The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 would have provided health care and compensation payments to 9/11 rescue and recovery workers who fell ill after working in the ruins of the World Trade Center. The bill was named after a New York City police officer who died of a respiratory disease attributed to his participation in the 9/11 rescue and recovery efforts. Thousands of emergency workers exposed to dust during the recovery and cleanup at the World Trade Center are suffering from breathing difficulties.
Rather than suffer through Republicans attaching non-related amendments, especially so called "poison pill" amendments that would force Democrats to vote against the bill, the bill was moved to the suspension calendar which requires a minimum 2/3 vote to pass. The vote was on this bill alone and nothing else so it should be an easy decision to make. Well it turns out that shame has no effect on most of the current Republican House members.
Rep Peter King (R-NY) (so proud of his hypocrisy that he posted his YouTube video on his web site) had this to say during debate before the vote:
What we are doing tonight is a cruel hoax and a charade. Everyone knows this bill won't get the 2/3 majority required on the suspension calendar and everyone also knows that this bill would pass with a clear majority if the Democrat leadership would allow it to come to the floor under the regular procedures of the House.
The reason HR 847 is not being brought up under regular order is the majority party is petrified of having its members face a potential vote on illegal immigration.
You can blame the Republicans, and I've been strongly critical of the Republican position on this issue but the reality is, you could pass this bill if you wanted to. You are in control, you have the power and you have the responsibility.
Got that? The Democrats are to blame for not allowing non-related issues to be attached to this bill.
Rep Anthony Weiner (D-NY) had this to say about the Republican members' hypocrisy and failure to do the right thing.
The voting record speaks for itself. Four Democrats joined 155 Republicans, including our own Cathy McMorris Rodgers, stood and gave the heroes they lauded a big thumbs down.
When it comes to God, country, our military, first responders and heroes, Republicans are quick to drape themselves in red, white and blue and cheer. In yesterday's vote, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and her fellow Republicans showed their thanklessness and heartlessness. In this case the only thing they'll drape in red, white and blue are coffins.
As their votes show, it's not like they care.