Mayor Bloomberg incensed by high threshold for passage of 9/11 health bill

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) lashed out at the House leadership on Thursday for requiring a two-thirds majority to pass a bill requiring healthcare for first responders to the 9/11 attacks. The bill is expected to come up later Thursday under suspension of the rules, with no amendments allowed.

"It's an outrage," Bloomberg said at a morning press conference, according to The New York Observer

The comments echo similar statements from Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), a lead co-sponsor of the bill who tore into the Democratic leadership in an interview with The New York Daily News on Wednesday.

"The Democrats are guilty of moral cowardice and a failure of leadership," King told the Daily News. "They put this up on the suspension calendar knowing it’s not going to get a two-thirds vote ... It’s really morally disgraceful … They are letting cops and firefighters die because their members don’t have the guts to take a vote."

Bloomberg said much the same thing, according to the Observer.

"They should bring it up," he said. "A majority of people would vote for this bill and it will pass and they know full well that they will not get 60% or whatever their threshold. Is it 60%? ... it's 66%.

"They will not get that. And they know that. So this is a ways to avoid having to make a tough decision and our, the people who worked down at 9/11 whose health has fallen apart because they did what America wanted them to do. This is an American problem and Congress should stand up.

"And I know it's a tough vote for some people. Hey, I get tough votes every day. I get tough votes with you every day where you want to know where I stand. I don't have a lot of sympathy. They should bring this up and vote up or down on any amendments and vote up or down on the bill. And go on the record! And that incidentally is what the leadership should force."