[media id=17671] (h/t Heather) This clip of Anthony Weiner going ballistic on the House floor is one for the ages -- it should be watched again
July 30, 2010

(h/t Heather)

This clip of Anthony Weiner going ballistic on the House floor is one for the ages -- it should be watched again and again and again, and not only because he was angry and frustrated, but because he spoke a truth that all of us expect from our representatives. It's really quite simple: "If you believe that it's right, you vote yes. You don't hide behind procedure and give cover to your pals."

It's really that simple, but here's the backstory. The House has been trying to re-open the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund through 2031 for 9/11 responders whose health has been affected.

When it became apparent that the Republicans were going to attach "poison pill" amendments to the bill that had nothing to do with 9/11 and everything to do with their political agenda, Democrats shut down the possibility of amending the bill by moving it to the suspension calendar, where a minimum 2/3rds vote is needed for it to pass.

Republicans applied the same old talking points, calling it a "massive new entitlement program". Actually, that's not quite right. They called it a "massive job-killing new entitlement program", because that's the Frank Luntz mantra of the week. (I was monitoring the Senate at the same time, and somehow the Small Business Jobs bill also became another "massive job-killing new entitlement program.") Of course, that's nonsense too, given that it had been structured to be paid for by closing a tax loophole for foreign corporations.

If you believe it's right, you vote yes.

Republicans, for all their breast-pounding and glory-singing about patriotism, wouldn't know a patriot if it came up and bashed them between the eyes. Instead of standing for those people who gave no thought to their own safety but rushed forward to search for and rescue possible survivors of the attack, they defeated the measure.

Because it took a 2/3rds vote to pass without any amendments attached, most of the Republican caucus stood firm, and it went down 255-159, short of the 276 votes needed to pass.

There's only one reasonable conclusion to draw: Republicans don't believe it's right to care for 9/11 responders. They think it would be better for those responders to have to go to court, evidently because they might die before receiving a settlement to help them with their health problems.

The ten minutes leading into Rep. Weiner's rant give a sense of how cynical these people truly are. As the time for the vote neared and it was clear the bill might not pass, Speaker Nancy Pelosi came to the floor to exhort everyone to do the right thing:

The American people are looking to us to do the right thing for the men and women who answered the call of duty and continue to suffer from ill health effects on their service.

It is my understanding that the people affected by this live in 433 of the 435 congressional districts, because people not only rushed in from New York and surrounding areas, they came and brought their expertise and their help from all over the country.

And therefore, the consequences of their bravery are felt all over the country and the impact on their health is an important part of the challenge that they face and that we owe them for.

This legislation fulfills our obligation to those Americans.

And then Rep. Peter King (R-NY) stood and proved how craven Republicans really are:

What we are doing tonight is a cruel hoax and a charade. Everyone knows this bill won't get the 2/3 majority required on the suspension calendar and everyone also knows that this bill would pass with a clear majority if the Democrat leadership would allow it to come to the floor under the regular procedures of the House.

The reason HR 847 is not being brought up under regular order is the majority party is petrified of having its members face a potential vote on illegal immigration.

You can blame the Republicans, and I've been strongly critical of the Republican position on this issue but the reality is, you could pass this bill if you wanted to. You are in control, you have the power and you have the responsibility.

So to review, the Democrats bring a bill to the floor to pay the debt this country has to 9/11 responders. It doesn't have any poison pills, but the Republicans want to add something that involves illegal immigration, so that Democrats will look like they voted against illegal immigration when they were voting on a bill to take care of 9/11 responders.

And according to Peter King, it's all the Democrats' fault. Got it. (Note: Peter King voted for the bill...)

If you're not as angry as Anthony Weiner at this point, I can serve up some Senate shenanigans as a side dish. Between the two of them, Republicans proved themselves as evil as they truly are.

Here are the names of the Representatives (Republican AND Democrat) who turned their backs on all 9/11 responders, but especially those responders in their state. They should be posted on milk cartons nationwide with the words: MISSING: Morals, ethics, and human compassion next to their name and picture.

