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Public Statements

Pass the 9/11 Health Benefits Bill

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. HIMES. Madam Speaker, what does the Congress owe the American people? I think it owes a young man or a young woman who will put on the uniform of this Nation and agree to sacrifice his or her life the right to serve. The Republicans, all but a handful of courageous Republicans, disagree.

I think that it owes a child who was brought here by their parents from a country they don't know, who speaks a language they don't speak, the opportunity to serve, to get a degree, to ultimately become an American. The Republicans disagree.

But I know, Madam Speaker, that we owe those brave responders who went to the site of 9/11 and risked their health and risked their lives to serve others in this Nation's moment of pain, we owe them health care. The Republican Party disagrees. And it is to the shame of this institution and it will be to the eternal shame of the Republican Party if they do not allow us, after helping the banks, after helping the auto companies, after helping Americans, if they do not allow us to help the volunteers of 9/11.

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