On Wednesday, Sens. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) objected to what would have been the unanimous passage of a bill to approve long-term funding for 9/11 first responders’ health care. The ongoing efforts have been spearheaded by former The Daily Show host Jon Stewart for several years now, and in recent weeks, he and other members of the organization came to blows with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) before finally getting Congress to consider the measure. With Paul and Lee’s objections, however, Stewart is fuming… again.
That evening, Stewart and first responder John Feal appeared on Brett Baier’s Fox News program to discuss the matter. “Pardon me if I’m not impressed in any way by Rand Paul’s fiscal responsibility virtue signaling,” said the comedian. “Rand Paul presented tissue paper avoidance of the $1.5 trillion dollar tax cut that added hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit, and now he stands at the last minute… to say that it’s all over now. ‘Now we’re going to balance the budget on the backs of the 9/11 first responder community.'”
So, yeah. Stewart was mad, and after he and Feal also called out Lee for repeatedly stonewalling their efforts to pass meaningful legislation regarding the matter, the comic concluded that “this is about what kind of society we have”:
“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.”