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9/11 Victim Advocates Furious Over New Zadroga Act Proposal

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A new Republican proposal to reauthorize the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act  is receiving criticism from victim advocates.

Virginia Congressman and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte introduced a modified version of the plan to the House earlier this week.

Instead of making it permanent, Goodlatte's bill would extend Zadroga by five years, and it could reduce compensation payments to 9/11 victims and their families by sixty percent, WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reported.

Victims' advocate John Feal is furious.

"This is reckless and it was immature by a committee chairman," Feal said. "And it shows they're putting their ideologies before human life."

There are more than 235 members of the House who support reauthorizing the Zadroga Act. It also has 61 co-sponsors in the Senate.

"To have 61 co-sponsors in the Senate is huge," Feal said.

On Monday, firefighters will gather outside 7 World Trade Center along with allies in Congress who have been trying to get this bill passed, 1010 WINS' Roger Stern reported.

"When people contract cancer they need to be treated, they need to be treated immediately and that treatment is ongoing," James Lemonda, of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, said. "We need the Zadroga reauthorization act passed and we need it passed now."

Lemonda said there will be 'several hundred' first responders attending the event.

The bill, which covers 30,000 people, is named for James Zadroga, an NYPD officer who died of a 9/11-related illness. Components of the bill were shut down in October due to Congress' failure to act. The bill is set to expire in late 2016.

New York leaders like Mayor Bill de Blasio and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand have called for an extension of the bill. Former 'Daily Show' host and native New Yorker Jon Stewart also joined in on the fight , traveling down to Capitol Hill in September to rally in support of the bill.

Advocates will be back lobbying in Washington next month.

"I hope the Senate takes Congressman Goodlatte's bill and throws it in the trash can," Feal said.

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