Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart appeared on Fox News Wednesday to condemn Republicans and target Rand Paul for failing to pass a bipartisan bill that would extend a compensation fund for victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Stewart has been an outspoken advocate for 9/11 first responders. During an appearance on the conservative network last month, he shamed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for failing to protect those still suffering and dying from the 2001 World Trade Center attacks. The criticisms prompted a brief back-and-forth between the comedian and the Kentucky Senator, during which Stewart accused the Republican of embracing the 9/11 community solely when it serves a political purpose.
In Wednesday's interview with Bret Baier, Stewart targeted his criticisms at fellow Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who held up a bill on the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund by citing concerns that it would contribute to the country's deficit. The bill passed the House with an overwhelming bipartisan majority last week. "It's absolutely outrageous. Pardon me if I’m not impressed in any way by Rand Paul’s fiscal responsibility virtue signaling," Stewart said.
He then highlighted the Senator's hypocrisy as Paul voted for Donald Trump's $1.5 trillion tax cut, which is helping drive a multi-million dollar deficit increase, accusing him of trying to “balance the budget on the backs of the 9/11 first responder community.”
“Bret, this is about what kind of society we have,” Stewart continued. “At some point, we have to stand up for the people who have always stood up for us, and at this moment in time maybe cannot stand up for themselves due to their illnesses and their injuries. And what Rand Paul did today on the floor of the Senate was outrageous.”
Rand Paul seemingly responded to the criticisms on Twitter Wednesday claiming he didn't block the 9/11 bill.
Last month, Stewart delivered an emotional testimony during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on reauthorizing the Sept. 11 victims compensation fund, which is set to expire in 2020. Many victims and first responders are still suffering from cancer and other illnesses as a result of their bravery at Ground Zero.