Published: Tue, June 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

An angry Jon Stewart demands Congress compensate 9/11 responders

An angry Jon Stewart demands Congress compensate 9/11 responders

Stewart also took aim at those who dismiss 9/11 funding as a "New York issue".

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

The sparse attendance by lawmakers was "an embarrassment to the country and a stain on the institution" of Congress, Stewart said during the hearing, adding the "disrespect" shown to first responders now suffering from respiratory ailments and other illnesses, "is utterly unacceptable".

In front of Stewart was House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of NY, along with Democratic Reps.

Stewart spoke alongside Luis Alvarez, a retired detective and 9/11 responder from the New York Police Department who suffers from September 11-linked cancer. "They attacked America and these men and women. brought our country back", he said.

Stewart said the small number of lawmakers who appeared at the hearing shows how little respect Congress has for those who responded to the attacks. And you should be ashamed of yourselves for those that aren't here. The $7.3 billion fund has paid about $5 billion to roughly 21,000 claimants.

Several members of the NY congressional delegation, including House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, both Democrats, and GOP Rep. Peter King, have introduced the Never Forget the Heroes Act of 2019 to reauthorize the Victim Compensation Fund.

Jon Stewart has delivered a scathing rebuke of Congress and its handling of benefits for 9/11 first responders and victims, telling USA lawmakers their "shameful" inaction is "an embarrassment to the country". Al-Qaeda didn't shout death to Tribeca. "Nothing more." The fund provides money to any person who suffered physical harm or the families or those who were killed in the September 11 attacks or the subsequent debris removal efforts.

The Louisiana Republican then predicted the bill would sail through the committee and pass nearly-unanimously through the House. They're costs that retired NYPD Bomb Squad Detective Louis Alvarez knows well. "This fund is not a ticket to paradise, it's there to provide to our families when we aren't there", he said. "I should not be here with you, but you made me come".

"More of these men and woman are going to get sick and they're going to die, and I'm awfully exhausted of hearing this is a 'New York issue.' Al-Qaeda didn't shout 'death to Tribeca.' They attacked America", Stewart remarked.

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