In the past week we have been treated to the unedifying spectacle of U.S. Senators blocking the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (H.R.847) until the Bush tax cut debate was concluded to their satisfaction. Even with the tax cut issue settled, the Zadroga Bill (or as Jon Stewart memorably put it on The Daily Show “the least we can do no brainer act of 2010”) still languishes on the Senate’s to do list.
The lack of urgency with which this bill has been treated by Congress and the mainstream media is a national disgrace. Politicians who do not hesitate to wrap themselves in the flag and invoke the memory of 9/11 for their own selfish purposes are playing petty politics with the lives of men and women that sacrificed everything to answer their country’s call in one of its darkest hours.
Last Thursday Senator Susan Collins (R- ME) even called Capitol police when she was alarmed to learn that a group of 9/11 first responders planned to camp out in Senate offices until they garnered the necessary 60 votes to secure the bill’s passage.