Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona
No, a rule dictating who can evoke the memory of 9/11 to promote their re-election campaigns was not included in the James Zadroga Health and Compensation Act– which finally passed the US Senate today– but it should have been.
Senate Republicans filibustered passage of the bill to provide healthcare funding for 9/11 first responders for weeks and tried hard to “run out the clock” on this bill and others before Christmas.
Hundreds of first responders are suffering from cancer, heart disease, respiratory problems, and other adverse medical conditions because they worked on the 9/11 rescue and clean-up crews. For one reason or another, many 9/11 first responders have been dumped by their insurance companies or have reached the ceiling caps on coverage, so they turned to the federal government for help with their medical costs. They even suggested a corporate loophole that could be closed to pay for said coverage.
Shamefully, Senate Republicans tried to kill the Zadroga Bill– named for a first responder who has passed on. Equally shamefully, FOX News– the number one source for 9/11 outrage (remember the Ground Zero mosque?)– was silent on the Zadroga Bill and never reported that Senate Republicans were the ones trying to kill it.
I agree with Jon Stewart: Republicans who fought so hard against the Zadroga Bill should no longer be able to evoke the memory of 9/11 in their stump speeches and campaign advertisements. Check out the Jon Stewart link here; it juxtaposes maudlin 9/11 speeches by Republicans with their “no” votes against the 9/11 first responder legislation on December 9, 2010.