NY Post - December 21, 2010by SALLY GOLDENBERG and JENNIFER FERMINO
Calling 9/11 "an act of war" against New York City, Mayor Bloomberg yesterday urged Congress to quit the quibbling over the James Zadroga health-care bill and do right by the heroes of the city's darkest day.
"This is not a vote on whether we should increase the deficit. It's a vote on whether we should stand by those who stood by America in its hour of greatest need," said Bloomberg, in an obvious swipe at critics of the $6.2 billion bill.
Flanked by members of the FDNY and NYPD, as well as 9/11 first-responders, Bloomberg said he is optimistic that enough Senate Republicans will vote for the bill for it to pass.
"These attacks were attacks on America by a foreign enemy," said Bloomberg. "They were acts of war and they led us to war in Afghanistan.
"Caring for the men and women who rushed to our defense on that dark day and in the days that followed is nothing less than a national duty," he said. "America is too great a country to shirk this duty."
Earlier this month, Senate Republicans blocked the bill from passage. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Sen. Charles Schumer have tinkered with the bill to appease GOP critics, and believe they have made enough changes to get it passed.
The bill will allocate federal funding to health-care clinics for people exposed to Ground Zero toxins. Also, the passage of the bill would reopen the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund for those who have become ill due to their work at Ground Zero.