We were a little surprised that in all the media hoopla after the U.S. Senate passage Wednesday of the September 11th victim fund, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet was pretty much MIA.
We didn’t see him at the Senate briefing with the media after the vote, or at Jon Stewart’s press conference.
Bennet was there for the actual vote. But considering this headline, we expected to hear strong support from the presidential candidate.
Were we missing something, or was the headline misleading?
Long story short, it was the headline.
The Senate passed the House version of the bill, so the senators weren’t actually bill sponsors.
Although, Gardner was the first senator to sign onto the Senate version, while Bennet was the 15th signer and one of 75 out of 100 senators to finally do so.
And out of those 100 senators, 97 of them backed the bill on the final vote.
Gardner, the lead cosponsor, was hard at work before the vote speaking on the Senate floor urging support from his colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
Gardner also appeared at a press event with Democrat U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand — the lead sponsor — to explain the benefits and need for the legislation.
Gardner also issued a joint statement with Gillibrand and key players after the vote.
“Permanent reauthorization of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund is not just a New York, Washington, or Pennsylvania issue. It is an American issue. The heroes of 9/11 are living across the country, including in Colorado. While this bill will not stop 9/11 first responders from becoming ill, it gives them the support they’ve earned and desperately need.”
Meanwhile, Bennet issued an extraordinarily weak statement — given the severity of the issue — saying it was “the least we could do.”