Getty Images | Zach Gibson

Fund For 9/11 First Responders And Victims Will Officially Be Extended Until 2092

First responders who experienced health problems as a result of the 9/11 attacks have won a hard-fought battle in Congress. The fund to help these first responders has been extended to provide medical help for decades to come.

9/11 was deadly for many reasons.

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Around 3,000 people were killed in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The death toll was shockingly high — and it's only continued to grow.

First responders were hit hard by the attacks.

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Many police officers and firefighters were killed in New York when the World Trade Center towers collapsed. But with the collapse came a more insidious kind of threat — one that took years to become apparent.

The dust from the WTC collapse was deadly.

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The pulverized dust and ash of two 110-storey buildings contained all kinds of hazardous and straight-up carcinogenic materials. Even with proper safety equipment, the dirty air was unavoidable for the crews who worked long hours cleaning up the site.

There's been a push for better healthcare.

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Former late-night host Jon Stewart has taken the initiative to lead these efforts, testifying before Congress to push for a compensation fund that will take care of first responders for the rest of their lives.

Congress approved the bipartisan bill.

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An update to an earlier bill from 2010 bolsters protections for first responders, extending coverage until the distant year of 2092 — almost a century after the tragic events of 9/11.

The bill was overwhelmingly approved.

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H.R. 1327 passed 97-2. The only lawmakers who voted against the measure were Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT). While the "no" votes kept it from being unanimous, it was still an overwhelming majority.

Many lawmakers championed the bill.


Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said, "We will let the people in the gallery go home knowing that the government will truly never forget. We owe them that promise. And today we have the opportunity to let them get back to their lives, be with their families and exhale."

It wasn't totally free of awkwardness.

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Stewart, who made his name as a comedian, has been particularly hard on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for not passing the bill faster. Stewart thanked him today in the halls of the Senate, prompting an awkward smile from McConnell.

This provides long-term care.

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Many of the first responders affected by 9/11 have health problems that they'll live with for the rest of their lives. By extending coverage to 2092, they're ensured healthcare long into the future.

What do you think?

Getty Images | Zach Gibson

9/11 was a watershed moment in American history. Now, Washington is doing its part to take care of its heroes. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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