Friday, December 3rd 2010
New York Daily News
The biggest lie in the propaganda that Republicans are disseminating to kill the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act: “Congress strongly supports the 9/11 heroes.”
Were that the case, Washington long ago would have met the national obligation to the rescue and recovery workers who responded after the terror attack and suffered serious illnesses and even death as a consequence.
It didn’t happen, largely because the same Republican forces - George W. Bush and countless GOP members of the House and Senate – resisted efforts even to recognize that lung diseases and other ailments were epidemic among thousands of responders.
Now, the House has passed the Zadroga bill and Senate Democrats are pushing hard for a vote by the close of the lame-duck session. So, now, the Republicans, led by Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi, are claiming falsely that the U.S. has done generous wonders for Ground Zero workers.
Worse, they intimate that those benefits that the Democrats managed to eke out are riddled with waste, fraud and abuse.
They should stand at the graves of all those whose lungs were fatally destroyed, starting with NYPD Detective James Zadroga, who labored for 450 hours at Ground Zero, and repeat the libel.
They should visit the clinics at Mount Sinai Medical Center where the wheezing sick come for treatment, and repeat the libel.
They should read the record of numerous House hearings that documented how soundly used all federal monies have been, and repeat the libel.
They dare not.
No, instead they distort the truth by pointing out that immediately after 9/11 the government established a compensation fund that paid out $7 billion. They leave out that the fund closed before all the illnesses now at issue became known.
And they torture decency by holding up the fact that some 10,000 responders and survivors will participate in a $625 million settlement of lawsuits. They leave out both that the settlements offered only part recompense and that the monies would be deducted from any payments awarded by a reopened compensation fund.
As for the thousands more who did not sue and are not party to the settlement, well, who cares about them?
Not Enzi and his Republicans.
By the latest head count, the 58 members of the Senate Democratic caucus are united behind the Zadroga bill. A lone Republican, Mark Kirk of Illinois, has joined in support, leaving the bill one Republican vote shy of passage. The lies are meant to give GOP members cover for betraying American citizens who volunteered in service to their country at a dark hour and paid dearly for it.
That is the disgraceful truth. It must not prevail.
Original article here.