Rand Paul and Mike Lee Hold Up 9/11 Victims Fund Bill in Senate
Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT) are holding up a bill to provide more funding for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, The Washington Post reports. After Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) called for the bill to be approved by unanimous consent on Wednesday, Sen. Paul objected and said lawmakers needed to have a “debate” about the cost of the bill. Sen. Lee also reportedly placed a “hold” on the legislation. A spokeswoman for Paul was quoted by the Post saying he was only seeking to add a provision to fund the bill, which is estimated to cost about $10.2 billion for the first decade. Lee’s spokesman said the senator expects the bill to pass before Congress’ August recess but that he is “seeking a vote to ensure the fund has the proper oversight in place to prevent fraud and abuse.”
The House overwhelmingly passed the bill last week, which would cover the medical bills of 9/11 first responders and volunteers through 2090—along with compensation for survivors who lived near the terrorist attack sites. Comedian Jon Stewart brought attention to the depleting fund by speaking to lawmakers at a House hearing last month.