Its been a while since weve seen Jon Stewart like this. On Tuesday, the comedian and former Daily Show host delivered a fiery, occasionally tear-filled testimony before Congress on behalf of the 9/11 first responders who still have not received proper health care benefits from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund—proving that even after years away from the late-night spotlight, he has the power to command the news cycle all on his own. Accompanied by several first responders, Stewart began his remarks by criticizing Congress for the number of empty chairs in the hearing.

“As I sit here today, I cant 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,” he said. “Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders. And in front of me, a nearly empty Congress.”

He noted that several of the first responders are ill themselves—but made the journey to Washington anyway in order to fight for the fund. “Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one,” Stewart said. “Shameful. Its an embarrassment to the country, and it is a stain on this institution.”

Stewart has been an advocate on behalf of 9/11 responders for years. The emotional Daily Show monologue he delivered on September 20, 2001—his first show after the terror attacks—was a standout moment of his tenure on the late-night show; he has also shown his support for first responders in numerous ways since then, hosting a rally on Capitol Hill in order to bring attention to the lack of health care treatment, as well as returning to the Daily Show, now hosted by Trevor Noah, in order to put pressure on Congress—specifically calling out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and then-House speaker Paul Ryan.

Tuesdays hearing revolved around the Never Forget the Heroes Act, a bill Read More – Source

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Vanity Fair

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