- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 18, 2019

Comedian Jon Stewart ripped Republican Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee Wednesday night for holding up an extension for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

“It’s absolutely outrageous, and you’ll pardon me if I’m not impressed in any way by Rand Paul’s fiscal responsibility virtue signaling,” Mr. Stewart said to Fox News’ “Special Report.”

The lawmakers put a damper on the immediate passing of the fund, which would provide support for first-responders, their families and anyone else affected by the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Mr. Lee from Utah prevented the bill from going to a vote by placing a procedural hold on the bill.

Mr. Paul from Kentucky quickly voted against a unanimous consent degree, requested by N.Y. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who is also a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

A spokesperson for Mr. Paul said he was trying to figure out how to pay for it and was not blocking anything. Mr. Stewart dismissed that claim based on Mr. Paul supporting the 2017 tax cuts.

“Rand Paul presented tissue paper avoidance of the $1.5 trillion tax cut that added hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit and now he stands up at the last minute, after 15 years of blood, sweat and tears from the 9/11 community, to say that it’s all over now and we’re going to balance the budget on the backs of the 9/11 first responder community,” Mr. Stewart said, “At some point we have to stand up for the people who have always stood up for us.”

Mr. Lee’s spokesperson said he wanted to review the legislation’s financials one last time.

The extension bill will eventually go up for a vote, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said would be in August before Congress’ monthlong recess.

Mr. Stewart, who has become a fierce advocate for 9/11 first responders after leaving “The Daily Show,” went viral in June for blasting House Judiciary members who skipped a committee hearing to extend the Victim Compensation Fund.

• Bailey Vogt can be reached at bvogt@washingtontimes.com.

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