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December 21st, 2010
10:06 AM ET

Why the wait for 9/11 First Responders Bill?

The Senate is expected to take up the 9/11 First Responders Bill before the Christmas holiday as they wrap up their "lame duck" session. But many have been asking why has it taken so long to pass the bill. The bill, which assures future health coverage for those first rescuers, cleared the House earlier this month but passing the House has proven to be quite a partisan battle.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D, New York,  is one of the senators leading the charge for the bill. She joins American Morning's John Roberts this morning to talk about what the hold up has been.

Filed under: American Morning • Politics
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. kw

    I do not understand the need for a 7 billion fund to service their health care needs. They were doing their job. They have job health care benefits and workman's comp insurance I'm sure. Aren't these entities paying any bills? I mean, shouldn't workman's comp insurance be paying for all of this?
    Just checking.

    December 22, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  2. Larry

    I believe the concept is long overdue. The media has portrayed this as support for the responders but I have a friend in government who is stating offline that the majoirty of this money for the responders bill is for the "suits" and will not go directly to responders! Is that true?

    December 22, 2010 at 7:47 am |
  3. Ron H.

    It is hard to believe that our country is dictated by big business known as the US Chambers of Commerce. An entity that even the news media does not want to tackle. America was attacked on 9/11. They did not discriminate on which class of people to attack nor did they attack a group of people based upon their professional or political views/parties. Terrorist attacked American citizens. Another set of American citizens did their jobs without fail. It is hard to believe that on 9/11 this country was attacked and rallied as a nation with fire to make those who attacked this country pay for killing our fellow citizens. There was no partianship, their was no pressure tactics employed by the US Chambers of Commerce (Domestic or International Branch), there was death, fire, destruction and the question of why? Those sponsoring this bill have found ways to pay for this bill. Now because it can be paid for, now people are bulking at the very thing that they themselves asked be done. The Senate did not set out about helping New Orleans for a various reasons, now don't fail again when it come to those other Americans that responded to an attack on America and its citizens on 9/11.

    December 21, 2010 at 11:46 pm |
  4. Carol

    Refusing health care for 9/11 first responders is abhorrent. To respond, "How about the citizens of New Orleans, who are still recovering fromvthe symptoms associated with PTSD, after the US failed to respond when the levees that were ill constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers?" Well, first of all, many people believe they should be helped. But, the difference in the eyes of most people is that the first responders sacrificed their own well being to spend (in some cases) a year or more digging out the remains of fellow US citizens. While down there, they breathed in toxins that are now, years later, killing them. But we're supposed to turn our backs on them because "Well, if we help them, we might have to help others?"


    How much money am I going to have to give to help those brave men and women? A nickel a month? A dollar?

    I can understand the argument against bailouts and welfare, etc. But, when people start running their mouths against helping anyone who was at Ground Zero, it infuriates me. These men and women are DYING because they went to HELP. So, if they get free medical care and perhaps accidentally get treated for something that wasn't related, WHO CARES?

    I hope this bill gets passed and I hope it's passed immediately.

    December 21, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  5. Carmen Urquidi

    I am a trauma RN and have participated in major disasters. I understand ;the sacrifice first responders make everday. However, Iit is not my belief that 9/11 responders should not be given a blank check for health care. How do you determine which diseases are related to 9/11, such as diabetes hypertension and the symptoms associated with PTSD? We could be paying forever.
    There are many instances of citizens being affected by "abandonment by the US" as the proponents of this legislation suggest. How about the citizens of New Orleans, who are still recovering fromvthe symptoms associated with PTSD, after the US failed to respond when the levees that were ill constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers, broke during Hurricane Katrina, and flooded their homes and city. There are people still dying. Where is the blank check for their homes and health?

    December 21, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  6. Edan Aharony

    This is a no win situation for the GOP. These people have sacrificed their lives and now are dying or very ill. I understand why the GOP don't want to vote on the bill right away because it's a large bill – $7 billions and they want to make sure there is no waste. In their head the issue can wait another week and a half until next year when congress is back in session. In a lame duck session it's very hard to go into all the fine details that compose the bill but then again we are dealing with dying people here. Edan Aharony

    December 21, 2010 at 11:16 am |