Supporters of the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act appeared by the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan on Monday to ask Congress to avoid cuts to the law's health programs.
The act provides health care funding and compensation for first responders and September 11th survivors.
It is up for automatic budget cuts come January 1, 2013, if Congress cannot agree on a deficit reduction package.
On Monday, politicians and first responders asked the Office of Management and Budget to exempt the act from cuts, similar to health programs for veterans.
"These programs have life and death consequences. Cuts would be insulting and devastating to the families of the 9/11 victims and first responders," said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
"We walked the halls of Congress for eight years, not to be insulted, but to be respected," said John Feal, the founder of the Feal Good Foundation.
Advocates argued the bill is already paid for and actually reduces the federal budget deficit.