9/11 first responders congress First responders watch Jon Stewart testify at the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties on June 11, 2019. (C-SPAN video)

WATCH: Jon Stewart Assails Congress for ‘Indifference’ on 9/11 First Responder Aid Cuts

Comedian and former Daily Show host Jon Stewart, a longtime advocate for 9/11 first responders, lashed out today at lawmakers who were missing from the dais while ailing first responders, supporters and their families filled the room at a hearing on the need to reauthorize the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

“I am awfully tired of hearing that it’s a 9/11 New York issue. Al-Qaeda didn’t shout ‘Death to Tribeca.’ They attacked America,” Stewart told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.

Stewart called the lack of attendance by lawmakers “an embarrassment to the country and a stain on the institution” of Congress, telling members, “I’m sorry if I sound angry and undiplomatic, but I am angry, and you should be too.”

A 2011 bill dedicated $7.3 billion to the compensation fund, but more funding is needed as the rates of 9/11-related illness rise.

“This is nonsense. You guys know it, I know it. This is theater. We’re all down here today, there’s no reason to have dragged these people down here, there’s no reason to have these conversations,” Stewart said.

“This is your opportunity to write a final chapter for these men and women who fought for 18 years — they fought when nobody believed they were sick, they fought when nobody believed their sickness was caused by 9/11, they fought when nobody thought their healthcare was worth paying for, they fought every step of the way,” he said.

After Stewart ended his statement, the first responders in the room gave him a standing ovation.

9/11 Memorial Glade Dedicated to Ongoing Loss of Life from Health Impacts of Attacks

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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