By Mike Lillis - 09/29/10 09:25 PM EDT
The 9/11 healthcare bill proposed by House Republicans on Wednesday broke two central tenets of the party's new "Pledge to America," a top Democrat is charging.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) noted that the GOP's 9/11 proposal — introduced Wednesday as a last-ditch effort to kill the Democrats' version of the bill — not only didn't allow lawmakers three days to read the bill, but also failed to cite its constitutional reason for being.
"Today [Republicans] made public a 21-page motion to recommit to the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act less than an hour before a vote, and it contains no reference to Constitutional authority," Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in a statement.
"This is just more of the same from Washington Republicans, who are apparently more concerned with scoring partisan political points than keeping their promises to the American people."
The GOP's "Pledge" said: "We will require that every bill contain a citation of Constitutional authority. We will give all Representatives and citizens at least three days to read the bill before a vote.”
The Democrats' 9/11 bill, which passed easily on Wednesday 268 to 160, would create a fund to pay the healthcare costs for rescue workers sickened by the 9/11 attacks on New York. Just before the scheduled vote, GOP leaders offered a scaled back proposal that would cover the tab by cutting provisions of the new healthcare reform law.
The Republicans' version failed 185 to 244, mostly along party lines.