Jon Stewart may have retired from The Daily Show, but he’s as passionate as ever about his most important cause. On Tuesday, Stewart appeared in front of Congress at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee to speak on the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund on behalf of first responders.
Jon Stewart: "What an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process that getting healthcare and benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to … a filled room of 9/11 first responders and in front of me, a nearly empty Congress" https://t.co/vSFOq0Kl2v pic.twitter.com/4ezCiyc3Fs
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) June 11, 2019
As funding for the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center runs out, Stewart spoke in front of Congress about the hypocrisy of members of Congress tweeting about remembering 9/11 and then failing to attend the hearing. Stewart has backed efforts to extend funding for first responders and other victims of the attacks for up to 70 years, a move that should have been uncontroversial from the first day the fund was established.
‘As I sit here today, I can’t help but think what an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process of getting health care and benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to…You should be ashamed of yourselves for those that aren’t here, but you won’t be, because accountability doesn’t appear to be something that occurs in this chamber.’
Jon Stewart is back on the hill today calling on Congress to support the Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. pic.twitter.com/Erb62IbTM0
— Sara Pearl (@skenigsberg) June 11, 2019
While sponsers of the bill to extend funding for first responders come from both sides of the aisle, those opposing the bill are, with a few exceptions, mostly Republican. The same party that endlessly tweets and speaks on 9/11 as a political talking point cannot be bothered to fund the responders today and did not show up to hear from them on Tuesday.
‘It would be one thing if their callous indifference and rank hypocrisy were benign, but it’s not. Your indifference costs these men and women their most valuable commodity: time. It’s the one thing they’re running out of.’
"Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak—to no one," Jon Stewart says in angry opening statement on 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.
"Shameful. It is an embarrassment to the country and it is a stain on this institution." https://t.co/NkJuIoyFEp https://t.co/RDxNMedJWy
— ABC News (@ABC) June 11, 2019
Stewart was as poignant and passionate as ever in his speech, but the bill will need more than one celebrity advocate to move forward. Funding to address the health issues faced by American heroes shouldn’t need a public outcry to pass. Find out if your congress members are sponsoring the bill and let them know that remembering 9/11 means supporting the first responders who risked their lives that day.
‘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. They responded in five seconds. They did their jobs. Eighteen years later, do yours!’
For the full statement, see video below:
Featured image screenshot via YouTube