In the Wall Street Journal this morning, Reshma Saujani–the young primary challenger to Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney–criticized not only Maloney, but the entire New York delegation, for failing to pass the 9/11 health care bill.
“It breaks my heart that the New York delegation, led by Carolyn Maloney, hasn’t been able to deliver for our city’s 9/11 heroes. A real leader would have passed this bill years ago,” Saujani told the Journal.
Those comments didn’t sit well with Congressman Jerrold Nadler, one of Maloney’s co-sponsors on the bill.
“Ms. Saujani’s remarks about the 9/11 health legislation that Carolyn Maloney and I have championed for eight years are both offensive and entirely misleading,” Nadler told the Observer in a statement. He continued:
“Rep. Maloney and I have worked continuously and vigorously for 9/11 first responders and survivors since 9/11, and have fought hard to develop and pass our legislation. Our years of work on this – with first responders, community members, unions, and the New York congressional delegation standing with us – have brought us now within a stone’s throw of victory.
Ms. Saujani is entitled to run a primary campaign but she should check her facts before she grandstands and invokes the healthcare of the 9/11 first responders and survivors for her own political needs.”
Maloney had previously drawn praise from Saujani–as Maggie Haberman noted earlier today–for the congresswoman’s longstanding support of the bill. The measure failed to pass the House last week, when it was brought under a special suspension provision that requires a two-thirds majority, though Democrats have pledged to bring it up again after the August recess.
Saujani seems to have stirred up a hornet’s nest with her comments, which were part of a broader story about one of the attorneys on a 9/11 health care lawsuit contributing to Saujani’s campaign.
Council Speaker Christine Quinn also criticized Saujani’s statement (to Haberman; see first update), but Saujani is standing by her comments, with the campaign issuing this statement:
“Reshma stands by both of her statements. Carolyn Maloney has tried her best to pass a health care bill for 9/11 workers. But last week, her best wasn’t good enough and Congress failed get this critical bill passed to help the heroes of 9/11 and their families. She is part of a broken political system in Washington that has failed to deliver for New Yorkers — and last week was a perfect example.”