Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) responded Monday to comic Jon Stewart’s criticism of his dealing with of the September 11th Sufferer Compensation Fund, saying that he didn’t know why Stewart was “all bent off form.”
McConnell’s feedback, made in an interview with “Fox & Buddies,” got here sooner or later after Stewart blasted the Kentucky Republican’s management on the difficulty.
“I wish to make it clear that this has by no means been handled compassionately by Senator McConnell,” Stewart mentioned on “Fox Information Sunday.” “He has all the time held out till the final minute, and solely then, beneath intense lobbying and public shaming, has he even deigned to maneuver on it.”
Requested about Stewart’s criticism, McConnell argued Monday that “many issues in Congress occur on the final minute.” He added that the fund, which supplies compensation to first responders and others who’re sick or dying from sicknesses linked to their work on the 9/11 assault websites, will likely be totally funded.
“We’ve by no means failed to handle this problem, and we are going to handle it once more,” McConnell mentioned. “I don’t know why he’s all bent off form, however we are going to deal with the 9/11 victims compensation fund.”
Final week, the Home Judiciary Committee voted unanimously in favor of extending the fund, which is at present set to cease taking claims in December 2020. The measure is anticipated to go the Home, though its destiny within the Senate stays unclear; Senate Minority Chief Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) mentioned final week that he was “begging” McConnell to deliver the laws to the ground “instantly after it passes the Home.”
Schumer renewed his name Monday, addressing McConnell in a tweet.
“I’ll inform you why,” Schumer mentioned in response to McConnell questioning why Stewart was “all bent off form.” “As a result of 9/11 victims are getting sicker, and the final time this invoice got here up you delayed.”
The Home panel’s vote got here sooner or later after Stewart, the previous host of “The Every day Present,” excoriated members of Congress at a listening to on the laws.
“As I sit right here at the moment, I can’t assist however assume what an unimaginable metaphor this room is for your entire course of that getting well being care and advantages for 9/11 first responders has come to,” Stewart advised a Judiciary subcommittee. “Behind me, a stuffed room of 9/11 first responders, and in entrance of me, a virtually empty Congress.”
McConnell responded Monday that committee and subcommittee hearings are steadily empty “as a result of members have a variety of issues occurring on the identical time.”
“It sounds to me like he’s searching for some method to take offense,” he mentioned of Stewart. “There’s no method we received’t handle this downside appropriately. We’ve prior to now. We are going to once more sooner or later.”
Devlin Barrett and Marisa Iati contributed to this report.