Published: Wed, June 12, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Jon Stewart Rips Lawmakers for Not Attending 9/11 Victims Fund Hearing

Jon Stewart Rips Lawmakers for Not Attending 9/11 Victims Fund Hearing

Comedian Jon Stewart slammed Congress on Tuesday for largely failing to show up to a testimony for 9/11 first responders, telling lawmakers that their behavior is "shameful" and embarrassing for the country.

"Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders, and in front of me, a almost empty Congress", he said, pointing to a row of empty chairs.

The retired Daily Show host delivered the roasting on Tuesday in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, which met to discuss a bill that would reauthorize compensation for 9/11 victims and first responders.

Stewart testified before the House judiciary committee on Tuesday alongside first responders and victims, but only a handful of lawmakers appeared at the hearing, prompting a visibly angry Stewart to condemn their treatment of survivors.

Alvarez said he had survived 68 rounds of chemotherapy to fight 9/11-related cancer and would start his next round Wednesday.

"There is not an empty chair on that stage", Stewart said, "that didn't tweet out 'Never forget the heroes of 9/11".

"I think the efforts of Jon Stewart, the responders, and survivors who have been working the halls are all coming to fruition", Ben Chevat, the head of 9/11 advocacy group Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act, told the Daily News.

Dr. Jacqueline Moline, Chair of Occupational Medicine, Epidemiology and Prevention at Hofstra's School of Medicine testified before the panel that now, over 11,000 types of cancer have been reported since the attacks on 9/11, ranging from Glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, to debilitating lung cancers.

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Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) sought to assure Stewart that while there were not many lawmakers at the hearing, the message of the first responders' would be heard far beyond the committee room. It's the one thing they're running out of ...

The fund, originally approved for five years in 2010, provides medical treatment for emergency responders sickened by toxic dust inhaled at the World Trade Center site in NY in the days following the attack. He was joined by other advocates and politicians seeking the passage of a bill to provide more coverage.

"Shameful. It's an embarrassment to the country and it is a stain on this institution".

Stewart went all-in on attacking the egregious hypocrisy on display in this hearing. "They attacked America and these men and women. brought our country back", he said.

She said the fund only has a little over $2 billion left with more than 21,000 claims and amendments still needing a decision.

Jimmy Kimmel, a popular comedian and host of ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!", praised Stewart on Twitter, writing: "thank you Jon Stewart, for making sure "never forget" isn't just a nice-sounding slogan".

When asked about Stewart's comments, Swalwell said, "I appreciate his vigor and passion on the issue". "That's not true. And we will respond, and we will see that it's funded".

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