Friday, July 30, 2010

Rep. Weiner Explodes At Republicans For Defeating 9/11 Responders Health Bill

Kudos to Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) for his outburst at Republicans who actually voted against the 9/11 Zadroga Health and Compensation Act. The bill's purpose was to provide up to $7.4 billion to care for 9/11 first responders, many of whom have respiratory problems. The Republicans played politics with the popular bill to the detriment of those who risked their health at ground zero:

Ahead of elections, parties tend to slowly abandon actual achievement in favor of forcing the opposition to take a “poison pill” – forcing a vote that might prove to be embarrassing, and thus good campaign fodder.

In this case, Republicans decided earlier this week to introduce an amendment to the Zadroga Act that would prevent any first responders who were illegal immigrants from collecting the health benefits.

There had been no serious discussion previously about whether any 9/11 responders were illegal immigrants. But getting Democrats to vote in favor of benefits for any potential illegal immigrants would anger voters in conservative districts. Voting against it would anger Hispanics – a key Democratic constituency.

Republicans wanted to set up a lose-lose situation for Democrats.

The Democrats employed a procedure to prevent any new amendments; as a result, the bill needed a two-thirds majority. Only 12 Republicans voted for it, and the bill fell short by 35 votes. Weiner was justly apoplectic in responding to Republicans who defeated the bill as a matter of "procedure." He stated, "It's Republicans wrapping their arms around Republicans rather than doing the right thing on behalf of the heroes." Watch:


Charles said...

man alive.

One can hardly argue with his logic. Nor his temperament. Cool video.

Jeff Tone said...

Yeah, Charles, it's does one good to see a Democrat stand up and get passionate once in a while.

Rep. Alan Grayson is another one with guts:

Michael, The Molar Maven said...

This point would be moot if we all had the coverage we should. I have all the sympathy for the first responders who are now suffering for their jobs, but this debate should not be necessary. I'm also a little tired of scapegoating "illegal aliens" as the ultimate cause of all that ails America. If we just get rid of them all will be right with the world.

Jeff Tone said...

Yes, the point should be moot. But since it unfortunately isn't, I think we owe it to the first responders at ground zero to make sure they get the medical attention they urgently need.

Holcomb said...

I agree we should help the first responders there is no one in the country that doesn't want to help, but democrats tried to push this through too quickly, the republicans view was this bill was going to add more billions on top of the already ballooning deficit. If the democrats want to push more programs through, congress has to find programs to cut. We need to stop this crazy spending.

Jeff Tone said...

Actually, Holcomb, the Democrats took too long to push this bill through. 9/11 happened nine years ago. In the meantime, many of the first responders, who sacrificed themselves for us, have suffered with medical problems that need urgent attention.

As for the Republicans, they are complete hypocrites. Their attempt to push through amendments calling for the repeal of the estate tax and the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy show that they are not at all concerned with reducing the deficit. Unfortunately, they are playing politics with the first responders' lives.