Jon Stewart took aim at Mitch McConnell for blocking bills aimed at compensating first responders to the September 11 terrorist attacks, noting that McConnell and Republicans are the only ones who blocked efforts to take care of those who suffered health effects from responding to the attack.
In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Stewart took aim directly at the Senate Majority Leader for years of blocking these bills. Host Chris Wallace asked Stewart if he had problems with McConnell, and Stewart laid the blame for the failure to pass the bill directly at McConnell.
“I mean, not me personally, but in terms of getting the 9/11 bills passed, Mitch McConnell has been the white whale of this since 2010,” an emotional Stewart said, via The Daily Beast.
Jon Stewart attracted viral interest this week for an impassioned plea to members of Congress to authorize additional funding for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund until 2090. Stewart blasted members of Congress for failing to even show up to the hearing, where several 9/11 first responders were in attendance.
The message seemed to have gotten across to the House members, as the bill passed later that week on a voice vote without opposition, CNN reported. The current law had last been renewed in 2015 and was set to expire after next year, the report noted. The fund’s administration announced earlier this year that there was not enough money to pay all the claims, which have risen significantly as working at Ground Zero has led to severe health impacts for these recovery workers, CNN added.
In his appearance on Sunday, Stewart said that McConnell hasn’t felt any pressure to add to the fund or help the 9/11 first responders.
“They asked Mitch McConnell about the testimony after it was done,” Stewart continued, “and he said, ‘Gosh’—I think he used the word ‘gosh’—’Gosh, we haven’t looked at that in a while but we will look at it and I’m sure we’ll deal with it as compassionately as we have in the past.'”
“But I want to make it clear that this has never been dealt with compassionately by Senator McConnell,” Stewart added. “He has always held out until the very last minute and only then, under intense lobbying and public shaming has he even deigned to move on it.”
A House panel has passed a bill to authorize additional funding for the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund until 2090, one day after comedian Jon Stewart gave an emotional plea to extend the funding. https://t.co/4rnxEh0nue
— CNN (@CNN) June 13, 2019
Jon Stewart added that funding 9/11 first responders should not be a partisan issue and that not all Republicans oppose it, but he noted that the only ones who have opposed it are Republicans.