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Jon Stewart calls out Congress for not attending hearing for 9/11 survivors

Jon Stewart calls out Congress for not attending hearing for 9/11 survivors

Stewart was joined not only by 9/11 survivors and first responders, but also the widow of a construction worker who responded at Ground Zero, clutching a photo of her late husband to her chest as she spoke.

"What an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process that getting healthcare and benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to", said Stewart at the beginning of his speech.

In his emotional testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on Tuesday, Stewart skewered members of Congress, at times breaking down in tears, shouting at the lawmakers for their lack of concern for the VCF, calling them "shameful".

In front of Stewart was House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of NY, along with Democratic Reps. "They attacked America and these men and women. brought our country back", he said.

The House of Representatives is set to vote on the "Never Forget The Heroes Act" this week in order to permanently extend the fund past its 2020 deadline.

An outspoken advocate for 9/11 first responders, Stewart said the "callous indifference and rank hypocrisy" of Congress members who once tweeted "Never Forget 9/11" is robbing the responders of their "most valuable commodity: Time, the one thing they're running out of". More than $5 billion USA in benefits have been awarded out of the $7.4 billion USA fund, with about 21,000 claims pending. More than 20,000 individuals have suffered or died from cancer, breathing problems and other ailments because of the trauma inflicted on 9/11. And you should be ashamed of yourselves for those that aren't here. The 9/11 victims fund had to cut payments to victims by as much as 70 percent because of the rising number of cases and dwindling resources.

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"Al-Qaida didn't shout 'death to Tribeca, '" he said. "Never forget their bravery, never forget what they did, what they gave to this country".

"More of these men and woman are going to get sick and they're going to die, and I'm awfully exhausted of hearing this is a 'New York issue.' Al-Qaeda didn't shout 'death to Tribeca.' They attacked America", Stewart remarked.

The Louisiana Republican then predicted the bill would sail through the committee and pass nearly-unanimously through the House.

"Less than 24 hours from now, I will be serving my 69th round of chemotherapy", Alvarez said.

"I'm sorry if I sound angry and undiplomatic, but I am angry and you should be too", added Stewart, who received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his statement.