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Democrats, Obama Cave to Corporations Unwilling to Let Congress Close Tax Loophole to Help 9/11 Responders

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he first responders and families of those who were first to act show support for the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
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br />he first responders and families of those who were first to act show support for the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. by TalkMediaNews

The first responders and families of those who were first to act show support for the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. by TalkMediaNews

Add healthcare for 9/11 responders to a long list of concessions or outright capitulation to corporations that has taken place as a result of Democrats and President Obama being unwilling to take a stand against Republicans fronting for corporate executives and the top 2% in America.

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The Associated Press reports the pay mechanism for funding health care for 9/11 responders has been changed to appease Republicans, who branded the original bill for 9/11 responders as something that included a "corporate tax increase." Instead of closing a tax loophole, the bill will now use fees on "foreign firms that get U.S. government procurement contracts," "fees on certain firms that rely on H-1B and L-1 visas," and "fees on travelers who don't present visa travel documents at U.S. airports," to finance the bill.

It was too much for President Obama or Democrats to come out and boldly defend a bill that would have "required multinational companies incorporated in tax havens to pay taxes on income earned in the U.S." It was too much to take this issue and say that corporations should be willing to honor the sacrifices made by 9/11 responders by paying for this bill by closing a tax loophole.

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Jon Stewart has artfully skewered Republicans on their traitorous abandonment of 9/11 responders. He has demonstrated through several segments how Republicans should no longer be allowed to exploit 9/11. Their failure to defend 9/11 responders here means they will no longer be credible at all when they call for something to be done in the name of 9/11. But, he hasn't really pointed out the lack of push from President Obama or Democrats on this (except for in a remark to Mike Huckabee, who appeared on the show right after 9/11 responders appeared on Thursday, December 16th).

Since August this year, President Obama has been, for the most part silent. When the bill passed the House, he could have held a press conference like he did when he was moving the recent tax cut deal through Congress. He did not use the power of the pulpit he has as president to make a speech calling on the Senate to support the bill for health care for 9/11 responders in its current form.

Only recently did he agree to halt the delay of funding for a research study that would end doubt amongst officials and the media on whether 9/11 responders are actually being diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, and other diseases or disorders because of their service in the aftermath of 9/11. The New York Daily News reported in October, "President Obama has quietly forked over millions to study what's killing 9/11 responders - after refusing to pay up earlier this year. City officials had expected to get the cash last spring for an ongoing $12 million program, which includes tracking people in the 9/11 health registry and studying the alarming rates of cancer in Ground Zero workers. Federal bean counters initially held up funding for this year's $4.9 million outlay, saying they were auditing the effort.

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Except for Democrats from New York and other states nearby like New Jersey, there has been little leadership from the Democratic Party on this issue. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi finally got a bill to give health care to 9/11 responders passed in the last week of September. Senator Harry Reid has done very little, it seems, to get the bill passed. It could have been brought to a vote every day, and, each time it failed, statements could have been made by Democrats to show how Republicans were betraying the 9/11 responders.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for

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