Jon Stewart accused Sen. Rand Paul of hypocrisy and "fiscal responsibility virtue signaling" after the Republican blocked fast-track approval of a bill funding compensation for 9/11 victims Wednesday. "Rand Paul presented tissue paper avoidance of the $1.5 trillion tax cut that added hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit and now he stands up at the last minute, after 15 years of blood, sweat, and tears from the 9/11 community, to say that it's all over now and we're going to balance the budget on the backs of the 9/11 first responder community," Stewart said in a Fox News interview. He described Paul's opposition to the bill, which would ensure the fund never ran out of money, as "absolutely outrageous."
Earlier Wednesday, Paul objected to the projected $10.2 billion cost of funding the bill over the next decade, saying any new spending "should be offset by cutting spending that is less valuable," USA Today reports. In the Fox interview, Stewart was joined by John Feal, a former first responder injured on 9/11 who founded the Feal Good Foundation to help other first responders. He criticized Paul and Sen. Mike Lee, who put a procedural hold on the bill. "The people from the state of Kentucky and the people from the state of Utah deserve much better," Feal said, accusing the two senators of lacking humanity. Paul's office issued a statement saying that instead of blocking the bill, he is "simply seeking to pay for it." (Read more 9/11 health bill stories.)