In case you somehow missed it, Jon Stewart visited Congress last week to lobby for first responders and survivors receiving benefits from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Reauthorized in 2015, the fund set aside
$7 billion to, among other things, pay for first responders’ health care. However, the fund expires next year, recipients have reportedly seen their payouts slashed, and (as they have before) Congress is dawdling to address the issue. Ergo, classic Jon Stewart moral indignation.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell subsequently stopped by Fox News to dismiss Stewart’s impassioned plea out of hand. “Many things in Congress have [come] at the last minute. We have never failed to address this issue, and we will address it again,” he said. “I don’t know why he’s all bent out of shape.” Well, if you thought Jon Stewart was bent out of shape before, you’re definitely not going to like the shape he’s bent into now.
“Oh, I feel like an asshole,” said the former Daily Show host on Monday night, when he stopped by the Late Show With Stephen Colbert. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt them with their jobs!” All joking side, Stewart went on to offer a strategy for clearing up any confusion about the fund: “If you want to know why the 9/11 community has been bent out of shape for the past, let’s call it 18 years, meet with them. Tomorrow. And don’t make them beg for it.” (As of Monday, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties has signed off on the extension, but it must clear the House itself and then the Senate.)