9/11 Victims Compensation Fund Hearing

Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Senate To Vote On 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Bill Next Week

July 18, 2019 - 3:55 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The U.S. Senate will vote next week on a bipartisan bill to replenish and make permanent the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

Sen. Kristen Gillibrand and Sen. Chuck Schumer said Thursday they reached an agreement with GOP Sens. Mike Lee and Rand Paul to bring the bill up for a vote on Tuesday.

It comes one day after Paul, of Kentucky, rejected a bid for a unanimous consent agreement in the Senate and Lee, of Utah, placed a procedural hold on the bill.

At the time, Paul said he was concerned about the bill’s effect on the national deficit. Meanwhile, Lee wanted to ensure the fun was given proper oversight to prevent fraud and abuse.

“They’re gonna put their amendments on the floor for a vote and they’re gonna get shut down,” said 9/11 first responder lobbyist John Feal. “They’re gonna need 60 ‘yes’ votes – they just don’t have the math.”

Jon Stewart, who testified before a Congressional subcommittee on behalf of first responders, also criticized Sen. Paul for blocking the bill. Paul responded, calling Stewart a “gutter snipe.”

Feal responded to the spat, saying Paul is a “insignificant, tiny, little human being.”

Gillibrand, who is currently running for president, also called the Republican senator's movements were “disappointing” and noted that 9/11 first responders and their families have had “enough of political games.”

The bill – which is named for fallen 9/11 heroes Ray Pfeifer, James Zadroga and Lou Alvarez – would replenish the compensation fund through 2092, essentially making it permanent.

The agreement comes on the same day that New York City officials announced that 200 FDNY firefighters have died from 9/11-related illnesses.

The House last week overwhelmingly approved the bill.