Sen. Mitch McConnell has plans to meet with 9/11 first responders on Tuesday in wake of the recent public tussle with Jon Stewart that culminated last Monday on Fox News when the Kentucky senator asked why Stewart was “bent out of shape.”
The of the FeelGood Foundation confirmed the meeting with The New York Post. John Feal said McConnell will meet with a few team leaders and said they “come in peace” but said he’s prepared for anything.
Stewart appeared on Capitol Hill and blasted Congress for its inaction on a permanent fix for the 9/11 victims fund, which is set to expire next year.
Stewart accused McConnell of slow-walking the legislation and using it as a political pawn to get other things done.
"If you're busy I get it," Stewart said. "Just understand that the next time we have 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 would pay attention and don't actually put it out. Just leave it there smoldering for another five years."
More than 40,000 people have applied to the fund, which covers illnesses potentially related to rescue work at the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon or Shanksville, Pennsylvania. More than $5 billion in benefits have been awarded out of the $7.4 billion fund, with about 21,000 claims pending.
Asked again about it on Tuesday, McConnell said, "I don't know how many times I can say, we've never left the 9/11 victims behind and we won't again."
Fox News' Edmund DeMarche and the Associated Press contributed to this report