ABC News

Jon Stewart Calls Congress ‘An Embarrassment’ After 'Empty' 9/11 Victim's Hearing

sydney.brooman 11 Jun 2019

TV personality Jon Stewart blasted Congress today for their extremely low attendance at the House Judiciary Committee meeting where he was speaking in favor of reauthorizing the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

Stewart attended as "as an advocate for 9/11 respondents and survivors."

ABC News

When he arrived however, he was surprised a congress made up mostly of empty seats.

Stewart's tone shifted, and he immediately voiced his disappointment.

"Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first respondents and in front of me, a nearly empty Congress."

Load Comments

"What an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process that getting health care and benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to."

ABC News

Stewart explained that the first responders had brought themselves down here "sick and dying" to speak to no one.

"Shameful," he remarked, "you should be ashamed of yourselves for those that aren't here, but you won't be."

Load Comments

"They did their jobs..."

"18 years later, do yours!" Stewart implored.

His sentiment was shared by many people, with some declaring that this is what the American spirit looks and sounds like.

Load Comments

"It's an embarrassment to the country, and it is a stain on this institution."

ABC News

"Accountability doesn't appear to be something that occurs in this chamber," he continued.

The House Judiciary Committee meeting was intended to be used to talk about the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.

Load Comments

The fund is in danger.

Unsplash | Joakim Honkasalo

The fund has almost completely run out and will need to be reconfigured if the government chooses to continue to help those who aided victims in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Load Comments

If Congress does not take action, no claims will be paid out starting next year.

Unsplash | Kyle Glenn

The New York Daily News estimates that 93,028 first respondents or survivors were still being treated or monitored in the World Trade Center Health Program at the end of 2018, with an additional 800 new people signing up every month.

Load Comments

There has been tons of support for Stewart's passion.

Captain America himself, Chris Evans, tweeted in support of Jon Stewart, saying how much he missed having him as a voice of reason on television.

Load Comments

Comedian Ricky Gervais also chimed in.

In a similarly religious fashion, singer and actress Bette Midler tweeted, "Thank God for Jon Stewart. Now let's see how the craven respond."

Load Comments

Stewart was not the only person to get a standing ovation.

ABC News

As MSNBC reports, a 9/11 first responder Luis Alvarez got a standing ovation too. The hearing took place the day before his 69th chemotherapy treatment.

Load Comments

CNN spoke to Stewart after the hearing.

Stewart said the 9/11 responders are the most honored and venerated among us, and that refusal to take care of them is a bad omen for those of us who will need to be taken care of eventually as well.

Load Comments

The low turn out at the hearing is incredibly disappointing for some.

Public figures such as Stewart are fighting for the program's renewal, though it is looking to be an uphill battle.

h/t: Axios

Load Comments
Next Article