Partisanship aside, Americans of all stripes should be able to agree that care for veterans and first responders should not be subjected to political games. Former "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart begged Congress on Capitol Hill Tuesday to put an end to such treatment of the 9/11 victims' compensation fund, a cause he has long pushed for.
"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," Stewart told the House Judiciary Committee.
The comedian took particular issue with the fact that some members of the committee either did not bother to show up or were seen coming and going as men and women testified to their suffering as a result of their rescue efforts during and after the 9/11 attacks.
"As I sit here today, I can’t 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," Stewart said, according to Fox Business. "Behind me, 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."
Stewart drew attention to the appalling contrast between the heroism and urgency with which the 9/11 first responders conducted themselves that day and the many empty chairs which he saw in front of him in Congress. It took 5 seconds for the first responders of 9/11 to rush into action in order to save lives, while, almost 2 decades later, Congress still hasn't acted to provide them with basic healthcare and benefits.