Playing Politics With 9/11

(2PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

At times like these you gotta love the peoples House.

ast Thursday the US House took up the vote on H.R.847 – James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010.

As the name identifies the bill would have provided $3.2 billion over the next 10 years to fund free health care for 9/11 rescue and recovery workers who have fallen ill from toxic smoke and debris they breathed  at the World Trade Center site. The bill would have also provided $4.2 billion in compensation over that same span.

Seems pretty clear enough, who wouldn’t want to compensate those that were involved in responding to the worst attack on America since Pearl Harbor? Amazingly enough … the “party of NO!” … Most Republicans refused to back the measure, calling it a “slush fund.”

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), arguing that it would be raided by undeserving scammers with tenuous links to 9/11. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) cast it as a money grab for New York because the bill would pay for care at higher rates than Medicare. “This fund is bloated,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).

In an environment today that many refuse to vote for tax hikes and spending tax payer dollars to fund large government programs this bill does neither. The measure is paid for by closing tax loopholes on foreign subsidiaries that do business in the United States, which the GOP also opposed, saying it was a tax hike on foreign companies that hire Americans.

What did Congressman Anthony Weiner (D -N.Y) do? He called them on it. He not only called them out but he gave them a little perspective to wash it down with.

Outside of the political theater why didn’t it pass? Because the Democrats used a procedural maneuver that suspended certain rules, one being that it did not allow amendments to be attached to H.R. 847. It also meant that the bill needed a two-thirds majority vote.

The final tally was 255 for, 159 against.

Something that should be so easy to pass was now thrown in the political realm of the absurd. Some people actually “get it” and point the finger at the culprits.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg blasted both sides of the aisle saying “It was wrong for the overwhelming majority of Republicans to vote against the bill, and it was wrong for Democrats to bring the bill to the floor under rules that made passage so much more difficult.”

The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent concurred, citing Democratic incompetence and Republican political chicanery as the principal reasons for the defeat. Sargent wrote that the Republicans are trying to “render government ineffective in order to deny Dems victories, create a sense that government is broken and has failed to deliver, stoke anti-incumbent fervor, and ensure that Dems bear the brunt of blame for government dysfunction.”

For me … I’m calling them all out. I think the above quotes are correct. But that isn’t enough! There are people behind this bill that deserve the nations gratitude for their sacrifices.

Today a massive protest was organized by the victims themselves to tell Congress to stop the insane finger pointing.

NYPD squad commander Gary White stated “We will stand here and fight for this bill.” White, who has severe respiratory ailments and suffered two strokes after working at the World Trade Center site and the Staten Island landfill, where victims’ remains were sifted from the rubble.

I think the perspective that one should take away from this was summed up best by John Feal, a demolition supervisor whose left foot had to be partially amputated after a steel beam fell on him during cleanup work.

Feal said “You’re both right and both wrong. I hope you can come together for the heroes who risked their life without prejudice.”

Lest we forget who really sacrificed following that horrific day.

1 comment

  1. For bringing sanity back to the debate.

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