Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 30, 2010

HOUSE GOP KILLS MEDICAL FUNDING FOR 9/11 VICTIMS.... Following up on an item from yesterday, it appears Republican reverence for all things related to the 9/11 attacks is officially over.

Congress turned thumbs down on the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act on Thursday night, raising doubts it will ever pass.

Most Republicans refused to back the measure, calling it a "slush fund," and saying it was another example of Democratic overreach and an "insatiable" appetite for taxpayers' money.

The bill would spend $3.2 billion on health care over the next 10 years for people sickened from their exposure to the toxic smoke and debris of the shattered World Trade Center. It would spend another $4.2 billion to compensate victims over that span, and make another $4.2 billion in compensation available for the next 11 years.

So, as Republicans see it, we can afford tax breaks for billionaires. But care for 9/11 victims, not so much.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), perhaps best known for his apology to BP after the company's oil spill, "said the rest of the country should not bear the brunt of helping New Yorkers cope with the aftermath of the terror attacks." [Update: To clarify, this is a paraphrase from the New York Daily News, not a direct quote of Barton.]

How could House Republicans kill the bill in a majority-rule chamber? As it turns out, Dems brought the measure to the floor as a "suspension bill," because they didn't want the GOP to try to gut the legislation with poison-pill amendments. But this strategy meant the bill needed a two-thirds majority to pass. The final vote was 255 to 159 -- far short of the two-thirds threshold -- with 155 Republicans in opposition, many of them saying they would consider supporting the bill, but only if the GOP were allowed to push unrelated amendments intended to embarrass the majority.

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y), whose constituents include many directly affected by this legislation, wasn't especially impressed with the Republican argument:


Steve Benen 8:25 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (33)

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So Joe, I'm guessing you'll be returning any federal aid for that oil spill cleanup?

This is so nuts -- apparently the Republicans are more than happy to inject themselves into our local issues when it comes to trying the people responsible for this OR whether we can build an Islamic center, but run away when it comes time to support those who cleaned up the site.

They are all psychotic.

Posted by: JCT on July 30, 2010 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

Don't you people get it? The tax cuts for the wealthy are working! Just look at the facts:

1] Unemployment among the wealthy has never been lower!

2] Homelessness among the wealthy is at an all time low!

3] America's wealthy have the best health insurance in the world!

4] Not a single wealthy son or daughter has died in Afghanistan!

5] The wealthy are weathering the economic blip just fine!

I tell you, those tax cuts are working!

Posted by: chrenson on July 30, 2010 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

Why do Republicans hate America?

Posted by: Basilisc on July 30, 2010 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

Instead of a democratic struggle for policy outcome, the Republicans seem to be in a life and death struggle with their aging Fountainhead ideals. It is quite unfortunate they are using hard working, caring and deserving Americans as pawns in their self-serving efforts.

This particular vote lays bare the Republican effort to rule instead of govern, to control instead of lead and to obstruct instead of participate.

This fall, friends should not let friends vote Republican! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on July 30, 2010 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

Kevo says it very well ,

Posted by: FRP on July 30, 2010 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

Beyond harvesting as much as they can from lobbyists and helping the rich just what do the Republicans stand for?

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 30, 2010 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

So, Mr. Barton, does this mean it's OK for the Cordoba House project to proceed?

After all, the rest of the country shouldn't care about what happens in New York, right?

Posted by: TonyB on July 30, 2010 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

Partisan politics aside, if this is such a need now, why wasn't it addressed-and funded- on, say 9/12. By the Republican congress?

By the way, how did the GOP vote on the compensation fund that was only recently completed, by Mr. Feinberg?

Posted by: DAY on July 30, 2010 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

Democratic overreach and an "insatiable" appetite for taxpayers' money..

Coming from those who ran this country for most of the last decade, that is quite rich indeed. They raided this country's treasure for their own ends, never paying for anything, and directly led us to our current economic turmoil. These are simply evil, authoritarian bastards who just cannot handle anyone else having 'their' power.

Posted by: terraformer on July 30, 2010 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, but it was bipartisanly opposed. Four Dems, including my asshat blue dog scumbag Bobby Bright.

Posted by: martin on July 30, 2010 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

I cringe every time a Republican 'representative' from Texas opens their mouth. So much nonsense, such small brains and big mouths. We need more of the passion of Anthony Weiner. I read one argument that victims of 9/11, their families and the response crews have already received 'millions' and don't deserve anything else. Haven't read about any millionaires as yet, but I'll keep looking.

Posted by: LISAINTEXAS on July 30, 2010 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans to 911 victims: DROP DEAD

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on July 30, 2010 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

"The gentleman will observe regular order! The gentleman will sit down!"

Indeed - time for Dems to stop letting the Republicans shout them down, interrupt, and obfuscate. You go, Representative!

Posted by: Zandru on July 30, 2010 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Barton's comment is astonishing. Really? ..."the rest of the country should not bear the brunt of helping New Yorkers cope with the aftermath of the terror attacks." He speaks for himself, not for me. Personally, I would be happy to pay...[she does the math--total annual expense divided by number of taxpayers who pay income tax] ...roughly $16 per year to help New Yorkers cope with the aftermath of the terror attacks. In fact, all of the people I know would be happy to pay $16 a year over the next decade to help New Yorkers. So he doesn't really mean "the rest of the country" he means, "me, me, me...and people like me."

Barton's comment is as clear a statement of the sick Republican mindset as I have seen: "[I] should not bear the brunt of helping...." More evidence that Republicans are selfish self-centered and unfeeling individuals with no sense of proportion (really, $16 per year for the victims of a national catastrophe?)

