By Jason Millman - 12/22/10 01:32 PM EST
Oklahoma City firefighters are pressuring their senator to drop his opposition to a bill that would provide health benefits and compensation to Ground Zero first responders.
The firefighters association, recalling its own tragic day in 1995 when an Oklahoma City federal building was bombed, urged its senators to support a bill that provides $6.2 billion to workers who got sick at the Ground Zero site in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
With both chambers hoping to wrap up the lame-duck session Wednesday, supporters of the bill are pleading with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) to allow the vote to proceed. Coburn said Tuesday that he has concerns with the bill and wants it to go through the committee process next year.
"We're going to have to come back and fix it," Coburn told Fox News on Tuesday, "and we're going to waste a whole bunch more money and not fix the real problem, which is taking care of those people who are so desperately dependent on it."
The Oklahoma City firefighters said the Senate shouldn't delay the bill.
"It has been almost 10 years since that tragic day, and firefighters, police officers and those who worked on the pile remain without adequate health monitoring and care," they said. "It is a national disgrace."
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday that members of the lower chamber will stay in Washington on Wednesday to pass the bill if it gets through the Senate.