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.