House Panel Unanimously Passed New 9/11 Fund After Jon Stewart Testimony

The former comedian gave an impassioned speech.

A day after Jon Stewart gave an impassioned speech on behalf of the 9/11 first responders, the House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

Stewart has long been advocating Congress to make the health care fund for 9/11 first responders permanent. Many of those first responders became sick from inhaling toxins at Ground Zero, developing deadly diseases like cancer.


The new bill will keep their health care funded through October of 2090. Before this, the first responders would have to re-apply for financial claims every five years. When Stewart arrived on Capitol Hill, flanked by representatives of the NYDP and FDNY, only five members of the 14-person committee responsible for passing the funding showed up for his testimony. 

"Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one," Stewart said. "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."

His comments were cheered by both Republicans and Democrats online, who feel the first responders have been mistreated in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Now, it appears that energy created some momentum. A Senate version of the bill also has bipartisan support.

"We don't want to be here. Lu doesn't want to be here, none of these people don't want to be here," Stewart told the handful of lawmakers who showed up. "And they're not here for themselves. They are here to continue fighting for what's right."


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