Bam backs 9/11 health billBy DAREH GREGORIAN
New York Post
August 19, 2010
A bill to aid ailing 9/11 responders that was defeated in an ugly fashion got new life today when President Obama threw his support behind it.
"The President looks forward to signing the 9/11 health bill into law, once it passes both houses of Congress, to help the first responders whose health and livelihood were devastated by the events of September 11th," the White House said in a statement released last night.
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act would provide $7.4 billion in federal relief for Ground Zero workers suffering health problems. The measure failed to pass last month with Democrats and Republicans accusing each other of having played politics with the 9/11 heroes' lives.
The bill was defeated 255-159 after Democrats raised the threshold for passing from the a simple majority to a two-thirds majority of 290 votes to avoid the addition of poison pill Republican amendments.
After the legsilation was defeated, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn/Queens) went on a now infamous vein-popping tirade against his Republican colleagues on the House floor.
He aimed much of his venom at Peter King (R-LI), a co-sponsor of the bill with Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney(D-Manhattan).
All of them were grateful for Obama's support.
"We applaud the President's statement that he will sign the Zadroga Act, and we hope that he will join us in urging both houses of Congress to pass the bill on a bipartisan basis," Nadler and Maloney said in a joint statement.
King said, "Obama's support is welcome and I look forward to working with him in a bipartisan way. And Weiner said: this brings us one step closer to the bills ultimate passage."
A rep for Nadler said he plans to bring the bill back to the floor next month for a simple majority vote. King has said he'd try to convince Republicans not to load it down with amendments.