Zero for Heroes

From the New York DAILY NEWS:

WASHINGTON – Congress turned thumbs down on the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act on Thursday night, raising doubts it will ever pass.

Most Republicans refused to back the measure, calling it a “slush fund,” and saying it was another example of Democratic overreach and an “insatiable” appetite for taxpayers’ money.

The bill would spend $3.2 billion on health care over the next 10 years for people sickened from their exposure to the toxic smoke and debris of the shattered World Trade Center.

Original DVD cover

“This legislation as written creates a huge $8.4 billion slush fund paid by taxpayers that is open to abuse, fraud and waste,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), arguing that it would be raided by undeserving scammers with tenuous links to 9/11.

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) cast it as a money grab for New York because the bill would pay for care at higher rates than Medicare.


“This fund is bloated,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).

Texas Republican Joe Barton, leading debate for his side, said the GOP would back a smaller program, such as the $150 million a year the White House would like to spend. But he said the rest of the country should not bear the brunt of helping New Yorkers cope with the aftermath of the terror attacks.

“We support it, without raising taxes on the rest of the American people,” said Barton (R-Texas), who recently won infamy by apologizing to BP.

The measure is paid for by closing tax loopholes on foreign subsidiaries that do business in the United States, which the GOP also opposed, saying it was a tax hike on foreign companies that hire Americans.

Democrats would have been able to pass the bill if they used the normal procedure, but they brought it up as a “suspension bill,” which needs a two-thirds vote to pass because it can’t be amended. Democrats feared the GOP would attach poison pills to the bill.


The procedural move infuriated the few Republicans who voted yes, with Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.) calling it “a cruel hoax and a charade,” suggesting Democrats want to use the failure to hammer the GOP in November. “This bill should be more important than a campaign talking point,” he fumed.

Mayor Bloomberg slammed the failure, calling it “outrageous,” and blaming both sides.


Democrats savaged the other side, saying they were turning their backs on heroes to protect foreign tax cheats, and said it really shouldn’t matter how the country pays to take care of people who answered the call from all over the nation, and are sick now.

“Many of these people are losing their lives,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “They certainly have lost their health. And we owe them.”

Democrats vowed they would try again, after Congress’ summer vacation.

Congressman Anthony Weiner had an answer to Peter King when he bitched and moaned about the procedural vote:

What’s this all about? From DNAinfo:

LOWER MANHATTAN — Charles Giles was not in Washington Thursday night to watch the House of Representatives defeat the 9/11 health bill.

Giles, 42, an EMT who rushed into the North Tower shortly before it collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001, was stuck at home in New Jersey, where his failing lungs and heart keep him confined to bed.

“If I don’t get my medical care, I’m going to die,” Giles said in a phone interview Friday morning. “What happened last night is a total disgrace. Our government is totally broken.”

The $7.4 billion Zadroga Act, named for fallen NYPD Detective James Zadroga who died from a 9/11-induced lung ailment, would reopen the victims’ compensation fund and provide medical monitoring and treatment for the first responders, residents, workers and students who were hurt or became ill in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.


The House is expected to vote on the bill again this fall under different rules, when a simple majority would pass it.

But that may not come soon enough for first responders like Giles, who said he has been diagnosed with a variety of illnesses and takes 39 medications a day.


“We gave our hearts and souls on 9/11,” Giles said. “Congress doesn’t see that. All they care about is the almighty dollar.”

James Zadroga was 34 years old when he died. His daughter Tylerann was 4 years old. She’ll be raised by James’s parents, because her mother died of a heart ailment during the time James was fighting with the city to make them pay for his health care. James was found dead on his bedroom floor by his father. You can read the story here.


Filed under 9/11, Congress, Democrats, humor, Michael Bloomberg, movies, Nancy Pelosi, New York City, parody, Peter King, politics, Republicans, September 11, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

33 responses to “Zero for Heroes

  1. writechic

    “…the rest of the country should not bear the brunt of helping New Yorkers cope with the aftermath of the terror attacks.”

    Get a rope. 😯

  2. kip

    Ah republicans.
    Cheney’s not the only one who needs a heart…

    • hey kip! long time, no see! you have to wonder why cheney’s heart went bad. it’s not like he ever used it! nice to see you again. 😀

  3. All the more reason to support Barton’s opponent.

    • i wonder if the people in his district are unaware of the things he says and does. do they vote for him just because they recognize his name? are the candidates listed in alphabetical order in texas by last names, so barton winds up at the top? it floors me that people actually vote for asswipes like him.

  4. Glad the rest of the country can enjoy the idiocy and , yes, assholyness that is Joe Barton. He sells the idea so popular around these parts that his mission is Gods Work and they buy it hook, line, and sinker. His district is mainly Arlington, that bastion of open checkbook capitalism. Highlights are citizen Bush formerly salesman of tax losses at Arbrusta, recieving 183 million tax dollars for the stadium of the Texas Rangers farm club of MLB. Seeing such sucess attracted billionaire/swindler J. Jones to have the city give him hundreds of millions to build his football pleasure dome. Largest city in US without public transportation, voted down to give Jones money instead. This is Bartons domain, a textbook example of all the evils of urban sprawl and insider deals.

    • no public transportation? wow! i knew 3 people from arlington, and i can’t believe any of them would have voted for fartin’ barton. i didn’t realize he was from arlington. i thought he was from a more rural area.

  5. jeb

    God forbid we waste any money on helping those affected with such things as healthcare. Everyone of those freakin’ hypocrites had no problem with voting yes and calling out anyone who opposed the Bu$hco/Haliburton invasion of Iraq in retaliation for 9/11 but they won’t spend a penny on Americans who are still suffering. It sickens me that this is what our country has come to.

