The Senate is scheduled to vote on reauthorizing the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund next Tuesday, after Sen. Rand Paul blocked the bill from being passed by unanimous consent earlier this week. The bill has 73 cosponsors and is expected to pass by a wide bipartisan margin.

Congress passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in 2010, over opposition from some Republicans who balked at its $7 billion price tag. The act was reauthorized in 2015 for 90 years. But a portion of the law — the Victim Compensation Fund — was only funded for five years, through the end of 2020.  The fund aimed to provide necessary financial support for the thousands who suffered serious medical issues, including a spate of cancer diagnoses, after the 2001 attacks. 

The House voted to permanently reauthorize the fund through 2092 earlier in July, with a vote of 402 to 12. However, Sen. Rand Paul prevented the Senate from voting to approve the bill by unanimous consent last week because of its cost. Fellow Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah also placed a procedural hold on the legislation. 

Under Senate rules, any one senator can propose that a bill be considered for unanimous consent, but one senator can also block it.

Comedian and 9/11 first responder advocate Jon Stewart blasted Paul for his action Thursday night. “Pardon me if I’m not impressed in any way by Rand Paul’s fiscal responsibility virtue signaling,” Stewart retorted. 

Stewart, speaking to Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier” on Wednesday, called the move “absolutely outrageous.”He  added, “Rand Paul presented tissue paper avoidance of the 1.5 trillion tax cut that added hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit and now he stands up at the last minute after 15 years of blood, sweat and tears from the 9/11 community so that it’s all over now, now we’re going to balance the budget on the backs of the 9/11 first responder community.”

Since the 9/11 terror attacks, over 200 firefighters and first responders have died as a result of cancers and other medical ailments related to the attacks. 

“It is almost incomprehensible that after losing 343 members on September 11, we have now had 200 more FDNY members die due to World Trade Center illness. These heroes gave their lives bravely fighting to rescue and recover others. We will never forget them,” FDNY Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said in a statement to CBS News.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Top Democrat calls for audit of Iowa caucuses as problems delay final tally

WASHINGTON/MANCHESTER, N.H. (Reuters) – Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez on Thursday called for an audit of the Iowa caucuses after an array of problems delayed results from the party’s first 2020 presidential nominating contest and created uncertainty about their…

Battleground Tracker: What could happen in Iowa on Monday?

Our final CBS News Iowa Battleground Tracker offers a statistical simulation of the caucuses and some scenarios that might unfold on Monday. It looks like a close contest heading in, and the top candidates are all poised to win national…

Trump praises Pompeo for doing ‘a good job on’ NPR reporter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday praised Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for his handling of a National Public Radio reporter who Pompeo shouted at, cursed, and called a liar after a contentious interview. “That reporter couldn’t…

It’s easy to hate a Trump or an Epstein, but what about those who enable them?

Where is Ghislaine Maxwell? Where? I sat through the four episodes of Filthy Rich, the Netflix documentary on Jeffrey Epstein. I had to force myself, not because it was so upsetting – which, of course, it also was – but…