Jon Stewart Blasts Congress On Behalf Of 9/11 First Responders

June 12, 2019

Jon Stewart addresses Congress on behalf of 9/11 first responders. Photo: © Jack Gruber, USA TODAY

Comedian Jon Stewart lashed out at Congress yesterday (June 11th) in testimony before a House Judiciary subcomittee, angry over the failure to ensure that a compensation fund set up to pay for medical care for 9/11 first responders who have become sick never runs out of money. Stewart, who's been a longtime advocate for the 9/11 first responders, was speaking at a hearing on a bill to ensure the fund can pay benefits for the next 70 years. He criticized lawmakers for only a few of them being in the hearing room, calling it "an embarrassment to the country and a stain on this institution." Speaking about the fact that the first responders and their families still don't have assurance that the fund won't run out of money, Stewart was emotional as he said, "Your indifference is costing these men and women their most valuable commodity: time. It's one thing they're running out of." Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers said they support the bill and were monitoring the hearing amid other congressional business. Republican Rep. Mike Johnson said they meant no disrespect as they moved in and out of the hearing, which is common practice.