The Zadroga Bill would help 60,000 people, first responders and others, sickened by exposure to toxic dust and debris at Ground Zero.  The measure needed a two-thirds vote for approval, instead of a simple majority, but as CBS 2’s Magee Hickey reports, the vote fell short.

Democratic leaders wanted to prevent Republicans from tacking on amendments. Only 12 Republicans voted “yes.”

One of the them, Peter King (R- L.I.), called the Democrats’ procedural move a cruel hoax and a charade.  “This bill should be more important than a campaign talking point.  You could have passed it any time during the past three and a half years, but you want political cover,” he said.

And that’s when Queens Democrat Anthony Weiner almost blew a gasket. “The gentleman is wrong! The gentleman is providing cover for his colleagues rather than doing the right thing! It’s Republicans wrapping their arms around Republicans rather than doing the right thing on behalf of the heroes.  It’s a shame, a shame!” Weiner screamed.

Mayor Bloomberg is blaming both sides, calling the defeat outrageous.

The Zadroga Bill, named after an NYPD detective who died from respiratory disease related to September 11, would have set up a multi-billion dollar fund to help people like John Foal, a first responder injured in the aftermath of the Islamic terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

“I’m utterly disappointed. We need health care. We need that compensation. so many men and women are financially burdened,” Foal said.

(© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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