John Feal, a first responder who’s been fighting for passage of the 9/11 compensation fund bill in Congress, said senators who held up the legislation in the upper chamber are “a–holes.”
GOP Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah stepped forward Wednesday with last-minute legislative maneuvers to block a vote on reauthorizing the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.
“We’re not begging. We’re demanding. We don’t beg for anything anymore,” Feal, who heads the FealGood Foundation, told CNN on Thursday. “They work for us. They should be begging for forgiveness for being a–holes for the past 15 years.”
Feal pointed out that both Paul and Lee voted for President Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut in 2017 that is contributing to the country’s budget deficit.
“They’re hypocrites at best … Not only are they hypocrites, they’re bottom feeders, they’re opportunists.”
Lee put a procedural hold on the legislation “to ensure the fund has the proper oversight in place to prevent fraud and abuse.”
Paul objected to the attempt to move the bill in the Senate — where it has 73 sponsors — after Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) requested a unanimous-consent agreement that would have allowed it to pass unanimously.
Paul raised concerns about the country’s struggle with a massive debt problem.
“Therefore any new program that’s going to have longevity of 70, 80 years, should be offset by cutting spending that’s less valuable,” he said.
Feal blasted Paul for using that rationale to delay the vote.
“You cannot cherry-pick and choose when you want to be a fiscal conservative. Shame on him. That’s not even about politics, that’s about being a good human being,” he said on CNN.
The House passed the 9/11 bill 402-12 last week.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) met with Feal and Jon Stewart, who has become the celebrity face advocating for its passage, last month and promised that he would try to get the bill through the chamber before the August recess.
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