Senators Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., are at odds over the future of a bill that would take unused COVID-19 relief funds to go to families of 9/11 victims.
The bill, known as the Fairness for 9/11 Families Act, has already passed overwhelmingly in the House with a 400-31 vote. Cotton has not opposed the substance of the bill itself, but he has introduced a new bill that would include families of the victims of the 1983 Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing.
“The pandemic is long over—unnecessary funding should shift to more worthy causes, like helping U.S. victims of terror attacks,” Cotton said in a statement on his bill, the Fairness for American Victims of State-Sponsored Terrorism Act, which he introduced with Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska.
“This legislation will allocate funding to ensure that the brave Americans who were killed in brutal attacks like 9/11 and the 1983 Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing are repaid the debt of gratitude America owe,” Cotton added.
HOUSE APPROVES $2.7 BILLION IN PAYMENTS TO 9/11 VICTIMS AFTER YEARS OF DELAY
Both bills would draw a pool of nearly $3 billion in unused money that had been designated for business loans under the CARES Act.
Menendez, who introduced the Fairness for 9/11 Families Act, came out against Cotton’s proposed legislation, citing the time constraint of having to pass a bill in the final month of the current Congress.
DECLASSIFIED 9/11 COMMISSION INTERVIEW REVEALS BUSH STANCE ON SAUDIS, CHENEY REACTION TO DOWNED UNITED PLANE
“These widows and children have been waiting 7 long years for Congress to address their initial exclusion from the U.S. Victims of State-Sponsored Terrorism Fund. We have an opportunity to do what is right for 9/11 families now, before H.R. 8987 dies in the lame duck session,” Menendez said in a statement.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP
The New Jersey Democrat noted that he is not against Cotton’s proposal to send money to families of Beirut victims, and that “we have ave offered our commitment to work in a bipartisan way with Senator Cotton to deliver justice to victims of the 1983 Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing in a separate legislative vehicle that will not delay relief for 9/11 families.”