    On the upside, I really like Anthony Wiener.

    • if the trade tower had been in dallas or houston instead of nyc, fartin’ barton and gov. little ricky goodhair and all the rest would be playing violins while begging for more money to rebuild and compensate the people there. however, since it was elitist nyc, they shouldn’t get a dime’s worth of help.

      i really like anthony wiener, too. he’s got chutzpah.

  6. I hope this barton slug hasn’t spawned.

  7. Well, apparently the time for photo ops for the 9-11 situation has clearly expired. A “slush fund”- for all those “slacker firefighters” who risked their lives to go help & then help to try to find anyone alive & needing search & rescue?

    I totally agree w Writechiks #1 post here. Suddenly a terrorist attack becomes a regional problem?
    Let them deal with it on their own?

    For hells sake we are still involved in 2 wars under the excuse/reason that we are avenging the 9-11 attacks. Did we just forget we have spent $1 trillion for those wars? Should we send that bill to the State of New York because it’s all their fault??

    Should we be calling BP’s crude oil dump a local issue & call off the Federal agencies involvement?

    Get the hook!

    • don’t you understand, fran? we should continue to fight both wars, but only new yorkers should have to fight in them. and the country shouldn’t have to pay, the city and the state should. 🙄 that’s how ridiculous their argument is.

  8. I really think they should just start brawling like they do in other countries, or insulting the other person’s mother like the Brits do. It would be more entertaining… er, I mean productive, than yelling at people who don’t care. Because that’s what it boils down to. Most of these career politicians don’t care about anything except business interests that put more money in their own pockets. They don’t give a damn about citizens or rescue workers who responded to 9/11. They don’t give a damn about the welfare or health of their constituents. They even don’t care if children starve to death and are homeless because they don’t want to extend unemployment benefits. They only use such things as a platform to get re-elected on. The moment they’re in there, they don’t *do* anything about what they preach about.

    They can spend trillions blowing up people half a world away, but they can’t spend a fraction of that on sick and dying Americans who were only doing their jobs. Or people who can’t find jobs because they’ve all been outsourced by big business to another country, because the prior administration pillaged and ransacked our economy for their personal profit.

    For lack of a better phrase, fuck them and the horse they rode in on.

    • harry reid was a boxer. i wouldn’t mind seeing him pummel a few rethug weasels. fartin’ barton would cry like a little girl and fold like a cheap suit. it’s like batshit bachmann posing with the african-american teabagger and her baby. she was so solicitous of them for the cameras, but she wouldn’t pee on them if they were on fire if there wasn’t a reporter around.

  9. Joanaroo

    This has just 100% justified my belief that besides corporate CEOs, serial killers, drug cartels and warlords, Rethuglicans have no heart, brain or balls! No balls that is, to stand behind the 9/11 first responders, who Dubya, Randy Rudi and every other Rethuglican has milked photo ops and political points out of. Starting with Bitch Todd Whitman who lied about air quality at Ground Zero, may all the Rethugs who visited Ground Zero find their lungs full of bloody mucus and drown in their sputum. Dirty bastards, of course they all have insurance that these New Yorkers, not to mention a load of first responders from other states have paid for these Refucklickans from their hard-earned money paid into Federal Income Tax. May the Refuckingdicklickans rot in Hell with King Rot-uh, Ronnie on the throne!

  10. Joanaroo

    If any terrorists in the form of suicide bombers to airplane hijackers hit a Rethuglican National Convention building, would the Rethuglicans be that callous to first offenders in charge of saving their lives to recovering bodies? Speaking for myself, if I was a first responder there, I would refuse to enter that building but help any bystander, passing motorist or city dweller caught by happenstance.

  11. having lived through this and knowing people that were in the towers and first responders

    this is nothing short of treason. call me cold – if this happened to a building that joe barton or mitch mcconell were in, i would go home and sit on my fat ass, drink beer and watch oprah, just like the unemployed

    this is who america is going to vote back into power

    • i don’t think they’re going to be voted back into power, because they keep saying stupid shit like this. this really pulled off the mask. they are heartless and disgraceful. it’s very clear they don’t give a damn about anyone other than those who stuff money in their pockets.

  12. I thought that the attacks on 9/11 weren’t just on NY but on the country as a whole.

    Wasn’t that why we couldn’t give any money to the families of 9/11 victims?

    Now it’s just New York?

    Is it wrong to hope that there’s a spot in hell that’s kept just a little warmer for these creeps?

    • one of the things i remember right after 9/11 was a texas school going ahead with a football game. that was more important than what was going on in nyc. it’s as though they were living in another universe. i guess the only thing that’s important to some texans is what happens in texas.

  13. Joanaroo

    Remember the Texas travel slogan in the 80s and 90s: Texas. It’s Like A Whole Other Country.

  14. Joanaroo

    Hey, Joe Barton here. Aigh am in a singing mood, y’all: From that spill in the Gulf/ Made by mistakes from my little turtle Tony/ To that scam up there in DC taking $20 mil from my little buddy/ Now NYC wants money but they get nuttin for free-ee-e!/ And I’m proud to be a Rethuglican/Who gets my health care for free/ I don’t care who gets sick or dies, as long as they make political points for me/ We Rethugs will stand up/whip it out/ and piss on you this way/ Damn I love that we can act/ And get kickbacks from big oil but screw the little guy all day!/ God love the American Way-y-y!

    • he’s so unappealing on a personal level. i can’t understand how he keeps getting elected. then again, he replaced phil gramm, so i guess personality and empathy don’t mean much to the people in that district.