Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Idaho’s grinches

When terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York in 2001, emergency responders ran to the burning towers while terrified citizens ran away.

After the towers collapsed, they sorted through the rubble for weeks to find survivors and later, to recover victims' remains and give their families closure.

Many police and firefighters have since shown up with serious illnesses related to their work at the site. They have been forced to move from saving lives to fighting to pay for medical treatments that could save, or at least ease, their own.

Republicans are blocking a bill, called the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, that would pay the medical bills of responders who faced the inferno's aftermath.

Embarrassingly, three of the grinches who would leave the heroes of 9/11 swinging in the wind represent Idaho.

On Sept. 29, Rep. Mike Simpson voted against the bill.

On Dec. 9, Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch voted against consideration of the bill.

Of the Idaho delegation, only lame-duck Democrat Congressman Walt Minnick voted in favor.

The senators also just voted to extend tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans with absolutely no way to pay for the cuts. Yet, they oppose the 9/11 Health Act, which would be fully funded by tax increases on offshore companies, among other means.

Have our Republican senators and congressman no honor? Their position is despicable.

Idahoans should burn up their phone lines and stuff their e-mail boxes and Facebook pages with outrage.

Real Idahoans care for their wounded and walking dead.

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