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How dare he sign a bill in a foreign country? I bet that is what the Teabaggers and Fox News are saying right about now.
Yesterday, President Obama signed into law the bill Republicans were trying to throw under the bus that will now funds medical care for Firefighters and other responders to the September 11, 2001, attacks who got sickened by the toxins during the cleanup work at ground zero and he did it in Hawaii, United States of America (his birth place)wearing a polo T-shirt.
Another accomplishment to add in the long list of accomplishments for the 111th United States Congress and President Obama.
The Bill has a $4.2 billion price tag reduced from the original $7.2 billion (thanks to that hypocrite Sen Tom Coburn and his obstructionist buddies)where the $1.5 billion will now go to health benefits for the first responders, while $2.7 billion will go to compensation for them.
The bill was six years in the making and is named after a New York City Police Department detective, James Zadroga, who spent 450 hours working at the WTC site following the 9/11 attacks and died from an illness sourced to the conditions at the WTC site.
John Feal, founder of the FealGood foundation, a non-profit organization said,
It is because of everybody’s hard work that this Christmas will be the best Christmas that I have ever known.
Heartfelt reactions to the passage of the bill from Bill Romaka of the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York and John Feal:
2010 was a roller coaster but one of the most productive years in politics where so much has been accomplished in the history of any Presidency:
1) The Affordable Care Act
2) The Recovery Act
3) Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
4) Credit Card Reform
5) Auto Industry rescue plan
6) The appointment of 2 Women to the Supreme Court (Two women in the Supreme Court in 19 months while it had taken 43 American presidents and 234 years before our recent appointees)
7) Withdrawal of US troops from Iraq
8) Expansion of the SCHIP health-care program
9) The Federal support for stem-cell research
10) Wall Street Reform
11) Student Loan Reform increasing the amount of federal Pell Grant awards and the stripping of banks privileges as intermediaries for student loan servicing
12) Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act
13) The Ratification of The New START Treaty
14) The Repealing of "Don't Ask Don't Tell"
15) Food Safety Modernization Act
More summation of the 111th United States Congress and President Obama's Accomplishment:
As the President said, making his victory lap speech deservingly before heading out to Hawaii for vacation:
"If there is any lesson to draw from these past few weeks is that we are not doomed to endless gridlock. We have shown in the wake of the November elections that we have the capacity not only to make progress but to make progress together."
I guess, as Americans, we have many more issues that bind us together than separate us and with the leadership of this President, it is more than likely that we will do better and greater things in the next few years even with the type of politicking that is being played out.
Here are some pictures of the President sourced from public domain during his vacation that tell stories just like words do just in case you have missed them:
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, along with daughters Sasha and Malia, sing during services at St. Michael's Chapel at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kailua, Hawaii, Dec. 26, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama, right, his daughter Malia, second from right, and family and friends eat Shave Ice at Island Snow at Kailua Beach Center while on vacation with the first family in Kailua, Hawaii, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010. (AP Photo)
President Barack Obama, right, watches his daughter Sasha Obama, lower right, admire her shave ice at Island Snow at Kailua Beach Center while on vacation with the first family in Kailua, Hawaii, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010. (AP Photo)
U.S. President Barack Obama shares a laugh with Renee Ebia, an Island Snow employee, after he ordered "shave ice" at Island Snow near where he is staying while he is on Christmas vacation in Kailua, Hawaii December 27, 2010.
A roadside sign seen from the media bus window welcomes President Barack Obama, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010, in Kanoeh, Hawaii, that reads "Pres. Obama We Salute You Go Navy Go Punahou." Obama graduated from Punahou School in Honolulu. (AP Photo)
Bobblehead figures of U.S. President Barack Obama fill a shelf in a Waikiki tourist gift shop in Honolulu, Hawaii December 28, 2010. Obama is currently vacationing with his family in Hawaii. (Reuters Pictures)