Jon Stewart rips McConnell: You only see the 9/11 victims fund as a 'political pawn'
Comic draws media spotlight to 9/11 victims.
The former "Daily Show" host appeared on Capitol Hill last week and blasted Congress for its inaction on a permanent fix for the 9/11 victims fund, which is set to expire next year. And during a special appearance on Monday night's "The Late Show," Stewart emerged from host Stephen Colbert's desk and offered a sharp reaction to McConnell's dismissal of his criticism.
"I'm not bent out of shape, I'm fine. I'm bent out of shape for them," Steward said of the 9/11 first responders suffering from terminal illnesses. "These are the first heroes and veterans and victims of the great trillions of dollars war on terror. And they're currently still suffering and dying in terrible need. You would think that would be enough to get Congress's attention, but apparently it's not."
Stewart slammed McConnell's defense of lawmakers who were absent from the subcommittee hearing he attended due to their busy schedules.
"Now I feel so stupid. This is a huge misunderstanding. I didn't know that they were busy," Stewart sarcastically told Colbert. "I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt them... with their jobs!"
“Honestly, Mitch McConnell, you really want to go with the ‘we get to it when we get to it’ argument for the heroes of 9/11?'” he told the Senate Majority Leader. "You're not good at this argument thing. Basically we're saying you love the 9/11 community when they serve your political purposes, but when they’re in urgent need, you slow-walk, you dither. You used it as a political pawn to get other things you want, and you don’t get the job done completely, and your answer to that charge is, ‘Yeah, duh, we’re Congress. That’s how we do.'”
Stewart continued. "We've spent a year compiling bipartisan co-sponsors and advocates for this bill all in the hopes that when it finally gets to the great Mitch McConnell’s desk, you won’t jack us around like you’ve done in the past. So, if you want to know why the 9/11 community is bent out of shape over the past, let's call it 18 years, meet with them tomorrow as soon as possible and don't make them beg for it. You can pass this thing as a standalone bill tomorrow. Meet with them. I'm begging you.”