AL-1 Bonner, Jo [R]
AL-2 Bright, Bobby [D]
AL-3 Rogers, Michael [R]
AL-4 Aderholt, Robert [R]
AL-6 Bachus, Spencer [R]
AZ-2 Franks, Trent [R]
AZ-6 Flake, Jeff [R]
AR-1 Berry, Robert [D]
AR-3 Boozman, John [R]
CA-2 Herger, Walter [R]
CA-3 Lungren, Daniel [R]
CA-4 McClintock, Tom [R]
CA-21 Nunes, Devin [R]
CA-24 Gallegly, Elton [R]
CA-25 McKeon, Howard [R]
CA-26 Dreier, David [R]
CA-40 Royce, Edward [R]
CA-41 Lewis, Jerry [R]
CA-42 Miller, Gary [R]
CA-44 Calvert, Ken [R]
CA-45 Bono Mack, Mary [R]
CA-46 Rohrabacher, Dana [R]
CA-48 Campbell, John [R]
CA-49 Issa, Darrell [R]
CA-50 Bilbray, Brian [R]
CA-52 Hunter, Duncan [R]
CO-5 Lamborn, Doug [R]
CO-6 Coffman, Mike [R]
DE-0 Castle, Michael [R]
FL-1 Miller, Jeff [R]
FL-4 Crenshaw, Ander [R]
FL-5 Brown-Waite, Virginia [R]
FL-6 Stearns, Clifford [R]
FL-7 Mica, John [R]
FL-9 Bilirakis, Gus [R]
FL-12 Putnam, Adam [R]
FL-13 Buchanan, Vern [R]
FL-14 Mack, Connie [R]
FL-15 Posey, Bill [R]
FL-16 Rooney, Thomas [R]
FL-18 Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana [R]
FL-21 Diaz-Balart, Lincoln [R]
FL-25 Diaz-Balart, Mario [R]
GA-1 Kingston, Jack [R]
GA-3 Westmoreland, Lynn [R]
GA-6 Price, Tom [R]
GA-7 Linder, John [R]
GA-9 Graves, Tom [R]
GA-10 Broun, Paul [R]
GA-11 Gingrey, John [R]
HI-1 Djou, Charles [R]
ID-2 Simpson, Michael [R]
IL-6 Roskam, Peter [R]
IL-8 Bean, Melissa [D]
IL-13 Biggert, Judy [R]
IL-15 Johnson, Timothy [R]
IL-16 Manzullo, Donald [R]
IL-18 Schock, Aaron [R]
IL-19 Shimkus, John [R]
IN-4 Buyer, Stephen [R]
IN-5 Burton, Dan [R]
IN-6 Pence, Mike [R]
IA-4 Latham, Thomas [R]
IA-5 King, Steve [R]
KS-2 Jenkins, Lynn [R]
KY-1 Whitfield, Edward [R]
KY-4 Davis, Geoff [R]
KY-5 Rogers, Harold [R]
LA-1 Scalise, Steve [R]
LA-4 Fleming, John [R]
LA-5 Alexander, Rodney [R]
LA-6 Cassidy, Bill [R]
LA-7 Boustany, Charles [R]
MD-6 Bartlett, Roscoe [R]
MI-3 Ehlers, Vernon [R]
MI-4 Camp, David [R]
MI-6 Upton, Frederick [R]
MI-8 Rogers, Michael [R]
MI-11 McCotter, Thaddeus [R]
MN-2 Kline, John [R]
MN-3 Paulsen, Erik [R]
MN-6 Bachmann, Michele [R]
MS-3 Harper, Gregg [R]
MO-6 Graves, Samuel [R]
MO-7 Blunt, Roy [R]
MO-8 Emerson, Jo Ann [R]
MO-9 Luetkemeyer, Blaine [R]
MT-0 Rehberg, Dennis [R]
NE-1 Fortenberry, Jeffrey [R]
NE-2 Terry, Lee [R]
NE-3 Smith, Adrian [R]
NV-2 Heller, Dean [R]
NJ-5 Garrett, Scott [R]
NY-26 Lee, Christopher [R]
NC-5 Foxx, Virginia [R]
NC-6 Coble, Howard [R]
NC-9 Myrick, Sue [R]
NC-10 McHenry, Patrick [R]
OH-2 Schmidt, Jean [R]
OH-3 Turner, Michael [R]
OH-4 Jordan, Jim [R]
OH-5 Latta, Robert [R]
OH-7 Austria, Steve [R]
OH-8 Boehner, John [R]
OH-12 Tiberi, Patrick [R]
OH-14 LaTourette, Steven [R]
OK-1 Sullivan, John [R]
OK-3 Lucas, Frank [R]
OK-4 Cole, Tom [R]
OK-5 Fallin, Mary [R]
OR-2 Walden, Greg [R]
PA-5 Thompson, Glenn [R]
PA-6 Gerlach, Jim [R]
PA-9 Shuster, William [R]
PA-16 Pitts, Joseph [R]
PA-19 Platts, Todd [R]
SC-1 Brown, Henry [R]
SC-2 Wilson, Addison [R]
SC-3 Barrett, James [R]
SC-4 Inglis, Bob [R]
TN-1 Roe, Phil [R]
TN-2 Duncan, John [R]
TN-5 Cooper, Jim [D]
TN-7 Blackburn, Marsha [R]
TX-1 Gohmert, Louis [R]
TX-2 Poe, Ted [R]
TX-3 Johnson, Samuel [R]
TX-4 Hall, Ralph [R]
TX-5 Hensarling, Jeb [R]
TX-6 Barton, Joe [R]
TX-7 Culberson, John [R]
TX-8 Brady, Kevin [R]
TX-10 McCaul, Michael [R]
TX-11 Conaway, K. [R]
TX-12 Granger, Kay [R]
TX-13 Thornberry, William [R]
TX-14 Paul, Ronald [R]
TX-19 Neugebauer, Randy [R]
TX-21 Smith, Lamar [R]
TX-22 Olson, Pete [R]
TX-24 Marchant, Kenny [R]
TX-26 Burgess, Michael [R]
TX-31 Carter, John [R]
TX-32 Sessions, Peter [R]
UT-1 Bishop, Rob [R]
UT-3 Chaffetz, Jason [R]
VA-1 Wittman, Rob [R]
VA-4 Forbes, J. [R]
VA-6 Goodlatte, Robert [R]
VA-7 Cantor, Eric [R]
VA-10 Wolf, Frank [R]
WA-4 Hastings, Doc [R]
WA-5 McMorris Rodgers, Cathy [R]
WA-8 Reichert, Dave [R]
WV-2 Capito, Shelley [R]
WI-1 Ryan, Paul [R]
WI-5 Sensenbrenner, F. [R]
WI-6 Petri, Thomas [R]
WY-0 Lummis, Cynthia [R]

There it is. The 2010 9-11 Hall of Shame. They all walk with the weight of those lives on their heads -- the lives of the unselfish responders who didn't worry about anything but saving lives, even at the cost of their own.

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