Jon Stewart lashes out at U.S. lawmakers over response to 9/11 first responders
Comic Jon Stewart scolded Congress Tuesday for failing to be sure that a victims’ compensation fund arrange after the 9/11 assaults by no means runs out of cash.
Stewart, a longtime advocate for 9/11 responders, additionally referred to as out lawmakers for failing to attend a listening to on a invoice to make sure the fund pays advantages for the subsequent 70 years.
Pointing to rows of empty seats at a Home Judiciary Committee listening to room, an indignant Stewart stated “sick and dying” first responders and their households got here to Washington for the listening to, solely to face an almost abandoned dais.
The sparse attendance by lawmakers was “a humiliation to the nation and a stain on the establishment” of Congress, Stewart stated, including that the “disrespect” proven to first responders now affected by respiratory illnesses and different sicknesses “is totally unacceptable.”
Watch that second from the listening to:
Lawmakers from each events stated they help the invoice and have been monitoring the listening to amid different congressional enterprise.
Louisiana Republican Rep. Mike Johnson, predicted the invoice will move with overwhelming help and stated lawmakers meant no disrespect as they moved in and out of the subcommittee listening to, a standard incidence on Capitol Hill.
Stewart was unconvinced.
Pointing to rows of uniformed firefighters and law enforcement officials behind him, he stated the listening to “needs to be flipped,” in order that first responders have been on the dais, with members of Congress “down right here” in witness chairs answering their questions.
Initially, Stewart stated, households need to know: “Why is that this so rattling laborious and takes so rattling lengthy?”
Watch Stewart demand Congress do its job:
The collapse of the World Commerce Heart in September 2001 despatched a cloud of thick mud billowing over Decrease Manhattan. Fires burned for weeks. Hundreds of building staff, law enforcement officials, firefighters and others hung out working within the soot, typically with out correct respiratory safety.
Within the years since, many have seen their well being decline, some with respiratory or digestive-system illnesses that appeared virtually instantly, others with sicknesses that developed as they aged, together with most cancers.
Greater than 40,000 individuals have utilized to the September 11th Sufferer Compensation Fund, which covers sicknesses doubtlessly associated to being at the World Commerce Heart website, the Pentagon or Shanksville, Penn., after the assaults. Greater than $5 billion US in advantages have been awarded out of the $7.four billion US fund, with about 21,000 claims pending.
Stewart and different audio system lamented the truth that almost 18 years after the assaults, first responders and their households nonetheless don’t have any assurance the fund is not going to run out of cash. The Justice Division stated in February that the fund is being depleted and that profit funds are being minimize by up to 70 per cent.
Stewart will get emotional as he accuses lawmakers of ignoring the 9/11 responders:
“The plain reality is that we’re expending the obtainable funds extra rapidly than assumed, and there are a lot of extra claims than anticipated,” stated Rupa Bhattacharyya, the fund’s particular grasp. A complete of 835 awards have been lowered as of Might 31, she stated.
Home Judiciary Chair Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat whose district contains the World Commerce Heart website, stated a 70 per cent minimize — or any minimize — in compensation to victims of 9/11 “is solely insupportable, and Congress should not enable it.”
Simply as Individuals “stood collectively as a nation within the days following September 11, 2001, and simply as we stood collectively in 2010 and 2015 to authorize and fund these very important packages, we should now be part of forces another time to be sure that the heroes of 9/11 will not be deserted once they want us most,” Nadler stated.
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