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U.S. Senate fails to get a super-majority for the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act

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Democratic Senators of New York Charles Schumer, right and Kirsten Gillibrand, left, with Democratic Senators of New Jersey Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, walk away from the podium, Dec. 9, 2010, following a press conference for the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. The act failed to get a super-majority of votes in order to end debate and force a vote. If passed the legislation would provide long-term federal care for health care issues of people directly affected by the terrorist attack in New York on Sept. 11, 2001.

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Sen. Schumer speaks with a staff member after the press conference.

NBCNewYork.com reports:

The $7.4 billion bill would provide 10 years of medical monitoring and treatment to emergency responders and cleanup workers sickened at Ground Zero following the 9/11 attacks. It would also re-open a compensation fund for 9/11 victims.

Battles over how to pay for the program have long delayed it, but now it faces yet another hurdle as the Senate wrestles with a different issue -- President Barack Obama's controversial Bush era tax cuts.

All 42 Republicans in the Senate signed a letter saying they wouldn't support any other legislation until the tax issue was resolved.