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Jon Stewart: The victims of September 11 are at the end of the line and ask Congress for help



With his moving testimony to the House Judiciary Subcommittee, on behalf of the victims and first responders of 9/11, Jon Stewart continued to press for the cause while expressing his frustration. face the need to convince people to help the victims.

The appearance of the former "Daily Show" host on June 11 went viral after accusing Congress of not enacting legislation to guarantee continued funding for the September 11th Compensation Fund. On Sunday, he lamented having to do it first.

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"I think this community is at an end," he said. "I think there's a feeling of disbelief, that they can not understand why they have to continually ride horses and get off to Washington to make these calls for something that should be simple but which is somehow made difficult by politics through politics. "

Without a new bill, the fund may run out of money next year. Survivors, many of whom suffer from persistent health problems because of their experience at Ground Zero, would then have difficulty getting treatment for their ailments.

After the collapse of the World Trade Center following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, thousands of construction workers, police, firefighters and others worked with soot, often without proper respiratory protection.

Since then, many have seen their health deteriorate, some suffering from respiratory or digestive disorders appeared almost immediately, others of diseases evolving as they age, including cancer.

More than 40,000 people have applied to the Victims' Compensation Fund, which covers diseases potentially related to the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon or Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after the attacks. More than $ 5 billion in benefits were awarded to the $ 7.4 billion fund, with approximately 21,000 claims pending.

The current fund allows claims until 2020 and Stewart is working to maintain funding so that survivors can claim and receive money until 2090, so that the money stays the same for life people who need it. Stewart estimated that it would cost an additional $ 12 billion.

Stewart's testimony before Congress highlighted the juxtaposition of heroism and the rapid response of those who put themselves in danger on September 11, along with the slow movement manifested by Congress.

"They responded in 5 seconds," Stewart told the first responders. "They did their work with courage, grace, tenacity, humility, and eighteen years later, do yours!"

The next day, the Judiciary Committee of the Plenary Chamber approved the bill, which will then be forwarded to the Plenary Chamber, where it should be passed before passing to the Senate. Stewart fears that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Is not on board.

"With regard to the passing of the 9/11 bills, Mitch McConnell has been the white whale of this species since 2010," Stewart said.

"This is not a Republican-Democratic issue," Stewart said, pointing to bipartisan support for the bill. He said McConnell had used the 9/11 bills to leverage politics.

"In 2010, he used it to make sure Bush 's tax cuts would be permanent," said Stewart. "In 2015, he removed it from the transport bill because he wanted to get promises on oil imports."

The host, Chris Wallace, has expressed his concerns about Stewart's goals in maintaining the victims' fund until the end of the year 2090.

"It should be open because cancer has no expiration date," Stewart replied.

Wallace also mentioned claims that the federal government should not interfere in this case, as it is a New York problem that should be dealt with by the state government.

Stewart said that this seems to pretend that Washington should not have been involved in the Pearl Harbor attack because "it is a problem in Hawaii".

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Stewart's tears in front of the House subcommittee included a reprimand from members of Congress who did not appear, referring to the many empty chairs. The Subcommittee subsequently responded by noting that only two of their members were absent, including Representative Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., Who is campaigning for the presidency. Stewart was not moved by that.

"They kept saying," Well, you know it was a subcommittee, "he told Fox News after the hearing" and I'm like, but there is still members of the subcommittee who are not here. "Either September 11 was a priority, or it was not, but at some point, match your tweets and your words."

Associated Press contributed to this report.


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