Cowardly GOPer Sen. Collins Calls Cops on 9/11 Heroes
December 16, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)—This is just vile. Afraid of being confronted on her no vote to deny our 9/11 first responders health care, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) called the Capitol Police when a group of 9/11 heroes arrived to lobby Republican Senators. The entire Republican Caucus filibustered the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which would provide 9/11 first responders with health care, many of whom are suffering from severe health problems from breathing in the toxic dust and fumes from Ground Zero. The Republicans say we can’t afford to pay for their care, calling it a “slush fund.” While Sen. Collins and the rest of her GOP colleagues were blocking the health bill, they were also holding unemployment benefits hostage, vowing to block everything else, until they got an unpaid for tax cut for the wealthiest two percent of Americans.
Once the Capitol Hill police met with the nine first responders in the senate building, led by advocate John Feal, they quickly realized the group posed no risk to Sen. Collins or anyone else.
The group of firefighters, police and Ground Zero construction workers were there to plead with Republican lawmakers to pass the health bill, before more responders die.
The New York Daily News writes:
“Collins is among the senators the 9/11 community hopes will come over to their side, but her call to authorities left them wondering if they could succeed.”
‘“I’m deeply disappointed in Sen. Collins for calling the Capitol Police, but they welcomed us with open arms,” said Feal, although he wound up with a police escort for the first stops on his visit.”
‘“I’m more disappointed that Susan Collins is hiding behind ideology, and now the police, to stop from helping us,” Feal said. “And the people she called to stop us, are just like us. It’s a little ironic.”’
Collins is not the only GOP lawmaker avoiding 9/11 first responders. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was recently approached by an advocate for the 9/11 heroes, but the Senator blew him off.
“He said ‘Thank you for your service.’
“And ‘I can’t help you.’
“Then, bang, he stepped around me and onto the elevator.
“If his eyes were daggers, I’d be dead. They’d all be in my heart.
“John McCain was pathetic. I would have thought more of him.”
The Zadroga 9/11 Health bill was at first voted down by Republicans in the House, when it was brought to the floor in July as a “suspension bill,” requiring a 2/3 majority. Rep. Anthony (D-NY) called the bill’s defeat a “shame” and an “outrage.” The bill finally passed through the House on a regular vote.
But the Republicans in the Senate killed it.
The sick and dying 9/11 first responders are becoming desperate, realizing that if the bill to provide them health care does not pass during this legislative session, before the GOP takes over the House and gains additional members in the Senate, it’s dead in the water.
It’s despicable. And for Sen. Collins to call the cops on sick 9/11 heroes, because she’s too cowardly to meet them in person, is beyond despicable.