First responder calls senators blocking 9/11 victim funding 'a--holes'

First responder calls senators blocking 9/11 victim funding 'a--holes'
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A 9/11 first responder tore into Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGeorgia governor says he didn't know asymptomatic people could spread coronavirus McConnell: Impeachment distracted government from coronavirus threat Warren knocks McConnell for forcing in-person Senate vote amid coronavirus pandemic MORE (R-Ky.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeJustice IG pours fuel on looming fight over FISA court Senator Tom Coburn's government oversight legacy Trump on Romney's negative coronavirus test: 'I am so happy I can barely speak' MORE (R-Utah) on Thursday, referring to the two as "assholes" over a decision by the lawmakers that delayed the reauthorization of a compensation fund for victims of the terrorist attacks.

John Feal, a demolitions expert who was injured while responding to the 2001 attacks, told CNN that the two Republican senators were "hypocrites" and "opportunists."

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"It's the usual suspects. But they're hypocrites at best ... not only are they hypocrites, they're bottom feeders, they're opportunists," Feal said.

"These are men that voted for the trillion-dollar tax cut," he added, referring to the GOP's 2017 tax reform plan. "They should be begging for forgiveness for being assholes for the last 15 years."

Paul blocked the measure's passage by unanimous consent on Wednesday, telling senators that any new spending should be offset by cutting spending in other areas.

"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."

"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,” his spokesperson added to The Hill in an email.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandLawmakers already planning more coronavirus stimulus after T package Progressive advocates propose T 'green stimulus' plan Juan Williams: Biden's promises on women are a big deal MORE (D-N.Y.), who called for unanimous consent on the House-passed bill, ripped Paul's response as "political games."

"I am deeply disappointed that my colleague has just objected to the desperately needed and urgent bill for our 9/11 first responders," she said.

Feal's criticism on Thursday was also aimed at Lee, a staunch conservative who put a temporary hold on the legislation this week over concerns that the fund was not going to be overseen properly.

“Senator Lee fully expects the 9/11 compensation bill to pass before the August recess and he is seeking a vote to ensure the fund has the proper oversight in place to prevent fraud and abuse,” Lee spokesman Conn Carroll told the Salt Lake Tribune.

--This report was updated at 10:04 a.m.