On ‘Late Show,’ Jon Stewart attacks Mitch McConnell over 9/11 victim fund

Watch: Jon Stewart appears on the “Late Show” to advocate for 9/11 first responders fund

Comedian Jon Stewart on Monday borrowed the desk of his friend, Stephen Colbert, at the “Late Show” to hit back at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said he didn’t know why Stewart was “all bent out of shape” over Congress’s delay in passing a bill to permanently support a benefits fund for first responders of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Stewart and others have accused McConnell of using the 9/11 victims fund as a “political football,” including in 2015 when Democrats charged McConnell dangled funding for the program as a trading chip for an end to a ban on oil exports.


Earlier Monday McConnell had suggested Stewart was “looking for some way to take offense,” when he appeared before Congress last week and berated lawmakers for their absence, and for failing to pass the bill, at a House Judiciary Hearing. McConnell added that the Senate has “never failed” to address the issue and seemed to suggest it would pass, saying that “many things at Congress happen at the last minute.”

A nearly 9-minute video clip of Stewart attacking representatives for their failure to fund care for “sick and dying” first responders and their families went viral.

Stewart, who has appeared occasionally on Colbert’s show to deliver monologues or do skits with his former co-worker from “The Daily Show,” sarcastically apologized to McConnell for requesting Congress approve the bill.

“I didn’t know that they were busy,” Stewart said of lawmakers. “I didn’t mean to interrupt them with their jobs.”

Stewart has long advocated for 9/11 first responders and their families, dedicating a 2010 episode of “The Daily Show” to the topic and testifying before Congress multiple times on the matter.

“If you want to know why the 9/11 community is bent out of shape... meet with them, tomorrow.” Stewart urged McConnell. “You could pass this thing as a stand-alone bill, tomorrow.”


Peter Bailey-Wells can be reached at peter.bailey-wells@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @pbaileywells.