WASHINGTON — Backers of a bill in Congress to help people who became sick after working in the World Trade Center dust created by the Sept. 11 attacks say they are optimistic the Senate will approve the measure before the lame-duck session ends.
Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer of New York said Sunday they are offering a less-costly alternative to the original bill to aid 9/11 responders and survivors, saying that they believe it will gain needed support from the GOP.
Republicans have raised concerns about the bill's cost and how to pay for it.
Supporters were three votes short of the 60 votes they needed for the bill on a recent test vote.
The House has passed the original bill but would have to consider any new version.
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