Jon Stewart berates Congress over lack of funding for 9/11 victims

13 Juin, 2019, 04:56 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • WASHINGTON DC- JUNE 11 Former Daily Show Host Jon Stewart is sworn in before testifying during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on reauthorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund on Capitol Hill

Mr Stewart was testifying before the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties about a renewal of the 9/11 first responders healthcare fund.

"I hadn't looked at that lately". Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday that "shamefully it has always been a struggle" for Congress to provide for the first responders' health care as they get respiratory illnesses and cancers.

"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 almost empty Congress".

However, Rupa Bhattacharyya, special master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, said projections show the money remaining in the fund is insufficient to pay all claims already pending and claims expected to be filed. The Justice Department said in February that the fund is being depleted and that benefit payments are being cut by up to 70 percent.

In his opening statements during the Tuesday committee hearing, Chairman Jerry Nadler, Congressman from the 10th District of NY, shared photos from the day of the attacks and the time immediately afterward which depicted the overwhelming levels of toxic pollution that filled the lungs of first responders and survivors.

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A day after TV personality Jon Stewart blasted lawmakers for their inaction, the House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to extend the compensation fund for police, firefighters and other first responders to the september 11 attack sites. Her press secretary sent CBS3 a statement, which reads, in part, "Congresswoman Dean is an original co-sponsor of the bill to reauthorize the victim's fund through 2020".

"I'm pretty sure what's going to happen five years from now, more of these men and women are going to get sick and they are going to die and I am awfully exhausted of hearing that it's a 9/11New York issue", Mr Stewart said. And where are they?

"Your indifference costs these men and women their most valuable commodity - time", he said.

The bill will now go to the floor for a full vote in the House of Representatives, where it is likely to pass. "And this morning she voted to successfully pass this bill out of committee".

John Feal, a 9/11 first responder, said this morning on CNN that the bill will go to Senate, "where bills go to die, because it's run by a bunch of cranky old white men, who are trying to keep control of this country", he said. The Victim Compensation Fund was passed by Congress in 2011 to compensate those affected by toxins from the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennslyvania attacks and was renewed with additional funding in 2015.

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