GOP Sen. Rand Paul Blocks Bill To Boost 9/11 Victims Fund

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A Republican senator has blocked a bipartisan bill that would ensure a victims’ compensation fund for the Sept. 11 attacks never runs out of money.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul questions the bill’s 70-year time frame and notes that the federal government already faces a $22 trillion debt. He says any new spending such as the 9/11 bill should be offset by cuts.

Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is criticizing Paul for playing what she calls “political games.”

The bill has 73 co-sponsors in the Senate and easily passed the House last week.

Gillibrand says 9/11 first responders and “the entire nation are watching to see if this body actually cares about the men and women who answered the call of duty” after the 2001 attacks.

(AP)




4 COMMENTS

  1. Not only current first responders. What about all of the soldiers that have gone to war and come back with illnesses and severe injuries. What makes the 9/11 responders better than any of the first responders and patriots that have sacrificed their lives for this country? All of them are brave and deserving of assistance, why should some get better benefits than others? If we discriminate if they were Fire Fighters vs Police vs National Guard vs FBI vs Coast Guard vs civilian volunteers vs Hospital staff vs all others involved, is this fair to them all? If any of these have health coverage and life insurance, should that be a consideration? I’m all for helping those in need, but a special fund only for Fire Fighters, seems unfair to all first responders and war veterans.

  2. factualactual, are you suggesting that first responders should be eligible to be treated at VA hospitals and facilities? I don’t think most of them need it. Fire fighters, police, etc., largely have private medical insurance, short term and sometimes long-term disability (they can also get Federal disability), and often life insurance. However, perhaps there should be an option. However, many veterans are not satisfied with the VA healthcare system, the wait times, etc. They might gladly welcome private insurance alternatives. Nonetheless, first responders, volunteers, etc., deserve the same level of benefit as 9/11 responders, so why should special funds by the US Govt. only be targeted for them? I think part of this springs from the culpability that the government representatives have in telling the 9/11 first responders that there was no danger to their health in performing the cleanup duties, with lots of high profile government people showing their support by visiting ground zero (including the President, Governor, Mayor, Senators, etc.), so this fund replaces a class action law suit against various government agencies.