WASHINGTON – Senator Scott Brown this afternoon said he would support legislation designed to help first responders who became sick from working at the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Brown joined Republicans earlier in helping block the legislation, but there has since been a major campaign to get the bill approved. Several changes have also been made to win Republican support, including lowering the cost.
“The first responders on September 11th unselfishly risked their lives when our nation needed them the most,” Brown said this afternoon in a statement. “Their heroic efforts should never be forgotten. I am pleased that we were able to come together and agree upon a workable solution that provides care to these brave Americans. After many months of working on this effort, I am proud to vote for this bill."
Senator John F. Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat, also supports the bill and voted in favor of it earlier this month when it was blocked by Republicans.
The legislation would aid first-responders whose illnesses are linked to the attacks, providing $4.2 billion for a fund to compensate those who became ill after being exposed to toxic chemicals at the World Trade Center site.
The Senate is expected to vote on the bill this afternoon, followed by the House.
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About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.