Rand Paul blocks Senate from funding 9/11 victims fund over budget concerns
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky on Wednesday blocked a bipartisan bill that would extend victims’ compensation for the Sept. 11 attacks.
The Bethel Park-born Paul, a Republican, questioned the bill’s 70-year time frame and claimed that the federal government already faces a $22 trillion debt. He said any new spending such as the 9/11 bill should be offset by cuts.
Not blocking the 9/11 bill – simply asking for a vote on an amendment to offset the cost.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 17, 2019
“It has long been my feeling that we need to address our massive debt in the country,” Paul said Wednesday on the Senate floor. “And therefore any new spending … should be offset by cutting spending that’s less valuable. We need to at the very least have this debate.”
Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who introduced the measure for unanimous consent Wednesday, criticized Paul for playing “political games.”
Remember: Rand Paul was happy to vote for Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell’s trillion-dollar tax handout to millionaires, but he blocked my request for unanimous consent on the 9/11 first responders bill.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) July 17, 2019
The bill has 73 co-sponsors in the Senate and easily passed the House last week.
At a news conference, Gillibrand pushed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold a vote on the bill Thursday. The majority leader is expected to bring the bill up before the recess next month.
Unreal@GillibrandNY & I just demanded to pass the bill for our 9/11 first responders
But @RandPaul objected
Why are Republicans holding this bill up? Our first responders who answered the call of duty on 9/11 shouldn’t have to keep coming back here for Congress to finally act pic.twitter.com/GMmnNCfK6r
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 17, 2019
“Senator Paul may have turned his back on our first responders today, but now we have a filibuster-proof bipartisan support of 73 co-sponsors in addition to myself,” Gillibrand said.
Here are the people you just denied basic care to, who fought to rescue people on one of America's worst days. They are the best of us and deserve funding without this fight. You have disgraced us all today.
This is Rand Paul's phone number: (202) 224-4343. pic.twitter.com/sgcLkRwaK6
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) July 17, 2019