Under intense pressure from the media, 9/11 first responders, and fellow Republican politicians, Senator Tom Coburn has apparently backed off pretty much the least popular political stand imaginable blocking the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act over concerns about its funding and the process by which it was ushered through the Senate. After negotiations with senators Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Harry Reid today, Coburn has agreed not to stall the bill in exchange for various tweaks. Instead of $6.2 billion over ten years, the bill was cut to $4.2 billion and, according to Coburn, now “doesn’t allow double-dipping” or “exorbitant lawyer fees.” The legislation is now expected to pass both the House and Senate by the end of the day. What’s going to be interesting is seeing how many Republican senators suddenly decide that they support the bill after all, after filibustering it two weeks ago.
Update: Never mind about that last point the Senate just passed the bill on a voice vote, meaning no actual vote tally was taken.