GOP blocking 911 first responder health bill pass

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  • Thread starter jreelawg
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  • #1
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I hadn't noticed this was going on until Jon Stewart dedicated an episode to ranting about it. In a nutshell, a bill, which has something to do with helping out sick and dying 911 first responders, is being held up by the GOP.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/thu-december-16-2010-mike-huckabee

Is Jon Stewart right? Is there hypocrisy of Fox news, and GOP 911 rhetoric, and a lack of coverage and support for actual ground zero responders? Why is the GOP preventing it from passing?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_arising_from_the_September_11_attacks
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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last i heard, a bunch of them were suing NYC for benefits. it's not going to make sense to cover them twice.
 
  • #3
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Is Jon Stewart right?
Yes.

Is there hypocrisy of Fox news 911 rhetoric, and a lack of coverage and support for actual ground zero responders?
If you look up "hypocrisy" in the dictionary, Fox News is the second definition. There's a picture of John McCain right next to it too.

Why is the GOP preventing it from passing?
Its an attack against Obama and his administration for going against renewing the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Even though Obama said he would go forward with the full tax cut for the rich, they are still blocking everything because they haven't been "officially" extended yet.
 
  • #4
I hadn't noticed this was going on until Jon Stewart dedicated an episode to ranting about it. In a nutshell, a bill, which has something to do with helping out sick and dying 911 first responders, is being held up by the GOP.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/thu-december-16-2010-mike-huckabee

Is Jon Stewart right? Is there hypocrisy of Fox news, and GOP 911 rhetoric, and a lack of coverage and support for actual ground zero responders? Why is the GOP preventing it from passing?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_arising_from_the_September_11_attacks
Proton Soup is correct that the city is being sued, but this is a federal bill pertaining to specific issues beyond NYC so what he said is unfortunately not relevant. Topher may or may not be correct about an attack, but the reason for the stoppage was the GOP this time and they seemed to be clear that it was a bill "in line" after the tax 'cuts'.
 
  • #5
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It seams that what I get from wiki, is that the Bush administration is being blamed for intervening with EPA affairs with the intent of downplaying the health risks associated with 911 air pollution, and it seams Giuliani played a role in the downplay as well. Seams elements of the GOP have been fighting to reduce or limit financial compensation for those effected since the very beginning.
 
  • #6
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Fox ran this story way back on July 30, 2010.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/30/new-york-lawmakers-spar-failed-aid-sick-responders/

Sheppard Smith also commented earlier today...
http://democratifi.com/news/How-Do-...akers-Over-First-Responders-Bill-1408706.html

"A wonderful moment of pure outrage–and classic television–from Shepard Smith on Fox News Friday afternoon as he and Chris Wallace waited for President Obama ’s Tax Cut signing ceremony."

As for the Bill itself - it's being used as a political football by Harry Reid.
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/reid_vows_revote_b5jpNu8S5ugYeUJHCfsmSO

My question for Senator Reid is this - what have you been doing about this for the past 6 months sir?
 
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  • #7
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Proton Soup is correct that the city is being sued, but this is a federal bill pertaining to specific issues beyond NYC so what he said is unfortunately not relevant. Topher may or may not be correct about an attack, but the reason for the stoppage was the GOP this time and they seemed to be clear that it was a bill "in line" after the tax 'cuts'.
please, be specific, then.


also, if this actually is a moral obligation and not just some more 9.11 gravy train, then the right thing to do is just authorize it outright without trying to tie it to other legislation.
 
  • #8
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In August, 2003, Rep. Nadler asked the Department of Justice to initiate a federal investigation of Ms. Whitman’s response to World Trade Center contamination following 9/11. That request was based on EPA’s negligence and wrongdoing that has been well documented, culminating in a report that year by the EPA Inspector General that also found that the White House instructed EPA to downplay air quality concerns. To our knowledge, DOJ never opened an investigation of this matter.


