by Steve Benen
GOP OPPOSES MEDICAL FUNDING FOR 9/11 VICTIMS.... I was under the impression that the emergency teams who responded to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 are considered American heroes. The nation's support for these men and women is unequivocal and unending.
At least, that was my impression. I guess I underestimated congressional Republicans again.
House Republican leadership is advising its members to vote against a bipartisan bill that would, among other things, bolster medical support to Sept. 11 victims.
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2009, sponsored by New York City Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D), provides medical monitoring to those exposed to toxins at Ground Zero, bolsters treatment at specialized centers for those afflicted by toxins on 9/11 and reopens a compensation fund to provide economic loss to New Yorkers.
And it's all paid for by closing a tax loophole on foreign companies with U.S. subsidiaries, Democrats say.
A policy statement from the House GOP leadership believes a victims' compensation fund is too large, and would remain open too long, which in turn creates a "massive new entitlement program" -- and Republicans hate entitlement programs.
As for financing, because the right pretends to care about the deficit, Dems made sure that every penny of the proposal is paid for. This, too, outraged House Republicans, because tax increases, even on foreign companies, even to benefit 9/11 victims, are always evil.
We're left with Republicans, in an election year, taking a bold stand against funding for medical care for 9/11 heroes.