LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - First responders health-care bill filibustered

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I would like to see a response that clearly explains why the Senate Republicans thought it absolutely necessary and fair to filibuster the 9/11 first responder, emergency worker, construction and cleanup workers health-care bill. The mental gymnastics would be entertaining.

The bill would have set aside $7.4 billion over 10 years to pay for the health care of those who responded to the greatest attack on our nation since Pearl Harbor. The bill would have been revenue neutral as it would have been funded by closing loopholes that allow foreign corporations to dodge taxes on income made in the U.S.

The Senate Republicans promised to block all legislation until the Bush tax cuts go through (they did go through Dec. 17). Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., noted: "The idea that tax cuts for millionaires would derail this legislation is simply outrageous and offensive. The men and women who rushed to the burning towers and worked for hundreds of hours on the pile did not delay, and the Senate should not have delayed either."

Watching the video of a Jon Stewart interview of first responders on the Daily Show on this subject is an absolute must. You simply need to put: "Daily show 9/11 responders bill" in Google to view the video.

As one 9/ll worker mentioned, they worked through lots of holidays. Everyone should consider contacting Mitch McConnell and tell him to stay in session and pass this bill before taking a Christmas recess or, that failing, to make it the first order of business after the holiday break.

Norm Osterman

Walla Walla

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