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Brindisi Pushes Support For 9/11 First Responders, Keeps Quiet On 2020 Challengers

VESTAL, NY (WSKG) - 22nd District Congressman Anthony Brindisi wants to pressure his colleagues in Washington D.C. to pass a bill that benefits 9/11 first responders.

Many of the first responders face life-threatening illnesses. The bill permanently reauthorizes the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund, which reported earlier this year that it's running out of money. In the past, the fund had periodically been reauthorized.

Brindisi, a Democrat, spoke at the Endwell Fire Department. He was joined by several first responders from around the area. "There is no valid reason to hold this bill hostage, to play politics with this bill," said Paul Higgins, with the Endicott Fire Department.

The bill has massive bipartisan support with more than 332 co-sponsors. Still, Brindisi said there are detractors that are keeping it from going through. “If you live outside of New York State perhaps it’s not as front-and-center for you, what these men and women are going through,” he said.

Brindisi said opponents might point to the cost of the bill, which he estimates to be between $5 billion to $10 billion.

The measure is currently waiting for action in the House of Representatives. Brindisi believes if it passes, President Donald Trump will sign it.

Brindisi's visit came the same week Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell is expected to announce his run for the Republican nomination in NY-22. Brindisi brushed off a question about challengers. "There will be plenty of time for politics down the road," Brindisi said.

Two other Republicans, Franklin Sager and George Phillips, have announced campaigns for the GOP nomination in the district.