Jon Stewart kept up the pressure on Congress to pass funding for 9/11 first responders in a Fox News Sunday appearance—and slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as the "white whale" of the issue. "I want to make it clear that this has never been dealt with compassionately by Sen. McConnell," the former Daily Show host said. "He has always held out until the very last minute, and only then, under intense lobbying and public shaming, has he even deigned to move on." Stewart, who is trying to secure passage of a bill that would fund the 9/11 victims' compensation fund for the next 70 years, accused the Republican of using the issue as a bargaining chip, the Hill reports. Passing the bill, he said, "should be simple but is somehow through politics made agonizingly difficult."
Stewart said other Republicans supported the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, Axios reports. "This isn't a Republican-Democrat issue," he said. "Not all Republicans oppose this, but everyone who has opposed it is a Republican." Stewart said seven 9/11 first responders have died in the last week alone and slammed the "cynicism" of Washington for bringing the community "to the end of their rope." "If you were to take all the arrogance and entitlement and elitism that people don't like about Hollywood and show business, and you concentrated it in one city, and gave those people actual power, that's Washington," he said. (Last week, Stewart blasted lawmakers for their "shameful" failure to appear at a hearing on the bill.)