Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell responded to Jon Stewart’s recent criticism of the way he has handled compensation for 9/11 responders. While speaking with Fox News’ Fox & Friends, McConnell said that he didn’t understand why the comedian was “bent out of shape” about the issue because it would “take care” of the legislation, which has been stuck in the Senate.
But, as The Inquisitr reported, while McConnell has pledged to address the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund legislation, Stewart said that McConnell had blocked these types of bills aimed at assisting those who responded to the 9/11 attacks for years. He also said that the Senate leader has only acted after facing intense backlash from the public.
“I want to make it clear that this has never been dealt with compassionately by Senator McConnell,” Stewart said. “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.”
Stewart also called McConnell the “white whale” of the issue since 2010 as he made an emotional plea for members of Congress to move forward with funding the bill while criticizing the small number of lawmakers who showed up to the hearing.
McConnell, however, was blase about Stewart’s attacks. When asked about the comedian’s comments, he defended his record and questioned why Stewart was so passionate.
“We’ve never failed to address this issue, and we will address it again,” McConnell said. “I don’t know why he is all bent out of shape, we will take care of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.”
When the Fox & Friends panel pushed McConnell on the matter, he reiterated that they would address the legislation.
“It sounds to me like he is looking for some way to take offense,” he said. “There is no way we won’t address this problem appropriately.”
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
Steve Doocy, Fox & Friends host, asked McConnell why so few people showed up to the hearing, and McConnell responded that it was probably just that they were busy doing other things.
The bill has bipartisan support, but so far it has yet to pass. In order for compensation for 9/11 responders to continue beyond this year, new legislation must make it through the Congress. Stewart, in his emotional testimony that has gone viral, said he would like to see funding extended through 2090, removing the uncertainty associated with a short-term funding solution.
The House has passed a bill, but now it awaits a decision by the Senate.