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UPDATE: Coburn Doesn't Object to 9/11 Bill (Dec 22, 2010)
The U.S. Senate today passed a package of health care and economic aid for people sickened by dust from the ruins of September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

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

In a press release, Coburn said he is pleased the bill's sponsors "agreed to lower costs dramatically, offset the bill, sunset key provisions and take steps to prevent fraud."

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

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