Mitch McConnell attacks Jon Stewart saying the comedian was ‘looking for something to take offense with’ when he tearfully berated Congress members for not showing up for 9/11 hearing
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested there was no reason for comedian Jon Stewart to get ‘all bent out of shape’ over medical funding for victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks because Congress will always ‘take care’ of them.
‘Well many things in Congress happen at the last minute. We have never failed to address this issue, and we will address it again,’ McConnell told Fox & Friends Monday morning in reference to the compensation that was created for victims of the attack in exchange for their agreement not to sue the airline corporations involved.
‘I don’t know why he’s all bent out of shape,’ the Republican leader continued. ‘We will take care of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.’
Stewart appeared at a House hearing last week and gave an emotional statement when only five of the 14 members on the subcommittee showed up for the hearing.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell chastised comedian Jon Stewart for ‘looking for some way to take offense,’ to the poor turnout for a 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund hearing
While appearing on Fox & Friends, McConnell responded to Stewarts attacks on him, claiming the comedian was ‘all bent out of shape’ for no reason
On Fox News Sunday, Stewart said McConnell hasn’t dealt with this issue ‘compassionately’
The hearing was prompted as allotted money for the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which was pledged in 2015, is rapidly being used up. The bill would ensure funding for medical coverage for victims until 2090, but the kitty of money would likely fall short of that timeline.
The legislation has set aside $7.3 billion to compensate victims of the 9/11 attacks, their families and first responders, but $5 billion has already been paid out. Families and their advocates say at least another $5 billion is needed to cover pending claims.
Lawmakers have since proposed paying out claims at 50 percent of their value – sparking backlash.
Stewart, a longtime advocate for 9/11 responders, and a host of victims’ families appeared in Congress to appeal for greater funding.
The former Daily Show host appeared on Fox News Sunday where he chastised McConnell when talking about his own advocacy for the victims and his viral appearance in Congress where he often had to choke back tears.
‘I want to make it clear that this has never been dealt with compassionately by Senator McConnell,’ Stewart told Fox host Chris Wallace. ‘He has always held out until the very last minute, and only then, under intense lobbying and public shaming, has he even dained to move on it.’
During a hearing on medical funding for 9/11 victims and first responders, Stewart became visibly upset when only five of the 14 members on the subcommittee showed up
During the viral remarks, the longtime 9/11 first responders advocate said it was ‘shameful’ that sick and dying victims showed up to speak to a virtually empty panel
McConnell said it was common for hearings panels to be partially empty because members of Congress have ‘a lot of things going on at the same time.’
The senator from Kentucky claimed Stewart was searching ‘for some way to take offense’ to the turn out of the hearing when it had nothing to do personally with the cause.
‘Well that frequently happens,’ McConnell said of the poor member attendance, ‘because members have a lot of things going on at the same time.’
‘It sounds to me like he’s looking for some way to take offense,’ he continued. ‘There’s no way we won’t address this problem appropriately. We have in the past and we will again in the future.’
The 56-year-old comedian said during his appearance before Congress that it was ‘shameful’ and a sign of ‘disrespect’ that 9/11 first responders came to Capitol Hill to speak to a virtually empty House panel.
‘A filled room of 9/11 first responders and in front of me a nearly empty congress. Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one. Shameful. It’s an embarrassment to the country and it is a stain on this institution,’ he said while fighting back tears.
Stewart received a standing ovation from the 9/11 first responders.