New York’s senators, members of Congress, mayor and speaker of the State Assembly gathered at Ground Zero today to crow about passage of the Zadroga Bill.
“Today is a victory lap,” said Senator Chuck Schumer. “But unlike a victory lap when you run a race, when you just feel good, this one matters. This victory lap saves lives. There are people today who feel a whole lot better than they did two days ago, knowing that they will get the medical care that they need, knowing that their heroism is being remembered, knowing that America will not turn their back on them.”
Despite a bracing wind and a light snowfall, Schumer was joined by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Reps. Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Charlie Rangel, Anthony Weiner, Peter King, Eliot Engel, and Mike McMahon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
According to Schumer, the next fight over the measure is to make sure that the provisions in the bill are set up by Memorial Day and that 9/11 first responders get quality medical care.
The moment was not without some political intrigue, however. Congressman McMahon, who was voted out of office in November, said he was proud that the Zadroga bill was his last in Congress.
Democrats however have been urging McMahon and other Democrats ousted in the wave election of 2010 to run again in two years, and after McMahon spoke, Schumer quickly stepped up to the microphone and declared, “It may not be his last.”
He then whispered something in McMahon’s ear.