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Watch Jon Stewart challenge Mitch McConnell to pass stalled 9/11 bill on Colbert’s show

If the Senate majority leader was annoyed with the former ‘Daily Show’ host’s activism around a 9/11 bill before, he’s probably not going to love this.

Watch Jon Stewart challenge Mitch McConnell to pass stalled 9/11 bill on Colbert’s show
Jon Stewart on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. [Photo: Scott Kowalchyk/CBS]

Mitch McConnell said on Fox News earlier this week that he didn’t know what Jon Stewart was “all bent out of shape” about. Well, now he knows.

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The former Daily Show host went on Late Show with Stephen Colbert Tuesday night to directly respond to the Senate majority leader’s statements about Stewart’s recent activism.

Let’s rewind a little. When last we left Mitch McConnell, he was pathetically peddling Cocaine Mitch T-shirts to raise money for his re-election. You know, normal politician-style. Since then, he’s mostly laid low as the somehow-not-a-scandal around his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, prioritizing his favored projects blew over. McConnell slouched back into the public eye again this week when Stewart invoked his name during an effort to get the September Eleventh Victim Compensation Fund shored up.

“In terms of getting the 9/11 bills passed, Mitch McConnell has been the white whale of this since 2010,” Stewart said on the most recent Fox News Sunday. “This has never been dealt with compassionately by Senator McConnell. He has always held out until the last minute, and only then after intense lobbying and public shaming has he even deigned to move on it.”

While Stewart had been quite vocal before about getting a fund filled to help 9/11 responders before it expires next year, now he was calling out the Senate majority leader by name for not taking the issue more seriously. McConnell responded in his typical fashion, with gaslighting. He dismissed the seriousness of Jon Stewart’s complaints, promising to get around to funding the bill eventually.

“I don’t know why he is all bent out of shape. We will take care of the 9/11 compensation fund,” McConnell announced, as though the long-stalled bill had been about to be funded momentarily even if Stewart had not drawn attention to it. He then went on to explain that the reason why this particular bill tends to get reauthorized at the last minute is because “many things in Congress happen at the last minute.”

Just in case McConnell wasn’t merely making a rhetorical flourish out of wondering why Jon Stewart was so upset at the lack of funding, Stewart went on his old pal Stephen Colbert’s show Monday night to clarify.

“We’ve spent a year compiling bipartisan co-sponsors and advocates for this bill all in the hopes that when it finally gets to the great Mitch McConnell’s desk, you won’t jack us around like you’ve done in the past,” Stewart says during the six-minute segment. “So if you want to know why the 9/11 community is bent out of shape over these past… let’s call it 18 years, meet with them, tomorrow, as soon as possible. Don’t make them beg for it. You could pass this thing as a standalone bill tomorrow.”

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Now if only McConnell wouldn’t view acting on this suggestion as caving to the opposition…

Watch the whole clip below.

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