Tag Archive: 9/11 responders

It’s My Christmas, and I’ll Cry If I Want To

So, the Republicans in the Senate are terrified that they may have to work up to and including Christmas, to settle some unresolved legislation, including ratification of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), and the $1.1 trillion omnibus funding resolution, that the Democrats want to complete before the end of the lame duck session.

According to Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ):

It is impossible to do all of the things that the majority leader laid out without doing — frankly, without disrespecting the institution and without disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians and the families of all of the Senate, not just the senators themselves but all of the staff

How many recesses and breaks does Congress get, including practically the entire month of August? Certainly more than people in these professions, many of whom must work, not only Christmas, but other holidays as well:

  • Members of the military, especially those stationed overseas
  • Police, firefighters, EMTs – yes, those same ones who came to the World Trade Center site to help and were told by our own Christie Whitman that the air was safe, and are now being denied health benefits for illnesses contracted from breathing the “safe” air.
  • Health workers: doctors, nurses, orderlies, maintenance crews. Hospitals have no days off.
  • Pilots, flights attendants, air traffic controllers, other airport crew members (how many are flying members of Congress home for Christmas?)
  • Food service workers, cooks, waitstaff, caterers (how many are working on Christmas to feed members of Congress who can afford paid help for their holiday meals?)
  • Workers at 24/7 convenience stores, who help us out when we forgot to pick up a container of egg nog or whipped cream for our desserts.
  • Workers at 24/7 gas stations, who, here in New Jersey, stand out in the cold because we don't pump our own gas.

Are there more? You bet. Let's not forget members of the press, who are charged with keeping these public servants honest.

If these pious Senators are so concerned about their holy holiday, especially one whose motto includes “Peace On Earth, Good Will Towards Men”, why can't they take the time to work out a peace treaty before Christmas?

Stop whining and get to work.

 

Today in Congress

It seems every day in December is a big day for legislatures as they work to finish up business for the year. Here’s the significant news of the day from New Jersey’s Members of Congress.

A minority of Republican senators blocked the Defense Authorization Act. Senator Lautenberg tells it like it is:

“Senate Republicans refuse to even begin debating a repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.  The other side has run out of excuses.  Eliminating ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is the right thing to do and would ensure that our military policy reflects the values of our nation.  

“The fact that Republican Senators are willing to hold up a bill that provides vital resources to our troops and ends discrimination in our military is deplorable.  I will continue working to pass a Defense Authorization bill that provides our military with the equipment and services they need while also bringing an end to discrimination within the ranks.”

Of course, Democrats letting Republicans takes “hostages” will go on as long as our Senators and our President let them. Why did they add DADT to the bill if they give up anyway? What was the point?

More below on the Anthrax investigation, water supplies for the Delaware River Basin, 9/11 Responders, and Iran.

Screw you, Rep. Garrett

Of all of the scummy things that Rep. Garrett has voted against (cuz he doesn’t actually vote FOR anything), this is one of the worst:

A bill that would have provided up to $7.4 billion in aid to people sickened by World Trade Center dust fell short in the House on Thursday, raising the possibility that the bulk of compensation for the ill will come from a legal settlement hammered out in the federal courts.

The bill would have provided free health care and compensation payments to 9/11 rescue and recovery workers who fell ill after working in the trade center ruins.

So those who were brave enough and put their time, lives and health on the line to help those in the days and weeks after 9/11 have to fight in court to have the diseases and illnesses they got from serving this country after the 9/11 attacks.  This vote actually had a huge majority – it got support from 255 Reps and voted against by 159 – far more than 50% support.  But it failed to get a 2/3 majority and lost by around 20 votes.

Now, only 12 Republicans in the entire House voted for this, and 4 of them were from New Jersey.  You know, the state that had the 2nd most victims on 9/11.  And guess who was the one Representative that couldn’t even stomach helping his own fellow New Jerseyans pay for the health problems that arose from them stepping up for their country in its’ darkest day?

There is no excuse.  Nothing can be more indicative of what Garrett’s priorities are, and who his is as a person to his core.  There is a quote I saw recently that goes something like this:

Don’t tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I’ll tell you what you believe.

How true it is, Rep. Garrett.  How true it is.