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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/19/19

'Patriots' Rand Paul And Mike Lee Block 9/11 Victim Compensation Bill

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New York City firefighters after 9/11 attacks
New York City firefighters after 9/11 attacks
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The Republican party loves to refer to itself as the party of "patriots."

In promoting this label, it relies on exploiting traditional symbols of American fortitude, militarism, and masculinity: police, the military, and firefighters.

But every so often even the furtive Grand Old Party is unable to maintain the facade.

In the current age of Trump, as decorum and civility have been relegated to the annuls of a by-gone era, the Republican party has had no problem lately coming right out and putting its disdain for the poor and middle class on full display.

As if we needed another reminder of how little the Republican party regards anyone other than its wealthy donors, Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) voted this week to block an extension of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund the House of Representatives passed last month.

The fund that would have provided first responders and their families care until the2090fiscal year and received virtually unanimous support (402-12), about which even Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated "The Senate has never forgotten the Victim Compensation Fund, and we aren't about to start now," is going to have to wait a little longer before getting support in the Senate--at least for now.

Sen. Paul trotted out the hackneyed Republican talking point "We can't afford it" to defend his position.

He stated:

"It has long been my feeling that we need to address our massive debt in this country. Any new program that's going to have the longevity of 70, 80 years should be offset by cutting spending that's less valuable."

What is "less valuable"?

In Republican-speak, it means Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, public education, environmental regulations, financial regulations, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, voting rights.

Basically, anything that helps the poor and middle class.

Some will argue Sen. Paul is just concerned about our debt, as should we all be.

A spokesperson for Sen. Paul defended that Paul is not seeking to block the bill, but is merely concerned about how we will pay for it,stating:

"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."

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)

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