December 22, 2010
WASHINGTON — After a filibuster and threats of obstruction by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), the Senate unanimously passed a bill on Wednesday that would provide health care for first responders to the 9/11 terrorist attack. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer reached a deal with Republican senators to support the bill earlier in the afternoon.
Gillibrand and Schumer, the bill’s chief sponsors, lobbied hard for the legislation to be introduced again in the lame-duck session, when they could still ensure House support. But on Tuesday, they hit a snag when Coburn vowed to block the bill, saying he wanted it to be funded through spending cuts.
Coburn also claimed the bill had been fast-tracked and skipped committee. But in fact the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing on the bill in June — Coburn, a committee member, missed it.
This article was posted: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 8:52 pm