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Former "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Jon Stewart told Fox News Wednesday it's "outrageous" that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) backed President Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cuts adding "hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit" but he voted against 9/11 first responders' funding.

Details: Paul cited national debt concerns when he voted along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) against a Senate bill that would extend the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, which is running out of money. Stewart said making first responders "beg for something that this country should have done 14 years ago" was "an abomination." 

The other side: Paul's office told Fox News he's "not blocking anything." "He's simply seeking to pay for it," the statement reads, according to host Bret Baier. "As with any bill, Senator Paul always believes it needs to be paid for. Senator Paul is simply offering an amendment, which other senators support, to pay for this legislation."

  • Lee has "placed a hold on the legislation," a spokesperson told the Washington Post. The senator "fully expects the 9/11 compensation bill to pass before the August recess and he is seeking a vote to ensure the fund has the proper oversight in place to prevent fraud and abuse," the spokesperson said.

The big picture: Stewart told Fox News in June first responders were "at the end of their rope" with Congress and that the issue has "never been dealt with compassionately" by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). McConnell pledged to address the issue.

Go deeper: Jon Stewart blasts Congress for "empty" 9/11 victims hearing

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump tells confidants he plans to pardon Michael Flynn

Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

President Trump has told confidants he plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts, two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: Sources with direct knowledge of the discussions said Flynn will be part of a series of pardons that Trump issues between now and when he leaves office.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
4 hours ago - World

Remote work shakes up geopolitics

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The global adoption of remote work may leave the rising powers in the East behind.

The big picture: Despite India's and China's economic might, these countries have far fewer remote jobs than the U.S. or Europe. That's affecting the emerging economies' resilience amid the pandemic.

Trump gives Biden access to presidential intelligence briefings

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The Trump White House on Tuesday gave President-elect Biden access to daily presidential intelligence briefings, a source familiar with the matter tells Axios.

Why it matters: Trump has refused to share the briefs until now, as he continues to challenge the result of the election and declines to concede. The president's acquiescence comes as another sign that the transition to a Biden administration is taking place.