Today, Reps. Nadler, Weiner, and Pascrell renewed the call for a special counsel in light of several recent developments. A class action lawsuit was filed by residents, workers and school children against the EPA, and against Ms. Whitman personally, for taking actions and making statements that knowingly placed the victims in the way of harmful contamination. A federal judge ruled that the case against not only the government, but against Ms. Whitman personally, can go forward, and stated that Ms. Whitman’s actions "shock the conscience." Two internal government memos were recently obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request, which reveal that the EPA knew the air around Ground Zero was unsafe. In addition, Ms. Whitman may have had a financial conflict-of-interest, and perhaps should have recused herself from the World Trade Center case.


http://www.house.gov/list/press/ny08_nadler/WhitmanProsecuted091306.html [Broken]

The more light shed on this issue the worse the GOP looks

Why would they want to lie about it?
 
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  • #9
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please, be specific, then.


also, if this actually is a moral obligation and not just some more 9.11 gravy train, then the right thing to do is just authorize it outright without trying to tie it to other legislation.
What other legislation is it tied to?
 
  • #10
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http://www.house.gov/list/press/ny08_nadler/WhitmanProsecuted091306.html [Broken]

The more light shed on this issue the worse the GOP looks
Do you have any "light" from a non-biased source?
 
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  • #11
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What other legislation is it tied to?
do you even look at your own links? how are they paying for it again?
 
  • #12
Vanadium 50
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It's good to see that people get their news from comedians today.

This issue was discussed https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=419589" in August.

Here is the relevant part to what I wrote then:

So I was intrigued by how Republicans could kill a bill without a majority, so I looked into it.

[irrelevant part deleted]

Now, what does this bill actually do? I tried to read it, and read the floor actions, and it seems that the actual beneficiaries are hospitals. What it does is allow NY hospitals to be reimbursed for 9/11 patient care at a higher rate than the government reimburses other patients at the same hospitals or patients at different hospitals. It apparently funds this by imposing taxes in ways that by treaty the US said that it wouldn't. (Reminder - in the US treaties are ratified by the Senate, not the House, and bills have to pass both houses to become law)

Why could a minority block this? Because the House leadership put this bill forward under "suspension of the rules", which requires a 2/3 vote to pass. This is usually done for non-controversial actions like proclaiming National Omelette Week.

Why did they do this? I don't know, but the cynic in me suggests that House leadership didn't really want this bill to pass - a retaliatory "tax war" would certainly interfere with President Obama's plan to double exports and would in all probability plunge the country back into recession. Putting it through under rules that require a 2/3 majority let them give the GOP a black eye and paint them as uncaring.
 
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  • #13
do you even look at your own links? how are they paying for it again?
Ah, you made the same mistake as Mike Huckabee, and I should add that this bill has broad bi-partisan support. I'm not sure how you can claim that the democrats are playing, when there are 42 republican signatures from the senate saying "no-go" until extending tax cuts.

You know what, just watch that episode of the daily show, because the first exchange between Stewart and Huckabee was just the party line you're selling, but the bill is alone now, at least as much as a single bill can be. It WAS tied to something, but no longer.

As for this being a federal issue... seriously? How can you involve the EPA in a state-only issue? This whole issue is federal, and in fact is one of those situations that people of ANY ideology seem to agree on. The fact that you wondered 'out loud' if this was part of a 9.11 "gravy train" just tells me you don't know about the issue or the bill.
 
  • #14
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Do you have any "light" from a non-biased source?
White House edited EPA's 9/11 reports

By JOHN HEILPRIN
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- At the White House's direction, the Environmental Protection Agency gave New Yorkers misleading assurances that there was no health risk from the debris-laden air after the World Trade Center collapse, according to an internal inquiry.

President Bush's senior environmental adviser yesterday defended the White House involvement, saying it was justified by national security.

The White House "convinced EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones" by having the National Security Council control EPA communications after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, according to a report issued late Thursday by EPA Inspector General Nikki Tinsley.
http://www.seattlepi.com/national/136350_epa23.html

Basically they decided it was in the interest of national security to deceive the public with a consequence of the public unintentionally risking, or destroying their own health. If you can explain how this makes sense I'd like to hear it. Seems what they accomplished, was to help maximize casualties and injuries.
 
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  • #15
It's good to see that people get their news from comedians today.

