US comic Jon Stewart has scolded Congress for failing to make 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, angrily known as out politicians for failing to attend a listening to on a invoice to make sure the fund will pay advantages for the following 70 years.
Pointing to rows of empty seats at a Home Judiciary Committee listening to room, Stewart mentioned “sick and dying” first responders and their households got here to Washington for the listening to, solely to face a virtually abandoned dais.
The sparse attendance by politicians was “a humiliation to the nation and a stain on this establishment,” Stewart mentioned, including that the “disrespect” proven to first responders now affected by respiratory illnesses and different sicknesses “is completely unacceptable”.
Lawmakers from each events mentioned they help the invoice and have been monitoring the listening to amid different congressional enterprise.
Pointing to rows of uniformed firefighters and cops behind him, he mentioned 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.
At first, Stewart mentioned, households need to know, “Why that is so rattling arduous and takes so rattling lengthy?”
Stewart and different audio system lamented the truth that almost 18 years after the assaults, first responders and their households nonetheless haven’t any assurance the fund won’t run out of cash.
The Justice Division mentioned in February that the fund is being depleted and that profit funds are being lower by as much as 70 %.
“The plain truth is that we’re expending the obtainable funds extra rapidly than assumed, and there are various extra claims than anticipated,” mentioned Rupa Bhattacharyya, the fund’s particular grasp. A complete of 835 awards have been diminished as of Might 31, she mentioned.
Stewart known as that shameful.
“Your indifference is costing these women and men their most beneficial commodity: time,” he informed lawmakers. “It is one factor they’re working out of.”
Firefighters, police and different first responders “did their jobs with braveness, grace, tenacity and humility,” Stewart added.
“Eighteen years later, do yours.”