9/11 first responder slams GOP senators for blocking aid: 'They're bottom feeders'


First responder John Feal said Republican Sens. Mike Lee and Rand Paul were called 'opportunists' for holding up the reauthorization of the 9/11 victim compensation fund.

John Feal, a demolition expert who was injured responding to the 9/11 attacks, slammed Republican Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee as "assholes" for blocking the reauthorization of the victim compensation fund.

The fund, which is set to expire in 2020, covers health care costs for those affected by the worst terrorist attack in American history.

Paul blocked a proposal from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) that would have allowed the bill, which passed with overwhelming support in the House, to advance. Lee also placed a procedural hold on the bill, which prevented its passage.

"They're hypocrites at best," Feal told CNN's "New Day" on Thursday. "They're bottom feeders. They're opportunists. These are men who voted for the trillion-dollar tax cut."

"They should be begging for forgiveness for being assholes" and opposing the bill, he added.

Feal also scoffed at Paul's claim that his opposition to the bill is rooted in fiscal policy.

"He was the 51st vote on [the Republican tax scam]," Feal said. "He was given everything by the president and Mitch McConnell to be that 51st vote."

Both Lee and Paul backed the Republican tax scam, which gave away billions to giant corporations and wealthy individuals, without any of the fiscal concerns they have now invoked over the compensation fund.

"You cannot cherry-pick and choose when you want to be a fiscal conservative — shame on him. That's not even about politics anymore. We're talking about being a good human being," Feal said of Paul.

He described Lee as "Senator Jell-O," referring to an incident earlier in the week when Lee staffers turned away firefighters who wanted to discuss the vote as the senator held a "Jell-O Wednesday event."

In addition to the two senators, Feal also slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), for opposing the bill.

Republicans could have easily passed the measure to help, but at every turn they have either dismissed the issue, dragged their feet, or come out directly in opposition. That's why they're now being publicly shamed for their actions.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.