Jon Stewart recently addressed Congress in a passionate and emotional speech about the healthcare of 9/11 first responders on June 11th, 2019. As the former host of the Daily Show, dozens of other firefighters and law enforcement joined him in pleading to Congress for better care of its first responders.
Congress has shown its negligence for the first responders during the 9/11 terror attacks by allowing their healthcare fund to run short of money. Stewart called the situation “shameful” as he addressed a nearly empty Congress in front of him.
Jon Stewart’s emotional plea for proper 9/11 first responders healthcare
“I can’t help but think what an incredible metaphor this room is … 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,” Stewart says in his address to Congress.
Stewart has seen these funds get held up before. Now, he worries it will happen again due to Congress simply not caring enough about its first responders. While Congress did not unanimously pass the bill on the first try, four years ago $7.4 billion was allowed and promised through 2020. However, after so many claims from first responders becoming sick, the money has nearly run out and payouts began getting slashed in half.
Lawmakers were apparently unaware of the decreasing payouts. Stewart’s plea was for Congress to redirect their attention to this issue by taking advance of the bill that can ensure the healthcare fund can properly pay the benefits for those 9/11 first responders without an issue.
This is one issue that has earned much bipartisan support. Even fiscal conservatives are now on-board with ensuring 9/11 first responders are taken care of. They once questioned the price of it in the past.
“They responded in five seconds. They did their jobs with courage, grace, tenacity, humility! Eighteen years later, do yours!” Stewart says to the nearly-empty room of Congress members. “I’m sorry if I sound angry and undiplomatic. But I’m angry, and you should be, too, and they’re [first responders] all angry as well and they have every justification to be that way.”
Watch Jon Stewart’s full clip from the emotional address to Congress below. Do you agree with him?