Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that he was unaware that there was legislation in play to permanently renew the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and that he had dealt with the issue in a compassionate way in the past.
“Gosh, I hadn’t looked at that lately. I’ll have to. We’ve always dealt with that in the past in a compassionate way, and I assume we will again,” he told reporters.
But during the last renewal fight in 2015, McConnell was instrumental in voting down a permanent version of the fund and only agreed to a temporary, five-year renewal after facing months of pressure from comedian Jon Stewart, an activist for the fund.
“So far, he has been an enormous obstacle, unwilling to move the bill forward for purely political reasons,” Stewart said of McConnell at the time. “He’s not nice.”
Stewart slammed Congress yesterday for failing to prioritize a permanent renewal for the fund, which provides health care and aid to first responders and those around Ground Zero after the 2001 attacks.