Weiner, King Spar in House Over 9/11 Responder Bill

Rep. Weiner Shows Washington Brooklyn Fire

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    Getty Images/Alex Wong
    WASHINGTON - JULY 30: (R-L) U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) speaks as Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) listen during a mark up hearing on the health care bill before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Capitol Hill July 30, 2009 in Washington, DC. The committee has resumed its mark up hearing on the bill after reaching a deal with the "Blue Dog Democrats" to provide lower cost plans for small businesses. President Obama has predicted that the votes on the bill for both houses of the Congress would not happen until September, 2009. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

    The House's rejection of bill that would have provided up to $7.4 billion in aid to people sickened by World Trade Center dust has opened a sharp rift between two New York congressmen, Republican Peter King and Democrat Anthony Weiner.

    The verbal jousting came on the House floor Thursday night as the vote neared. The results fell largely along party lines, with 12 Republicans joining Democrats supporting the measure, but it failed to win the needed two-thirds majority.

    Arms flailing and his voice rising, Weiner took sharp aim at King, a Long Island Republican.

    War of Words as 9/11 Health Bill Falters on Capitol Hill

    [NY] War of Words as 9/11 Health Bill Falters on Capitol Hill
    Rep.Anthony Weiner and Peter King had words on Capitol Hill after the 9/11 health bill was defeated. The two men rose to argue politics in how and why the bill was defeated ending with Weiner storming off after an impassioned speech.

    "The gentleman is providing cover for his colleagues rather than doing the right thing," bellowed Weiner, who represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens. "Republicans wrapping their arms around Republicans rather than doing the right thing on behalf of heroes. It's a shame, a shame."

    King, a key backer of the bill, had moments earlier accused Democrats of staging a "charade."

    The rift developed over how the bill was put before the chamber.

    Democratic leaders opted to consider it under a procedure that requires a two-thirds vote for approval rather than a simple majority. The move blocked potential GOP amendments to the measure.

    King said Democrats were "petrified" about casting votes on amendments, possibly including one that would ban aid from going to illegal immigrants sickened by trade center dust. King said the bill was more important than "a campaign talking point."

    King's comments rankled New York Democrats, who in turn blamed Republicans for not supporting the bill and accusing King of not doing enough to win more GOP support for the measure.