Thursday, December 9, 2010

Senate Republicans say NO to helping 9/11 First Responders

Senate Republicans on Thursday Prevented a measure to provide extra funds to September 11th first responders who have become sick from working at the World Trade Center site. The Bill that was voted down was called the Zadroga Bill after a New York City police officer who died from respiratory disease. The vote came out to 57-42 which allowed the Senate Republicans to hold up the bill.

Republicans vowed not to pass any further legislation until The tax cut and Government funding Bill were passed first. They also had concerns about how the government was going to come up with the estimated $7.4 billion it would take to fund the 9/11 bill. Sadder then the fact that it has been ten years and this bill still has not passed next year with the change in power it's very unlikely the Zadroga Bill will even make it to the house floor.

New york state Sen. Kristen Gillinbrand said "Frankly, it's exactly whats wrong with Washington -- an example of politics put above the people". Sen. Chuck Schumer vowed "to pursue every possible route" before the end of the year to pass the bill. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it's “a tragic example of partisan politics trumping patriotism,” and that Republicans should reconsider.

I just wrote a post about hypocrisy and here you again before the ink dries the Republicans seem to through up another example. I hate to keep on picking on Republicans but when you refuse to pass a $20 billion un employment bill or even worse a $7.4 billion 9/11 first responders bill in order to first pass a $900 billion two year tax extension things seem pretty clear to me. God forbid we have another attack I hope first responders don't second guess doing their jobs because of this lack of support.

BloomBerg - Senate Republicans Block 9/11 Bill

Government Excutive - Republicans block 9/11 health bill


  1. This only sounds hypocritical--it really isn't. Extra funding for 9/11 first responders isn't the same thing, ideologically or functionally, as an unemployment bill. Love it or hate it, we're not a welfare state; at some point, the "extra help" needs to be cut off. The original idea behind such programs as welfare was, they were stop-gap measures--not lifestyles. Yes, people need help to get back on their feet (i.e. unemployment) but at what point does "help" become a trap? September 11 happened ten years ago--is it unreasonable to expect people, in ten years, to become moderately self-sufficient?

    We're debating this same issue with Katrina victims: at what point is it reasonable to help people stand on their own two feet? Moreover, it's not as though, without this "extra help" bill, these people would be denied healthcare. My understanding is, most of the first responders were firefighters and law enforcement officials, which means they already have excellent healthcare.

    I can also understand the Republicans' reluctance, given our movement toward nationalized healthcare. Already a reality in several states (MA and VT immediately come to mind), it's undoubtedly going to become a national reality, in some form or other. Given that, is it really appropriate to appropriate extra funds for a "special" group of people?

    The ideological driver behind national healthcare is the notion that we're all equal, and deserving, therefore, of equal care. People shouldn't get better care 'cause they're "special"--either 'cause they've got tons of money, or 'cause they've done something to make themselves famous. The bottom line is, you're either equal or you're not. And if the majority consensus is for national healthcare, then there's nothing hypocritical about this move at all.

  2. You have an excellent blog :-) I saw that you were writing about the same thing, which is why I commented--as you'll notice, my comment, and my blog post, are a little repetitive ;-) Tomorrow, I forget what I've got going on, but Sunday I'm publishing a post about Senate Bill 501. There's some more about it on my blog's FB fan page.