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Jon Stewart Shames Congress Over 9/11 First Responders

Stewart tore into the members of the Judiciary Committee who were absent from the hearing on funding the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.

The man who gave us years of laughter had to fight back tears today on Capitol Hill as he absolutely excoriated members of Congress for their shameful neglect of 9/11 first responders. Every year, Jon Stewart trudges up to Capitol Hill with, and on behalf of the men and women who responded to the tragedy of 9/11 within seconds and minutes, and paid for it with their lives. Some who survived are still paying for it, and Stewart fights to see that they get the health care and compensation they need and deserve. The Victims Compensation Fund is running out of money, and is facing cuts of 50-70% if Congress doesn't come up with more money to fund it.

At today's Judiciary Committee hearing, however, he faced two rows of chairs, one of which was entirely empty of lawmakers, and the other row was only partially filled. Stewart had this to say about it.

STEWART: As I sit here today, I can't help but think 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. Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders. And in front of me, a nearly empty Congress. Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak and no one — it's shameful. It's an embarrassment to the country and it's a stain on this institution. You should be ashamed of yourselves for those that aren't here, but you won't be, because accountability doesn't appear to be something that occurs in this chamber.

This is something that should be funded FULLY, and FOREVER. Kudos to Jon Stewart, and shame, indeed, on Congress.

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