Senate passes aid package for 9/11 responders

WASHINGTON The measure was passed on a voice vote with no one objecting after Democrats and Republican critics reached a compromise reducing the bill's cost from $6.2 billion to $4.2 billion.

Some /*GOP*/ lawmakers had complained that /*Democrats*/ were rushing the bill through. They also had raised concerns about the bill's cost and how to pay for it.

The bill provides free health care and compensation for lost wages and other economic losses to first-responders for the Sept. 11 terrorist attack and survivors who fell ill after being exposed to toxins from the trade center ruins.

The bill would also need House approval. New York lawmakers pressed the House to remain in session for the vote.

The House was expected to vote on it later Wednesday before Congress adjourns for the year.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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