9/11 firefighter shames Rand Paul for invoking attack after opposing help for victims

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The Kentucky senator previously blocked a popular, bipartisan measure to fund the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.

Just a few months after he held up funding for 9/11 victims, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) posted a message on social media commemorating the anniversary of the attacks.

"September 11, 2001. We all remember what we were doing that day when we were attacked. We remember what we thought and felt," Paul wrote on Facebook.

"I was doing surgery that morning when I saw the news reports," he continued. "... I thought of the people trapped in the buildings. I thanked God for the bravery of those who bravely fought fires and helped rescue people."

Rob Serra, a former FDNY firefighter who served at Ground Zero, quickly called him out for the hypocrisy.

".@RandPaul Really dude? Do you think we forgot your actions just two months ago?" Serra tweeted along with a screenshot of that Facebook post. "Keep your prayers and go get your shine box. #Fraud."

Serra survived 9/11 and has been an advocate for congressional funding of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, which assists those affected by the terrorist attacks and their families.

In July, Paul blocked legislation to put money into the fund, which was projected to expire in 2020. The measure had widespread bipartisan support from both parties.

Reflecting the bipartisan support, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) asked the Senate for unanimous consent to pass the legislation after it had sailed through the House.

Paul stopped the legislation and complained that the "new program" would purportedly add to the nation's "massive debt."

At the time, retired first responder John Feel pointed out that Paul, along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) who also opposed the measure, had supported the Republican tax bill despite their supposed concerns about spending. Feel called both men "hypocrites."

The tax bill has since contributed to the ballooning federal deficit. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the deficit is expected to reach $1 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year.

The Senate eventually passed the victims compensation measure on a vote of 97-2. Only Lee and Paul opposed it.

Correction: This article has been updated to correct the name of former FDNY firefighter Rob Serra. An earlier version incorrectly identified him as Rob Senna. It has also been updated to correctly identify retired first responder John Feel, who was previously identified as a retired firefighter.

Published with permission of The American Independent.