Reprinted with Permission from Alternet
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) blocked a call for unanimous consent on Wednesday to push forward with a funding extension for the victims of 9/11, claiming that the new spending should be paid for.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) called for the bill to be passed in the Senate by unanimous consent, but even a single lawmaker’s objection can block the move and slow down the process. The measure is still widely expected to pass, but Paul wants to use the opportunity to complain about the national debt.
“We need to address our massive debt in this country,” he said “We have a $22 trillion debt. We’re adding debt at about a trillion dollars a year. 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 least have this debate.”
Of course, Paul voted in favor of the GOP’s 2017 tax cut that was estimated to cost $1.5 trillion in ten years. Despite howls about the party’s hypocrisy at the time, the Republicans refused to balance the massive cuts with any revenue increases.
The extension of the 9/11 victim fund will cost an estimated $10.2 billion over a decade.
“I am deeply disappointed that my colleague has just objected to the desperately needed and urgent bill for our 9/11 first responders,” said Gillibrand. “A bipartisan bill that just earned of 400 votes in the U.S. House of Representatives and has 73 co-sponsors in this chamber.”
Watch a clip of the debate below:
BREAKING: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has blocked an attempt to pass an extension of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, pointing to the country's growing debt and arguing that any new spending should be offset by cuts to other spending. (via @thehill) https://t.co/VGGoALb9qV pic.twitter.com/xQGCcZupjg
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) July 17, 2019