Immigration Fight Threatens 9/11 Health Bill

House leaders will cancel vote if Republicans add amendment
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2010 9:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – Illegal immigration might scuttle a bill to provide health care for people who worked at Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11. House leaders are considering canceling today’s planned vote if Republicans introduce an amendment barring illegal immigrants from benefiting from the bill, the Wall Street Journal reports. Democrats don’t want to vote on such a proposal ahead of the midterm elections, and Hispanic lawmakers say they’ll vote against the bill if the amendment passes.

Thousands who worked amidst the debris of the World Trade Center later developed respiratory and gastrointestinal problems. A vote on the same bill in July failed as well, thanks to a procedural move in which Democrats tried to pass the bill with a two-thirds majority so Republicans wouldn’t have the chance to propose the immigration amendment (see Daily Show rant at left). Republicans have also attacked the bill as an entitlement program helping only one city and region.

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