Cooper and Blackburn Voted Against Bill Providing Healthcare To 9/11 First Responders and Clean-up Workers

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The toxic dust from the pulverized World Trade Center towers has steadily sickened rescue and recovery workers since the immense clouds settled nearly a decade ago. A bill named for New York City Police officer James Zadroga — who died of a respiratory disease likely caused by exposure to the dust — that would have provided health care and compensation to first responders, rescue and clean-up workers failed to pass a House vote last week.

Rep. Anthony Weiner exploded. Recriminations streaked across the chamber from both sides like volleys. Republicans called it a "slush fund" (A term the GOP apparently uses now for money set aside for worthy causes; think Joe Barton and BP). And Democrats inexplicably decided to require a two-thirds majority to pass the legislation. The Zadroga bill should have been a gentle lob. An easy vote. But it wasn't. These are Tennesseans who voted against compensating those sickened by the falling towers. It was surprising to see Cooper's name in the "nay" column. He was one of only four Democrats voting against. He's a deficit hawk, but these benefits are also a drop in the bucket, and voting against them makes about as much sense as voting against extending unemployment benefits (which the unemployed will re-inject into the economy) while voting to continue tax cuts for the wealthy (which is money the wealthy can afford to save).

Voted Against
Congressman Marsha Blackburn of the 7th
Congressman Jim Cooper of the the 5th
Congressman John Duncan of the 2nd
Congressman Phil Roe of the 1st

Voted For
Congressman Bart Gordon of the 6th
Congressman Lincoln Davis of the 4th
Congressman John Tanner of the 8th
Congressman Steve Cohen of the 9th

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