THAT’S THE OTHER GUYS…. Shortly before the House broke for its August recess, Republicans killed a bill that seemed like one of the year’s most obvious no-brainers.
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, 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 money a “slush fund.” It needed a two-thirds majority to pass, and came up short — nearly every Democrat voted for it, and nearly every Republican voted against it.
Yesterday, some of the heroes and their families who need this bill to pass expressed their deep disappointment — by blaming President Obama for legislation that Republicans opposed.
Ailing 9/11 responders slammed President Obama on Tuesday for sounding off on the Ground Zero mosque while keeping silent on a $7.2 billion health care bill.
“Why have you failed us? We thought you would be our champion” in pushing the legislation, John Feal wrote to Obama.
So, let me get this straight. Obama supports the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Congressional Democrats support the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. If passed, the president would gladly sign the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act into law. Republicans not only trashed the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, but blocked it from passing.
But Obama has “failed” 9/11 responders?
I’m reminded of that episode of “The West Wing,” in the third season, when Donna tells Josh about some voters’ concerns about Bartlett. “They think the President is going to privatize Social Security,” Donna said. “He’s not going to … that’s the other guys!” Josh replied.
Obama’s right about health care for 9/11 first responders. It’s “the other guys” who are the problem.
Indeed, for all the recent attention about converting a closed-down Burlington Coat Factory into a local community center, many of the same politicians who claim to have endless passion in defense of Ground Zero had (a) no qualms about voting against the 9/11 health care bill; or (b) no criticism for those who did.
The disconnect matters.