NY Post 6/17/19: Jon Stewart Dares McConnell to Meet With First Responders

Stewart dares McConnell to meet 9/11 first responders

Jon Stewart fired back at Sen. Mitch McConnell Monday, explaining why he’s so “bent out of shape” over securing health care for 9/11 responders — and challenging the Senate majority leader to meet with the ailing heroes on Tuesday.

The former host of “The Daily Show” was responding to McConnell’s interview on “Fox & Friends,” where the Kentucky Republican promised to “take care” of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund after digs from Stewart.

“We have never failed to address this issue. And we will address it again,” McConnell said Monday. “I don’t know why he’s all bent out of shape. We will take care of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.”

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Daily News 6/17/19: Stewart Admits He is “Bent out of Shape” About the 9/11 VCF Bill

Jon Stewart admits he’s ‘bent out of shape’ about 9/11 victims bill, says Senate leader McConnell needs to act on measure

Jon Stewart admits he’s ‘bent out of shape’ about 9/11 victims bill, says Senate leader McConnell needs to act on measure
Entertainer and activist Jon Stewart lends his support to firefighters, first responders and survivors of the September 11 terror attacks at a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee as it considers permanent authorization of the Victim Compensation Fund, on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, June 11. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Comedian Jon Stewart took umbrage Monday at Sen. Mitch McConnell’s complaint that he’s “bent out of shape” over Congressional inaction on a plan to establish a permanent compensation program for ailing 9/11 victims and first responders.

“I am bent out of shape for them,” Stewart said during an appearance on CBS’s Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

“These were the first heroes and veterans and victims of the great trillions-of-dollars war on terror, and they are currently suffering and dying in a terrible way,” Stewart said. “You would think that would be enough to get Congress’s attention, but apparently it’s not.”

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NY Post 6/16/19: Jon Stewart Tears Into Mitch McConnell over 9/11 Bill

Jon Stewart rips McConnell over no compassion for 9/11 responders

Fresh off his blistering testimony in front of a House panel, the former “The Daily Show” TV host was asked on “Fox News Sunday” about getting an expansion of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund passed through the Senate.

“Have you had problems with Sen. McConnell?” host Chris Wallace asked.

“Yes,” Stewart replied. “I mean, not me personally, but in terms of getting the 9/11 bills passed, Mitch McConnell has been the white whale of this since 2010.”

The comments came after Stewart shamed members of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday for not showing up to a hearing on reauthorizing the fund, which helps first-responders dealing with 9/11-related health issues.

At a news conference that day, McConnell said:”We’ve always dealt with that in the past in a compassionate way, and I assume we will again.”

But Stewart begged to differ.

“This has never been dealt with compassionately by Sen. McConnell,” Stewart said Sunday.

“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.”

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Newsweek 6/14/19: The 9/11 VCF Should be Made Permanent

The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Must Be Made Permanent—It’s the Least We Can Do | Opinion

On May 14, Candidus Henry died from glioblastoma, a rare brain cancer. His death added to the growing number of Americans killed by the September 11 attacks. He worked construction, and after the attacks he was assigned to Ground Zero, where he washed dust and cleaned debris off trucks as they left the pile of toxic rubble that once was the Twin Towers.

On Tuesday, June 11, his widow, Anesta Maria St. Rose Henry, testified in front of the House Committee on the Judiciary, sitting in front of two of their children, whom she is now raising alone. She told Congress about Candidus and the hole he left behind—a hole only made larger by the fact that, because her husband died last month instead of two years ago, she and her family will not receive a full award from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

The VCF, created to provide financial support for 9/11 first responders, survivors and their families, is expiring next year, and, making matters worse, running out of money. The special master of the fund announced in February that because of a budget shortfall, they were forced to start cutting awards to these heroes by 50 to 70 percent to extend the fund’s life. The Henrys are one of the families devastated by this reduction.

And there are far too many stories like the Henrys’—of pain, suffering and illness.

NY Post 6/13/19: Now It is the Senate’s Duty to Move Fast on 9/11 Bill

Now it’s the Senate’s duty to move fast for hurting 9/11 heroes

Tuesday’s dramatic (and embarrassing, to the no-show members) testimony plainly did the trick: The House Judiciary Committee this week unanimously passed the bill to extend the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund through 2090. It’s time for the Senate to get moving.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) will clearly pass the full House once it gets its official Congressional Budget Office fiscal-impact “score.” So any senators with doubts or questions should raise them now, so a fix can make it into law immediately.

The need is urgent: Because the fund is short of cash, it has had to slash by up to 70% of its payouts to cover the medical bills of workers exposed to toxins in post-9/11 rescue and cleanup operations.

Which is why cancer- and chemo-ravaged Detective Luis Alvarez felt compelled to head to DC to demand action.

The Senate may not want to sign on to renewing the fund for 70 years before looking at why it’s fallen so short of cash now. But it needs to authorize enough money right away to let full payouts resume.

And it needs to get on board with fast passage of a long-term fix so that the cash crunch doesn’t return — and so that no hurting hero like Alvarez ever again has to interrupt treatment to travel to Washington to demand simple justice.

Ending this disgrace needs to be a top priority for the Senate — starting with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Vulture 6/11/19: Jon Stewart Yells at Congress for Ignoring 9/11 Responders

Jon Stewart Yelled at Members of Congress for Ignoring 9/11 First Responders

Jon Stewart in the Capitol on Tuesday, June 11. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

We don’t hear much anymore from Jon Stewart, the former Daily Show host whose regular “eviscerations” of deserving targets were once the subject of so many blog posts. But on Tuesday, he emerged for a moment from his comfortable retirement to lash out at Congress from inside the Capitol.

The occasion? The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund is running out of money “and has had to slash payouts to ailing responders and survivors by more than half,” according to the Daily News. The fund, which was last reauthorized in 2015, set aside $7 billion to help cover the costs associated with post-9/11 illnesses. They’re costs that retired NYPD Bomb Squad Detective Louis Alvarez knows well. On Wednesday, he is set to undergo his 69th round of chemotherapy for 9/11-linked cancer. On Tuesday, he told the committee, “It is my goal and my legacy to see that you do the right thing for all 9/11 responders.”

Stewart, who has long used his platform to advocate on behalf of 9/11 first responders, spoke after Alvarez and began by criticizing the committee members who were not seated before him. According to CBS News, a “little over half of the 14-member subcommittee members were present, mostly Democrats.”

“I can’t help but think what an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process that getting health care and benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to,” he said. “Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders. And in front of me, a nearly empty Congress. Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one. Shameful. It’s an embarrassment to the country and it’s a stain on this institution.”

NY Magazine 6/12/19: The Long Fight to Secure 9/11 First Responder Funding

9/11

A History of the Long Fight to Secure Funding for 9/11 First Responders

First responder Luis Alvarez pictured with Jon Stewart on Tuesday. Alvarez will soon begin his 69th round of chemotherapy for cancer related to his exposure at Ground Zero. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

On Tuesday, former Daily Show host and frequent advocate for 9/11 first responders Jon Stewart appeared before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, encouraging representatives to vote on Wednesday to re-up the funding of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. But Stewart, who appeared alongside World Trade Center emergency workers, became frustrated when only a little over half of the subcommittee members showed up.

“I can’t help but think what an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process that getting health care and benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to,” he said. “Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders. And in front of me, a nearly empty Congress. Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one.”

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