Senator Thune voted to block a vote on health care compensation for 9/11 first responders on December 9.
Now I can't tell whether Thune and his War College lackeys would call this bill pork or prosciutto. Since it would help New Yorkers and not South Dakotans, I suppose they'll bleat pork! I just call it fulfilling our obligation to our neighbors who risked their lives for us in the face of terrorism.
My friend Adam posts a couple of videos showing 9/11 first responders talk with Jon Stewart about the Zadroga bill. Below are some comments from OpenCongress.org's page on HR 847:
I'm a 40 year old retired cop from the First Pct. in lower manhattan. I was there the morning of 9/11 and worked over 2,100 hours in the pit the months that followed. My breathing ailments are too long to get into and I understand I will be heavily medicated for whatever time I have left. I'm writing this and urging passage of this bill for my kids sake. (Ages 8 & 6)What's done is done but at least give me the peace of mind of knowing they will be taken care of. Ret. PO Dave Smith.
I am one of the forgotten rescue workers who spent weeks and months in the "pit". I do not seek glory or a pat on the back for what I did. I live with the choices I made. I wouldn't change a thing except I hate to see my family watch me deteriorate. I can't do things I used to, I have no energy, I can't breathe, I can't sleep. I am waiting for the inevitable and it sucks. I never smoked and now I am on all kinds of respiratory meds and a machine at night. Please pass this bill, I am not the only one in this position. Passage will help the people and families of those who dedicated their time and for some, their lives, to help others in need. God Bless America!
John Thune has supported borrowing over a trillion dollars to kill people and break things in Iraq and Afghanistan. But he won't support spending $7.4 billion to treat the people who responded to the first shot of that war.
Senator Thune thought it was more urgent to rush tax cuts to his richest friends than to provide health care for dying patriots. Well, now that that baby's been put to bed, the junior senator from South Dakota should have no more reason to oppose Zadroga, right?
Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin joined Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House in passing this bill in September. Senator Thune, get on board. Make South Dakota proud and do right by these brave Americans by joining the Republican senators Kirsten Gillibrand says will support this bill.
Update: Watch the Daily Show video, and you'll see Mike Huckabee tell the Republicans to pass this bill.
Update 2010.12.20 21:44 CST: The GOP is feeling the heat:
"I can tell you, whoever votes against 9/11 responders a couple of days before Christmas is truly un-American," said John Feal, a former New York Police Department supervisor who lost a foot when a steel beam fell on it during in recovery efforts at the World Trade Center and who launched the non-profit Feal Good Foundation to lobby on behalf of first responders [Laura Mascaro and Tina Susman, "GOP under Pressure for Opposition to 9-11 Responders Bill," Los Angeles Times, 2010.12.20].