Jon Stewart Rips ‘Indifferent’ Congress During 9/11 First Responders Hearing
In an emotional hearing Tuesday, comedian and former Daily Show host Jon Stewart and a room full of 9/11 first responders and their family once again pleaded for Congress to set up a permanent victim compensation fund. The House Judiciary Committee is set to vote on a new billWednesday that would permanently authorize funding for the program.
Stewart was nearly moved to tears, his voice often breaking, as he expressed frustration that 9/11 first responders are once again scrambling while Congress debates if it should secure funding for healthcare for them.
“They responded in five seconds, they did their jobs. With courage grace, tenacity, humility. Eighteen years later, do yours!" Stewart shouted at Congress, noting the official response time of first responders during 9/11.
Stewart also chided Congress for not giving the issue and the heroes of 9/11 the proper attention they deserve.
Stewart also took aim at Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who held up the bill in 2015 before using it in last-minute negotiations on year-end spending. On Tuesday, Stewart responded promising that those who support the bill won’t allow a “certain someone” in the Senate to use the program as a “political football” in spending negotiations.
Stewart wasn't the only person to speak to Congress on behalf of first responders, but his statements were the most fiery and drew a standing ovation.
“I'm sorry if I sound angry and undiplomatic, but I'm angry, and you should be, too, and they're all angry as well and they have every justification to be that way,” Stewart said.