Jon Stewart Applauded After Ripping Treatment Of 9/11 Survivors

Entertainer and activist Jon Stewart

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

Stewart and a number of first responders traveled to Capitol Hill to testify before a House Judiciary subcommittee in an attempt to persuade lawmakers to allocate money toward the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.

"Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one", he said, tearing up. "And it is an embarrassment to us and our country", Stewart said. "Accountability appears to not be something that occurs in this chamber". "And in front of me, a almost empty Congress".

Jon Stewart testifies during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the reauthorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. More than $5 billion United States in benefits have been awarded out of the $7.4 billion U.S. fund, with about 21,000 claims pending.

"The plain fact is that we are expending the available funds more quickly than assumed, and there are many more claims than anticipated", said Rupa Bhattacharyya, the fund's special master.

More than 40,000 people have applied to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which covers illnesses potentially related to being at the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon or Shanksville, Penn., after the attacks.

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.

"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. They did their jobs.

"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". "Eighteen years later, do yours!" he shouted.

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.

"You should be ashamed of yourselves, for those that aren't here", he said.

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

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