The other thing that astonishes me is that Joe Barton thinks he is a decent guy, someone doing the right thing.

But Anthony Weiner! I love that man!

Posted by: PTate in MN on July 30, 2010 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sure glad the Democrats aren't playing politics with this issue.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on July 30, 2010 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

Things Republicans think New Yorkers need to be protected from: Muslims unconnected to 9/11 attacks.

Things Republicans think New Yorkers do not need to be protected from: the direct effects of the 9/11 attacks.

Just so we're clear.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow on July 30, 2010 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

Michael,
If by "aren't playing politics" with this you mean Obama/Reid/Pelosi are working to clean up future mess that Bush/Frist/Hastert new was coming but pretended to not see. If you ever go into the house of any of the Republicans that ran our nation in the "O"s and they own a dog you had better watch your step as there will be little "unseen" surprises all over the place that their idiological purity does not allow them to see....

Posted by: joyzeeboy on July 30, 2010 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

A few yers ago I saw bumper stickers proclaiming: Lobotomies for Republicans: it's The Law." Lame joke, I thought, but the GOP's behavior in this episode, and too much in general, makes me think that somebody went ahead and performed the operations...but the patients got elected anyway.

All snarking aside, thanks for posting the clip. Weiner's a mensch.

Posted by: docdave on July 30, 2010 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Michael,

They aren't playing politics, they're securing compensation for thousands of New Yorkers who will probably contract cancer from breathing all the absbestos that the Bush EPA refused to clean up after 9/11.

What's your point, asshole?

Posted by: bdop4 on July 30, 2010 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans are scumbags, especially the old south version. They are simple minded, greedy, callous and selfish, proudly ignorant and intolerant.

Now, shall I tell you how I really feel?

Posted by: citizen_pain on July 30, 2010 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

A video of Weiner & King on Political Carnival, another interesting one to watch, King keeps whining about procedure & Weiner let's him have it again.

Posted by: js on July 30, 2010 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

That is some righteous rage from Weiner. I think its already been said, but I love that guy.

Posted by: Scott F. on July 30, 2010 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Is this where I remind assholes like Barton (and our newest troll, Michael) that the funds would not have come from American taxpayers -- they would have came from foreign companies.

Dumbass can't even read the bill he's voting on, or he's purposefully lying his fat ass off.

Posted by: Mark D on July 30, 2010 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

How is it "playing politics" to give try and give first responders to 9/11 health coverage for their 9/11-related health issues?!??? I'd say just the opposite, that the GOP is playing politics-- saying no just for the sake of saying no because all that they ever say is no. Since it wasn't their idea they won't vote for it no matter what it is. If there were a dem measure declaring that cancer is bad the GOP would vote FOR cancer at this point.

It's really beyond disgusting.

Posted by: zoe kentucky on July 30, 2010 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

More like this please. I mean Anthony Weiner's reaction in the attached video. It may not have done much direct good, but it at least showed that Weiner was willing to put up a fight and where he stood on the issue, something we rarely get to see with democrats these days.

We need lots more of democrats enthusiastically and unapologetically calling out republicans for the scum they really are.

Posted by: JMitzman on July 30, 2010 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

He may not believe the rest of the country should "bear the burden" but he doesn't mind using 9/11 to help him politically. Disgusting.

Posted by: ET on July 30, 2010 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

I've searched to read all the GOP proposed amendments to the bill, had the bill gone through by standard procedure. I suspect they are so ridiculous the GOP is embarrassed to post them now. Anyone know where I can find them online?

Posted by: MGM on July 30, 2010 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't that the "slush fund" introduced when Bush and the GOP were in power?

Posted by: PattyP on July 30, 2010 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

It is about time that someone from the Democratic party stood up to the lemmings in the Republican party. I have voted republican my whole life, but no more. Anthony Weiner is correct. It is time to call these fools out. Don't they realize how stupid they look? These people were elected because we thought they had a mind and voice of their own. They have proved all they can do is repeat and do what they are told, like little scared school kids.

Posted by: Eileen on July 30, 2010 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone know which "gentleman" Weiner told to observe regular order and sit down?

Echo the AW fan club comments. Passion for his constituents is why every Congressman should be there.

Posted by: Rat Sass on July 30, 2010 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

If you want to look at the legislation itself and the committee reports go to the Library of Congress' THOMAS.

http://thomas.loc.gov

Here is all the information you need for find it.

H.R.847 James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010
Sponsor: Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-14] (introduced 2/4/2009) Cosponsors (115)
House Reports: 111-560 Part 1, 111-560 Part 2
Latest Major Action: 7/29/2010 Failed of passage/not agreed to in House. Status: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Failed by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 255 - 159 (Roll no. 491).

Posted by: ET on July 30, 2010 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK
Don't you people get it? The tax cuts for the wealthy are working! Just look at the facts: 1] Unemployment among the wealthy has never been lower! 2] Homelessness among the wealthy is at an all time low! 3] America's wealthy have the best health insurance in the world! 4] Not a single wealthy son or daughter has died in Afghanistan! 5] The wealthy are weathering the economic blip just fine! I tell you, those tax cuts are working! Posted by: chrenson on July 30, 2010 at 8:36 AM

That is prime, grade A snark!!!

I am SO going to steal this!

Kudos chrenson!!

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on July 31, 2010 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

Anthony Wiener is a smart man, an honest and compassionate one as well.

I have always had the greatest respect and admiration for the guy.

May he have a long and fruitful career in Congress.

Lord knows we need people like him fighting the good fight.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on July 31, 2010 at 12:11 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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