But Paul objected, pointing to the country’s growing debt and arguing that any new spending should be offset by cuts to other spending.
“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.”
He added that if the House bill was brought up for a vote in the Senate he is planning to offer an amendment “but until then I will object.”
Under Senate rules any one senator can try to get consent, which requires the sign off of the entire chamber, to pass a bill or resolution, but one senator can also block that request.
Gillibrand, after Paul objected, said she was “deeply disappointed” in his decision, adding “enough of the 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 added.
Despite the back-and-forth on the floor, the Senate is expected to pass the bill before leaving for their summer recess by August 2.
McConnell said after a meeting with 9/11 first responders that it was his plan to bring the bill up before the recess.