A photo captured the awkward moment Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell passed a smiling Jon Stewart inside the U.S. Capitol before the vote to extend the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Tuesday.
The viral picture was caught by Roll Call photographer Bill Clark, who was waiting for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin outside of the Senate Republicans’ policy lunch.
Clark said he was talking to Stewart when McConnell left the Senate floor for his office.
“I was hoping McConnell would stop to interact with Stewart, but he just walked by as Stewart stood there smiling,” Clark said.
Stewart later thanked McConnell for getting the bill to the floor, Clark added.
Last month, in powerful testimony on the Hill, Stewart chastised Congress over not giving first responders adequate funding, saying " they did their jobs, do yours!”
McConnell later said Stewart was “bent out of shape," adding, "We've never failed to address this issue and we will address it again." In response, Stewart urged McConnell to meet right away with 9/11 survivors and to not “make them beg."
The Senate passed the bill Tuesday, which guarantees continued funding for 9/11 first responders, by 97-2.