Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

September 29, 2010

HOUSE FINALLY APPROVES ZADROGA 9/11 HEALTH AND COMPENSATION ACT.... A bill that should have been one of the year's most obvious no-brainers passed today, about three months later than it should have.

The Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act would pay health care costs for 9/11 rescue workers, sickened after exposure to the toxic smoke and debris. The legislation was fully paid for, financed by closing a tax loophole for American companies that try to hide their headquarters at P.O. box in the Caymans.

The GOP trashed the bill, calling the health care money a "slush fund." In July, it needed a two-thirds majority to pass, and it came up short -- nearly every Democrat voted for it, and nearly every Republican voted against it.

Today, the House tried again, and this time it passed.

The final vote was 268 to 160. Among the majority, 251 Democrats voted for it, while only three voted against it. On the other side of the aisle, 17 House Republicans voted for the bill, while 157 opposed it.

The bill calls for providing $3.2 billion over the next eight years to monitor and treat injuries stemming from exposure to toxic dust and debris at ground zero. New York City would have paid 10 percent of those health costs. The bill seeks to set aside $4.2 billion to reopen the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund to provide compensation for any job and economic losses.

In addition, the bill contains a provision that would have allowed money from the Victim Compensation Fund to be paid out to anyone who receives payment under the pending settlement stemming from lawsuits that 10,000 rescue and cleanup workers filed against the city.

Just so we're perfectly clear, a month before national elections, 90% of House Republicans voted against health care benefits for sick 9/11 heroes. Seriously. This is the party that's expected to do extremely well in November.

Indeed, the House GOP held the bill in such contempt, they tried to play yet another petty, partisan game with the legislation -- they pushed a poison-pill motion to recommit this afternoon, which would have repealed major parts of the Affordable Care Act and added the GOP's "tort reform" measure to the bill.

What happens now? President Obama strongly supports the legislation, but it may very well die in the Senate, which wouldn't consider the bill until the lame-duck session, if at all.

Steve Benen 3:55 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (9)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Well, clearly, the first responders on 9/11- including my best friend, who continues to suffer serious lung issues as a result- don't love America as much as neo-Confederates do. Hence GOP opposition to paying for their care.

The irony dizzies the mind,
-Z

Posted by: Zorro on September 29, 2010 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Just so we're perfectly clear, a month before national elections, 90% of House Republicans voted against health care benefits for sick 9/11 heroes.

And again, if this were reversed and Dems had voted against the bill there would be howls of derision and calls for each person who voted against it to resign. What hypocrites.

Posted by: kanopsis on September 29, 2010 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

251 Democrats voted for it, while only three voted against it

Can't find the roll call yet, but I ready to bet my own stinking Blue Dog voted against it, just as he did in July.

Posted by: martin on September 29, 2010 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

So in the lame duck session, we're most recently being told, the Senate will consider 9/11 responder care, Don't Ask Don't Tell, the DREAM act, and controversial tax cuts. Is that all?

Posted by: mcc on September 29, 2010 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

@Zorro: Sorry to hear about your friend. But if anything, this vote just proves that the Republicans--the majority of them--just don't give a damn about the rest of the country. They don't care about the people who sacrificed so much on that horrible day. Of course the Rs went and used it as the proverbial bloody shirt to justify everything and anything they wanted.

....And yet, many of us are willing to let them back in charge of Congress come November by sitting this one out. Good God--what the hell happened to common sense in America?

Posted by: Marc McKenzie on September 29, 2010 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

How much you wanna bet 90% of the idiots so concerned with dishonoring 9/11 by allowing the non-mosque that isn't at ground-zero to be built, will all turn around and vote Republican, the very people who not only are dishonoring 9/11, but actually seem to want rescue workers to just drop dead

Posted by: EM on September 29, 2010 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats will use this in a sharp political ad right after they bust Republicans for voting against a sacred defense bill to keep gays out of the military and immigrants out of the citizenry.

Which is to say, *NEVER*.

Posted by: Chris on September 29, 2010 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

I suppose this just confirms that Republicans believe 9/11 is a Republican holiday.

Posted by: Chris on September 29, 2010 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

Well actually... the Republicans wanted the Act passed, but wished to include a stipulation that said that there would not be unlimited health and death benefits to illegal aliens. The Democrats objected to this and so enacted a special 2/3 majority vote which stopped them from including any limitations. You may or may not agree with their thinking, but before you decide that Republicans are demons and Democrats are angels on any issue, simply look up the law or bill online. You can then take a stand one way or the other.

Posted by: Julia Rodgers on October 11, 2010 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly