Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart was outraged during an appearance on Fox News Channel Wednesday afternoon where he blasted Sen. Mike Lee and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul for blocking a vote on an extension for the 9/11 Victim Compensations Fund.
A spokesperson for Lee tells UtahPolicy.com the senator placed a procedural hold on the bill, which provides financial assistance to 9/11 first responders and others who are suffering from illnesses linked to toxic debris from the World Trade Center collapse, in order to “ensure the fund has the proper oversight in place to prevent fraud and abuse.” They added Lee “fully expects” the extension to pass before Congress leaves town for the August recess.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul objected to an attempt to pass the bill on the Senate floor.
Stewart did not hold back, calling the move from Sens. Lee and Paul “fiscal responsibility virtue signaling,” ripping them for supporting President Trump’s tax cuts but objecting to this measure.
“They’re going to tell us a billion dollars over 10 years is just too much to handle? There are some things they have no trouble putting on the credit card, but somehow when it comes to the 9/11 first responder community, the cops, the firefighters, the construction workers, the volunteers, the survivors, all of a sudden we’ve got to go through this?” said Stewart incredulously.
“This program has already been running for five years. No fraud. No waste. No abuse. Mike Lee. We met in his office five years ago. He looked us in the eye and said he was going to look into it. He is the reason we had to go back again for this new one and now he wants to put another cap on it that’s going to make all of the other tenacious yet ill first responders drag themselves back to Washington to put their hats in their hands and beg for something that this country should have done 14 years ago. It’s an abomination,” he added.
9/11 first responder Mike Feal, who joined Stewart Wednesday, did not hold back in his criticism, calling Lee a liar.
“Senator Paul and Senator Lee are bottom feeders. You can’t pick and choose when you want to be a conservative fiscal hawk. That’s just insulting to our intelligence and shame on them. They lack humanity, they lack leadership. Even their own colleagues don’t like them. We met mike Lee a couple of months ago, his staff. They promised, they swore up and down that they were not going to get in the way of this. Mike Lee, you’re a liar,” said Feal.