After Republican Senators filibustered the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act because, well, they wanted to make sure they got their $900 billion in Bush tax cuts, there's been a determined push to get the legislation passed before the end of this year. Now New York's Democratic Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer say they believe there are enough votes from Republicans to pass a less expensive, $6 billion version of the bill.
The bill originally would have given $7.4 billion to cover medical costs and other compensation for first responders sickened by toxic conditions at Ground Zero, plus their survivors. According to the Wall Street Journal, "Supporters of the bill believe that the smaller price tag, combined with a different method of paying to the legislation, would be enough to win yes votes from Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Mark Kirk of Illinois and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Three other Republicans are also considered as possible supporters under the altered version of the bill." (It's unclear if McCain will man up after he said the Democrats were "fooling around" by trying to pass the bill.) And now the cost of the bill would be shifted from "corporate taxes to an excise tax on government purchases of material overseas."
However, it's unclear if the House will have its lawmakers stick around to pass this $6 billion version (the House passed the $7.4 billion version in September).