Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he is confident that the Senate will pass a bill this week to ensure funding for ailing Ground Zero workers.
Schumer (D-N.Y.) said during his weekly Sunday news conference that the Senate came to an agreement Thursday to vote on the bill soon, and he expects it to come to the floor this week. The bill would extend the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for 75 years, according to the senator.
"This will be permanent," Schumer said.
The bill was passed in the House, following emotional testimony in June from Jon Stewart and ailing Ground Zero workers, including former NYPD Det. Luis Alvarez, who died of his 9/11-related cancer weeks later. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) blocked the Senate last week from an attempt to pass the bill unanimously, arguing that the compensation fund, which expires at the end of the year, was too costly.
Schumer said that during the negotiations, Paul and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) attempted to add two amendments to the bill, one that would cut the federal budget across the board and another that would put a shorter time limit on the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Schumer, however, said he was confident that neither of those measures will be approved by the Senate.
"I’ve done a whip count. I believe those amendments will fail," Schumer said. "I am almost certain that the 9/11 bill will go to the floor, the amendments will be defeated, [the bill] will pass and it will go to the president’s desk."