This issue was discussed https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=419589" in August.

Here is the relevant part to what I wrote then:
Or, and I throw this out there... they're all uncaring, and BOTH are playing with this football.

Riddle me this... why do we praise our 'first responders' and soldiers, yet once they've done their job we treat them like absolute dirt? The fact that ANY infusion of money into the healthcare system will benefit hospitals is a given, but the BENEFITS would be to those who are now and will suffer and die. You have an interesting hypothesis, but you can turn it either way and it works equally well, except that it's the republicans who seem capable of acting in the long-term organized manner you described. The democrats were just thumped for their inability to do much the same after just 2 years of spin, and 2 years of being unwilling to cash in political capital to get things done.

You can claim that this is a technical issue of taxation, and the usual pandering to interests (what a shock), but then you'd have to admit that no legislation would ever pass. This COULD be done, and quickly with broad support if the republicans allow it, just like the democrats just held their nose and gave everyone a continued tax break. It's called politics, but in the meantime people are sick, dying, and there is this major issue of the insane conditions we placed these people in. You're entitled to your opinion, and your interpretation of this bill as of August.. I don't think anything you've outlined couldn't be handled by the courts if in fact a challenge is raised and upheld. In this case, I'd say take the chance that the law is struck down and get these people relief sooner rather than posthumously.

I'd add, it's sad that comedians need to be calling the major networks on their lack of coverage, but being a comedian doesn't make you unable to communicate effectively. Your dismissal only applies to the OP arguably, and it's not the kindest thing to say is it?
 
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  • #16
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do you even look at your own links? how are they paying for it again?
I had the understanding it was going to be paid for, by the closing of a tax loophole. Republicans argue it is a corporate tax. It is unclear to me wether this loophole, is something which should exist or not, because I don't know the specific details about what the loophole exactly is. However, loophole, seems to have an unfavorable connotation. Are we to understand, that aside from the tax breaks, the obscenely rich are also exploiting tax loopholes. In terms of the discussion about what is appropriate for taxes, why not just include the discussion about loopholes, and either close them, then decide what is fair, or incorporate the realities of loopholes into the bigger picture.

I was just asking because I thought maybe you had something new to add, because I honestly couldn't say exactly what the bill is tied to, except for the opinions of Stewart, and others that it is tied to nothing except closing this tax loophole.

How do you feel about loopholes? Do you know anything specific about the loophole concerning the bill?
 
  • #17
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http://www.seattlepi.com/national/136350_epa23.html

Basically they decided it was in the interest of national security to deceive the public with a consequence of the public unintentionally risking, or destroying their own health. If you can explain how this makes sense I'd like to hear it. Seems what they accomplished, was to help maximize casualties and injuries.
Additional mass panic would have been in the public's best interest on 9/11 and 9/12? What specific time frame is "after"?
 
  • #18
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Additional mass panic would have been in the public's best interest on 9/11 and 9/12? What specific time frame is "after"?
If there were land mines out in a field next to a school, maybe you think it would be wise to advise the children and teachers, that the field is safe to play on... you know, to avoid panic?
 
  • #19
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If there were land mines out in a field next to a school, maybe you think it would be wise to advise the children and teachers, that the field is safe to play on... you know, to avoid panic?
I thought this was a serious thread?

Do you honestly believe anyone looked out their window on 9/11 (knowing the sky started out clear before the terrorist attacks), saw the massive volumes of dust and took a deep breath believing it was safe? Everyone knew to cover their mouths and everyone knew over the next few days the air quality was being monitored.

It's very unfortunate that ANYONE was injured either directly by the terror attacks, during the rescue effort or in the days that followed.

Personally, I have no doubt in my mind that something will be done now that the tax debate is over. Ironic to this thread, the best deal will probably be possible when the new Congress convenes - this one has done nothing but play games for 6 months.

Maybe the press and Government officials should have been promoting this cause since last summer, instead of making (pro) ground zero mosque arguements?
 
  • #20
I thought this was a serious thread?

