Earlier in the week, the legislation that would have provided medical help for 9/11 first responders was killed by Republicans.  I was shocked to see that any political party would be against getting medical help for true American heroes.  You can imagine my surprise when I found out who was helping the Republicans defeat this humanitarian bill.  The United States Chamber of Commerce was quietly working behind the scenes to make sure this bill was defeated.  The immediate question that came to my mind was why?  Why wouldn’t the Chamber want the heroes of 9/11 to get the medical help that they need to fight the many health problems that they have incurred due to their work on 9/11 at Ground Zero? I was surprised to find out that the Chamber put the full court press on the  James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 “because it was funded by ending a special tax loophole exploited by foreign corporations doing business in the United States.”   http://thinkprogress.org/2010/12/17/chamber-911-responders/ 

Is it just me or is that one of the most disgusting and un-American things that you have heard of in a long time?  How can the Chamber members allow American heroes to go without life saving medical help, all in the name of saving foreign companies some tax money?  Once again, the main stream media has ignored this important story.  Who is going to stand up for the 9/11 heroes?


  1. Buddha,

    “Not just disgusting and un-American, but inhumane and venal as well.”

    I read that as “inhuman” at first. Here I was thinking you were making a subtle and deep point about the behavior of humans in groups as opposed to the behavior of humans as individuals.

    The common good can be used to cover up a lot of individual evils.

  2. rafflaw,

    From ThinkProgress today:

    Despite New Funding Offsets, US Chamber Of Commerce Still Opposing 9/11 First Responders Bill

    Last week, ThinkProgress reported that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had quietly lobbied to help Republicans kill the “James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010,” a bill to compensate the first responders and emergency workers who suffered illnesses from working at Ground Zero.

    The Chamber — a powerful trade association representing the health insurance industry, ExxonMobil, as well as dozens of foreign corporations — opposed the bill because it paid for health care benefits by ending a special tax loophole exploited by foreign corporations with business interests in the United States. The Chamber also demanded that Congress should stop deliberating over benefits for 9/11 heroes, and instead focus on extending “all of the expiring 2001 and 2003″ tax cuts.

    Disclosures reveal that the Chamber used part of its multi-million lobbying budget on defeating the bill because of its funding provision. The Republican caucus, which was unified in opposition to the legislation, cited both the priority of the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2 percent and the Chamber’s concerns about closing the tax loophole.

    Over the weekend, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tried to revive the bill by changing the way the compensation fund would be paid for. Instead of ending the foreign corporate tax loophole, Gillibrand proposed a new funding mechanism, including a 2 percent excise fee on certain foreign companies that receive U.S. government contracts. However, the Chamber still believes the bill’s offsets are unacceptable.

    Asked for comment by ThinkProgress, Chamber spokesperson Tita Freeman told us that the Chamber takes no position on compensating 9/11 first responders, but absolutely opposes Gillibrand’s new funding mechanism because the Chamber believes it to be “harmful to the business community and the economy.”

  3. The Chamber of Commerce hates unions … Fire and Police have very strong unions … ergo … The Chamber of Commerce hates firemen and policemen … and The Chamber of Commerce is full of treasonous little bastards … boycott any business that belongs to The Chamber of Commerce. I refuse every invitation they extend to me and always have … somebody else can play for their damn Christmas parties.

  4. When disaster struck New York, none of the firemen, policemen, paramedics, doctors, nurses and uncounted volunteers who came forth paused to consider whether they would be compensated for their efforts. When they struggled to pull the dead and dying from the rubble, none stopped to review the exclusions in their insurance policies. When they carried the injured out of harm’s way, they did not pull out their cell phones and call City Hall to inquire about overtime pay. Instead, they all reacted instinctively and bravely, recognizing that Americans have always come together in times of crisis and that we will always take care of our own.

    Our collective responsibility for what they endured, and continue to endure, is not part of an accounting calculation. Our duty to them is not a setoff on a balance sheet. And common decency should not be a line item in the nation’s budget.

  5. Lottakatz,
    I saw that “minor” change to the bill that allows the corporations to still stiff the taxpayers. Pretty sad. Maybe Mike S’s comments are too true. eniobob, I like the year of the hypocrite, with one small change. Two years of hypocrites, at least.

  6. LK:

    A rose would smell just as sweet by any other name they say,in this case it just smells,Blackwater to Dyn Corp.

  7. As Elaine M posted above the prospect for passage looks good. The tax loophole that favors business will not be closed (big surprise!) and the funds will come from new ‘procurement fees’ and visa fees. Concerning the procurement fees, with the news about contractors in Afghanistan I’m afraid to even find out what that means:

    “Booze, drugs and hookers: Hundreds of offenses by Afghan contractors uncovered”

  8. The Chinese have different symbols to represent there New Year,I think ours this year will be that of the “Hypocrite”

  9. To go back to a book title from the 50’s “None Dare Call It Treason.” This becomes an apt description of many American Corporations and their stooges like the Chamber of Commerce and the AMA. This crew has sold out America for their thirty pieces of silver and continue to do so lost in the thrall of their own greed. Whenever I hear these bozo’s talk of supporting our troops or the sacrifice of the 9/11 responders it literally sickens me.

  10. “Fox News hasn’t gotten one 9/11 first responder to talk about why they need the Zadroga Bill. in fact, only one network actually picked up the story in a meaningful way: Al Jazeera.”

    Al Jazeera.the only network to pick the story up ,in a meaningful way.Dosen’t that make you sick?

  11. eniobob,
    I saw that Stewart clip. It was prett amazing. Turning our backs on these people is disappointing. I sure hope we can get the votes needed to pass this in the lame duck. I don’t think it has a chance in the House in the new Congress.
    Interesting analogy AY!
    I hope Sen. Kirk from Illinois sticks to his guns and votes in favor of it when it counts.

  12. Raff,

    Yes, sir. Not just disgusting and un-American, but inhumane and venal as well. The Chamber of Commerce has shown their true colors: domestic enemies of American citizens interested only in profit.

  13. From ABC News (12/18/2010)

    Democrats Confident that 9/11 Health Bill Will Pass
    One More Republican Vote Needed to Pass Bill for Responders and Victims

    The first responders still suffering health effects more than nine years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks could get a “Christmas miracle” this year, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said today.

    Senate Republicans last week derailed a bill that would provide $7.4 billion in health care and compensation to 9/11 responders and survivors, but Gillibrand today voiced confidence that the Senate will pass the bill in the next week, now that lawmakers have agreed on how to pay for the measure.

    “We have the votes we need,” Gillibrand said today at a press conference on Capitol Hill. “We’ve had indications from several Republicans that they very much want to vote for this bill.
    “They would like to vote for a stand-alone bill,” she said. “There is general agreement on a new pay-for that we’re going to offer, so the hope is to get to the bill as soon as the START bill is completed.”

    The bill was put to a test vote on Dec. 9, but supporters found themselves three votes short of the 60 needed to proceed to debate and a final vote. The measure failed 57-42.

    Republican Mark Kirk of Illinois has now voiced his support for the bill. With his vote and that of Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, who switched his vote to “no” at the last moment, a parliamentary move that allows him to bring the measure up again for a vote, Democrats need just one more Republican vote to pass the bill.

  14. Re: disgusting and un-American things

    Nope, it isn’t just you. Since 9/11, I’ve seen things that I never thought I’d see in our country. I’ve also come to understand the real meaning of “compassionate conservatism.” And your article drives it all home…

    Where we’re headed isn’t going to be a happy place. But I’m still hoping for a miracle.

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