Congressional lawmakers have approved a permanent extension of the health care program for September 11 first responders.
The House and the Senate passed a $1 trillion spending package early Friday morning that includes funding for the Zadroga Act.
The program is now extended until the year 2090, and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund will continue until 2021.
Some elected officials say they're surprised it took them more than a decade to come to a long term agreement on the Zadroga Act.
"It's always been an American tradition that you don't leave the wounded on the battlefield, and if we didn't have this protection for the health and the well-being, we would be doing precisely that," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, whose district covered parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn. "A lot of the people who came down and lobbied in Washington 2010 are no longer with us, and people who came and lobbied with us a year and a half ago are no longer with us. So this is our moral duty, and we finally did it."
Mayor Bill de Blasio released a statement, saying, "Today, Congress finally committed to giving our 9/11 first responders and survivors the peace of mind they deserve, and the health care and support they need. This is a long-overdue victory for the 72,000 brave men and women around the country who rely on these programs."
Governor Andrew Cuomo also praised the vote, saying, “It shows that Congress can come together to do what is right, and bridge the gridlock and partisan divide to tackle our most pressing challenges."
Meanwhile, the broader spending bill will fund the government through September.
In the bipartisan compromise, President Barack Obama achieved many of the spending increases he had demanded all year, and Republicans got a major boost to military funding and an end to a 40-year ban on U.S. oil exports.