Do you honestly believe anyone looked out their window on 9/11 (knowing the sky started out clear before the terrorist attacks), saw the massive volumes of dust and took a deep breath believing it was safe? Everyone knew to cover their mouths and everyone knew over the next few days the air quality was being monitored.

It's very unfortunate that ANYONE was injured either directly by the terror attacks, during the rescue effort or in the days that followed.

Personally, I have no doubt in my mind that something will be done now that the tax debate is over. Ironic to this thread, the best deal will probably be possible when the new Congress convenes - this one has done nothing but play games for 6 months.

Maybe the press and Government officials should have been promoting this cause since last summer, instead of making (pro) ground zero mosque arguements?
So your point is that because anyone should intuitively know that dust and smoke would cause everything from pulmonary, cardiac, and neurological damage, or what kind of carcinogens were? Your point then, is that armed with this instinctive knowledge which overwhelms the desire to help in this traumatic time, people knowingly exposed themselves to unknown levels of carcinogens and other truly horrendous (I hesitate to simply say) chemicals? All of this which justifies outright lies, which you apparently believe could be contradicted by looking out a window told to people over a period of months to years?

I'm not buying it.

I don't believe that the republicans are evil or that the democrats are saints... I think this should have been passed long ago. That being said, when it came down to the wire the republicans seemed to have no shame in blocking this, and the democrats had no shame in using this for political theater.

I see no plan here, no debate... just chaos and everyone out for themselves until someone points out what a bunch of bastards they are.
 
  • #21
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So your point is that because anyone should intuitively know that dust and smoke would cause everything from pulmonary, cardiac, and neurological damage, or what kind of carcinogens were? Your point then, is that armed with this instinctive knowledge which overwhelms the desire to help in this traumatic time, people knowingly exposed themselves to unknown levels of carcinogens and other truly horrendous (I hesitate to simply say) chemicals? All of this which justifies outright lies, which you apparently believe could be contradicted by looking out a window told to people over a period of months to years?

I'm not buying it.

I don't believe that the republicans are evil or that the democrats are saints... I think this should have been passed long ago. That being said, when it came down to the wire the republicans seemed to have no shame in blocking this, and the democrats had no shame in using this for political theater.

I see no plan here, no debate... just chaos and everyone out for themselves until someone points out what a bunch of bastards they are.
I posted about the dust as a counter point to jreelawg's nonsense about landmines. I also requested clarification from jreelawg regarding the timeframe of the specified reports "after" the event - still no response.

So YES, I think people could see the dust and knew it was a problem, and NO, I don't think anyone realized how serious the consequences of the dust would become - given the high level of concern for more potential attacks at the time. People worrying about airplanes crashing from the sky, typically aren't too concerned about dust.

It's easy to sit here now and judge actions taken during an emergency situation a decade ago, but what kind of manic-panic may have resulted by telling everyone to flee the city because of the dust? The panic could have killed more people than the terrorist attacks.

Otherwise, we're basically in agreement.
 
  • #22
Ivan Seeking
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- this one has done nothing but play games for 6 months.
No kidding.

But when abused, as it has been by Senate Republicans who have called for 87 such votes to end debate so far this year, it [the filibuster] creates a tyranny of the minority...
http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/229514/remove-the-senate-filibuster-roadblock [Broken]
 
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  • #23
mheslep
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If Vanadium's explanation in #12 is to be ignored, recommend this thread be locked.
 
  • #24
Ivan Seeking
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWRHPew6jOU
AssociatedPress | July 30, 2010
 
  • #25
If Vanadium's explanation in #12 is to be ignored, recommend this thread be locked.
I didn't realize I was ignoring it when I addressed it directly. It's a very singular take on this bill which only holds if you ignore the normal passage of legislation, and the role of the courts in being a check if the law really is the cause for concern some few think it is. What a few republicans are calling a stand on constitutionality (when don't they, it's like the dems and 'the people') and an unfair tax is to many more of us (myself for example) closing a tax loophole to pay for top care of first responders.

The real problem, the lawsuits that Proton mentioned are going to come when normal citizens and non "hero" types start having these same issues... no bill for them, just lawsuits. Anyway, lets pass the bill; don't republicans hate trial lawyers anyway?
 

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