HOUSE OKS DEATH BENEFIT FOR FIRE REV.

By VINCENT MORRIS


June 12, 2002 -- WASHINGTON - The House voted yesterday to extend death benefits to the FDNY's tragic 9/11 chaplain, the Rev. Mychal Judge, and some other public-safety officers, after Republican opponents abruptly gave up their fight against the measure.
The legislation passed easily and was hailed as a "fitting tribute" to the Sept. 11 victims on the day that marked nine months since last fall's terrorist attacks.

The Post reported last month that conservative critics had shelved the extremely popular bill over concerns about its cost and the inclusion of victims' "domestic partners" in the benefit program.

Stalling the measure prompted loud complaints from firefighters, police, labor groups and New York lawmakers.

Passage in the House, coming after the Senate's approval last month sends the measure to President Bush, who is expected to sign the bill despite opposition from Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The measure extends a $250,000 death payment to the survivors of FDNY chaplain Judge and nine other officers who died in the line of duty.




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