While on vacation in Hawaii, President Obama signed into law legislation to cover the medical care costs of 9/11 rescue workers.
The New York Times: Obama Signs Bill To Help 9/11 Workers
President Obama took time out of his Hawaiian vacation on Sunday to sign into law one of the surprise accomplishments of the lame-duck Congress: a measure covering the cost of medical care for rescue workers and others sickened by toxic fumes and dust after the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center (Stolberg, 1/2).
Reuters: Obama Signs Health Bill For Sept. 11 Responders
The five-year, $4.3 billion measure will provide medical treatment for emergency responders sickened by toxic dust inhaled at the World Trade Center site in New York in the days following the hijacked plane attacks. It also includes a health program for responders sickened by the toxic debris and establishes a victims' compensation fund (Mason, 1/2).
Bloomberg: Obama Signs Bill To Aid Survivors, Emergency Services In Sept. 11 Attacks
The U.S. Senate and House both acted on the bill on Dec. 22, the last day of the 111th Congress. The Senate passed it by voice vote after Republicans dropped their opposition. The House followed with a roll call vote, passing the bill 206-60 (Brower, 1/2).
The Associated Press: Obama Signs Sept. 11 First Responders Bill
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was named after a police officer who died of a respiratory disease he contracted during the 9/11 rescue operations. The bill was one of the last measures Congress passed before adjourning in December (1/2).