Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that he did not know why comedian Jon Stewart was "completely misrepresented" in relation to funding the first responders of Sept. 11, and had insisted that "we we occupied it ".
The Kentucky Republican, accused for years of idle-free legislation aimed at helping emergency personnel who reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks, told "Fox & Friends" that he was "can not solve this problem appropriately".
Stewart had called McConnell on "Fox News Sunday," noting that the GOP leader had said earlier in the week that he had always treated the first responders in a "compassionate" way, and I guess we'll do it at new".
"I want to clarify that Senator McConnell has never treated this with compassion," Stewart said in the interview. "He always stood up until the very last minute, and it was only then that under intense lobbying and public shame, he even deigned to move on to action."
McConnell rejected Stewart's concerns Monday morning.
"A lot of things happen in Congress at the last minute," he said. "We have never failed to fix this problem and we will do it again.I do not know why it is so distorted, but we will deal with the 9/11 compensation fund."
Stewart, the former host of "The Daily Show", went to Congress when he appeared before a House subcommittee last week, where he lobbied for a bill guaranteeing that the 9/11 compensation fund would be funded for 70 years. Congress paid the fund, which will run out of money in 2020, with a series of short-term spending bills, forcing sick first responders to work in the toxic rubble of the World Trade Center to repeatedly visit Washington to plead for help.
The former detective of the New York Police, Luis Alvarez, testified last Tuesday in front of Stewart. He was heading to a 69th session of chemotherapy the next day.
Stewart noted that there were several empty seats at the hearing.
"I can not help but think of what incredible metaphor this piece represents the whole process." Getting health care and benefits for the September 11 first responders has arrived – behind me a room full of first responders September 11 and before me a Congress almost empty, "he said. "Sick and dying, they went here to talk to nobody."
"It's shameful," Stewart said.
McConnell also rejected this complaint about "Fox & Friends".
"This happens often because members have a lot to do at the same time and it seems to me that he was looking for a way to offend," he said.
In addition, the subcommittee hearing was held in the Committee of the Whole House, increasing the number of empty chairs on the podium.
When asked if the bill would be fully funded by the Senate after it was passed by the House, Mr. McConnell replied "Yes".