Not only did the DADT repeal get signed today, but the Senate reached a compromise on the labeled “9/11 Responders Bill.”
Officially called The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, it would provide monitoring and specialized treatment for responders, as well as residents who lived near the site in Lower Manhattan and were exposed to the disaster’s toxic cloud. The legislation is named after a New York police officer detective who worked at Ground Zero after the 2001 attacks. He died in 2006 of respiratory illnesses attributed to his exposure.
The cost has recently been reduced from $6.2 billion to $4.2 billion. The bill has been a pet project for both NY Senators Charles Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand.
This is without question a good thing. The bill’s slow passage has been ridiculed to an extreme degree on The Daily Show, reaching critical mass in this episode where Jon Stewart invited 9/11 responders on the show to discuss their health issues. Plus Fox News’ Shep Smith hammered out his frustrations on air as well.