WASHINGTON — 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.
A spokesperson for Sen. Rand Paul said, "Senator Paul is not blocking anything. He is simply seeking to pay for it. As with any bill, Senator Paul always believes it needs to be paid for. Senator Paul is simply offering an amendment, which other senators support, to pay for this legislation.”