Former Daily Show Host John Stewart is angry that Congress is doing next to nothing, to help the first responder that have taken ill after breathing in the aftermath of 9/11. He was even angrier, that there were numerous empty seats during the hearing, since some apparently felt that it was not worth their time.
“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,” Stewart started.
“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, to no one. Shameful. It’s an embarrassment to the country and it is a stain on this institution. And 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.”
“We don’t want to be here… none of these people want to be here,… they are here to continue fighting for what’s right.”
Stewart later commented on it during an interview with Shepard Smith.
“That drove me nuts,” the comedian said after being asked by Smith about the empty seats he saw on the Hill. “They kept saying it’s a ‘sub-subcommittee.’ There’s still people on the sub-subcommittee that aren’t here.
“Either 9/11 was a priority or it wasn’t. But, your deeds have to at some point match your tweets and your words. Today it didn’t.
“No amount of money is going to end the suffering and the grieving that these men and women have to endure. But they can stop making it worse. They can stop adding uncertainty and stress and financial hardship to the lives of these folks.”
In his interview with Smith, the former “Daily Show” host said Congress can “stop making it worse” by removing future uncertainty and properly funding the victims’ compensation fund.
“I would say it’s the so-called fiscal hawks,” Stewart responded when asked who he believed is holding up proper funding.
“It’s irresponsible, it’s disingenuous.”
Watch The Video Below.
That’s a fantastic speech. We need to take care of our first responders. These are Americans that are suffering because they risked their lives to help others. Stewart is right, this should not be up for debate, this should be an easy decision. As it stands we do not pay our first responders nearly enough, and now in their time of need, Congress is turning their backs on them? He’s right that is unacceptable.