Jon Stewart calls out Congress for not attending hearing for 9/11 survivors

Tears, anger at congressional hearing seeking extension of victim fund for 9/11 responders

Former "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart shamed members of a House panel Tuesday when only five lawmakers were seated in the rostrum to hear survivors of the September 11 terror attacks testify about the need to reauthorize the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

"My life isn't worth more than the next responder to get cancer". "It's shameful. It's an embarrassment to the country".

"This fund isn't a ticket to paradise, it's to provide our families with care", said Alvarez. Never forget their bravery.

The former "Daily Show" host has for years championed the cause of the survivors of the September 11 terror attacks, calling attention to the diseases contracted by first responders and others who breathed in the smoke from the Twin Towers. "And in front of me, a almost empty Congress". His voice shaking, he continued, "Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one. Lu doesn't want to be here, none of these people don't want to be here", Stewart told the handful of lawmakers.

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"I'm sorry if I sound angry and undiplomatic". He blasted Congress for their "callous indifference", "rank hypocrisy", and excuses for not providing permanent support for the fund. He's since become one of the most vocal advocates for 9/11 responders, repeatedly defending the right to health care coverage for those who responded and ran toward the falling towers. "Your indifference cost these men and women their most valuable commodity: time".

In February, the fund's administrator, Rupa Bhattacharyya, announced there was "insufficient funding" to "pay all current and projected claims at the same levels as under current policies and procedures" and said future claims would only be paid a fraction of their prior value. But a portion of the law - the Victim Compensation Fund - was only funded for five years, through the end of 2020. The bill was introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., in October 2018, but has since languished in the House.

We don't hear much anymore from Jon Stewart, the former Daily Show host whose regular "eviscerations" of deserving targets were once the subject of so many blog posts. "I cried through most of this, a lot of us did".

Jon Stewart called on lawmakers to back up their words with actions on the 9/11 victims' compensation fund and help American heroes who are still suffering today. "If it's any comfort to you all, we know this bill is going to pass with an overwhelming landslide majority of the House, maybe unanimous". It's not because of disrespect or lack of attention to you.

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