Face Off

Republicans Block 9/11 Health Bill

The final battle of the 111th Congress is taking shape. After Republicans blocked a bill providing medical care to 9/11 rescue workers, Democrats are trying to get the bill inserted into the controversial extension of the Bush tax cuts. The tax cut “is the one measure the Senate Republicans won’t leave this town without passing,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), a chief sponsor of the health bill. The move hinges on party leader Harry Reid, who attacked Republicans for citing deficit concerns when it comes to protecting 9/11 rescuers but pushing tax cuts for the wealthy. “That tells you everything you need to know about their priorities,” Reid said. After Republicans take control of the House, the Democrats believe they will have little chance of passing the bill.