June 11, 2019 | 1:27pm
| Updated June 11, 2019 | 2:26pm
WASHINGTON – Former “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart shamed members of a House panel Tuesday when only five lawmakers were seated in the rostrum to hear survivors of the Sept. 11 terror attacks testify about the need to reauthorize the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.
“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 began. “Behind me a filled room of 9/11 first responders and in front of me a nearly empty Congress.”
“Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one,” he continued. “Shameful. It’s an embarrassment to the country and a stain on this institution and you should be ashamed of yourselves, for those who aren’t here, but you won’t be because accountability doesn’t appear to be something that occurs in this chamber.”
In front of Stewart was House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York, along with Democratic Reps. Steve Cohen of Tennessee, Mary Gay Scanlon of Pennsylvania, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and the top Republican in the Judiciary subcommittee, Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana.
Democratic Rep. Max Rose of Staten Island was seated near the witnesses testifying.
Jon Stewart steadies former NYPD Bomb Squad Detective Louis Alvarez.
Retired FDNY Lieutenant and 9/11 responder Michael O’Connelll (left) FealGood Foundation co-founder John Feal (center right) and Jon Stewart speak to retired NYPD detective Luis Alvarez.
FealGood Foundation co-founder John Feal hugs Jon Stewart.
The subcommittee has 14 members.
Stewart’s rant came on the heels of testimony from Luis Alvarez, a retired NYPD detective who had responded to the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
He told the lawmakers that he was about to go into his 69th round of chemotherapy to treat his liver cancer.
“We don’t want to be here. Lu doesn’t want to be here, none of these people don’t want to be here,” Stewart told the handful of lawmakers. “And they’re not here for themselves. They are here to continue fighting for what’s right.”
“Lu’s going to go back for his 69th chemo, the great Ray Pfeifer would come down here, his body riddled with cancer and pain, where he couldn’t walk. And the disrespect shown to him and the other lobbyists on this bill is utterly unacceptable,” Stewart added.
Pfeifer was a 9/11 firefighter who died in 2017 of a 9/11-related cancer.
Get real time updates directly on your device, subscribe now.