Jon Stewart blasted a House Judiciary subcommittee on Tuesday 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.
The former Daily Show host has long been frustrated with the constant fights on Capitol Hill to provide additional funding to the victims’ fund. Tuesday’s hearing, which was attended by only five members, prompted Stewart to say: “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. 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.”
Stewart added: “Accountability doesn’t appear to be something that occurs in this chamber.” Mentioning some of the ailing first responders who had traveled to Washington to speak at the hearing, Stewart became emotional: “I’m sorry if I sound angry and undiplomatic, but I am angry, and you should be too, and they’re all angry as well.” The 9/11 first responders in the chambers immediately stood up and gave Stewart a standing ovation when Stewart finished speaking.
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