Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York, who has led the charge to replenish the fund, said the bill fulfilled “a moral obligation” Congress has to the Sept. 11 emergency workers, who rushed to the rubble immediately after the attacks, and others who worked there in the months that followed. The cause was championed by the comedian Jon Stewart and brought to an emotional peak by the death two weeks ago of Luis G. Alvarez, a former New York City detective and advocate for the emergency workers.

“It’s the least we can do as a grateful nation,” Ms. Maloney said. “They were there for us; we have to be there for them, and we have a double moral responsibility. Not only were they the veterans of the war on terror, they were told by their government that the site was safe, when it was not.”

Ms. Maloney has for months walked the halls of Congress in a black firefighter jacket with fluorescent yellow reflective stripes and her name emblazoned on the back, to draw attention to the bill and her drive to pass it. The jacket was given to her by emergency workers pushing for an extension of the fund, and she had said she would not take it off until that goal was achieved.

“The ceremonial removal,” she said Friday before a small crowd of reporters on the steps of the Capitol immediately following the vote, turning around to shrug the jacket off her shoulders.

 

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