Senate to vote on 9/11 victims bill on Tuesday
© Aaron Schwartz
The Senate will vote next week on a House-passed bill to extend the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocratic challenger to Joni Ernst releases ad depicting her as firing gun at him Senate confirms eight Trump court picks in three days The case for censuring, and not impeaching, Donald Trump MORE (R-Ky.) locked in votes for Tuesday afternoon after senators announced a deal to take up the bill on the Senate floor earlier Thursday.
 
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The bill, which passed the House in a 402-12 vote, would reauthorize funding through fiscal 2090. It's expected to easily pass the Senate.

Lee, before setting up the agreement, stressed that he supported extending money for the fund, which pays out claims for deaths and illnesses related to the attack, but had concerns for how long the House bill would extend it for.  
 
"In Washington ... this is a recipe for trouble. As we all know, finite authorizations are how Congress ensures that taxpayer money actually gets to its intended beneficiaries and not simply lost in government bureaucracy somewhere," Lee said. 
 
His amendment would authorize $10.2 billion for the fund over the next 10 years. It would authorize an additional $10 billion after that. 
 
"My amendment would not block or delay the bill's consideration, let alone its passage," he added. 
 
Paul's amendment is expected to offer a way to pay for the House bill. 
 
The agreement comes after Paul blocked passage of the bill on Wednesday, saying he wanted an opportunity to vote on an amendment that would offset the costs. 
 
"It has long been my feeling that we need to address our massive debt in the country," he said. "And therefore any new spending ... should be offset by cutting spending that's less valuable. We need to, at the very least, have this debate."

A spokesperson for Paul later told The Hill that Paul "is not blocking anything," adding that he is "simply seeking to pay for it."

Paul's floor move sparked fierce backlash from supporters of the legislation, even though it was only a temporary setback. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had previously pledged that he would bring up the House bill before lawmakers leave for the August recess. 
 
Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandHarris posts video asking baby if she'll run for president one day Warren hits Bloomberg, Steyer: They have 'been allowed to buy their way' into 2020 race Supreme Court poised to hear first major gun case in a decade MORE (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law | Michigan governor seeks to pause Medicaid work requirements | New front in fight over Medicaid block grants House, Senate Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law Why a second Trump term and a Democratic Congress could be a nightmare scenario for the GOP MORE (D-N.Y.) both thanked Lee for helping set up the agreement to vote on the bill, but specified that they will oppose the amendments from Lee and Paul. 
 
"I understand the 72 years is a recipe for trouble, but the truth is the timing is limited for this bill because these men and women aren't going to survive. So many of them are already sick and dying," Gillibrand said. 
 
Schumer added that he didn't think "they have much of a chance of winning, but there's a right to offer them." He said he expects the vote to take place Tuesday.
 
"For the first time we cannot only see the light at the end of the tunnel, we're getting very close to getting out the tunnel," Schumer said. "I expect by Wednesday we'll be out of that tunnel." 
 
Schumer and Gillibrand told reporters that they have the votes to override a veto from Trump. But, Schumer added, that "I don't think he will veto it." 
 
--Updated 3:34 p.m.