Sept. 11th Health and Compensation Act

Written by Laurie Higgins

Someone asked me about the vote regarding the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which I never heard about until yesterday when I read that U.S. Representative Mark Kirk was only 1 of 12 Republicans who voted for it.

It’s a bill to provide medical funds for 9/11 first responders, which sounds like something that would receive bi-partisan support. I’ve learned that Republicans opposed it for several reasons, including the following:

First, Dems used some obscure mechanism to pass it that requires a 2/3 vote rather than a simple majority, but prevents Republicans from attaching any provisions. Republicans wanted to attach a provision that would require this program to be funded by “Obamacare or the stimulus,” and they wanted an amendment “to deny funds to illegal immigrants.”

Second, Republicans were concerned about the amount of money, which has been reported as between 7.4 and 10.5 billion dollars.

Third, they were concerned about how it would be funded.

Fourth, there are already multiple programs to pay for the health costs of responders.

Here’s a short piece from Weekly Standard on it:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/why-house-democrats-forced-23-majority-vote-911-responders-bill

Here’s more information on it, including objections to it: http://www.gop.gov/bill/111/2/hr847 (Scroll down to “Member Concerns”)