Former Daily Show host and actor Jon Stewart stood up for first responders on Capitol Hill Tuesday, demanding that Congress reauthorize the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund that’s set to expire in 2020.
Referring to the measure that provides health care to those affected by the 9/11 terror attacks, the fund has been short on money in recent years- something that Stewart has an issue with.
“I can’t help what think what an incredible metaphor this room is… a filled room of 9/11 first responders and front on me, a nearly empty Congress,” he said. “Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one…Shameful.”
Very few members of Congress showed up for the hearing, something Stewart referred to as an “embarrassment to this country” and a “stain on this institution.”
According to CBS News, Congress passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in 2010 and reauthorized it for an additional 90 years in 2015. However, the Victim Compensation Fund was only funded through 2020.
A New Yorker himself, Stewart has long been a champion for those who responded on 9/11.
“More of these men and women are going to get sick and they’re going to die, and I’m awfully tired of hearing this is a ‘New York issue.’ Al-Qaeda didn’t shout ‘death to Tribeca.’ They attacked America,” Stewart said.
Stewart received hugs and applause after his nearly five-minute tirade.
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