Skip to main content

Vote on 9/11 Health Benefits Fails on GOP Obstruction

Jeremy Sprinkle
Social share icons

Attention first-responders in North Carolina

Last night, the House of Representatives failed to pass the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (H.R. 847) on a 255-159 vote, with 243 Democrats and 12 Republicans voting in favor - not enough on a procedural vote that required two-thirds support. The bill would provide up to $7.4 billion in health care aid to Ground Zero workers who have dealt with serious health problems since 9/11.

Instead of voting on the substance of the bill - aid for police, firefighters, paramedics and other heroes who ran to the scene to help while people fled in terror and have suffered the consequences to their health ever since - Republican leadership in the House hung their objections to the bill around the procedure. Like on so many bills in Congress these days, for an intransigent minority party, process trumped substance, and workers are the losers.

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) would have none of it. In what can only be called must-see C-SPAN, Rep. Weiner explodes on the GOP leadership in the House for providing cover to the Republican caucus to oppose the process and defeat the bill:

"'Oh, if only we had a different process we'd vote yes.' You vote yes if you believe yes! You vote in favor of something if you believe it's the right thing! If you believe it's the wrong thing, you vote no!"

Voting 'No' from North Carolina:

  1. Rep. Virginia Foxx [R, NC-5]
  2. Rep. Howard Coble [R, NC-6]
  3. Rep. Sue Myrick [R, NC-9]
  4. Rep. Patrick McHenry [R, NC-10]

Voting 'Yes' from North Carolina:

  1. Rep. George Butterfield [D, NC-1]
  2. Rep. Bob Etheridge [D, NC-2]
  3. Rep. Walter Jones [R, NC-3]
  4. Rep. David Price [D, NC-4]
  5. Rep. Mike McIntyre [D, NC-7]
  6. Rep. Larry Kissell [D, NC-8]
  7. Rep. Heath Shuler [D, NC-11]
  8. Rep. Brad Miller [D, NC-13]

AFL-CIO President Trumka responds

Most House Republicans and the groups that back them like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce care more about protecting the interests of foreign corporations than our nation's heroes, says AFL-CIO President, Rich Trumka:

"Helping the thousands of 9/11 responders and others who are now sick as a result of their exposures at the World Trade Center should not be a partisan issue. But sadly, the majority of House Republicans voted against this bill, even though its costs were fully paid for as required under the PAYGO rules by closing a tax loophole for foreign firms that operate in the United States. It appears that some Republicans and business groups, including the Chamber of Commerce, are more concerned with protecting the interests of the foreign based companies who try to avoid paying taxes than helping those who answered the nation’s call on 9/11."