Senate Strikes Deal to Vote on Stalled 9/11 Compensation Bill

July 19, 2019by Laura Litvan
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks at the CATO Institute in Washington, D.C., on July 27, 2017. (Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA/TNS)

WASHINGTON — The Senate plans to vote next week on a House-passed bill to extend a fund to help first responders and other victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“We’re finally, finally able to tell them you won’t have to come back again,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters Thursday. The vote will be held Tuesday, he and fellow New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said.

The House last week passed a bill, H.R. 1327, to extend the Sept. 11th Victim Compensation Fund used to pay claims by those harmed by the attack and the subsequent cleanup effort. The fund would be extended through at least fiscal 2092. Congress had previously provided $4.6 billion in fiscal 2017.

On Wednesday, a Senate vote was blocked by Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who is seeking to offset the money with cuts elsewhere, and Mike Lee of Utah, who wants a shorter extension of the fund. Both will get a vote on their amendments, which are expected to fail.

Jon Stewart, the former host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and a supporter of first responders, has lobbied members of Congress to pass the bill.

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