Clinton's push for WTC worker help thwartedYou might recall that Christie Todd Whitman told America that the air around Ground Zero was safe to breath and so it would be OK to work and even live near Ground Zero.
BY GLENN THRUSH
Newsday Washington Bureau
September 13, 2006, 10:47 PM EDT
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is calling for $1.9 billion in new medical aid for Ground Zero workers, saying it's needed because former Environmental Protection Administration chief Christie Todd Whitman failed to alert workers to health risks.
Clinton had hoped to get a Senate floor vote Wednesday on an amendment creating a five-year health screening and treatment program for World Trade Center workers sickened by toxic smoke and dust.
But she was thwarted by the Senate's GOP majority, who referred the measure to committee, where it will take months to be voted on -- if ever.
Guess what? Those were her very public, very highly reported comments. Turns out.....ehhhhhh...not so much. Whitman now blames the city for not enforcing the use of respirators, of course, since the EPA quietly issued recommendations that people actually ON the debris pile should be protected, that the air there was not safe.
Now...say I'm a cop and I'm volunteering for recovery work at the Trade Center. I watch the TV and there's a Federal official, the head of the EPA, telling me, "No worries. The air's safe." I get to Ground Zero and am offered a respirator.
The debris pile is hot. I get sweaty. That mask becomes uncomfortable and limits my ability to work effectively. I refuse the mask, because, well, Whitman told me it was safe!
Maybe Christie Whitman ought to revisit her words that day and remind herself that millions of people saw her say that, and then shut up about the city screwing up because some memo was stuck on the bottom of a filing cabinet in some office in DC in the basement.
But the big surprise of this story? Look who's opposing Senator Clinton's plan, and why:
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who chairs the Homeland Security committee, said she was concerned that Clinton's amendment "limits the nearly $2 billion in funding to only in New York, that just doesn't seem fair to me."MEMO to Susan Collins: The Trade Center wasn't in Portland, ME!
snarkasm, snarcasm, snarky