Weiner: GOP Prioritizes Politics - NBC New York

Weiner: GOP Prioritizes Politics



    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. (Published Friday, July 30, 2010)

    Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) kept up pressure on Republicans Monday, pointing to their vote against a health care bill for September 11 workers as an example that “nothing is above politics for them.”

    Weiner launched into a now famous tirade on the floor of the House last week after Republicans voted against the bill for rescue workers because Democrats decided to not allow amendments to the bill, requiring a two-thirds majority for the vote and Republican support.

    Republicans – including Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the bill’s cosponsor – protested the Democratic use of the tactic in voting down the bill.

    Weiner contended that Republicans raised no issues with the bill prior to the vote and only did so for political reasons.

    “If this was not a noncontroversial bill I have yet to see one," he said on MSNBC's Morning Joe program, "and it would have been noncontroversial had the Republicans not made this a process argument….Frankly, I think most Americans don't really care what section of the calendar it comes up on, what day it comes up on, what the rules are. They want to see their representative vote up or down on some of these things.”

    “This is Republicans tactics and strategy and nothing to do with the 9/11 bill,” he continued. “The 9/11 bill was the evidence that nothing is above politics for them.”

    Republican opponents of the bill have balked at the $7.4 billion cost of the program – which is a break from the previous process by which Congress appropriated funds for September 11 rescue victims on an annual basis.

    Asked on Friday why he thought Democrats used the two-thirds tactic instead of passing the bill by a regular majority – and opening it up to amendments – King responded: “They did not have the guts to vote on it up or down.”

    “This is phony hypocrisy,” he said of Weiner. “They could pass the bill right now if they wanted to.”

    “They wanted to make a cheap political point,” King added.