Rep. Anthony Weiner rocks the House once again, railing against his Republican colleagues for voting down a bill that would have provided more than $7 billion for healthcare for rescue workers who saved lives on 9/11, only to be sickened by the toxic dust stew created when the World Trade Center towers collapsed. The vote failed 255-159 yesterday, with all but 18 Republicans voting no, and claiming it was due to “procedure.” Weiner was having none of it, and the result was this:
As for the GOP claims about “procedure,” But as CBS News reports, there’s more to it than that:
Democratic leaders opted to consider the bill under a procedure that requires a two-thirds vote for approval rather than a simple majority. Such a move blocks potential GOP amendments to the measure.
Meanwhile, Politico reports that House Republican leadership is advising its members to vote against the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. According to Republicans, the measure would kill jobs, create a “new entitlement” and waste taxpayer dollars.
The measure would reopen the Victims Compensation Fund until 2031. Politico reports that Republicans are calling the extension “well beyond what is needed to take care of latent claims,” according to a GOP policy statement.
The bill, according to Republicans, “creates a massive new entitlement program, exposes taxpayers to increased litigation, and is ‘paid for’ with tax increases and potential job losses.”
After the vote, Weiner and fellow New Yorker, Republican Peter King, went on Fox News, where they kept the fight going:
Meanwhile, the GOP policy of blocking any bill that they can’t amend out of existence is also in full force in the Senate, where all 41 GOPers blocked a tax cut bill for small businesses yesterday, because they couldn’t get to lard it up with specious, xenophobic language about immigration — something they also tried to do with the 9/11 heroes bill in the House. Back to the CBS story, this is the rest of what Peter King had to say:
King said Democrats are worried about casting votes as the fall elections near on controversial amendments, possibly including one that could ban the bill from covering illegal immigrants who were sickened by World Trade dust.
The GOP strategy for 2010: it’s all about the Mexicans.