It turns out Mitch McConnell does have the ability to feel shame after all.
The Kentucky Republican is set to meet with ailing 9/11 first responders who have been fighting to reauthorize the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund — which is not only set to expire at the end of next year, but is already running out of money.
With help from comedian and activist Jon Stewart — who gave an impassioned plea to Congress to finally do right by the people who rushed to the rescue after the terrorist attacks that struck New York City nearly two decades ago — the first responders have gained the national spotlight in recent weeks for their quest to get the fund permanent authorization.
Watch Jon Stewart's speech slamming Congress for its inaction supporting 9/11 victims and first responders.
— CNN (@CNN) June 12, 2019
McConnell initially played dumb about where the fund’s reauthorization stood.
“Gosh, I hadn’t looked at that lately,” McConnell said after Stewart’s speech. “I’ll have to. We’ve always dealt with that in the past in a compassionate way, and I assume we will again.”
And after Stewart spoke out again — largely blaming McConnell for stonewalling and delaying the reauthorization effort — McConnell was dismissive of Stewart’s anger.
“I don’t know why he’s all bent out of shape,” McConnell said on Fox & Friends about why Stewart was so angry that Congress hadn’t reauthorized the fund yet.
The first responders, for their part, have been battling Congress for years, and place the blame on McConnell’s shoulders for using the victim compensation fund as a political football.
In fact, the first responders say that Democrats have been trying to help but that McConnell has stood in their way of permanently reauthorizing the fund.
John Feal, who founded the FealGood Foundation to help support first responders who fell ill after working to clean up the disaster at Ground Zero, told the New York Post that he and other first responders who are meeting with McConnell are prepared to speak their mind.
“Listen, we come in peace,” Feal told the Post. “But we also — we’re prepared for anything, whether it’s a street fight or Mitch McConnell saying yes.”
We’ll find out soon what tactics the first responders had to take in their meeting.
Published with permission of The American Independent.
IMAGE: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks about the election of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election in Washington, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts