GOP Senators block debate on 9/11 Health bill

Republican Senators today decided to filibuster the scheduled vote on the Zadroga 9/11 Health bill and have said they will continue to do so until the Bush tax cuts are extended.

Members of the New York Congressional delegation are issuing scathing remarks in response to the GOP Senators’ move. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the primary sponsor of the senate version of the bill called the decision "outrageous and offensive.”

“The idea that tax cuts for millionaires would derail this legislation is simply outrageous and offensive," said Gillibrand in a statement. "The men and women who rushed to the burning towers and worked for hundreds of hours on the pile did not delay and the Senate should not have delayed either, certainly not to give tax breaks for millionaires. We should not have to wait for tax deals to do what’s right.”

The bill has already passed the House of Representatives.

New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who together with Congressmen Jerrold Nadler and Peter King, sponsored the house version of the bill, said, “It’s sad that Senate Republicans won’t even allow a debate on helping sick and dying 9/11 rescuers and survivors – but since that is the case, I am urging my House colleagues to add the Zadroga Act to the tax cut package. Health care for Americans who are ailing because of 9/11 should not be held hostage to partisan politics.”

“I’m extremely disappointed that the Senate Republicans have shown their unwillingness to allow debate on the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act,” said Congressman Nadler in a statement. “That show of partisanship is callous, calculated and extremely selfish in the face of thousands of 9/11 responders and survivors who are now sick and dying. I will continue to work diligently with my colleagues and the House Leadership to find another way to pass the bill during the remaining days of the session.”