Jon Stewart Yelled at Members of Congress for Ignoring 9/11 First Responders

Cheryl Sanders
June 12, 2019

Pointing to rows of empty seats at a House Judiciary Committee hearing room, an angry Stewart said "sick and dying" first responders and their families came to Washington for the hearing, only to face a almost deserted dais.

Stewart angrily called out lawmakers for failing to attend Tuesday's hearing on a bill that would ensure the fund can pay benefits for the next 70 years.

An outspoken advocate for 9/11 first responders, Stewart said the "callous indifference and rank hypocrisy" of Congress members who once tweeted "Never Forget 9/11" is robbing the responders of their "most valuable commodity: Time, the one thing they're running out of".

Stewart has been a longtime advocate for September 11 victims and first responders, frequently appearing on Capitol Hill to push lawmakers to increase funding to aid those who suffered illnesses following the attacks. "They attacked America and these men and women. brought our country back", he said. "But you won't be, because accountability doesn't appear to be something that occurs in this chamber".

"They did their jobs with courage, grace, tenacity, humility", Stewart said at the end of his speech, his voice breaking.

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. Never forget their bravery.

"Eighteen years later, do yours!"

"You made me come because I will not stand by and watch as my friends with cancer from 9/11, like me, are valued less than anyone else".

In his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Stewart appealed for a new extension of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund since it's now on track to expire in 2020.

"Why is this so damn hard and takes so damn long?" he asked Johnson and the other lawmakers.

"Al-Qaida didn't shout 'death to Tribeca, '" he said.

"They responded in five seconds".

The Louisiana Republican then predicted the bill would sail through the committee and pass nearly-unanimously through the House.

Luis Alvarez, a former New York Police Department detective, was one of several seriously ill Ground Zero workers who gave searing testimony about their longtime battles with illnesses, loved ones who have died and frustration with having to beg Congress to help.

"Less than 24 hours from now, I will be serving my 69th round of chemotherapy", Alvarez said.

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