The words "never forget" seem to have reached a 14-year expiration date.

Yesterday, Mayor de Blasio and the state's two U.S. Senators led a press conference calling for the extension of a health bill to help 9/11 first responders.

It's sad that de Blasio and everyone else involved in yesterday's event had to spend even a second of their time to ask Congress for something that Washington lawmakers should be rushing to vote for.

In this era of extreme political discord, it would be nice to think there could be at least one piece of legislation that everyone could get behind.

Think again.

Just as Congress dithered over passing a relief bill in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, it's taking its time when it comes to 9/11.

The Times notes today that: "In October, Representative Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia, a Republican and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced his own version of the reauthorization bill. It was denounced by members of the New York congressional delegation for extending the fund for only five years and for making sharp cuts."

Goodlatte is now saying a deal is close, but it's amazing and more than a little disappointing that a deal ever had to be made over something as serious as this.

Bob Hardt