Each year that passes, the grim anniversary that is September 11 never seems any easier to bear. Perhaps it is because we still find ourselves mired in the wars being waged in its name or in the name of preventing “the next 9/11.” Perhaps it is because nine years later, there is still a hole in the ground where the iconic World Trade Center once stood. Each year on the anniversary of these attacks, we are forced to look back and see where we have gone since then. And there just never seems to be any good news to report.
If Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) is to be believed, he and the other leaders in the House of Representatives wanted to change that by passing H.R.847, The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 by September 9 of this year. This bill is an entitlement bill at-heart, but the beneficiaries are those police officers and firefighters that were first on the scene that day, and the thousands more that poured into New York, Washington, and Shanksville, PA in the weeks that followed. Unbelievably, H.R. 847 failed to pass into law, receiving more than a simple majority of votes, but not the two-thirds majority it needed.
Since the first days of the Obama Administration and the Democratic seizure of Congress, I have begun to doubt my education in both math and civics, at least where things like “simple majorities” and “majority rule,” are concerned. Despite having a near-record hold on the legislative branch, the Democrats seem incapable of achieving a simple legislative victory. Well according to the Democratic leadership, for HR 847 they used a measure that requires a two-thirds majority, typically used so non-controversial bills can be passed into law quickly.
This parliamentary maneuver also prevented the Republicans from offering any amendments to the bill such as earmarks, restrictions on who can benefit from the bill (read: illegal immigrants), and changes to the amendments to the tax law used to pay for the $7.4 billion this measure would cost. Dubbed a corporate tax increase by its enemies, this change actually closes a loophole that allows multinational corporations from not paying taxes on income earned in the United States (read: offshore tax shelters).
The result is ineffectual governance. Both parties are posturing, but those that suffer are the first-responders in New York and across the nation with no coverage, literally fighting for every breath. No party likes to hump “The Hero” mythos more than the Republican Party, and it is galling that only 12 out of 188 in the House could see beyond politics to address the needs of, arguably, the first veterans of the war on terror. The Democrats will probably limp this bill, bloodied and beaten, through the normal procedures — adding amendments and sitting through months of debate while more first-responders die — and it will pass, probably with significantly less votes than it had in the first place. This is how America treats its heroes.
Opinions expressed in this article are solely those Joshua Patton and may not reflect the opinions of Veteran journal or other members of Veteran Journal’s staff.
If you liked that post, then try these...
Helping the Homeless Veteran by Julie Scott on January 23rd, 2009
Most of the soldiers returning home simply have no clue about entitlements.
What to Expect When You're Expected Home by StaceyChil on May 12th, 2010
After years away from one another, your partner is finally coming home! The excitement is overwhelming, the anticipation is excruciating! Spouses yearn for the moment their soldier returns home, putting their feet back onto American soil.
Top Military News Headlines by freedom on October 5th, 2011
Valentines for Veterans by IsaacFDavis on February 8th, 2013
Vet Advocate Gary Sinise Partners with DAV by IsaacFDavis on February 6th, 2013
Actor and outspoken veterans' advocate .
Powered by Facebook Comments