The 9/11 victims compensation fund was finally about to get reauthorized in the Senate on Wednesday, when Republican Senator Rand Paul decided to single handedly block the easiest path to passing the measure. Paul claimed that he was doing it out of fiscal responsibility, which went over like a lead balloon. Jon Stewart, who spearheaded the reauthorization of the 9/11 fund, promptly ripped Paul a new one.
Everyone knows why the Republicans in Congress have been hesitant to provide funding for 9/11 victims: it puts money in the hands of working class people who deserve it, which means less money available for tax cuts for the wealthy. But after Jon Stewart showed up in Congress earlier this year and passionately pleaded for its passage, the measure seemed like a done deal.
After Rand Paul blocked the vote on Wednesday, Jon Stewart decided to take his case straight to the most Republican audience possible, appearing on Fox News. During the appearance, Stewart ripped Paul to pieces: “It’s absolutely outrageous, and you’ll pardon me if I’m not impressed in any way by Rand Paul’s fiscal responsibility virtue signaling.” He went on to rip Paul and his Republican Party for having passed a massive tax cut for the wealthy, which added a trillion and a half dollars to the deficit and resulted in no tangible economic gain.
By Wednesday night, everyone was piling on. First #GOPtaxscam was trending on Twitter, as everyone reminded Rand Paul that he had no problem running up the deficit in order to pay off his wealthy puppet masters. Then #RandPaulForgot began trending, as everyone pointed out Paul’s shortcomings in general. Rand Paul claimed that he was “Not blocking the 9/11 bill – simply asking for a vote on an amendment to offset the cost.” No one was buying his explanation.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report