Senate Leader Mitch McConnell Agrees To Meet With 9/11 Victims After Rebuke From Jon Stewart
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed to meet with members of the 9/11 victim community to discuss the need to provide health care for those with illnesses related to the September 11, 2001 attacks.
John Feal, a 9/11 recovery worker and founder of the FealGood Foundation, told CBS News that McConnell had agreed to meet with a group of first responders to discuss the reauthorization of legislation that helps those injured during 9/11 receive medical care. The law was first passed nine years ago and was reauthorized in 2015. While it is set to last until 2020, the administrator of the fund announced that there was not enough money to fill all the claims that had been received. The Democratic-controlled House quickly fast-tracked the bill’s renewal, voting on it a year prior to the expected date. It was unclear whether the Senate, controlled by McConnell, would do the same, calling into question the ability of many victims to receive medical treatment.
McConnell’s refusal to concretely support the bill was brought into the spotlight recently due to emotional testimony given by former talk show host Jon Stewart. At a House hearing earlier this month, Stewart addressed a nearly empty panel of lawmakers in an attempt to bring more attention to the plight of 9/11 victims. Tensions rose between him and McConnell after Stewart attacked the senator for his perceived lack of action on the bill. After McConnell questioned why the former show host was so “bent out of shape,” Stewart appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to respond to the senator’s comments, saying that he was “bent out of shape for them,” referring to the 9/11 victims. He then begged McConnell to meet with the first responders who would be affected by the bill, hoping that if the Kentuckian talked face-to-face with the victims then he would understand their plight.
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) June 18, 2019