It's been a very busy time around here, but I wanted to take a few minutes to alert others, to fellow bloggers, and those of conscience regardless of your political philosophy, of a tragedy that's ongoing and the lack of response by our government that should be labeled a national disgrace
First responders to the September 11, 2001 tragedy are dying at an alarming rate, and our elected officials are letting it happen.
And, according to MediaMatters contributor Eric Boehlert NONE of the news broadcasts of ABC, NBC, and CBS covered the story of the Friday December 10 vote in the United States Senate of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 . This bill had a price tag of $7.4 billion, and would have been set up to cover the medical expenses of the heroic first responders to the attack on New York's World Trade Center, many of whom have had medical problems linked to the toxic atmosphere in aftermath of the tragedy. These were first responders from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, and later from other areas of the United States.
The bill made it to the United States Senate yesterday.....and it was killed by a Republican filibuster in a 57-42 vote to begin debate. Sixty votes were needed to move forward.
Republicans said that the cost of the $7.4 billion, a mere fraction of the total cost of the Iraq War, was too high. The vote went along party lines.
The GOP leadership has made it clear that no new business will be considered until the extension of the Bush era tax cuts to even the wealthiest Americans is finalized.
The Republican Party, which at every opportunity has wrapped itself in the American flag and preached God and country, are now telling heroes of 9/11, those who came to the aid of their country when it was needed out of sense of purpose and duty, that they have to wait until the rest of America gets a tax cut before they will raise a finger to help. And then they'll try to blame Democrats for the stalemate.
Sadly, I think this lack of response and empathy for the first responders is part of a pattern of our society, our media, and our government, to distance themselves from 9/11. The public wants to forget. The news media sees it as an old story. And there are those in the federal government who don'twant to deal with the first responders because it might involve paying for the medical expenses of those who need it....got to get those tax cuts so a zillionare can get his new yacht.
To the GOP senators who say "we don't have the money" I say- in this cleanup up version- that's bullcrap.
Find it. For once, do the right thing. Country first, heh? It's just one big lie that you sold on the American people in last month's midterms.
The GOP's stance on this bill is nauseating, disgusting....and cowardly.
The following excerpt is from the statement of New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
"The idea that tax cuts for millionaires would derail this legislation is simply outrageous and offensive," she said. "The men and women who rushed to the burning towers and worked for hundreds of hours on the pile did not delay and the Senate should not have delayed either, certainly not to give tax breaks for millionaires. We should not have to wait for tax deals to do what's right."
I want to take a second to point out that locally, some in the New York City area media have done much to keep the story of the plight of the 9/11 first responders alive. In particular, PIX 11 has been updating the story and doing updates on air and online.
Click the link below for Eric Boehlert's story on the vote....and note his update- if you wanted to know how the Senate vote went on this bill yesterday don't bother watching Brian, Katie or Diane....the DAILY SHOW with John Stewart covered it.
GOP blocks 9/11 first responders bill; ABC, CBS, and NBC ignore the story