Wednesday, December 9, 2015

McConnell Holds First Responder Bill Hostage to Serve Big Oil Money

Jon Stewart calling out Mitch McConnell
Monday night on The Daily Show
On Monday, Jon Stewart returned to the set of The Daily Show for one night to focus his justifiable wrath on Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).  The subject was the Zadroga Act.

(Any underlines are mine.)

"The Zadroga Act would guarantee health care to 9/11 responders, many of whom have been suffering from cancer and other illnesses due to the toxic air they breathed following the attack...

...This seems like a no-brainer, right?  Why would anyone oppose or block a bill that provided health care to first responders who are now sick because they were exposed to poisonous air in the aftermath of the worst terrorist attack in our nation's history?  

Well, that's exactly what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did.  And why did he do it?  Because when he was unsuccessful in using it to get leverage for loosening oil export regulations, he pulled it from the transportation bill that was passed last week. Yes, Republican Mitch McConnell is using a bill that many 9/11 first responders need just to survive--to try to benefit big oil...

...McConnell publicly fought care for national emergency workers within his own state--a bill that actually cost more than the Zadroga Act, emphasizing the point that this clearly isn't about money.

'Here's what I believe it is: Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky doesn't give a sh*t about anything but politics,' Stewart said. 'The first responders were told the Zadroga Act would be included, they were told this last week, in the transportation bill passed last week.  Mitch McConnell of Kentucky pulled it out of the transportation bill when he didn't get concessions about loosening oil export regulations.'

'So he used the health of 9/11 first responders as a bargaining chip to make it easier to sell oil?' (TrevorNoah, new host of The Daily Show) asked...

...That's when Noah suggested that Stewart 'get the band back together,' so to speak, by reuniting the original four members of a panel (of first responders) that was assembled back in 2010 and proved vital to getting the Zadroga Act originally passed.  Sadly, (in 2015) there is only one man (left).  You see, in the five years since, two have become too sick to travel while another member has passed away."

eye'm thynkin':  That last paragraph should make every Republican in Congress hang his or her head in shame.

Renewing the Zadroga Act has never been high priority for the GOP.  I wrote about it in two articles in September:  The 9/11 Survivor Bill About to Expire, Republicans Rate it a "Meh," followed a few days later with: Update: Jon Stewart Pushes McConnell to Commit to 9/11 Survivor Bill

Clearly, the attention Mr. McConnell grudgingly promised just a few months ago was eclipsed by big oil money.  GOP promises are only kept if you can pay for them.

Read more at Forward Progressives (video)

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