Time is running out for Congress to pass the James Zadroga Act extension which has majority bi-partisan support in both the Senate and House. So what’s the problem?
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), who has publicly said he supports passage, wants to add certain “pay-fors” in order to fund the spending needed for both the health care and compensation portions of the Zadroga Extension. He is willing to add the Zadroga Act Extension to the Omnibus bill which Congress votes on this Friday only if he gets his “pay-fors”.
A “pay -for” is essentially a new tax on some to be used to fund a new spending program for others. In the case of Zadroga, the Republicans say they would like to would like to fund the Zadroga Act Extension through a new “tax” on Medicare premiums for millionaires. So far, the Democrats say this is unacceptable.
Regardless, determined first responders, with the help of the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, continue to pound on doors in Congress to push the Zadroga Act Extension through. Their heroic efforts in Congress to help the sick in need is only surpassed by their heroic efforts on and after 9/11. God bless them.
I expect negotiations will go down to the wire on how to pay for the Zadroga Act Extension. We will certainly know more this Friday. Stay tuned!