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Gillibrand, Schumer fight to save 9/11 health bill funding
With possible budget cuts looming in D.C. on Friday, New York's congressional delegation says it is racing against the clock to prevent money for ailing 9/11 rescue workers from going to waste.
Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer and all House members from New York state will push for a vote in Congress this week to remove the automatic budget cuts of the $27 million in federal funding for the Zadroga health compensation fund before a possible sequestration set for Friday.
Families and representatives of 9/11 first responders who suffer from chronic illness say there's no reason that their loved ones should shoulder the pain of balancing the budget.
"Firefighters are going to continue to get sick," said Steve Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association. "They need the money."
Several federal programs were exempt from sequestration in the 2013 budget, including veterans care. Schumer said 9/11 first responders deserve the same exemptions.
"They volunteer. They risked their lives for our safety," he said.