WASHINGTON – Comedian Jon Stewart slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for saying that Stewart is “all bent out of shape” about the slow pace at which Congress is moving to reauthorize the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund.
“No, no Mitch McConnell, I am not bent out of shape, I’m in fine shape,” Stewart said on CBS’ “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert on Monday night.
He added: “Well, I am out of shape. But not because of you… I’m fine. I’m bent out of shape for them, 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 and still in terrible need.”
Stewart called on McConnell to meet with 9/11 first responders and their families.
Last week Stewart gave riveting testimony to the House Judiciary Committee. He was accompanied by several first responders, some of whom had illnesses such as cancer as a result of their work. Stewart decried the lack of attendance among members of the panel and called on Congress to expeditiously reauthorize the fund.
McConnell made the remarks in a Monday morning interview with Fox and Friends. He responded to criticism Stewart had leveled in a Sunday morning interview with the show.
“Well, many things in Congress happen at the last minute,” McConnell said. “We’ve never failed to address this issue and we will address it again. I don’t know why he (Stewart) is all bent out of shape but we will take care of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.”
The fund was created shortly after the 9/11 terrorists attacks in 2001. It provides “compensation for any individual (or a personal representative of a deceased individual) who suffered physical harm or was killed as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001 or the debris removal efforts that took place in the immediate aftermath of those crashes,” according to the fund’s website.
The fund must be reauthorized every five years. It was last reauthorized in December 2015. The money will run out in December 2020 if Congress does not act.