Congressman Anthony Weiner fell into his “Mr. Smith-meets-Howard-Beale” act again yesterday, this time blowing up at Peter King and other House Republicans for killing a bill that would have provided free medical services for rescue and recovery workers who suffered illnesses from toxic dust at Ground Zero.
The $7.4-million bill was the subject of much controversy even before the vote, as Republicans balked at the procedural manner by which the bill came to the floor, which precluded any GOP amendments and required a 2/3 majority vote. On Wednesday, King himself called the Democrats’ actions on this bill “indefensible” and “moral cowardice.”
“The gentleman will sit,” Weiner yells at King, shortly after King had castigated Democrats (with the exception of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who he praised) for playing politics with the bill. “The gentleman is correct in sitting.”
Mayor Bloomberg criticized both parties’ behavior, saying, “It was wrong for the overwhelming majority of Republicans to vote against the bill and it was wrong for Democrats to bring the bill to the floor under rules that made passage so much more difficult.” Earlier in the day, he knocked Democrats, saying the bill would pass easily if it only required a simple majority.