Posted by | September 29, 2010 17:59 | Filed under: Top Stories

By Yashwanth Manjunath

A health care bill for 9/11 rescue workers was brought up for a vote in the House back in July, and for disastrous reasons it failed to pass. At the time the bill was defeated because it needed a 2/3 majority to pass because the Democrats were using a procedural trick to prevent Republicans from offering any amendments that might humiliate them in an election year. Jon Stewart railed against this despicable display back in August with a segment he called “I Give Up” (which might be the best segment in the history of The Daily Show), while Anthony Weiner (pictured) famously exploded on the House floor over the Republicans’ obstructionism. Finally, the House today passed the long overdue aid package to provide $7.4 billion to workers sickened during the cleanup of the World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11 attacks. The measure passed 268-160, with only 17 Republicans voting yes.

Rarely is the difference between the two parties so crystal clear as it was on this issue. Democrats arguing on behalf of the measure urged their Republican colleagues to join them in standing up for the sick heroes of 9/11. Republicans called the bill yet another big-government entitlement program that would boost taxes and kill jobs. The tax in question that Democrats are using to pay for the measure is actually the closing of a tax loophole that would prevent foreign multinational corporations from avoiding paying income tax on U.S.-earned money stored in offshore banks.

Let that sink in for a second. Republicans want to prevent 9/11 rescue workers from receiving money to pay for medical care they needed to receive because of illnesses directly related to their brave heroism, so that they can protect the wealthiest and most powerful multinational corporations in the world. I do not like to throw around the word “unpatriotic” very often, but that is exactly what this point of view represents. If you are unfortunate enough to be living in a district with a Republican Congressperson who voted against this measure, please call and ask why. Shame on the Democrats if they do not make this vote an election issue and let the country know just how vile and repulsive these views are.

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