NY 1 - August 19, 2010President Barack Obama put his weight behind a bill to help September 11th first responders. The White House said on Wednesday that the president looks forward to signing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act into law.
Sponsors of the bill are calling him to help them push the measure once Congress is back in session.
Earlier this month, lawmakers failed to get a two-thirds majority needed to pass the bill in the House of Representatives.
Democratic leaders were hoping to prevent Republicans from adding amendments to the law.
Named for a detective who died because illness he contracted at the site, the law would provide funds for the continued health care of first responders and residents who were sickened by the toxic dust and debris from the World Trade Center collapse.
Anthony Flammia, a member of the first responders' group Fealgood Foundation said the group is happy to have the president's support, but said Obama needs to put more pressure on Congress to pass it.
"It's a great foot forward, but his foot is not really forward on it. And we need him to basically support it full out with us," said Flammia.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg applauded Obama's move, saying in part, “We appreciate President Obama’s support of this vital legislation - now it is incumbent on both Houses of Congress and both parties to come together to pass this bill."