Senate Reaches Agreement On 9/11 Health Bill

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Senate reaches agreement on 9/11 health billSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has announced that Democrats and Republicans have reached a deal that will provide aid to emergency workers who responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York.

According to media reports, the bill will be worth about $4 billion, which is approximately $2 billion less than previous amounts proposed by Democrats. The measure is designed to pay for medical aid to first responders on 9/11, including firefighters, police and emergency personnel.

Many of the workers have become ill because of their exposure to dangerous toxins during the rescue and clean-up efforts.

Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) released a joint statement, calling the agreement a "Christmas miracle."

"Over the last 24 hours, our Republican colleagues have negotiated in good-faith to forge a workable final package that will protect the health of the men and women who selflessly answered our nation's call in her hour of greatest need," the statement read.

After the Senate passes the measure, it will head to the House of Representatives. According to FOX News, about 140 members of the chamber are absent from Capitol Hill — leaving less than 300 — even though the chamber has yet to adjourn for the Christmas holiday. House rules require a minimum of 218 members for a quorum, so it appears its members will still be able to conduct business. 

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