Weiner’s portrayal of Jimmy Stewart playing “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” he thinks got lost in the translation to the American public by the right-leaning elements of our media.
In an op-ed article published by the New York Times, Weiner explained the capped funding for 9/11 first responders should have been a slam dunk but was killed by Republicans.
The up and down vote by House rules required a two-thirds majority needing 23 Republican but received 12. The extra-help measure would have been paid for by closing a tax loop hole allowing foreign national corporations to pay less taxes.
It was frustrating to hear Republicans say these people didn’t deserve more help because, as one put it, “people get killed all the time.” Others called it another big entitlement program. Some said it was a giveaway to New York, or complained that the bill would have been paid for by closing a tax loophole. We responded to each of these arguments over the summer in the hours of hearings and markups of the bill. And the answers are pretty simple.
The truth is that this is a limited program, with a cap, because it is restricted to 9/11 responders and others directly affected by the toxic substances. As we all remember, the victims of ground zero dust came from all over the nation — they weren’t just New Yorkers. And, frankly, I don’t see what’s wrong with trying to close a loophole that lets foreign multinational corporations avoid paying taxes on income they have earned in the United States.
And those the bill intended to help that fell through the cracks: ‘These are Americans who wanted to help, and who scientific studies now show are falling ill and dying in troubling numbers.”
Weiner’s dramatics was another nail the Democrats are hammering into the Republican obstructionist coffin.
It made me reflect on the path Sept. 11, 2001, has taken this nation: War in Afghanistan that inexplicitly got us into Iraq, the Patriot Act, compensation for 9/11 family victims and a former mayor of New York City who was accused of constructing every sentence on his presidential bid with a noun, verb and 9/11.
Since Weiner’s bill is deficit neutral without reminding us it is the right thing to do, I think he’s got the Republicans by the short hairs on this argument.
Cross posted on The Remmers Report
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Jerry Remmers worked 26 years in the newspaper business. His last 23 years was with the Evening Tribune in San Diego where assignments included reporter, assistant city editor, county and politics editor.