Rep. Andy Harris

Congressman Andy Harris, R-Md.-1st, answers questions from constituents during a March 2019 town hall meeting at the Grasonville VFW hall.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Monday press release, Congressman Andy Harris, R-Md.-1st, said a measure to pay for the health needs of 9/11 first responders is “fiscally irresponsible” and went “far beyond” taking care of the health needs of first responders.

Harris was one of 12 members of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote Friday against H.R. 1327. It passed the House on a vote of 402-12, with 19 congressmen not voting.

“Of course, taking care of 9/11 first responders is important and a priority,” Harris said in the press release. “The Zadroga Act, passed four years ago, already takes care of their health needs until 2090. H.R. 1327 goes far beyond taking care of the health needs of the 9/11 first responders, providing a compensation fund for the next 70 years for potentially 600,000 victims of 9/11.

“Because this could cost tens of billions of dollars, Congress should find another place in our budget that is a lower priority to pay for it,” Harris said. “But Congress is lazy. The Democrat House majority instead chose to be fiscally irresponsible and, on a party-line vote, suspended their own rule requiring Congress to find a source of funding whenever new spending is approved that would otherwise increase our federal debt and deficit.

“A group of fiscally responsible members of the House, as well as the Senate, are now working on a plan that would be able to fund this important idea while finding a way to pay for it so that it doesn’t increase our debt and deficit by tens of billions of dollars for future generations,” he said.

H.R. 1327 added $10 billion to the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund.

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