Comedian Jon Stewart ripped into Congress on Tuesday during a House Judiciary Committee hearing for failing to properly fund the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund.
The VCF announced on February 15 that it was running out of money, which would lead to “significant reductions in awards” to the victims of 9/11, including the first responders who still suffer illnesses from breathing in the fumes of the destroyed World Trade Center in 2001.
Stewart, along with a group of first responders who assisted in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, appeared on Capitol Hill to push the committee to reauthorize the VCF. During his scorching testimony, Stewart blasted the committee and Congress at large for their “callous indifference and rank hypocrisy.”
First he criticized the “nearly empty” side of the room where lawmakers sat.
“Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one,” Stewart said. “Shameful.”
“Your indifference cost these men and women their most valuable commodity: time,” he said later on. “It’s the one thing they’re running out of.
“They did their jobs with courage, grace, tenacity, humility,” Stewart said at the end of his speech, his voice breaking. “Eighteen years later, do yours!”
Everybody standing behind him stood up and applauded.
Watch Stewart’s testimony below:
Jon Stewart testifies for September 11 Victim Compensation Fund: "Accountability doesn’t appear to be something that occurs in this chamber…I'm sorry if I sound angry and undiplomatic, but I am angry, and you should be too." pic.twitter.com/njxJzSmzSJ
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 11, 2019
- Contributions allow us to hire more journalists
- Contributions allow us to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford them
- Contributions support independent, non-corporate journalism