The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Mitch McConnell dragged his feet on the bill, and two Republicans tried to block it, but help finally is on the way for 9/11 first responders.

Almost two weeks after the House passed the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund Bill, the Senate finally followed suit on Tuesday. After defeating amendments by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) — Lee’s would have limited the amount available for the fund, and Paul’s introduced spending cuts to offset the cost of the fund — the Senate passed the bill by a vote of of 97-2. Lee and Paul voted against the bill.

The bill, if Trump signs it into law, will replenish a fund that pays for the health care costs of first responders who rushed to save people on the day of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Before the bill even came to the Senate for a vote, it was marred in controversy as Republicans like Paul and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seemed reluctant to see the bill pass.

In June, McConnell admitted the bill wasn’t even on his agenda.

“Gosh, I hadn’t looked at that lately,” McConnell said.

McConnell was shamed by comedian and former talk show host Jon Stewart into eventually meeting with 9/11 first responders. Stewart has been a consistent and leading voice to make sure 9/11 first responders are taken care of.

“They did their jobs with courage, grace, tenacity, humility,” Stewart told Congress in July. “Eighteen years later, do yours.”

On July 17, after the House passed the bill, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tried to pass it through the Senate by unanimous consent. That’s when Paul stood up and objected, claiming the money going into the fund “should be offset by cutting spending.”

Paul’s objection sparked outrage among 9/11 first responders. John Feal, a demolition expert who was injured responding to the attacks, called Paul and Lee “assholes” for their efforts to block the bill. (Lee used a procedural tactic to prevent the bill from passing earlier.)

“They’re hypocrites at best,” Feal told CNN’s “New Day” the day after Paul blocked the bill. “They’re bottom feeders. They’re opportunists.”

“They should be begging for forgiveness for being assholes” and opposing the bill, he added.

Despite Republican obstruction tactics, the bill finally passed both the House and Senate and now heads to Trump for his signature.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife Ginni Thomas, center

A bombshell exposé by an award-winning investigative journalist takes a deep look into lobbyist and far right wing activist and conspiracy theorist Ginni Thomas, and the ties she has to people, groups – and money – that have or may have business before the U.S. Supreme Court, on which her conservative husband sits.

Is Ginni Thomas a Threat to the Supreme Court?The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer asks point-blank. “Behind closed doors, Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife is working with many groups directly involved in controversial cases before the Court.”

Keep reading... Show less

Judge Alexis G. Krot

Judge Alexis G. Krot shouted at Burhan Chowdhury, a 72 year old cancer patient whom local police cited for not maintaining his yard. “If I could give you jail time on this I would,” the Michigan jurist warned Chowdhury.

A cancer diagnosis doesn’t buy much more leniency in other courtrooms. In 2020, a judge in Pennsylvania sentenced Ashley Menser, a 36 year old in need of a hysterectomy for ovarian and cervical cancer, to a 10 month term.

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}