December 6, 2015
Mayor Bill de Blasio: We are fighting here for a common cause – for something that people believe in across this country, across party lines. And we have to honor the people who we are here to support, to advocate for, to represent. We have to honor the people who went into harm’s way.
And a lot of them are here with us. So let’s take a moment to thank all those first responders who served in the rescue and recovery, who served on 9/11. Right now, let’s thank them.
We need to honor fighters, because I’ve seen a lot of good fights in my day, but this congressional delegation – our senators, our congress members from New York – have been astoundingly focused. They have never let this drop. They will not for a moment rest. And we have seen it – by the way, bipartisan – equal levels of commitment, energy, urgency. This congressional delegation has made us proud. Let’s thank them.
The people who serve us right now – we’re honored to have Commissioner Bratton and Commissioner Nigro with us, and all the men and women of the NYPD and FDNY who are with us here today. Thank all those who serve us now.
It’s as simple as this – it is unpatriotic to ignore the needs of our first responders. It is un-American that this legislation has stalled. It’s immoral that help hasn’t come for people who did so much for us. It’s as simple as that.
And by the way, it is obvious, because all over the country, Democrats, Republicans, Independents agree. I’ve reached out to mayors of all backgrounds, all parts of the country – they all agree. They’ve all been supporting this effort, because they actually feel a simple concept that’s supposed to be an American idea: all for one and one for all. They believe we owe it to our first responders, and they feel that what happened here in New York happened to them, too.
Why can’t certain members of Congress feel the same? Why don’t they have the empathy? Why don’t they have the heart to feel what our first responders and their families have gone through?
So I conclude with a simple point. In the Congress, they have a concept – when they finish the session, they call it a recess. How do you go on a recess, and leave our first responders behind? How do you go on a vacation when the work isn’t done?
All the members of the House and Senate right here understand that. Some of their colleagues have to get the point. They should not leave Washington until our first responders get the help they need.