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Angry Jon Stewart pushes lawmakers to extend 9/11 victims fund

Angry Jon Stewart pushes lawmakers to extend 9/11 victims fund”

Shortly before the hearing, Stewart was given the turnout coat of FDNY officer Ray Pfeifer, who died from a 9/11-related cancer two years ago.

The subcommittee has 14 members.

Stewart did not hold back, ripping Congress for failing to fully fund a program to support sick and dying 9/11 first responders and choking back tears. But a portion of the law - the Victim Compensation Fund - was only funded for five years, through the end of 2020.

Dr. Jacqueline Moline, Chair of Occupational Medicine, Epidemiology and Prevention at Hofstra's School of Medicine testified before the panel that now, over 11,000 types of cancer have been reported since the attacks on 9/11, ranging from Glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, to debilitating lung cancers.

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

Stewart has always been a champion for the cause, first devoting an entire episode of "The Daily Show" to the political debate over the Zadroga Act back in 2010.

Drawing attention once more to the lack of urgency among lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Stewart said: "It would be one thing if their callous indifference and rank hypocrisy were benign, but it's not". "Shameful. It's an embarrassment to the country and a stain on this institution and you should be ashamed of yourselves, for those who aren't here, but you won't be because accountability doesn't appear to be something that occurs in this chamber".

He spoke before the House Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, one day before the House was scheduled to vote on the Never Forget the Heroes Act. He also lambasted Congress for those that consider the measure a "New York" issue. Your indifference costs these men and women their most valuable commodity: time. "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".

Unfortunately, Stewart's testimony fell on deaf ears, largely due to the fact that many Congress members didn't even bother to show up for it.

Jon Stewart steadies former NYPD Bomb Squad Detective Louis Alvarez.

After a almost five-minute-long tirade against congresssional inaction on the issue, the audience in the hearing room gave the comedian a standing ovation. Frail and struggling at times to speak, Alvarez said he came to Capitol Hill on behalf of those who will get ill later and may get little or no aid from the fund. "Never forget their bravery, never forget what they did, what they gave to this country".

"I'm sorry if I sound angry and undiplomatic, but I am angry and you should be too", added Stewart, who received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his statement.



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