Jon Stewart shot back at Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Monday evening during a surprise appearance on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” by mocking his “species” and the majority leader’s efforts to slow roll health care legislation for survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attack.
The former “Daily Show” host and 9/11 community advocate criticized McConnell for using the 9/11 first responders as political pawns, after McConnell brushed Stewart off earlier Monday for being “bent out of shape” over congressional failure to support the victims.
“Listen senator, I know that your species isn’t known for moving quickly,” Stewart began.
“Would that be a turtle reference, Jon?” Colbert said.
“You love the 9/11 community when they serve your political purposes,” Stewart continued. “But when they’re in urgent need, you slow-walk, you dither, you used it as a political pawn to get other things you want, and you don’t get the job done completely, and your answer to that charge is, ‘Yeah, duh, we’re Congress. That’s how we do.’”
In an impassioned plea, Stewart grew sincere, begging the senator to actually meet with survivors and pass the legislation as a clean funding bill, rather than looping it into other bills that would prove politically advantageous.
“You won’t jack us around like you’ve done in the past. 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 and don’t make them beg for it,” he said. “You could pass this thing as a standalone bill tomorrow. Meet with them, I beg of you. Meet with them tomorrow.”
Stewart then made some more jabs at McConnell, who defended members of Congress on Monday by saying they were sometimes too busy to attend hearings. The abysmal attendance at a House hearing on the funding issue was the catalyst for Stewart’s initial now-viral, fervent plea for legislative help for survivors.
“If you’re busy, I get it. Just understand, the next time we have a war or you’re being robbed or your house is on fire and you make that desperate call for help, don’t get ‘bent out of shape’ if they show up at the last minute with fewer people than you thought were gonna pay attention and don’t actually put it out,” he said. “Just sort of leave it there smoldering for another five years, ’cause that’s how shit’s done around here, mister. I’m sure they’ll put it out for good when they feel like getting around to it. No offense.”