The Republican Senator objected to an attempt to unanimously consent to the recent passing of a bill that extends the funding of 9/11 first responders' health care, on Wednesday. The House had already passed the bill
Last Friday, the House passed legislation to extend funding for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund through 2090, weeks after the bill received nationwide attention following impassioned pleas for support from surviving first responders, and talk show host Jon Stewart. Republican Senator Rand Paul has publicly objected to the passing of this bill claiming that " such a long-term bill without offsetting the cost would contribute to the national debt.". He addressed his objection on Wednesday via his Twitter page, arguing that he was "not blocking the 9/11 bill - simply asking for a vote on an amendment to offset the cost."
How many times has @RandPaul claimed he would never forget September 11th? Today he certainly forgot. These objections are disgraceful and leave sick 9/11 responders and survivors in limbo. @senatemajldr must bring the #Renew911VCF bill up for a vote. https://t.co/jtV0MZB10T— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) July 17, 2019
Let me get this straight, @RandPaul, you blocked the 9/11 #FirstResponders bill because you’re “concerned about our national debt", but you voted in support of the #GOPTaxScam that added $1.9 trillion to our debt?!— Katherine Clark (@RepKClark) July 17, 2019
Square that one for me. #Renew911VCF https://t.co/NlW8iSSiRW
Senator Paul's stated that "It has long been my feeling that we need to address our massive debt in this country -- we have a $22 trillion debt, we're adding debt at about a trillion dollars a year," he said. "And therefore any new spending that we are approaching, any new program that's going to have the longevity of 70, 80 years, should be offset by cutting spending that's less valuable. We need to at the very least have this debate. I will be offering up an amendment if this bill should come to the floor, but until then I will object," added Paul. The Republican Senator has voted in favor of President Donald Trump's $1.5 trillion tax cut.
His objection was immediately met with criticism from Jon Stewart himself. Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, Stewart slammed Paul's objection as "absolutely outrageous," accusing the Senator of "fiscal responsibility virtue signaling" and blasting Paul's support for the deficit-raising tax cut. "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 to say that it's all over now, now we're going to balance the budget on the backs of the 9/11 first responder community," Stewart said. "There are some things that they have no trouble putting on the credit card," he added. "But somehow when it comes to the 9/11 first responder community -- the cops, the firefighters, the construction workers, the volunteers, the survivors -- all of a sudden, man we've got to go through this," he added.
Rand Paul says he blocked the vote to support 9/11 First Responders because it would add to U.S. debt, but he had no problem playing golf with President Trump this week at an estimated cost of $1.2 million for tax payers.— Rev. Travis Akers (@travisakers) July 17, 2019
Rand Paul’s office:
KY: 270-782-8303 https://t.co/cUi5pBrxMa
Democratic Senator and Presidential Candidate Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said that Senator Paul objected to the request for unanimous consent she made. "We could pass this bill right now," she added. "But instead, my colleague has objected, asking people to come back over and over. Everyone loves to point fingers in this place, where there's nowhere else to point that finger today than this chamber.". Aside from Paul, Senator Mike Lee of Utah also objected to passing the bill by unanimous consent.
Yet another official to criticize Paul's objection was Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer who went on to express the point of the dearly held American tradition of volunteering. He expressed that, they " volunteered in the armed services and risked their lives for our freedom, we came back and gave them health care. I would urge my friend from Kentucky to withdraw his objection," Schumer added. "I would urge Senator McConnell the leader to put it on the floor now. And we can let these folks in the gallery and so many others, do what they need to do -- help their families, help their friends, and make sure their health is given the best, best protection possible."
Unreal@GillibrandNY & I just demanded to pass the bill for our 9/11 first responders— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 17, 2019
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