Ah, those ever-compassionate Republicans

Check out this story:

Senate Republicans have blocked a bill to aid people who got sick after exposure to dust from the World Trade Center’s collapse. 

For the most part, these are police, firemen and other emergency workers who responded to the 9/11 disaster. Perhaps the problem here is that the folk who need help are not wealthy enough to make it to the GOP’s radar.


About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

20 Responses to Ah, those ever-compassionate Republicans

  1. seekntruth says:

    Fred, a few weeks ago you had a blog about media bias, lousy reporting, or nothing at all. Which one does this blog fall under?

    As with most things in life, we need context to fully understand a situation (just ask Shirley Sherrod). Yes, headline is correct and Republicans voted to block the bill (not against it but to block for now, this is an important distinction) but they did so because they had told Sen. Reid they weren’t voting on anything until the pending tax hike is resolved.

    You bring up the issue of compassion or lack thereof. Perhaps it is more of a subjective term than I realized because I can see signs of compassion in understanding the urgency of dealing with the current tax rates that expire in 22 days and raise taxes on all Americans (and a lack of it in people who would rather talk about something, anything else)

  2. In regard to not doing anything until after the tax issue is resolved — that is political posturing. Both parties do that, but in this case it hurts 9/11 emergency responders — Kind of shameful for my money

  3. Ed Ramirez says:

    That is just what you are doing Fred Posturing with that tired old class warfare and that mantra that states that Democrats are the only ones that care about the sick and down trodden. I it meant that Dems could gain control they would sell all these first responders down the tube as they did when they held up this same bill by requiring it be passed with a 2/3’s majority a few months ago. Please Fred try to be honest for once.

  4. seekntruth says:

    Now saying that you will do something and then following through and doing it is posturing? Reid screwed up and brought it to the floor, wasting time that could have been spent preventing a huge tax increase.

  5. Hold on a minute … the tax deal is going to be passed; There was no reason for Republicans to oppose this ..

  6. P says:

    Right now Harry Reid and the Dems are trying to jam everything possible through the Lame Duck session, except for the thing that would address the most critical issue for all Americans – Fixing the economy.

    The Stimulus/Tax Deal agreed to by Obama and McConnell should be their one and only priority. Pass that and then they can take on the 9/11 Responders, the DREAM Act, DADT . . yada, yada, yada.

    So stop playing politics with America’s Economic Future Sen. Reid.

    P.S. If he really took a look at it, this $900B plan has oodles of goodies for the Dems, and about $75B for extending the Tax Cuts for High Earners. The Dems would be better off claiming that they rolled the Republicans for a measily 8% of the total and Declare Victory.

    Too bad they are so wrapped up in Class Warfare that they are blinded to Reality.

  7. Bob Grant says:

    The “class warfare” you are talking about, Ed, is the very rich against the rest of us and they are winning. Also, give me one example of a GOP initiated bill which helps the poor–just one–that’s all–one. The reason this bill had to pass with 2/3rds majority, Ed, is because the Republicans refused to allow it to go forward with a simple majority which they could have done under House Rules.

  8. Ed Ramirez says:


    The 1964 Civil rights bill and the 1966 voter rights bill

  9. Ed Ramirez says:


    I know you were not wanting to hear about those bill but they would never have passed if not for GOP votes. If you meant that any bill that gave out more government handout that serve to subjugate and provide the government more control over the lives of the poor well GOP’ers don’t do that.

  10. Hi Ed:
    The civil rights legislation was almost 50 years ago now and the Republican party has changed a lot since then. In 1970, it was Richard Nixon’s administration that created the EPA; today, there are Republicans who think scientists are Marxists when they talk about global warming. All Republicans do not feel that way,.but many do, The party, at least nationally, has moved far, far to the right on many issues. GOP leaders of the civil rights era _ people like Clifford Case, Jacob Javits and, even Nelson Rockefeller _ would be ostracized today.

  11. Unintentional Smell says:


    The Democratic party has changed an awful lot during that same period. Yesterday’s Democratic leaders would be Republicans today.

    Just listen to JFK’s inaugural address and ask yourself if he would be a Democrat today:


  12. Bob Grant says:

    Ed, note you said those important pieces of legislation would not have passed “if not for GOP votes.” Even these examples you bring up were not initiatives of the Republican party. Ed, these were Democratic pieces of legislation and yes Dirksen and a few other Republicans played a major roll in getting them passed over Southern Democratic opposition, but in no way shape or form can these landmark pieces of legislation be called Republican.

    So I ask again, name one piece of legislation or one GOP initiative which has been introduced to help poor people–just one.

  13. Ed Ramirez says:

    I think that JFK would be ostracized by the left and being too conservitive today. Bob is also wrong in that it was the Democrats that made the rule requiring the 2/3 vote on the first responders bill the last time it was up. if they had not done that the bill would have passed with a simple majority.

  14. Ed France says:

    Good points by all. But blocking this bill is an abuse of power. This bill is all about helping those who were unselfish. Party politics should not matter.
    Pass the bill and help those too many of the GOP who blocked this bill serve in save districts . So maybe they have some security in where they serve. Very sad. They were selfish to block this bill.

  15. Bob Grant says:

    It was Kennedy who first proposed the massive Civil Rights bill in 1963 and when you think about the times and the rather massive opposition to civil and human rights in certain sections of the country, Kennedy’s proposal was bolder than anything we have seen in the past few decades.

    Using “now” to “then” comparisions always miss the mark as we have a difficult time understanding the context of the times.

    For example, Abe Lincoln was a radical by any standard. Lincoln ordered the govermental taking of private property valued at 100s of millions of dollars in mid-19th century value. How does that action compute with modern Republican “free market” standards.

  16. Lawrence Millus says:

    99.9 percent of the 9/11 first responders were New York City Police, Fire and EMS. No offense to my brothers in NJ, but it is NYPD first responders that have the most to worry about. I was there for weeks. I am scheduled for a full exam at Robertwood Johnson in January.

    Larry Millus

  17. Ed Ramirez says:


    I wish you well and hope that you have not been injured by your eagerness to serve. Gods speed my friend, and may god protect you.

  18. Bob Grant says:

    Ed, I hope God does protect him because your party certainly won’t.

  19. Ed Ramirez says:


    With all due respect it was the Democrats that made the rule to require a 2/3 vote to pass this Act, the first time it was brought up. If they would not have made that rule it would have passed by a simple majority. The rule change was made to gain political point and the first responders be dammed. So much for the caring Dems.

  20. Dan Grant says:

    Blaming Democrats because they wanted Republicans to be responsible and step up to the plate is the same as an admission that you can’t expect even a minority of Republicans to be responsible. What decent person would believe that the enough Republicans would vote to keep this bill on lock down while the heros of 9/11 suffer. It was a call for Republicans so show that they ready do have compassion and they failed. Spin it the way you want Ed but they showed what they are.

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