Motion to discuss the bill to provide medical benefits and compensation for emergency workers who were first on the scene of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks fell three votes short today.

What's even more upsetting about emergency workers being denied medical benefits and compensation, is the fact that our government could have prevented the very situation we found ourselves in on September 11, 2001.

Watch this video to find out how the government identified one of the hijackers through the Able Danger program, but did nothing to stop him from carrying out his plans:

NSA whistleblowers are also speaking out about the intelligence on Osama bin Laden that could have possibly stopped the 9/11 terrorist attacks from ever happening - you can find out more about that in this video:

Yet, no one lost a job, no one was demoted. Everyone got a hall pass. Even after New York City's police, paramedics, and fire rescue teams started suffering from stage four lung cancer. As of today, over 3,700 of New York's bravest men and women have been diagnosed with cancer from their 9/11 exposures.

The James Zadroga Act is a law that was enacted in 2010 to provide health care benefits to first responders afflicted with illness as a result of the 9/11 attacks. We reported on the importance of this bill back in July, and that it was set to expire at the end of this month.

More than 33,000 responders and survivors of 9/11 "have at least one injury or illness caused by the attacks," states CNN.

Jon Stewart, who has since retired as host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, came out of retirement yesterday to literally chase down politicians and urge them to vote for this bill. 

ABC News gave an account of his activities yesterday on Capitol Hill:

Stewart spent the morning lobbying Senate offices -- even chasing down Nebraska Sen. Deb Fisher, a Republican who has not signed on to the bill, in a Senate hallway.

He pressed a copy of the bill into her hands, before introducing her to a wheelchair-bound first responder with cancer.

“You could be a hero in this,” he said to Fischer, who wasn't in Congress when the health programs were first passed in 2010.

"I don't know anything about the bill," Fischer told ABC shortly after meeting Stewart. "I hadn't heard anything until he chased me down the hall."

Stewart also met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and had a "positive" meeting with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, according to a spokesperson.

Speaking this afternoon after several meetings, he said, "The real test appears to be whether we can carry the momentum from these meetings to actual legislation."

However, today, it seems that Stewart's pleads fell on deaf ears. 

As of today, CNN reports:

  • The motion for cloture, or to begin debate on the bill, needed 60 votes to pass due to a Republican filibuster.
  • Senate Democrats fell short of meeting the 60 vote goal at 57-42.
  • That's right - the motion for cloture was denied because of three GOP votes.
  • Supporters hope to revive the bill either on its own or as part of other legislation in the coming weeks.
  • However, since the bill is set to expire at the end of the month, today's proceedings jeopardized the measure's chances for approval.
  • NYC Mayor Bloomberg calls today an "example of partisan politics trumping patriotism"
  • The House previously passed the bill on a mostly partisan 268-160 vote

Republicans oppose the $7.4 billion cost of the bill. CNN reports that the bill's detractors have said the bill is "susceptible to fraud and abuse."

However, both of those excuses really are just excuses not to do the right thing. So is the excuse "I didn't know anything about the bill." Really? Come on, do your job, Deb Fisher.

What's the next excuse? These people shouldn't have exposed themselves to the dust while they were doing their jobs? It's their faults that they breathed in the toxic substances that gave them lung cancer? 

The James Zadroga Act is a program that keeps people alive - the very people who didn't think twice about putting themselves in danger when responding to a terrorist attack. 

And how can there be fraud? I mean, these men and women were either part of New York City's fire department or police department at the time or they weren't. Seems like that's a fairly easy thing to check. 

As Jon Stewart puts it: "There hasn't been fraud, it's a finite amount of people."

And no one is paying these finite amount of people $7.4 billion for all eternity. 

Unlike the trillions of dollars our endless wars have racked up, this group of people will one day leave this earth, which is when the bill really should expire. 

The Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act also contacted the presidential candidates to see if they would support the bill. They were asked two questions:

1. As a Candidate for President, will you join in urging Congress to pass HR. 1786/ S928 (The James Zadroga Act)?

2. If you were elected President would you sign HR 1786/ S 928 if it were passed by Congress?

The only two candidates who even responded were Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders - both responded YES...

Every GOP candidate on stage last night? Too busy campaigning to dignify a response. You can check for yourself here.

What do you make of the Senate's inability to even discuss this bill today? 

How can we as a nation be so divided on an issue like providing care to those who need it most when they were there for us when we needed it most, without hesitation? 

Sound off below!

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.

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