Jon Stewart Rips Congress During House Hearing on 9/11 Victims Fund ,
Jon Stewart gave Congress an earful on Tuesday, blasting a House Judiciary subcommittee for its seeming indifference towards the plight of 9/11 first responders as he testified on their behalf for the extension of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund.
“I can’t help but think what an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process that getting health care and benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to,” Stewart bemoaned.
“Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders and in front of me, a nearly empty Congress”
“Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak—to no one. Shameful. It is an embarrassment to the country and it is a stain on this institution.”
“Your indifference cost these men and women their most valuable commodity: Time,” Stewart exclaimed. “It’s the one thing they’re running out of.”
Assailing the dealmaking in Congress that will cause funding bills to be tied to other pet projects and spending requests, Stewart applauded the first responders who have kept fighting to make sure the victims’ fund won’t run out.
“Thank god for all of these people who will not let it happen,” he emphasized. “They responded in five seconds. They did their jobs with courage, grace, tenacity, humility! 18 years later—do yours!”
Finishing on that note, the 9/11 first responders in the chambers immediately stood up and gave Stewart a standing ovation.
The former Daily Show host has long been frustrated with the constant fights on Capitol Hill to provide additional funding to the victims’ fund, letting that frustration boil over during Tuesday’s hearing, which was attended by only five members.