Tie Zadroga to tax bill, New York pols Pete King, Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney urgeBY Michael Mcauliff
December 9, 2010
WASHINGTON - The bill to help ailing 9/11 responders foundered in the Senate on Wednesday night - prompting worried New York House members to spring a rescue plan.
Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.) and Manhattan Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney want to add the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to the $900 billion tax-cut deal President Obama and the GOP are trying to push through, Maloney told the Daily News.
She made her case with Vice President Biden on Wednesday.
"I spoke about some of the concerns about the tax package, and said what would make it a better deal was to include the [Zadroga bill] - it should be part of the tax bill," Maloney said.
Biden did not give her an answer, but she and her cohorts are taking the idea to other House members - and have already found support. A deal could salvage the $7.4 billion Zadroga act - and ease passage of the tax measure.
"A lot of [members] have told me they would vote for it if the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act is in it," Maloney said.
Senate leaders on Wednesday night could count only 58 backers for the Zadroga bill - not the needed 60 - and postponed a key test vote. Republicans refused to support any measure last night until the tax deal is approved.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) made his own pitch for the Zadroga bill on Wednesday, pleading with opponents to "stop spreading lies" about the plan.
"It is not fair and it is not right to say we will not remember these people who volunteered and risked their lives to protect our freedom in a time of war, [to say] we will not help you until X, Y or Z gets done," Schumer said.
"This is nothing we should play politics with," he added.