9/11 health bill flown to Hawaii for Obama to sign
January 2nd, 2011
04:16 PM ET

9/11 health bill flown to Hawaii for Obama to sign

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama signed the 9/11 health bill into law in Hawaii on Sunday, White House spokesman Bill Burton said.

Obama signed the bill during his Hawaiian vacation.  No signing ceremony was held.

The bill made a long journey in order to get signed. A printed copy of the bill flew with a White House staffer from Washington to the Hawaiian island of Oahu, so Obama could sign it from his vacation rental in Kailua.

"It came out with a member of the staff so that it could be signed in a timely fashion," Burton said.

The legislation, officially titled the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, provides health coverage to first responders to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, who have been battling for federal help for years.

After a contentious battle in which some Republicans suggested the legislation was creating a new entitlement program, it finally passed during the lame-duck session of Congress in December.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, hailed the bill's signing in a statement.

"After a long, arduous path with several near-defeats, this bill is finally law," he said. "The heroes who rushed to Ground Zero in the hours and days after the attacks will not be forgotten.  These first responders were like veterans, and this law keeps with a time-honored tradition of standing by our veterans when they get harmed answering the call.  We will begin work immediately to make sure this law gets renewed for another five years."

–CNN's Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report from Honolulu.

Topics: President Obama • The News

soundoff (4 Responses)

    Hey! I suppose you haters are satisfied that PRESIDENT OBAMAS' vacation is not quite the vacation you were jealous of him enjoying! I told you the man's never really had a vacation-vacation since he's been in office. He works on all of them! He's a BLACK PRESIDENT! He has to work doubly hard as the WHITE PRESIDENT to prove himself worthy; and whatever he does, whichever way he decides, he's still subjected to complaints, vile racist ridicule, hate, vendictiveness and disdain! The world's watching, folks!

    January 2, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  2. Jay in NC

    Liz, why are you so hung up on race? Why can't you just see him as an intelligent person? Racism is a backwards, heinous lens to view the word. I hope, one day, you will see people for who they are and not just their skin color and gender.

    January 3, 2011 at 9:33 pm |

    @Jay in NC; I DO see him as an intelligent person! I wonder what in the world is wrong with you and the others who all try to turn a blind-eye to his intelligence! STEVIE WONDER can see that the man is intelligent. THAT'S WHAT MAKES ME ANGRY! You all berate and dismiss everything he does to show him as unintelligent, inefficient and not capable; and I know he is intelligent, efficient, and capable! That only leads me to believe that, maybe many of your true problems with him is that he is black!

    January 4, 2011 at 1:29 am |

    @Jay in NC; I know racism is heinous, but it's not yet backwards! Backwards, to me would be if it really was a thing of the past, but that elephant is still in the room; hiding in plain sight! Oh yes, I know some blacks have managed to acquire a fairly good life, but there's still limitations put on them! They can only get so high, before they get knocked down. My personal calculations show me that, out of every 10 BLACK AMERICANS, 2.5 make it to the AMERICAN DREAM! Something's wrong with that picture!

    January 4, 2011 at 2:03 am |