McConnell hits back at Stewart over 9/11 victim fund criticism

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPatient advocates launch drug pricing ad campaign Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs War of words at the White House MORE (R-Ky.) on Monday responded to comedian Jon Stewart’s criticism of him for how he has handled legislation for compensating 9/11 first responders.

Speaking on “Fox & Friends,” McConnell said he doesn’t know why Stewart “is all bent out of shape” but promised to “take care” of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund legislation that has been idling in the Senate.

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“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.”

When pressed by Fox News host Steve Doocy on why so few members were present at a hearing for the bill that Stewart appeared at, McConnell said lawmakers were likely busy with other matters.

“That frequently happens because members have a lot of things going on at the same time,” he said.

Stewart’s emotional testimony at the hearing went viral and has since spurred conversation regarding the legislation the comedian has championed for many years.

In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Stewart blasted the majority leader.

"I want to make it clear that this has never been dealt with compassionately by Sen. 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 noted that the bill has bipartisan support, saying that it needs to be passed. Current compensation for 9/11 first responders will likely run out this year without new legislation.

The bill Stewart is advocating for would expand compensation for first responders through 2090.