Long-stalled legislation to provide health care for sick Ground Zero workers failed a key test vote in the Senate Thursday, as Republicans remained united in opposition to the measure until passage of a massive tax-cut package.
The vote was 57-42, short of the 60 votes in favor needed to proceed under Senate voting rules.
Prior to the vote, Sen. Charles Schumer sought the two Republicans votes needed to win passage. “I beg, I plead, I implore two brave colleagues from the other side to join us. Put aside the political considerations,” Schumer said.
The vote was a major setback for New York-area lawmakers, who have spent years trying to get the measure passed and now face a shrinking time period in the lame-duck session to bring it back. The bill has already passed the House but has little chance of passing again in the next congressional session under a Republican majority.