Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel brought his seven-month old son on stage as he returned from a week-long hiatus following Billy's heart surgery, and made an emotional plea for politicians not to cut funds for a children's medical program.
"I don't know what could be more disgusting than putting a tax cut that mostly goes to the rich ahead of the lives of children," Kimmel said on Monday on his "Live!" show on ABC.
"This is literally a life and death program for American kids," he added.
Kimmel, who has said that he is a Christian and goes to church, became emotional on a number of occasions as he cradled his son before the studio audience in his opening monologue.
"Billy is doing great, by the way. He has one more surgery –- this is amazing -– he had an operation a week ago," the host said, adding a joke: "They say he'll probably be on track to win at least a bronze medal at the Olympics in 2036."
Kimmel first revealed the details behind his son's heart defect in a tearful speech on his show in May, stating that Billy had to undergo emergency open-heart surgery at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles just three days after he was born.
On Monday, Kimmel took aim at Congress for not yet approving funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which covers close to 9 million children and 370,000 pregnant women.
"Now CHIP — [it] has become a bargaining chip. It's on the back burner while they work out the new tax plans," Kimmel decried.
"Parents with children together with cancer and diabetes and heart problems are about to get a letter saying their coverage could be cut off next month," he warned.
He also claimed that though CHIP has enjoyed bipartisan support, this year "they let the money for it expire while they work on getting tax cuts for their millionaire and billionaire donors."
The tax bill and government funding bills are in the works for the next two weeks. Republican leader have said they will address the issue of CHIP funding along with the other funding bills after they try to pass the tax bill, versions of which have already passed the House and Senate.
Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch of Utah, the lead author of the Senate Republican tax plan, has explained that he fully believes in CHIP, which he helped write before it was signed by former President Bill Clinton in 1997.
"Nobody believes more in the CHIP program than I," Haich said of the $15 billion a year initiative, according to The Guardian.
"Let me tell you something: we're going to do CHIP. There's no question about it in my mind. And it's got to be done the right way. But ... the reason CHIP's having trouble is because we don't have money any more. And to just add more and more spending and more and more spending," he continued.
"I happen to think CHIP has done a terrific job for people who really needed the help. I've taken the position here for my whole Senate service: I believe in helping those who cannot help themselves but would if they could," Haich added.
"I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won't help themselves — won't lift a finger — and expect the federal government to do everything."
There has been debate between conservative and liberal Christians over the Republican tax overhaul plan, with some, such as Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, a non-partisan Christian organization to end hunger in America, declaring:
"The tax bill passed by the Senate will hurt millions of low-income and working families. The tax cuts passed in this bill, which largely benefit high-income individuals and large corporations, will almost certainly lead to deep cuts in Medicaid, SNAP [food stamps], and other programs that help people experiencing hunger and living in poverty."
Others, however, such as Erick Erickson, a prominent conservative thinker and commentator who runs The Resurgent blog, wrote:
"The Bible teaches it is an individual responsibility to help the poor."
He added: "Shame on those who'd pass off their personal obligation to the government."
Watch Jimmy Kimmel's monologue on December 11, 2017:
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