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McConnell Blocks Health Care for 9/11 First Responders

Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore on Flickr

It's hard to imagine a valid reason why Republican Mitch McConnell would block legislation whose purpose is to help the first responders and other victims of the 9/11 terror attacks, but he's doing it anyway. Supporters of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act were hopeful that the act would have been permanently reauthorized in the highway bill that is expected to pass with bipartisan support. But the Senate majority leader didn't do the right thing, and the program will run out of money early next year if Congress doesn't act.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka blasted McConnell:

Sen. McConnell recently said, “In Congress we have a responsibility to advocate for our service members and veterans and to ensure that they get the treatment they deserve during and after their service.” Yet in an opportunity to act on those words, Sen. McConnell didn’t. He is utterly failing the first responders of September 11—the first veterans of America’s current wars.

It is despicable and negligent for Sen. McConnell to play politics with the lives and health of some of America’s bravest men and women. Sen. McConnell should not stand in the way of a permanent and fully funded James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act.

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