Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), a 2020 presidential candidate, tried to unanimously pass the House-passed extension of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund without a roll call vote on Wednesday, but Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) stepped in to block it.
The bill, which has been the subject of testimonials from several 9/11 responders like the late Luis Alvarez, is not considered to be in danger. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said it will pass by August.
But Paul, who is known for preferring to slash budgets, said "at the very least" he wants to have a debate. "Any new program that's going to have the longevity of 70, 80 years should be offset by cutting spending that's less valuable," he said on the Senate floor.
Sen. Gillibrand tries to unanimously pass the House-passed extension of 9/11 victims compensation fund.
Sen. Paul objects: "Any new program that's going to have the longevity of 70-80 years should be offset by cutting spending ... We need at the very least to have this debate.” pic.twitter.com/gb9A9sZoLV
In short, Paul is reportedly concerned about the "open-ended nature" of the bill which would provide protections for first responders until 2090. Most other Republicans reportedly consider the bill too important and are ready to spend. Tim O'Donnell
BUT -- I'm still told that if there's *ANY* issue GOP Senators would be willing to put on the credit card, it's this one, deficit concerns notwithstanding. It's too important, many say, and McConnell is still eyeing completion before August recess