Comedian Jon Stewart took members of Congress to task on Tuesday, blasting part of the House Judiciary Committee for its low attendance at a hearing about reauthorizing funding for people with diseases linked to the 9/11 crash sites, The Washington Post reports. Congress created the Sept. 11th Victim Compensation Fund after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to help anyone injured or sickened in the attacks or in the response process.
“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 told a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. “Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders, and in front of me, a nearly empty Congress.” The firefighters, police officers and others came to the hearing despite illness and injuries, Stewart said, but some members of the subcommittee chose not to show up. The first responders attended the hearing to advocate for the financial compensation they are due, Stewart said.