say they are optimistic they can win two Republican votes along with the support of all Democrats to counter any GOP resistance.

    Critics have questioned whether the bill is affordable and does enough to ensure that only people with illnesses related to trade-center dust get paid.