From Sunlen Miller and Yunji de Nies:
While on vacation, from his beachfront rental home in Kailua, Hawaii, President Obama has signed the 9/11 responders bill.
The $4.2 billion bill passed unanimously in the final week of Congress’ session before lawmakers adjourned for the year.
"I was honored to sign the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to ensure that rescue and recovery workers, residents, students, and others suffering from health consequences related to the World Trade Center disaster have access to the medical monitoring and treatment they need," Obama said in a statement released after the signing. "We will never forget the selfless courage demonstrated by the firefighters, police officers and first responders who risked their lives to save others. I believe this is a critical step for those who continue to bear the physical scars of those attacks."
Despite its popularity, the 9/11 health bill was delayed in the Senate by Tom Coburn, R-Ola., who came under criticism for opposing the bill on the grounds that it provided "overly generous funding" and included "unnecessary and duplicative compensation funds."
Under the deal worked out in the Senate and approved in the House, the total cost of the bill over 10 years would be reduced from $6.2 billion to $4.2 billion. Of that $4.2 billion, $1.5 billion will go to health benefits for the first responders, while $2.7 billion will go to compensation for them.
– Sunlen Miller and Yunji de Nies