Jon Stewart Confronts Mike Johnson & Congress for 9/11 Responders
Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson was on the harsh end of a fiery speech in Washington today.
Actor and advocate Jon Stewart spoke before Congress today on behalf of 9/11 responders, and during his remarks, he specifically called out Congressman Johnson. You can see the comments at the 5:50 mark in the video above.
After Stewart's remarks, and the testimony from the first responders themselves, Congressman Johnson did have a chance to respond. The Washington Post reported this response from Johnson:
"I’ve been in politics a while. I can’t recall being so moved by testimony as I was today. I cried through most of this, a lot of us did. . . . If it’s any comfort to you all, we know this bill is going to pass with an overwhelming landslide majority of the House, maybe unanimous.”
Stewart has been an outspoken supporter of 9/11 responders for years, and has been speaking in front of Congress on their behalf of the responders for years. He returned to Washington today for a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on funding for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. When Stewart began his remarks, he took aim at the empty seats that Congress left in front of them:
"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. Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders; and in front of me, a nearly empty Congress."
The main reason for the hearing was the sudden lack of funding the program has. Apparently the bill had a deadline of December 2020 placed on it by the legislature, which has led to a recent spike in claims. Those running the fund have said their is "insufficient funding" to pay everything they currently have in progress.
According to the Washington Post's story, there are more than 19,000 unpaid claims in the system for the fund.