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EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Marco Rubio signs on to reauthorize Zadroga Act

WASHINGTON — Sen. Marco Rubio has signed on to back reauthorizing the Zadroga Act...
 
Rubio signed onto the Senate bill to permanently and fully reauthorize the programs that provide healthcare and money for 9/11 first responders and others suffering from major health problems due to the attacks, his team confirmed to the Daily News Tuesday evening.
 
“Programs designed to meet the unique health needs of those Americans should be renewed, and those who rely on them should not face uncertainty and continued anxiety over their future,” Rubio said in a statement provided first to the Daily News.
 
“Congress must keep faith with the heroes and victims of 9/11, while also making sure our federal government is living within its means and protecting taxpayers. As we continue working on this issue, I hope we can improve this legislation or reach an agreement that meets both these goals.”
 

 
Rubio's support means 66 senators now back full reauthorization of the bill, which officially expired in October and will run out of money early next year.
 
A solid majority of House members also back reauthorization, but House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) recently introduced a competing bill aimed at a temporary renewal that would have less money for victims.
 
But his statement offered qualified support, hinting that he hoped for changes in how it’s paid for.
 
“I continue to believe that we should prioritize our 9/11 first responders' needs above other things that the federal government is spending money on – and in many cases, wasting money on. While I am co-sponsoring this bill, Congress should nonetheless find appropriate ways to pay for this reauthorization and ensure a sustainable long-term solution,” he said.
 

 
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