Via JWF. So implausible did this sound when I glanced at the header of his post that I figured it was based on some anonymous source claiming that they may do it or whatever. But no: They’ve already said no, and Gillibrand is on record as being “stunned.” No kidding.
You wanted a spending freeze? You got it.
The state’s two senators and 14 House members met with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius just hours before President Obama implored in his speech to the nation for Congress to come together and deliver a government that delivers on its promises to the American people.
So the legislators were floored to learn the Democratic administration does not want to deliver for the tens of thousands of people who sacrificed after 9/11, and the untold numbers now getting sick.
“I was stunned — and very disappointed,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who like most of the other legislators had expected more of a discussion on how to more forward…
“She made it clear that the administration does not support any kind of funding mechanism that goes into the bill,” said Bronx Rep. Eliot Engel. “I think it’s fiscal restraint… but you know what? They find money for everything else, they need to find money for this,” Engel said…
The legislators did hold out hope, though. McMahon and others said they would appeal to the President to consider adding 9/11 money to the list of mandatory items, rather than discretionary measures subject to the White House planned budget freeze.
Total cost: $11 billion … over 30 years. The optics of this are so appallingly bad, especially in light of the rumors circulating about the U.S. and UK offering the Taliban $1 billion to play ball in Afghanistan (which may be paying off), that I can’t believe there’s no ulterior motive. Is this actually some sort of kabuki aimed at giving Obama an excuse to reverse himself about the spending freeze? There’ll be a public outcry, The One will accede and agree to fund the 9/11 bill, and then Gibbs will use it every day going forward as a lesson in how they can’t cut spending because the compassionate American public simply won’t let them make hard choices about denying services to those in need. Or maybe they’re planning to add this to ObamaCare, as a lesson in how desperately some people need health care? Or am I overthinking this because I simply can’t believe they’ve become this tone deaf? What’s up, seriously?