“Pardon me if I’m not impressed in any way by Rand Paul’s fiscal responsibility virtue signaling,” a visibly disgusted Stewart told Bret Baier on Fox News Wednesday night. “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 now we’re going to balance the budget on the backs of the 9/11 first responder community.”
The former Daily Show host has long pressured Congress to reauthorize the fund, which offers compensation to 9/11 survivors and first responders who have filed claims relating to various health problems they have experienced as a result of the attacks, and is set to expire in 2020. Last month, he delivered an emotional appeal to the House Judiciary Committee to deliver an emotional appeal to the House Judiciary Committee. “They responded in five seconds,” he said of the first responders, a group of which accompanied Stewart to Capitol Hill. “They did their jobs, with courage, grace, tenacity, humility. Eighteen years later — do yours!”
Jon Stewart rips into Rand Paul after he blocks unanimous consent on the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, calling the objection "absolutely outrageous" and "an abomination."
"Pardon me if I'm not impressed in any way by Rand Paul's fiscal responsibility virtue signaling." pic.twitter.com/Kk0s7O7E8E
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 18, 2019
The House of Representatives passed the bill to reauthorize the fund last week. It’s expected to eventually pass in the Senate, as well, but it will take an additional bit of maneuvering thanks to Paul’s objection on Wednesday.
Paul says he wants the aid funding for the victims to be offset with cuts in spending elsewhere. But the senator, as Stewart noted, did not apply his balanced-budget requirement when he voted to support tax cuts — disproportionately for corporations and the wealthy — that are projected to add more than $1 trillion to the deficit over a decade.
“This is about what kind of society we want to have,” Stewart told Baier on Wednesday. “At some point we have to stand up for the people who have always stood up for us, and who at this moment in time maybe cannot stand up for themselves due to their illnesses and their injuries. What Rand Paul did today in the Senate is outrageous.”