Campaign 2010

Jun 04, 2013

Congressman Michael Grimm Doubles Down on Opposition to Protecting 9/11 Victims

Congressman Michael Grimm, under fire from first responders for refusing to cosponsor a bill to help 9/11 victims, stunningly doubled down on his opposition to the measure.

Congressman Grimm, after inadvertently being left out of a bipartisan press conference, opposed an end to sequestration of compensation funds to 9/11 victims. Instead of apologizing to the people of New York for his intransigence, Congressman Grimm turned up the volume on his opposition, telling Politicker that he doesn’t support the measure at all.

“This isn’t rocket science, but Congressman Grimm is just too self-centered to figure out what matters here:  the people of Staten Island and South Brooklyn want this Congress to protect the victims of 9/11 – and those Americans are more important than Congressman Grimm’s fragile ego,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Instead of pouting about press conferences, Congressman Grimm should be trying to work across party lines to find a solution to the sequester – after all, he’s repeatedly opposed stopping the unnecessary pain in the first place.”

Over the weekend, John Feal, the president of the Fealgood Foundation, said that Grimm’s behavior is “unacceptable and immature.” Feal said: “It’s petty politics. Congressman Grimm is someone I looked up to in the past and had a working relationship with. Shame on him for using 9/11 every anniversary and ignoring the first responders the other 364 days of the year.”

BACKGROUND

Grimm Refused to back 9/11 Victims Compensation Bill Because he was Mistakenly Not Invited to Press Event, According to Organizer. “Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm is refusing to back a bill that would end the sequestration of 9/11 victims’ compensation funds because he wasn’t invited to a press conference, according to an organizer. Grimm (R) was so peeved by the snub that he still hasn’t changed his mind about co-sponsoring the bill — a full three months after the press event introducing H.R. 811, said John Feal, president of the Fealgood Foundation.” [New York Post, 6/1/13]

  • President of Non-Profit for 9/11 First Responders: “Shame on [Grimm] For Using 9/11 Every Anniversary and Ignoring the First Responders the Other 364 Days of the Year.” “This is unacceptable and immature…It was an oversight. He wasn’t invited, and he took it personally…It’s petty politics…Congressman Grimm is someone I looked up to in the past and had a working relationship with. Shame on him for using 9/11 every anniversary and ignoring the first responders the other 364 days of the year,” John Feal said. [New York Post, 6/1/13]

Grimm Said he Opposed 9/11 Victims Compensation Bill Because it is “Poor Policy to Pick Winners and Losers.” “It is amazing that stories can be written without any regard for the facts; there is only one reason I haven’t cosponsored the legislation and that is because it would be poor policy to pick winners and losers from a list that shouldn’t have any losers. When it comes to funding for 9/11 health, Sandy relief, our troops in harm’s way, or Medicare for our seniors; how can we pick one over the other to exempt from these cuts?,” Michael Grimm said in a statement. [Politicker, 6/03/13]

  • …But Grimm Voted to Ease Flight Delays Due to Sequestration Cuts. In April 2013, Grimm voted for legislation that would give the Secretary of Transportation the flexibility to end flight delays due to cuts to the Federal Aviation Administration. The bill would allow as much $253 million to be moved from other parts of the Department of Transportation to the FAA to “stop further furloughs and keep the air traffic control system operating at a normal pace” through the fiscal year. The bill passed 361-41. [New York Times, 4/26/13; HR 1765, Vote #125, 4/26/13]
  • ... And Grimm Voted to Prevent Meat Packers from Being Furloughed Due to Sequestration Cuts.  In March 2013, Grimm voted for a “continuing resolution that will head off furloughs for U.S. meat inspectors that would have taken place this summer as a result of the sequester.” The bill passed 318-109. [Food Safety News, 3/22/13; HR 933, Vote #89, 3/21/13]

Grimm Voted Against Consideration of Replacing Sequester Cuts with a Balanced Approach. In February 2013, Grimm voted against considering a plan that according to The Hill “would eliminate subsidies to the farm industry, scrap tax preferences used by oil-and-gas companies and implement a new minimum tax rate on people making seven figures annually — the proposal commonly known as the ‘Buffett Rule.’” The measure failed 229-196. [H Res 83, Vote #51, 2/27/13; The Hill, 2/11/13]


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