9/11 Health Bill Falls Short In Senate Test Vote

WASHINGTON (AP/1010 WINS/WCBS 880) — Senate Republicans on Thursday derailed a bill to aid people who got sick after exposure to dust from the World Trade Center’s collapse in the Sept. 11 attack.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports

Supporters were three votes short of the 60 needed to proceed to debate and a final vote on the bill that would have provided as much as $7.4 billion in health care and compensation to 9/11 responders and survivors. The bill failed on a test vote, 57-42.

Fifty-seven Democrats voted for the bill and 41 Republicans opposed it. Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, switched his vote to ‘no’ at the last moment, a parliamentary move that allows him to bring the measure up again for a vote.

Backers of the legislation see this lame-duck session of Congress as possibly its last chance. The bill has passed the House.

Republican senators have promised not to consider any other bills until the Senate acts on funding the government and extending tax cuts.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports

http://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/dec9-bulk-eye-on-politics-129-varrone.mp3%20Eye on Politics: Gillibrand Responds to 9/11 Bill Set Back
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The defeat was a huge blow to New York and New Jersey lawmakers who have long fought for the measure, arguing it’s morally wrong to not do more for the health needs of ailing 9/11 responders and survivors.

“We should not have to wait for tax deals to do what’s right,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., a lead advocate of the bill.

“It’s disgusting, how they justify their jobs, how they go home to their wife and kids and say ‘I did a great job today. Oh, by the way, I screwed 9/11 responders out of healthcare and compensation, hey what’s for dinner?'” John Feal, of the FealGood Foundation — a support group for first responders, said. “It’s an insult to us.”

“Republicans, like cowards, hid behind political procedures to block a bill that would save lives,” Feal said.

Facing long odds, supporters will try to attach the 9/11 bill to the legislation that emerges from the tax deal. They’ll also press for another vote once the tax issue is settled.

“We’ll be happy and we’ll walk away, but we’ll walk away with a bitter taste in our mouths that the United States Senate is now the United States clowns,” Feal said.

Critics questioned whether the bill is affordable and does enough to ensure that only people with illnesses related to trade center dust get help.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. nathan says:

    One pretty cares about people. The other is called the GOP.

  2. Piccolo says:

    This is just the beginning of a Republican majority in the House. Now maybe the people of the US will wake up and remember that the Republicans got us into this financial mess in the first place and now we have 2 years of madness to deal with. Wake up voters of the US. You did this

  3. ezflyer says:

    Another day in the life of politics where our government does not take care of its own people…yet they do everything else for themselves, others like them and other countries without question. Sad that it was the regular joe’s that sacrificed their time and some their lives to help with the rescue and this is what our government offers. We will see what kind of response you have if something like this happens again. I am done with politics, no matter what side, it is all the same, corruption and looking out for their own.

  4. Stan says:

    WHY CAN’T WE TAKE CARE OF OUR OWN PEOPLE FIRST INSTEAD OF SHIPPING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO SOME COUNTRY WHO WILL ONLY STAB US IN THE BACK IN THE NEXT DECADE? THE FIRST RESPONDERS DIDN’T LOOK AT COLLECTING BENEFITS OR HELTH COVERAGE WHEN THEY RAN DOWN TO GROUND ZERO. THEY WENT THERE ONLY BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO HELP THEIR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, IN OTHER WORDS THEY WERE TAKING CARE OF OUR OWN PEOPLE FIRST. I WAS THERE AFTER 9/11 AND I SAW HILLARY, GIULIANI AND PATAKI WALKING AROUND TALKING AND POINTING AT THE DESTRUCTION, NEVER SAW THEM LEND A HELPING HAND AT HELPING LOCATE ANY BODIES. DID THEY SPEND 30 DAYS ON THE PILE? IF THEY DID I’M SURE THIS BILL WOULD HAVE PASSED WHEN THE FIRST PEOPLE STARTING DROPPING DEAD.

  5. Flynn says:

    I will bet dollars to donuts that there’s at least one GOPer in the Senate that thinks to himself “Hmph, no one told them to go running down there into that mess anyway. It’s their own fault for getting sick.”

    Tax Cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Check. Block Money to help people who ignored their own safety in order to help their fellow Citizens on 9/11? Check-a-roo.

    This is a failure on their part, on the Dems for not working harder on this, and on Obama for not living up to his promises. Failing grades all around

  6. HowdyDowdy says:

    I lost three good friends on 9/11, but this is just another money grab into the bottomless pit. Most of these responders already have health insurance through FDNY/NYPD, or union policies and they are in the WTC Fund class action which recently settled for billions more. They are also in the public-funded St Luke’s Roosevelt screening/treatment program and many of them have established worker’s compensation cases. Where does all of this end? Not to mention the earmarks in the bill.

    1. Mike Coach says:

      You have no clue ,you are a howdy dowdy.What do you think health care is, a paid vacation to disneyland.

  7. Patricia Perez says:

    POckets didn’t get padded enough?

  8. two dogs says:

    Can you believe that this Demoratic controlled Senate would vote this down. Any one who helps America they hate

  9. ed says:

    you can thank the two faced republicans in the senate for blocking the 9/11 health bill. This is the bill that would have taken care of the cops, fireman, ems, volunteers and anyone else who had a big enough heart to work on the pile of rubble known as the world trade center all those months.

  10. alisa says:

    Not enough millionaires volunteered on 9/11 to help recover bodies. So, the Republicans don’t want to help those who did.

  11. otto says:

    9/11 responders & survivors who are ill don’t care about the earmarks … they just need HELP. Why is it so difficult to help our fellow brothers & sisters who risked everything to try and do the right thing.

  12. betsey says:

    How come no media is covering what else is in this bill? That’s what’s stopping GOP votes! Be fair! bring up the other little earmarks attached to this bill!

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